Glasgow’s Bowles, South Warren’s Lacey bringing attention to SoKY high school football
High school football season is just days away, which means its also just days until seniors begin their final season. Two of those seniors of two of the top linemen in the entire country, and they’re both from southcentral Kentucky: Glasgow’s Tanner Bowles and South Warren’s Jacob Lacey.
Unsurprisingly, as two of the areas best high school players, they’ve each committed to play in college for two of the historically best football programs in the nation.
On April 22, Bowles, a 4-star offensive lineman according to 247Sports and ESPN, announced his commitment on Instagram to play for the Alabama Crimson Tide. A decision that, according to him, was a no-brainer.
"They just seemed like those people that I wanted to be around," Bowles said. "They all have that winning mentality. They don’t settle for losing. That’s just one thing I looked for."
Lacey, who’s regarded as the 4-star defensive tackle by 247Sports and ESPN, got his commitment out of the way before his junior year even started, announcing on July 29 that he’d committed to play for Notre Dame. Football wasn’t the primary factor in Lacey’s decision though.
"They’re always great football, but really the academics," the South Warren standout said. "You’re gonna get the best football. But if you don’t make it in football, that degree will carry you even farther. So I think that was a big piece of what I thought."
Bowles and Lacey each had differing reasons as to why they chose to extend their football careers at Alabama and Notre Dame, but the recruiting path they took to get that point was very similar. Each attended summer elite camps to get recognized, and then began receiving offers beginning around their sophomore years in high school.
"Whenever I got that letter it was something special," Bowles said. "Almost like it’s gonna be a ride I’m not going to forget. It’s something that will definitely be in my mind forever."
"Before I committed, I was focused on high school," Lacey added. "But that recruiting part was always in the back of my head. Once I committed, I know I still have to do very, very well, but now I can help out my team a bit more and focus on team things."
High school football players being recruited to play at powerhouse programs like Alabama and Notre Dame isn’t a very common trend in areas like southcentral Kentucky. Keeping that in mind, Bowles and Lacey consider themselves blessed to have the opportunity to showcase the talent that exists in towns like Glasgow and Bowling Green, and fortunate to be able to put this area back on the recruiting map nationally.
"I definitely know it’s kind of put football on the map in this town," said Lacey. "I’m just doing everything I can for the sport. I love the sport. I love the game."
"Being able to represent not only my hometown but also the state in another area at that level is something big to me," Bowles added.
Bowles’ head coach, Jeff Garmon, is proud of the opportunities these two are creating for his own players.
"If you dream big, you can make it big," said Garmon. "If you’re good enough, they’ll find you."
Even though both linemen may play on different teams in different classes and on opposing sides of the ball, Bowles and Lacey have the same goal for their teams in the last season of high school football they’ll play.
"Obviously a state championship, really," said Lacey. "Whatever we gotta do to do it, we’re gonna do it."
"We’re running for the state championship," added Bowles. "We know it’s gonna be tough. It’ll be a challenge for sure but that’s just our main goal right now."