Somerset High School senior linebacker Jase Bruner, a 6-foot-1 1/2, 235-pound prospect from the Class of 2020, accepted a preferred walk-on offer to join the University of Kentucky football program and spend his college years in Lexington earlier this month.
Bruner said the Wildcats had been in contact for a good amount of time before he announced his future plans with Kentucky.
UK’s coaches first got involved with Bruner over the summer.
“I was going to a bunch of small Division I summer camps and then I was thinking, maybe I’ll go to one big school. I had gone the summer before to a bunch of big schools and didn’t have much success, so maybe just one big D1 school this year,” he recalled.
Kentucky was “always a dream”, Bruner said, so that’s the one Power Five camp he decided to participate in.
“I went there and did really well,” Bruner said. “When we were in individual (work), Coach (Jon) Sumrall said he wanted me to get as many reps in 1-on-1s as possible because he really wanted to look at me. I said, ‘Yes sir,’ and he asked me what my name was about 20 times, trying to figure it out. That’s how it all started.”
From that point forward Bruner would communicate with Sumrall once or twice a week. He was also in some contact with inside linebacker De’Andre Square, who is thriving in the program in only his second year of college.
Bruner said Sumrall is a big reason he’s planning to attend Kentucky.
“From Matt House to Coach Sumrall it’s just been awesome,” he said. “Coach Sumrall is a great guy. He’s awesome to be around and he’s great to talk to. He’s funny. You can tell he’s a great recruiter.”
But there were other reasons this had long been a dream of Bruner’s.
“Just growing up, being a Kentucky fan all of my life and seeing all the different coaches from the team with Danny Trevathan, Winston Guy, the team with Derrick Locke and Randall Cobb, and then when (Mark) Stoops came along I wondered how it would take, how it would go. He’s just built the program up to be amazing and he’s barely starting.”
Before last year Bruner had been in attendance for just about every Kentucky home football game for quite some time.
He couldn’t attend the UT-Martin game this weekend but will be at Kentucky’s regular season finale against archrival Louisville the following weekend.
So what kind of player is Kentucky getting in the Somerset prospect?
“I’m not overall fast but my mind is fast and I guess I’m a hard hitter,” he said. “I can put myself in the right spot to make the tackle and I read the play and find out what they’re doing really well.”
This year Bruner leads the Briar Jumpers with 106 tackles, two forced fumbles, and two recovered fumbles.
On offense, he had 42 carries for 326 yards and five touchdowns, plus nine catches for 162 yards.