All were once rivals on the football field, but next season McCracken County's Brandon Fatum, Paducah Tilghman's Mikey Davis, Murray's Will Langford, Ryan Humphrey and Schafer Putz, and Trigg County's Jayven Jones will all suit up for Lindsey Wilson College and try to help the Blue Raiders have another successful season.
Wednesday was national football signing day, and all six signed their national letters of intent to play for the NAIA institution in the southern Kentucky city of Columbia. Lindsey Wilson is a member of the Mid-South Conference.
"It was overwhelming at the moment I put the pen to paper," said Jones, who will compete for starting time at running back. "It was like this is the next step in my career and there was a lot of hard work that came with it. I was very excited at that moment."
Fatum felt the same way.
"It's real exciting, I've been looking forward to this for a few years. It's just a great accomplishment for me and my family."
Fatum, who played defensive end and linebacker for the Mustangs, expects to play tight end for the Blue Raiders, a position he hasn't played since his freshman year.
For the three Murray Tigers â “ Humphrey, Langford and Putz â “ knowing that they will continue being teammates was extra special.
"Lindsey Wilson is a young program and they're looking forward to making it as successful as possible," said Putz, who will compete with two others to become the punter/place kicker. "They did really well last year, going 8-3 and finishing 19th in the NAIA final poll. I'm really looking forward to helping progress that."
Langford, who doesn't know what position he'll play on the offensive line for LWC, but played most of his career at left tackle for the Tigers, agreed.
"I think it's awesome just because of the fact a lot of people who go to college get homesick because they go to different places where there aren't many people they know. But I'm lucky to go up with guys like Ryan and Schafer and we'll be able to make each other feel like we're at home, and we'll be able to get through a lot more than people who are alone will be able to."
Humphrey, who will also compete with Jones for time at running back, said to sign on the same day his teammates did was a thrill.
"This was one of the best days I could have had. Not only will I get to play college football, but to also get to play with two other of my teammates is truly a blessing."
The person who may be the most excited about the six players coming to Lindsey Wilson is head coach Chris Oliver.
"We want to recruit well from border to border in Kentucky, and that includes all the way out to the Paducah area," Oliver said. "We really think these six guys are quality young men on and off the football field. They've all visited campus multiple times and really feel they are a fit for our program, and not just because they are good football players, but also because of the type of young men they are. There's good football out there in western Kentucky, and we're excited we were able to tap into it in a big way."
Call James D. Horne, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8661 or follow him on Twitter @bigdog_jamesd.
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