Jason Hatcher, Defensive End
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Weight: 240 lbs.
40 time: 4.82
The Mark Stoops era at the University of Kentucky got off to a fast start with the commitment of one of the nation’s top defensive prospects, and arguably the best player in Kentucky high school football last year, as Trinity’s Jason Hatcher committed to UK after it originally appeared that had a 0% chance of happening.
Hatcher was committed to USC up until National Signing Day,when he decommitted and flipped over to the Wildcats. Hatcher pledged to UK over USC, Louisville, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Auburn, and several other BCS elites.
To show how much Hatcher was against going to UK when Joker Phillips was the head coach, he told ESPN last July what he told Tennessee coaches after he’d committed to USC:
I told (Tennessee’s coaching staff), ‘You lost to the University of Kentucky. You lose to UK, you lose to everybody because UK finishes last in the SEC every year’.
Though projected to be a DE in college, Hatcher has the speed to play outside linebacker. He’s tremendously quick off the line and fast in pursuit. He relies on speed and quickness rather than strength. Because of this skillset, he’ll be able to make an impact early in his college career, because he doesn’t rely on strength as much and won’t need 1-2 years in a college weight-lifting program to develop that strength to where he can use it against SEC-quality lineman.
Speed translates faster into college than strength, and that’s why Hatcher should be expected to be on the field early for UK this season. He may start out as a situational pass-rusher, but will eventually develop into an every-down d-lineman,