WAVERLY — Waverly’s Will Futhey, for the next four years, is going to be a Bobcat —following four falls as a talented and highly-touted Tiger.
That’s because Futhey, following offers of other programs and an intense recruiting process, found a home at Ohio University —where he will continue his football career.
Futhey recently announced his decision to play at OU, in which he will play wide receiver —for second-year head coach Tim Albin.
The Bobcats are members of the Mid-American Conference and the Football Bowl Subdivision, as other MAC programs — the University of Toledo, the University of Akron and Eastern Michigan University—were also on Futhey’s radar with official offers.
So too were Navy, New Mexico, Old Dominion and Yale.
Futhey chronicled much of his recruitment along his Twitter account, as he officially declared his commitment to the Bobcats and Albin on May 3.
The offensive-minded Albin was former Ohio head coach Frank Solich’s offensive coordinator for 15 full years, as the Bobcats’ 2020 season consisted of fewer than five games — because of the coronavirus threat.
For Futhey, in the end, “I had a lot of great schools who recruited me, but OU felt like the best place to call home.”
After all, Waverly is an estimated hour-and-a-half from OU’s main campus in Athens.
The six-foot and five-inch and 225-pound Futhey recently interviewed with The Portsmouth Daily Times via social media, and actually — already — moved into his new surroundings on June 12.
He said formal fall camp opens on Aug. 2.
“The decision process was very exhausting. It had its ups and downs and a lot of setbacks due to COVID, but I feel very fortunate to have found a new home here at OU,” said Futhey. “It’s been great continuing to play wide receiver here this summer and the coaches have been amazing, along with the players who are very talented. I’m very excited for this fall and can’t wait for the season to start.”
It will be the donning of a new era for Futhey, who was a Division IV all-Ohio wideout for his final three seasons —including third-team offense as a sophomore and second-team offense as a junior.
He made 160 receptions for 2,738 yards and 38 touchdowns at Waverly, while his quarterbacks —Haydn’ Shanks (2020) and twin brother Wade Futhey (2021) — were the Division IV Southeast District Offensive Players of the Year, and subsequently first-team all-staters.
Waverly was a four-time state playoff qualifier with Futhey on the club, including twice as a regional semifinalist in 2019 (Division IV Region 15) and 2020 (Division IV Region 16).
In fact, in the 2020 Region 16 semifinals against top-seeded Clinton-Massie, the Tigers took the state powerhouse Falcons all the way to the wire, losing 31-28 on a last-second field goal.
That same season, which was Waverly’s first undefeated regular campaign in a decade-and-a-half, the Tigers topped Wheelersburg 36-35 in overtime at Raidiger Field—capturing the Southern Ohio Conference Division II championship in the process.
“Waverly has given me everything I could’ve ever dreamed of. I am beyond thankful for all the love and support from the community,” said Futhey. “It was an honor to play alongside my teammates and be able to accomplish such great things over these past four years and continue to help the program grow.”
Futhey’s final game representing the Tigers was on April 30 —as a member of the South squad for the prestigious Ohio North-South All-Star Football Classic (Division IV, V, VI and VII game).
A few days beyond that, Futhey formally made his decision to become a Bobcat —as he discussed his football goals.
“My main goals are to just grow as a football player and soak in as much as I can, but more importantly to grow as a person and put myself in the best position I can for my future. It’s hard to tell right now how much time I’ll see once the season starts, but I’ll most likely have a better idea of that once fall camp starts,” he said. “I hope after my time here at OU that I’m remembered as a guy who was a great teammate and gave it everything he had on and off the field.”
Futhey, the son of John Futhey and Rebecca Fields, plans to major in Business.