Ala. punter Appleby picks UofL over UK

Charlie Strong's eighth 2012 commitment comes from Josh Appleby, a big, athletic punter from Athens (AL) East Limestone, who picked the Cardinals over rival Kentucky.

Charlie Strong's latest 2012 commitment is Joshua Appleby, an athletic, 6-foot-3, 230-pound punter/kicker from Athens (AL) East Limestone, who committed to the Cardinals on Monday after considering an offer from Kentucky.

Appleby, who recently attended a kicking camp at UofL where he earned a scholarship offer from Strong's program, also received serious interest from Texas, Alabama and Florida. He's considered one of the top punters nationally.

"The big part of my decision was the coaching staff (at Louisville)," Appleby told "After getting to know them and talking with Coach [Kenny] Carter and Coach Strong, that was the biggest thing. I also really liked the chaplain of the team. I just felt at home there.

"I had a few other [schools] looking at me and has offers, but it really just came down to coaching. Once I saw the facilities and the new housing where they are putting the football players - those are going to be amazing."

Schools like Texas, Alabama and Florida told Appleby they would offer if he attended their camps. But Appleby decided not to do attend other camps after visiting Louisville.

"Right after the camp I got the offer from them and they said they needed a punter after this year," Appleby said. "I'm also hoping to do the kick-off duties, too. I made another visit after that to see the campus and talked things over with my parents. And I called them today and spoke with Coach Carter and Coach Strong and told them I wanted to accept their offer. Coach Carter was very excited and said I made his day. Coach Strong is going on vacation and said I made his vacation even better."

Though he will compete for the starting punter job next season, Appleby isn't just a kicking specialist. Appleby, who runs a 4.7 forty-yard dash, also played tight end last season.

"Some people don't consider kickers football players, but I'd say I'm another football player," said Appleby. "I'll make a tackle because I'm on the field in high school."

As a junior, Appleby booted 71 percent of his kickoffs into the endzone. He also made 6 of 9 field goals with a long of 44 yards, and averaged 35 yards on 18 punts, including a long of 52 yards.

"The biggest thing with kicking is just consistency," Appleby said. "My best ball can compete with just about anybody. But what it comes down to is consistency kicking the ball because you only get a few chances during a game."

Appleby drew high praise from East coach Jeff Pugh for his work ethic and ability as both a punter and kicker.

"He's probably the best kicker we've ever had," Pugh said. "He's a very hard worker at kicking and punting. He's turned out to be just as a good a punter as he is a kicker. A lot of big-time coaches told me they were going to give him a hard look. He was high on Alabama's board as a potential offer. But Josh just felt Louisville was the best situation for him."

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