LUCASVILLE – The Valley Indians football team will lose an essential part of their offensive line this spring when Jordan Spradlin graduates from Valley High School. While he has already played his last game in Lucasville, he will continue his athletic and academic career with an area university.
The Valley senior made it official last week that he will be attending and playing football for Kentucky Christian University (KCU). Spradlin will suit up in the red and black of KCU and become a Knight upon completion of high school.
Spradlin was impressed with the family atmosphere at KCU, which was one of his key determining factors in choosing the school from Grayson, Kentucky.
“For four years, obviously, I’ve been here, and I’ve known most of the coaches since I was a kid,” Spradlin said. “The family atmosphere really pushed me to do better. KCU, just being a small school, I just felt the family atmosphere right away.”
On his first visit, Spradlin said it felt like he was already a part of the Knights.
“The coaches and players are phenomenal,” Spradlin said. “They just really made me feel like I was family.”
The soon-to-be freshman at KCU has no prior connection to KCU, but said he just felt that’s where he belonged after his initial visit.
While Spradlin is eager and excited about becoming, and playing as a KCU Knight, he will miss all the fond memories of being a Valley Indian. When asked what he would miss most, Spradlin answered, “the community.”
“The feeling of Friday night, running out, and knowing there were all those people there to support us,” Spradlin said. “The community really made it awesome.”
Valley Indian football coach Darren Crabtree will certainly miss his senior offensive lineman next season.
“The last couple of years, he was obviously our best offensive lineman,” Crabtree said. “When he was healthy, he was as dominate as anybody in our area, and that made things easier in play calling situations, because we knew we were going to go behind Jordan.”
Crabtree said Spradlin has worked extremely hard to put himself in his current position through getting into great physical condition and weight-lifting.
“He also became a team leader on the offensive line,” Crabtree said. “The other linemen looked up to him, and we knew when he was on the field, it made us a much better team.”
Spradlin’s character was also praised by Crabtree.
“Overcoming a couple knee injuries he’s had, tells you about his work ethic,” Crabtree said. “The fact he is a very good student, and a quality young man, you never had to worry about what Jordan was doing off the field.”
His leadership both on and off the field was huge for Crabtree and his staff, which is another reason why they believe he will be successful at the next level.
KCU football coach Steve Barrows was on-hand for Spradlin’s signing. Barrows was named the new head football coach at KCU just over a year ago, and shortly after being named coach, the Spradlin family came to visit KCU.
“We fell in love Jordan Spradlin and his family right away,” Barrows said. “Jordan visited that day, and he has come to a bunch of football games, and has been on our campus a bunch. We have the distinct privilege of having him come to our school to play football.”
Barrows continued on saying it was an honor and privilege to have the Spradlin family as a part of the KCU program, and that Jordan was an exceptional fit to the program because he exemplifies the culture he’s trying to build at KCU.
“One, we’re looking for great kids,” Barrow said. “Talent wins you games, but character wins you championships. Second thing we’re looking for is great players. We’re looking for great students. Lastly, we’re looking for tough kids who love football, and we’re blessed Jordan checks out on all those things, particularly character.”
Currently, Spradlin is planning on majoring in KCU’s nursing program.
“I plan to become a nurse practitioner,” Spradlin said. “I like the cardiac unit.”
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.