Roy Philon was the most menacing figure in Lexington high school football last fall, whether he was pressuring the quarterback as a defensive end or bulldozing for short yardage as a fullback.
The 6-foot-4, 265-pound Bryan Station senior was obviously a big-time college prospect.
Oklahoma got very interested in him late in the recruiting process.
But Philon decided the best place for him was Louisville, and he signed with the Cardinals on Wednesday.
The chance to play close to home and possibly play as a freshman were factors, but Philon said the the main reason he chose Louisville was "the whole atmosphere — the coaches, the campus and my major. They've got a good engineering program."
Philon was also recruited by Minnesota, Cincinnati and Miami (Ohio).
Bryan Station Coach Oliver Lucas said he couldn't understand why Kentucky didn't pursue Philon.
"He's a blue(-chip) kid," Lucas said. "He can play anything — tight end, linebacker, defensive end. He can do so many things. He's got the size and he can run like a scalded dog."
Philon, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds, said college scouts were most impressed by his explosiveness and quickness off the ball.
"I'm not bragging, but they really like my get-off speed, the way I can penetrate the line and my ability to get in the backfield," he said.
"I'm a big guy, but I'm quick like a little guy. When I get to the next level, I've got to make sure I keep it going."
Bryan Station had a winning record for the first time in eight years last season and almost beat eventual champ Highlands in the first round of the playoffs. The Defenders' resurgence in football is reflected in how many of its players are being recruited.
Philon is the third Bryan Station player in two years to sign with a BCS school. Terrell Combs and D.L. Wilhite went to Minnesota last fall.
Besides Philon, six other Defenders signed with colleges Wednesday: Jesseray Childrey (Kentucky Wesleyan), Patrick Cornett (Georgetown), Isaiah Davis (Pikeville), Earl McCann (Kentucky State), Mike McKinley (Campbellsville) and Muhammad Saifullah (Butler).
"We work hard to make sure our kids are geared for college," Lucas said. "And it's paying off."