BOONE, N.C. — Brad Absher earned possession of a championship belt. Now, as a senior, he has a scholarship to boot.
Appalachian State football coach Scott Satterfield announced following Tuesday’s practice that Absher, a special teams standout and reserve receiver from Troy, N.C., is no longer a walk-on. He was mobbed by celebrating teammates after the news was revealed in the team’s meeting room.
“It’s rewarding to see hard work pay off,” Absher said. “The best part of the whole night would have to be other guys’ reactions. Seeing them that excited for me was incredible.”
During the spring, Absher was the captain of an 11-player group that won an internal “Battle for the Belt” competition that awards points for achievements in the football team’s strength and conditioning program, performance in the classroom, service to the community and all-around character.
The 5-foot-10 Absher recorded five special teams tackles — all on kickoff coverage — during the 2017 season. He had two key catches for 17 yards in a 45-38 win at Akron two years ago, coming up big for the short-handed Mountaineers by gaining 12 yards on his first career reception and making a juggling grab for 5 yards in a third-and-4 situation with Appalachian clinging to a 38-31 lead.
“He’s a phenomenal human being,” receivers coach Justin Watts said. “He’s been raised by great people there, and he’s a guy in our room that everybody really respects because of his work ethic. He comes to work every single day and gives everything he can. He knows there are guys that are a little more talented than he may be, but he takes it as a challenge to outwork everybody. The coaching staff really enjoys being around him, and we trust him.”