Gabe Boring is going places, very likely somewhere much farther down the road than McDonald's or Hardee's or a nearby farm somewhere close to his Pikeville home.
"He's an amazing athlete, an amazing kicker, a student of the game — very conscientious about what he does," praised new Bledsoe County coach Dennis Therrell, long ago a Warriors athlete himself. "He's one of the most coachable young men I've been around, and he's a huge part of our arsenal."
Boring punts and kicks — kickoffs, field goals and extra points. A disciple of Jimmy Colquitt and James Wilhoit, the former a punter and the latter a place-kicker for the University of Tennessee, he is averaging 45.8 yards per punt this season and also has converted 100 percent of his point-after kicks and three of four field-goal attempts.
"I like doing all three, and I don't know if I like one better than the other, but I think I'm probably a better punter," said Boring, a slender 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds.
At Alabama during a one-day kicking camp last summer, he sent a kickoff booming from the 35. It went the 65 yards to the end zone and 20 yards beyond that — 10 yards past the back of the end zone.
Yeah, he's going places.
"His punting is outer-world. The ball looks like it has re-entry burns when it comes back down. It's not just when he catches one. It's consistent and he can put it where I want it," Therrell said. "I don't know what his average would be if not for that — his inside-the-20 punts. Lots of high school punters, when you get to the 50, just try to boom it into the end zone. Not Gabe."
It is that and his doubling-up ability that have numerous schools asking for and then watching video. Texas-San Antonio and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga are among those that have made scholarship offers. Virginia Tech, TCU and Ole Miss are among the latest to begin looking.
"He's a dual guy. That's what a lot of people like about him. It could save an extra scholarship," added Therrell, who has coached at the college and professional levels. "Gabe can punt at the highest level, can kick off at the highest level, and he can kick field goals at the highest level. I've seen him make a 53-yarder with a full rush on in practice. There's a world of difference in kicking and kickers when guys are bearing down on you."
It was easily explained by Boring.
"Focus is the biggest part of it, and I've gotten a lot better at it," he said. "Last year I could hit kicks all day long in practice, but in games I'd get nervous, freak out and mess it up. I've worked on that and now I can lock in and just kick. When I go out (to kick), I don't see or hear anything other than the things I'm out there for."
Therrell was uncertain about the number of offers that have come Boring's way, and there's a point where he draws the line.
"He's getting a lot of attention from the major conferences across the country," the coach said. "What I told him was that I'd help him as much as I can, but I won't tell him where to go. I might tell him where not to go, but where he goes is between him, his dad and his mom."
Contact Ward Gossett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-886-4765. Follow him on Twitter @wardgossett.