BY AARON SNYDER
THE DAILY INDEPENDENT
RUSSELL It took an instate school to cast Jacob Pierce out of a state of uncertainty.
The Russell senior will be a preferred walk-on at the University of Louisville. Russell held a ceremony for the 6-foot-4 accomplished football player last Wednesday.
The Red Devil made most of his noise at defensive end in high school. He hopes to eventually do the same for the Cardinals.
“I think, as long as I keep working down there, put on some more weight, I really do think I can help them out at D-end,” Pierce said.
After exploring a few college options, a few various factors prevented Pierce from culling a destination.
Then… “Finally, my dad came up to me and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got a thing here from U of L.’ I was like, Louisville? Really? … So we got a day set up there, visited campus, watched practice,” Pierce said. “I love their facilities. They’ve got an underwater treadmill.
I’m so down for that.”
Pierce listed a few other bonuses, too.
“Big-time football, D-I, you’re going to be on TV, so yeah, I think I’ll do it,” Pierce said.
Pierce was a dependable leader for the Red Devils during a 10-2 campaign in 2016. He racked up 64 tackles and served as the first face of the defense.
Pierce said coach T.J.
Maynard and the Russell program couldn’t have prepared him any more adequately for this next step.
“It literally has been one of the greatest things I’ve ever gone through in my short 18 years,” Pierce said. “It’s actually really influenced me. The way Russell gets athletes ready for the next level, if you can make it, is teaching you constant hard work and you can achieve what you want.”
Pierce is guaranteed a spot on Louisville’s roster. He’ll have a chance to eventually earn athletic scholarship money. A lifelong Kentucky fan, Pierce is already coming around to the idea of suiting up in Cardinal red.
“I was a big-time UK fan, but I got the better deal from Louisville,” he said. “I’m still young, I can change!”
As for his family, there will be an adjustment period. “My brother’s having a very hard time coming to terms with this,” Pierce said. “He said he’s going to get a Louisville shirt and have a little bit of blue on the underside of it and rub it every time he says, ‘Go Jake!’” Pierce plans to study chemical engineering at U of L.
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