Breathitt County football star Channing Fugate, who led the Bobcats to the Class 3A state finals last year as a junior, has committed to the University of Tennessee.
Fugate attended a UT camp in early June, and the coaches were impressed enough to ask him back to get another look. He returned last week, and after another workout, the Vols offered a scholarship.
"I guess they liked what they saw," Fugate said. "They wanted me to go ahead and commit, and I knew I couldn't pass this chance up."
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Fugate, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds, rushed for 3,052 yards and 36 touchdowns last season.
He also had scholarship offers from Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Louisville, Stanford, Western Kentucky and Troy.
What about Kentucky? "They showed a little (interest), but not a lot," Fugate said.
Fugate said new UT coach Lane Kiffin plans to use him as a "hybrid fullback. Not like an old-school fullback that blocks every time, but a fullback that catches 35 or 40 balls a year, runs some, and blocks some."
Breathitt County Coach Mike Holcomb is Fugate's biggest fan.
"I think he's outstanding. There's no doubt he's as good as there is in the state," Holcomb said. "He fits all the needs Tennessee wants him for. We all know he can run. and he's got great hands, too.
"And he's a 4.0 student. He's a coach's player."
Fugate's main goal this coming season is to help Breathitt County make another run at a state title. The Bobcats were runners-up to Louisville Central and finished 12-3 last year.
"I've got a chance to break some records, but I'd rather go back to the state championships than all that individual stuff," he said.