LIBERTY — Alex Bolin and Tyler Padgett grew up playing football together and wanted to continue that in college.
And that’s just what the Casey County seniors have done, both signing with University of the Cumberlands on Tuesday.
“It worked out perfectly, we still get to play football with each and go to college together,” said Padgett, a 6-1, 325 pounder who was recruited as a lineman. “Me and Alex have been friends since elementary school and we figured it was cool the same college was offering us, so we took it.”
“We kind of told coaches that’s what we wanted to do,” said Bolin, a 6-0, 195 pound running back. “We were going to try and go to the same school to make it easier on us. Cumberlands offered us both, so we decided to go there.”
It also worked out that Cumberlands had the right offense for both of them. The Patriots’ offense is more run-based, which was perfect for Bolin, who led the area in rushing the past two seasons and finished his career as Casey’s second all-time leading rusher. This past season, Bolin ran for 2,031 yards and 25 touchdowns.
“Their offense is more my style, so I feel I fit in better. They said they may try to put some size on me and move me to fullback. That’s fine with me, it’s more of my style to run up the middle,” said Bolin. “Plus, they gave me a better deal that other schools couldn’t match. A lot of the colleges were similar, but it came down to who talked to me the most and who showed the most interest in me.”
Padgett, who earned All-Area honors while helping Casey rush for 2,916 yards, averaging 265 yards per game, said Cumberlands ran a similar offense and defense to Casey, so he would be fine on either side of the ball.
“I pretty much know all of the blocking schemes,” said Padgett, who was fine wherever he wound up. “Just when I get down there, I’ll see what they tell me to do.”
The two picked Cumberlands over Lindsey-Wilson and Campbellsville. Padgett said a chance to play early was also a draw for him.
“What sold me on Cumberlands was this past team had 26 freshmen that got to play, so that got my attention,” he said. “They did lose three offensive linemen, so I’ll see if I can compete for a starting job.”