PRESTONSBURG - One of the state’s top high school football players will play college football in neighboring Virginia. Prestonsburg High School senior defensive lineman Alex Garner, a Kentucky All-Star who played in the 2012 National Guard Border Bowl earlier in the year, signed with Emory & Henry College on Tuesday evening during a ceremony held at Pig In A Poke.
Garner chose Emory & Henry over Marietta, Pikeville and Campbellsville.
The Prestonsburg senior had also visited Hanover. Mount Union was very interested in the Kentucky All-Star, as well.
As a senior, Garner overcame a season-threatening injury to register 49 tackles in nine games. Garner entered his senior season ranked as one of the top players in Class 2A. He concluded the 2011 campaign as one of the state’s top high school football players.
Emory & Henry College is located in Emory, Va., which is close to Garner’s home in Prestonsburg. Garner will have the opportunity to compete for a starting position in his freshman season. He will play defensive end and could also line up at outside linebacker for the Wasps.
During his recruitment, Garner had the chance to visit Emory & Henry and spend time with current members of the football team.
“It’s the prettiest campus that I’ve ever seen,” Garner confided. “Location, proximity to home and having the chance to play right away were the biggest factors in my decision.”
Garner already has some goals in mind.
“My first goal is to letter, and if not start, get a lot of playing time as a freshman,” Garner said.
Veteran head coach Don Montgomery guides the Emory & Henry football program, which competes in NCAA Division III. Montgomery is in his 35th year of coaching college football, nearly all of which have been on the NCAA D-III level.
Emory & Henry concluded the 2011 season 5-5 overall, finishing 2-4 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). The Wasps compete in the ODAC along with Washington & Lee, Hampden-Sydney, Randolph-Macon, Bridgewater, Catholic and Guilford.
Garner is the only player from Kentucky on the Emory & Henry roster. He is hoping to make it to Emory & Henry’s spring game this weekend. Garner isn’t scheduled to report to Emory & Henry until Aug. 9. However, he’ll continue offseason workouts in Prestonsburg.