We’ve all known that guy.

You know, the guy who is several months, and sometimes years, removed from high school graduation and the glory days on the football field.

He talks about how he’s going to walk on somewhere and earn a scholarship. And, of course, it’s just talk. He's never going to do that and everybody knows it.

It wasn’t just talk for Ethan McDivitt.

Seventeen months removed from his last high school football game, the 2018 Covington High graduate signed a football scholarship with Bethel University Friday afternoon in front of a large group of family, friends and coaches.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever dealt with a kid or known a kid who decided not to go and then came back,” said Covington High coach J.R. Kirby. “There’s some that thought about doing it, work out for a couple weeks and say, ‘No, this is isn’t for me.’”

McDivitt, who was a starting offensive tackle for four years at Covington, went to work at Valero in Memphis a few weeks after his high school graduation in May of 2018.

There was plenty of interest from colleges for a 6-2, 275-pound tackle who helped lead his team to the state title game with a devastating rushing attack.

But McDivitt wasn’t interested at the time. Why not?

“I was just stupid,” McDivitt said Wednesday. “I thought I just wanted to make money.”

After a couple of months of work, McDivitt began to realize he had made a mistake.

“After I made the decision, it ate at me because I felt like I left something on the table,” McDivitt said.

Over the following months he began working out in the Covington High weight room after work. Back in shape, McDivitt took part in a tryout at Bethel and the coaching staff liked what it saw.

Kirby believes he will have a chance to contribute immediately next fall at Bethel.

“He was a big reason we were able to do the run stuff we did,” Kirby said. “He’s a very soft-spoken kid, but he is a very, very nasty kid between the lines. He plays very hard and tries to get after you. I think that’s what Bethel saw. They saw that on tape.”

Jeff Ireland is The Leader's sports editor. To contact him, call 901-476-7116 or email jireland@covingtonleader.com.​

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