ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Cade Nayadley didn't see any reason to put off his decision any longer.

The versatile Ringgold High School football star, likely to play on the offensive line in college, put an end to his recruitment Wednesday when he announced his commitment to Austin Peay State University.

"They've been recruiting me the longest and hardest, and it just felt like home to me," said Nayadley, who is also a starter on Ringgold's basketball team. "I've visited the school several times and love it there, and just the relationship I have with the coaches is the biggest reason I chose to go there.

"Basketball was my first love, I've played it since I was 4, and it'll be weird having to give it up, but I know football is my future. I knew Austin Peay is where I want to be, so it's a relief because now I can focus on my senior year."

The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Nayadley played tight end and defensive end for the Tigers last season but will be moved to offensive tackle this season and likely will move to middle linebacker on defense.

Commitments are nonbinding, but if he signs with Austin Peay, Nayadley will join two other former Ringgold players already on the roster for the Governors, who are led by Chattanooga native Will Healy. Last season, Healy's second as coach, the former Boyd-Buchanan quarterback and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga assistant led the Clarksville, Tennessee, program to a major turnaround as the team went 8-4 overall and 7-1 in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Ringgold coach Robert Akins talked about Healy's preparation for the next level.

"He's done an outstanding job wherever he's played for us, but I knew he would be projected to play on the offensive line as a recruit, so we needed to move him there this season," Akins said. "Even though coaches haven't seen him at that position yet, they've seen how good his feet are from playing basketball and other positions. They know about his athleticism, and wherever they put him he'll excel.

"Cade is very competitive, so he'll challenge for a starting spot early because he'll work at it."

Contact Stephen Hargis at (423) 757-6293 or shargis@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT