There’s a huge jump from being on the football field at Madison-Plains High School and playing in the Southeastern Conference.
But that’s the leap the Golden Eagles’ Chris Coil will attempt to make as he signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his playing career at the University of Kentucky during a ceremony at the high school Tuesday.
“It’s a big deal, because around here not too many people go to Division I colleges to play sports,” Coil said. “Hopefully I’m making it known that people can go out there and if there’s something you want to do you can go out there and do it.”
Coil, a standout running back and linebacker for Madison-Plains High School, has been on the University of Kentucky campus many times before including the football camp there the last four years. The Wildcats coaches expect him to settle into a fullback role there.
“I’ve been going there since I was a freshman and it kind of hit me halfway through this year that I might actually have a chance of doing this,” he said. “You have to be really dedicated to do it, you have to be patient with the process and if you keep showing them that you want to be at that school. Whether you play a sport or even with academics you have to be patient and show them you want to be there.”
The reality of playing in the SEC against some of the best athletes in the country is something that hasn’t quite sunk in yet for Coil.
“It’s crazy because I’ve always been told that there’s no way that this is ever going to happen,” he said. “It’s not a typical scenario around here. It doesn’t feel real, but it’s actually happening.
“I think I size up pretty well, the biggest key will be the speed. There are finely tuned athletes down there and I need to be ready to play against them.”
Coil’s dad Sam is an assistant coach on the Madison-Plains staff and he said Chris’ commitment to wanting to play D-I football is what got him to the University of Kentucky.
“His mom and I are extremely proud,” Sam Coil said. “It’s a big deal for him, he’s worked really hard for this.
“It was an up and down process. But he’s comfortable in his own skin, not worrying about what other people thought and I think that served him well. He worked his butt off to get here. He would go workout on his own all the time. He was self- driven, he had a goal in mind and was driven achieve it.”
The older Coil does know that the jump from playing at Madison-Plains High School to playing in the SEC will be a tough one, but he likes Chris’ chances of making it.
“It’s going to be a learning curve, he has his work for him, but I think he will succeed down there.”
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616 ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.
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