Kentucky football: Jager Burton the diamond signee wins Paul Horning Award

Landon Young of the Kentucky Wildcats.(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Landon Young of the Kentucky Wildcats.(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Kentucky football 4-star signee Jager Burton is the first offensive lineman to win the Paul Hornung Award.

Jager Burton is the jewel of the Kentucky football 2021 signing class staying home in Lexington to bring his All-American play to the Wildcats.

Now he has another gem to add to his collection as the first-ever offensive lineman to win the prestigious Paul Hornung Award selected by the Louisville Quarterback Club and presented each year to the state’s top high school football player.

There is no doubt that he is deserving of the honor but for Kentucky, it’s more evidence of the talent and commitment of coach Mark Stoops staff to keep the talent in the Bluegrass and not let it escape elsewhere. A total of seven in-state players signed early with Kentucky last week.

More importantly, it draws attention to the fact that players across the state realize the rise of the Kentucky program and their desire to stay instate. Associate head coach and recruiting genius Vince Marrow was all in on Burton and the Kentucky kids.

The third-ranked offensive guard and No. 66 player in America, according to 247 Sports, Burton earned All-American honors while playing for Frederick Douglass High School.

More importantly, it marks the second straight year a UK signee has won the Hornung Award, after Beau Allen last year, and probably the future starting quarterback that Burton may be protecting.

He had offers from Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas, Oregon, and Oklahoma just to name a few. But he chose Kentucky.

He talked about the importance of staying home to 247Sports.

"“I take extreme pride in that and talking to Drake Jackson and Landon (Young) and Vito (Tisdale) about how powerful it is to put on for your home state and making a difference for Kentucky here and put them on the map as one of the best teams in the country and SEC and trying to build that up, I’ll take pride in that the rest of my life,”"

When shopping for the perfect diamond there are four things to consider the cut, clarity, color, and carat.  It is very important to know the characteristics of these precious stones while you are purchasing them.

Just as the perfect diamond to wear Burton is one that would make you want to choose him for your team.


The surface flaws are known as blemishes while internal flaws are called inclusions. Still, it is natural for diamonds to have both blemishes and inclusions at the same time.

While only coaches know for sure deep down what the internal ones maybe like technique etc. as he progresses from high school to college, but as for the blemishes, it’s hard to see many.

He bends, stands, and gets off the ball quickly and is fleet of foot for a lineman. You see him block with long arms and great technique. He is just a freak of an athlete who leads by example and that’s what you see on the outside.


The diamond color usually refers to the lack of color in a diamond. When it comes to diamond color, the lesser the visible color, the higher is the grade of the diamond.

While watching Burton play there is little doubt he was the leader and captain for the Broncos. He doesn’t try to outshine everyone so he isn’t overly flashy but his love of football and pedigree shines brightly.

You would have to grade him well here.

We can’t confuse the fiery nature of his play with dullness. This is what will make him shine, in the end, is the kind of ferociousness that he plays with you want to see.

What he will bring to Kentucky will be a solid leader but a team player which is what Stoops and company love. He will learn under new offensive line coach Eric Holcomb who comes over next year from South Carolina.


Carat is the unit of measurement used to weigh diamonds.

Listed at 6’4″ 275-pounds it’s safe to assume he has the weight proportion down right. Burton should quickly earn his way onto the Big Blue Wall offensive line and while he is a beast already in the weight room his body bodes well for the 300-pound range.

The Wildcats lose a lot from their offensive line this year and while Burton may not find a spot early on he should see plenty of playing time.

Projected to possibly be a guard Kentucky loses Luke Fortner to graduation at left guard and his backup has been redshirt freshman Eli Cox. Also graduating on the left is Drake Jackson. On the right side, Austin Dotson and Darrian Kinnard are both juniors with young backups.


The way a diamond is polished and cut affects its brilliance, sparkle, and fire of the stone. When a diamond is cut properly, it allows light to reflect and refract internally and then emit from the top causing a dazzling effect.

Frederick Douglass started and ended this season this year with heartbreaking losses, 19-17 to John Hardin in the opener and 28-27 to Owensboro in the Class 5A state semifinals.  Last year they were 14-0 heading into the title game only to lose to Covington Catholic 14-7.

He was there to embrace his team each time.

Burton’s dad Jeff played at Mercer County and then for Morehead State and he has relatives from all around him in various Kentucky counties so committing early and staying home was Jager’s dream.

Jager was meant to play at Kentucky no matter what schools wanted him but always the courteous one he respectively listened to each.

Thank goodness for Big Blue Nation that Burton loves and is staying in My Old Kentucky Home.