LOUISVILLE - Johnson Central High School standout J. J. Jude received the Dr. Rudy J. Ellis Sports Medicine High School Athlete of the Year award at the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame banquet in Louisville last week.
Jude, a two-sport athlete, set a Kentucky career rushing record in football. He also won back-to-back state titles in the 171-pound weight class in wrestling. He finished his career on a 170-match winning streak in wrestling. Jude also ran track and finished second in the state in the 200-meter dash.
The versatile Jude was a two-time first-team Courier-Journal All-State selection in football and ended his career with 8,637 rushing yards. He broke the old record for career rushing yards set by former Fort Knox and University of Kentucky standout Derek Homer.
As a senior, Jude ran for 3,061 yards and 31 touchdowns to become the first Kentucky player to surpass 3,000 yards twice. He’s only the sixth player to reach 3,000 in any season, doing it as a junior and a senior.
As a junior, Jude set a state record for yards in a game with 584 in a win over Woodford County. He finished that season with 331 carries for 3,258 yards – second in state history for a single season – and 31 TDs.
In wrestling, Jude made it to the state tournament six years and placed five times. He won the 170-pound title as a junior and senior and was a runner-up in a national wrestling meet during his sophomore season.
Jude also played some baseball for Johnson Central.
The productive Jude has signed to play football at Eastern Kentucky University.