VAUGHT’S VIEWS: Prospect from Michigan a longtime UK fan
By Larry Vaught
Long before he ever thought about a football scholarship offer from the University of Kentucky, Max Hairston was a Kentucky basketball fan.
He was such a big fan that he still calls Kentucky his “dream school” and was thrilled to get a scholarship offer from Kentucky secondary coach Steve Clinkscale.
“I’ve always been a huge Kentucky fan from watching basketball. Then recently I started watching Kentucky football in the SEC. Same feeling. I have always loved them,” said the 6-1, 170-pound defensive back from West Bloomfield, Mich., just outside Detroit.
He’s a combo guard in basketball.
Is he a scorer?
“I would like to say I am,” he laughed and said. “I grew up thinking basketball would be my sport in college. Then I fell in love with football like last year when I got my first scholarship offer. That changed everything for me.”
He’s been watching Kentucky basketball so long that he says guard John Wall, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA draft, is his favorite player.
“Every team they have had (under John Calipari) has been pretty good but John Wall is a stud,” Hairston said.
He’s rated as a three-star cornerback in the 2021 recruiting class. Some recruiting analysts list him as a “lockdown corner.” He adds a bit more to the description. “I am a lockdown corner that can hit,” Hairston said. “I love playing man coverage. I like being physical.”
He’s also fast, the first thing that impressed Clinkscale. Hairston ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds at a camp — one of the best times at the camp — to get Clinkscale’s attention.
“I have been talking to coach Clinkscale for a long time. I got to see him before the (COVID-19) shutdown happened,” Hairston said. “I built a good relationship and we just stayed in touch.
He has over 20 scholarship offers including Washington State, Baylor, Oregon, Florida Sate, Kansas, Oregon State, West Virginia, Arkansas, Boston College, Maryland, Cincinnati, Purdue and Minnesota along with Kentucky.
He would like to make his commitment Aug. 6 on his birthday and before his senior season.
“If I have to push back the date, I have no problem doing that,” he said. “I have a top five in mind but I am waiting to see what a couple of other schools are going to do (about offering scholarships).”
He’s only visited two schools and hopes to make trips to Kentucky and others soon if he’s allowed to travel.
“I have done my research on every school but if you cannot visit campus it makes it 10 times harder,” Hairston said. “I want to just see what’s around the school. Check out the facilities. See how me and the whole coaching staff relate. See myself in the actual Kentucky jersey while I am there. Just stuff like that I think I need to see and know before I make a decision.”