Doss High School tight end Tyler Jefferson continued Western Kentucky University’s hot streak of in-state recruiting on Sunday with a commitment to the Hilltoppers.
WKU now has eight pledges in the 2015 class — all from Kentuckians over the past two weeks.
Most of Jefferson’s relatives live near Bowling Green in Russellville, Ky., and his family was thrilled with his decision to stay close to home.
So, too, apparently was WKU assistant Greg Nord, who has been recruiting Jefferson since the middle of last season. Jefferson said their bond was a key factor in his decision.
“He was basically saying there is nothing like playing for your home state,” Jefferson said. “I mean, it’s true. Who wouldn’t want to play for your home state?”
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Jefferson, who could potentially play wide receiver in college, caught 27 passes for 372 yards and four touchdowns last season.
He chose the Hilltoppers over offers from Ball State and Toledo. He had received interest from Kentucky, Purdue and Indiana.
Nord and head coach Jeff Brohm told him he has good athletic ability and speed for a player of his height and like his “eye for the ball.”
“(Brohm) was pumped,” Jefferson said. “He said I made the right decision, and he wants me to help recruit some more guys from the 2015 class.”
Jefferson is already familiar with many of his future teammates.
He’s known DeSales outside linebacker Bryant Pirtle, who committed to WKU last Wednesday, for 10 years since they played youth football together. They are the first football players from the area to commit to an NCAA Division I college in the 2015 class.
“He’s an amazing athlete, and he works hard,” Jefferson said.
Jefferson’s pledge came two days after WKU picked up Friday commitments from Lafayette wide receiver Lucky Jackson, Lafayette linebacker DeVon Quincy and Russell County defensive end Nick Coffey. Coffey, who’s 6-5 and 238 pounds, had 68 tackles and two fumble recoveries last season.
The Toppers’ other commitments are Glasgow running back Marquez Trigg, Madisonville North Hopkins offensive lineman Cullen Reynolds and Graves County defensive end Heath Wiggins.
Jefferson said he’s friends with Trigg and Quincy and has participated in camps with some of the others. He also knows several current WKU players and 2014 signees.
“It’ll be good for team chemistry,” he said. “We’ll come in with a bond and be able to play together.
“I know that I can come in and not worry about anything going wrong. I’ll be playing with people I know and can get comfortable, and I can just get busy.”
Steve Jones can be reached at (502) 582-7176 and followed on Twitter at @SteveJones_CJ.