Local football commitments

By TOMMY BRYAN, sports editor
-- Mt. Juliet fullback Brady Earnhardt will sign with Army in ceremonies planned Wednesday at Mt. Juliet High School. Hampered by a knee injury in the early part of the 2009 season, he returned to action and ran 37 times for 247 yards (6.6 per carry) and three TD's. He also caught three passes for 33 yards as Mt. Juliet went 9-2 in 2009.

Mt. Juliet High tight end Matt Stewart committed over the weekend to UT-Martin and will sign scholarship papers with the Skyhawks on National Signing Day. He becomes the second Mt. Juliet Golden Bear to verbally commit, after kicker / punter Tyler Emmetts said late last week he would be signing with Cumberland University. Here's Tyler's story.

Problem solved. -- Seeking a resolution to hiccups in the kicking game that cost the squad three wins in 2009, Cumberland’s coaching staff didn’t have to go far for a remedy. Mt. Juliet High’s all-state kicker / punter Tyler Emmetts has verbally committed to CU and is expected to sign scholarship papers next week.

Emmetts, son of Bill and Lesli Emmetts, turned down “priority” walk-on opportunities at Middle Tennessee State and Austin Peay in favor of a scholarship offer from Bulldog head coach Dewayne Alexander.

“We had a very good visit to Cumberland last weekend,” Tyler’s mother Lesli said Thursday morning. “Coach Alexander and the players seemed to place a lot of value on signing the right kicker.”

Emmetts is expected to major in criminal justice at Cumberland. As a senior at Mt. Juliet, Emmetts punted 16 times for an average of 41.6 per. He connected on 10-of-13 field goal attempts with a long kick of 46 yards and went 48-of-51 on PAT attempts.

In the off season, Emmetts has worked with former University of Tennessee kicker James Wilhoit and former Vanderbilt punter John Markham. Emmetts was voted Class 6A All-State by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association and in 2008 was named Region 5, 5A Kicker of the Year.

Other local commitments include: Watertown DE / TE Nick Lennox to NCAA Division II power Carson Newman; Wilson Central offensive tackle Cameron Clemmons to Western Kentucky and Central linebacker Jordan Poole to Southern Illinois.