East Jessamine senior lineman Doug McConville may have got a late start on his football career, but that didn’t prevent him from finding a future on the gridiron.
Friday in East Jessamine High School’s auditorium, McConville, accompanied by his parents, Russell and Shirl, and head coach Mike Bowlin, signed his letter of intent to the University of Pikeville and head coach Dudley Hilton.
“I’m very excited for Doug,” Bowlin said. “He only played football his senior year. Doug came out a little bit late. He’s one of those kids we saw in the hallway and we really thought he had some potential.”
McConville’s trek to Pikeville began only recently. According to Bowlin, UPike coaches spoke him about McConville in January, and it was then Bowlin advised them to take a serious look at him.
“Doug, just wanting to take the bull by the horns, went up and took a visit,” Bowlin said, adding he also did a good job of “getting out and promoting himself.”
Bowlin said McConville told him upon his return that he liked what he saw, which led him to suggesting McConville stick with it and maintain contact with the Bears.
“I was waiting on somebody to come back and talk to me and they were real late getting back so I decided I’ll go to Pikeville,” McConville said. “It seemed like a great program.”
Bowlin said he informed the Bears inquiring coaches that McConville could play really well despite picking up the game so late in his varsity career, and definitely had the size to help the Bears.
“I think Pikeville’s going to be a good fit for him. I know the coaching staff personally up there. I’ve worked with them before and I think this is a really good fit for them and for him,” Bowlin said.
The addition of McConville to a largely inperienced Jaguars team this past season provided them with not only experience, but size to fight in the class 5A trenches.
“From day one he got better,” Bowlin said. “He was a really novice, green football player. But by the end of the year he was really a force for us. It’s a big strong kid coming off the ball and he got better in really every area of the game from day one through the end of the season.”
According to McConville, some of the things that lured him to UPike was their workout and fitness plans, but his early goals while donning the orange and black are to “just play better as a player and help the team out.”
“He’s been blessed with a lot of good things for football. He’s got good size, good footwork and really good strength,” Bowlin said.
The new Bear is entering a program that finished the 2012 season with a 3-8 overall record, including going 1-4 in the Mid-South Conference.