Commitments from twins Keaten and Destin Wade show Kentucky has moved ahead of Tennessee

Published 7:18 am Monday, April 19, 2021

Summit High School (Tenn.) coach Brian Coleman wasn’t sure if twins Keaten and Destin Wade would end up playing together in college but he never doubted his two players would like to do that.

Now they are going to play together at Kentucky after picking the Cats over Tennessee, Virginia, and Louisville.

“There was a time Keaten was outgrowing Destine. He had a few better offers. He got LSU and Oklahoma and I thought maybe they would not go to college together,” said Coleman. “Then Destin started getting SEC offers. I think when that happened they knew they would play together in college.”

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Kentucky certainly wanted them together. Keaten is a 6-4, 225-pound outside linebacker who is considered one of the nation’s top 200 players by 247Sports. Destin is a 6-3, 205-pound athlete who is a consensus top 500 player nationally who believes he can continue to play quarterback in college — an option Kentucky was willing to give him. Both are four-star recruits.

Getting the two commitments from two of Tennessee’s best players indicate the shift of power in football between UK and Tennessee.

“No question Kentucky is the better program at the moment and taking a duo from the Volunteer State that Tennessee invested lots of time in is the latest evidence,” CatsIllustrated publisher Justin Rowland said.

Destin Wade wants to play quarterback and likely will be UK’s only quarterback signee in the 2022 recruiting class since the Cats currently have scholarship quarterbacks on campus now.

“Destin wants to give quarterback a shot. That’s all he is asking for,” Coleman said. “If it does not work out, he can play other spots. A lot of good safeties and linebackers in college started out as quarterbacks. He just wants that shot to give it a try and was always leaning to schools that were willing to give him that opportunity.

Coleman is a run-first coach who likes the Wing-T offense and as a sophomore Destin Wade mainly was a running quarterback. As a junior when Summit won the state championship, Destin ran for 18 touchdowns and threw for 19 while amassing almost 3,000 yards of offense.

‘He changed my philosophy about offense and it made me better and the team better,” Coleman said. “We morphed our offense because of him. The more he protected the ball, the more we threw it. We just kept throwing it and he kept getting better. In the playoffs, he really shined and showed a lot of colleges he can play quarterback and read defenses and not just make one read and take off running.”

Keaten had a breakout sophomore season when Summit Hill lost in the state championship game. However, he broke his foot before his junior season started.

“We never knew when he did it. It bothered him a little bit and he got an X-ray and he had a fracture,” Coleman said. “He had surgery, got it fixed, tried it and the foot still hurt. I knew it was not healed, so I shut him down because I knew his future was so bright.”

When Summit reached the state semifinals, he was cleared to play and played defensive end/outside linebacker in the semifinal and title games. He had six tackles, four tackles for losses, and three sacks. He also had a touchdown reception.

“He is so long and athletic. He can drop into pass coverage or be an end rusher,” Coleman said.

The coach expects Keaten to play running back while Destin could also play some in the secondary like he did in the playoffs at key times last season.

Coleman says both can run the 40-yard dash in the 4.4-second range even if it might not look like they are that fast.

“They are both long and have such long strides,” Coleman said. “Keaten is a lot like (Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry). He can outrun guys but he may let them catch up and just stiff-arm them. Destin is fast and explosive.”

Off the field, the twins are typical students that peers and teachers all like.

“They are just great kids. They like being around friends,” the coach said. “They will stick their head in my office just to see how I am doing. They are very nonchalant. But on the field they have that switch to turn on when it is time to play and get serious. And right now they are killing it in the weight room just getting ready for next season and then Kentucky.”