U of L in with Central trio of LBers

Donald Styles

Central High School won a third straight Kentucky Class 3-A state football championship last weekend in Bowling Green. The Yellowjackets did it with a trio of standout junior linebackers, who have University of Louisville interest.

The Central High School football program has produced a long line of quality Division I college football players on the defensive side of the ball.

Now, coach Ty Scroggins has three more.

The Yellowjackets won a third consecutive Class 3-A state title last weekend with a trio of Division I-caliber linebackers leading the charge.

Donald Styles, Phillip Francis and Derquione Mobley are all three juniors with a bright future, according to Scroggins, a former University of Louisville player.

"They are all three really good linebackers," Scroggins said after a 12-6 win over Belfry in the state final. "And they're just juniors. They'll go to a lot of camps and things they are supposed to over the summer to get recognized.

"I would expect all three of them to get good looks."

Francis and Styles, who have started since their freshmen seasons, are already getting a ton of college interest. Both have been to several Louisville football games and are in constant contact with the Cardinals' coaching staff.

The 6-foot, 195-pound Francis plays linebacker in high school but is projected by most schools as a safety in college. He finished the season with 84 tackles.

"I am doing better at coming up, wrapping up and making good hits," Francis said. "I still need to run through the tackle, instead of stopping. I still have room for improvement but it was a good year."

Francis, who was limited in the state final with an ankle injury he suffered early in the game, said he's been in contact with U of L, Ohio State and LSU. He's been on visits to both Louisville and Ohio State.

"College is on my mind every day," he said. "I am a Kentucky fan but they haven't shown any interest. They Louisville coaches are really good. I keep in contact with them and went to some games."

The 5-10, 185-pound Styles is also projected as a safety in college. He finished the season with 129 tackles and two interceptions. He returned both picks for touchdowns this season.

"My season went good but I could have been better," Styles said. "I have to work on my wrapping up and have to get my lower body stronger."

Styles said he would start thinking more about college. He doesn't have any offers but said he has "big looks" from Louisville, Kentucky, Toledo and Western Kentucky with a little interest from Ohio State.

"I love Louisville," he said.

Scroggins said the interest is just starting to pick up for the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Mobley. He didn't play as a sophomore for Central.

But Mobley had 54 tackles this season and Scroggins said he had "just as good a year as the other two. He's a good one."

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