Bramel wins second-straight Lineman of the Year

Published 11:05 pm Friday, November 24, 2017

Boyle County offensive lineman Will Bramel will play Big Ten football next year.

Bramel is the Advocate-Messenger Lineman of the Year for the second-straight season after dominating the line of scrimmage for the 13-1 Rebels this season.

What has separated Bramel’s performance this season from last year has been his leadership, according to Boyle head coach Chuck Smith.

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“I am just really impressed with him and his leadership,” Smith said. “I did not expect the kind of leadership that he is providing this year, I really didn’t. He’s always been a quiet, reserved kind of a guy, but this year he’s become more of a vocal leader and he really, really gets it. A lot of guys just say the right things, they say cliches of leadership-type quotes and things. But when you talk to Will and you’re around Will, you understand that he really gets what it takes to be a leader of a championship football team.”

It’s not just his leadership that has stepped up in his final year for the black and gold: He’s bigger, stronger and simply better than he was a year ago. He’s even ran in a touchdown, a nine-yard run against Mercer County.

“He’s really improved a lot,” Smith said. “He plays a lot lower, he’s picked up weight, which he really needed to do, and he’s able to dominate anybody that we’ve played. His feet are outstanding for a lineman, and I think that’s what the colleges saw in him. He’s athletic, he plays on the basketball team, which is another indication of his athleticism. He’s an athletic big guy, which is hard to find. I think he’s got a lot of good football ahead of him. I think Purdue really got a steal and I think he’ll play there, and could even play early. I think he’s that kind of a player.”

This time last year when Bramel won the award, he was preparing for basketball season. This year his Rebels have their sights set on a state football championship.

“This is awesome. This is what you dream of, since you were a kid,” Bramel said. “It’s kind of unbelievable that we’re still playing this far. We’re not done yet … The biggest thing this year is that I want a state championship. I’ve done all the stuff individually that I could want, I just want to get that state championship. It’s the only thing that we haven’t accomplished here as a team. That’s the biggest thing.”

Smith said it’s that leadership — in mindset, on and off of the field — that has separated Bramel this year.

“He doesn’t mind showing you first. He works as hard as anybody out there on the field, he always has,” Smith said. “He’s always been a hard worker, even as a freshman. He never missed anything. He just comes to work every day, rolls up his sleeves and just goes to work. He leads by example, which I think helps him lead verbally. I think the other kids look at him and say, ‘gosh dang, this guy does it every down. Let’s keep up with him.’ I’ve been really impressed with him as a leader and it was really, I wasn’t expecting it. But he’s really impressed me. He’s had an outstanding season and I think it’s because he works so hard. His parents have done a good job with him, he knows how to work.”