Nathan Scheler had some other opportunities coming out of St. Xavier High School.
But the 6-foot-1, 290-pound junior turned down several smaller school scholarships to walk-on at the University of Louisville with the hope of someday playing a few downs for the program he grew up watching as a fan.
Now, Scheler is a week into spring ball and perhaps the leading candidate to become the Cardinals starting center.
"It's a three-way competition and a good one," U of L offensive line coach Mike Summers said of the center position, noting Scheler has been running with the first team, while competing with Robbie Bell and Tyler Haycraft.
"We're in a real battle to try and figure out who is going to be that guy. I've been impressed at times with all three of them."
But early indications are that Scheler has the early edge.
Scheler played the center position his final two years at St. Xavier and when he arrived on campus drew rave reviews for his potential from the staff as a freshman. He played some snaps in reserve last season for the Cardinals.
"I always thought maybe I could (play)," Scheler said. "I've been a Louisville fan all of my life and it's been a dream of mine to play. So, I am just going to go out there and compete every day and work my hardest."
Scheler said the competition "gets everybody better" on the roster.
"We're working hard to get better every day," Scheler said. "I really don't try to think about (starting or not), I just want to come out to practice every day and try to get everybody better. I'm just trying to get better."
With almost 15 pounds added to his frame since high school, Scheler said he has "completely changed" his body and is hoping his hard work in the offseason will give him the opportunity to play more snaps as a junior.
"I'm not worried about 1s and 2s right now," Scheler said. "I just need to make sure I get better every day, better every play."