By LARRY VAUGHT
8:06 AM PST, January 18, 2013
Franklin County standout Ryan Timmons still is not ready to make his college choice and recently has added scholarship offers from California and Missouri to those he already had and Florida — thanks to receivers coach Joker Phillips — continues to make a push for him.
The versatile Timmons is one of the state’s top players. He had 72 rushes for 1,260 yards and 25 scores for 12-1 Franklin last season and caught 29 passes for 970 yards and 17 more scores. He had 45 total touchdowns and scored 260 points.
Franklin coach Chris Tracy says Timmons, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds at a Kentucky camp, will make his college choice known either Feb. 6 (the first day of the national signing period) or Feb. 7 during a ceremony at the high school.
Tracy says new Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown has “been to see him three or four times” already, including Tuesday night.
“I think he is a priority for Kentucky and this new staff,” Tracy said. “Florida has really jumped back into the picture. They have not offered a scholarship yet, but they are really close. The one thing Florida likes is that he can do it all. They don’t have that type of guy now who can play the slot, play running back, play receiver and just do it all. All through middle school, he was a tailback.”
The coach says Timmons has a “great relationship” with Illinois coaches and that they “have been there from day one” with him.
Kentucky did not seem positioned that strongly with Timmons until the staff changed. However, Tracy says Timmons always liked head coach Joker Phillips and recruiting coordinator Chuck Smith.
“I think his big issue with them had more to do with winning than anything else,” Tracy said. “He really, really likes Joker a lot. He had a great relationship with coach Smith. But it had more to do with winning.
“Being so close to home also plays a role in this. Expectations are different when you stay home to play. That’s something he has to juggle in his mind. Do I want to be that close to home and be the crown jewel as the home state guy? I¿know he really likes coach Brown a lot. He came in with guns blazing to try and pick him up.
“He will go there and probably know more about the offense than most kids who go through spring practice. That’s our offense. This is my seventh or eighth year running this offense and one of the first clinics I went to about this offense there was a young Neal Brown of Troy University there as a speaker. So Ryan knows plenty about the offense.”
Tracy also always knew plenty about Timmons. Tracy was head coach at Woodford County when Timmons was a freshman and Timmons led Franklin to a win over Woodford.
“They ran the option and he was one of the wingbacks. I remember the quarterback tossing him the ball at the 1 (yard line) and he took it 99 yards in a game against Lafayette,” Tracy said. “That did not have a bearing on me taking the job at Franklin the next year, but there were people there telling me he could be awesome. You could tell he had that special it factor about him.”
He apparently still has it.
“Several college coaches have been telling he has the ability to play in the NFL from what they have seen on film. They say he could put on 10 to 15 pounds and play in the NFL right now,” Tracy said. “I’m so close to him, I don’t see that. But there are coaches telling me that.”
Tracy said at Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights (camp) last summer that Timmons outran everyone he was paired against, including skilled players who have verbally committed to the Buckeyes. “We are not talking by a step or head, but by a yard or more,” Tracy said.
The coach says his star runs “good routes” that make him seem even faster and that Franklin offensive coordinator Eddie James, who has coached Timmons since middle school, designed schemes to take advantage of his versatility. “You just didn’t know where he would be and I would think it would be the same in college for him,” Tracy said.
Tracy isn’t sure exactly what criteria Timmons will use to make his college choice.
“It is a decision him and family will have to make. I try to lay information out to him and let him decide what to do,” Tracy said. “Our defensive coordinator wrote out some questions for him and had him answer about each school and for him to write the pros and cons of each school so he could compare them.
“One thing we have talked about is him making up his mind before Feb. 1 and then telling the program he has committed.
“But we’ll keep his decision quiet until he can make his announcement to everyone at the same time.”