Tyler Couch (left) is pictured with his late father, Joey Couch, who played at the University of Kentucky from 1988-1991. Tyler will sign as a preferred walk-on to Kentucky on Friday afternoon. Photo via Twitter.
Paintsville senior Tyler Couch will sign as a preferred walk-on to the University of Kentucky at 2 p.m. Friday afternoon, continuing a Kentucky football legacy.
Couch, a lineman for Paintsville, is the son of former University of Kentucky All-SEC nose guard, Joey Couch, who passed away in December due to an acute cardiac event. Joey played for Kentucky from 1988 to 1991 under the late Jerry Claiborne.
After recording 41 tackles (18 solo) as a senior at Paintsville, Couch will move to Lexington to play for his dream school, something he says has always been important to him.
“Kentucky has always been my dream school,” said Couch. “I couldn’t pass up on an opportunity to play for the Wildcats.”
Couch will join former Paintsville Tiger and current Kentucky Wildcat, Kash Daniel in Lexington. Couch didn’t get the chance to play with Daniel at Paintsville but he knows he will have his back at Kentucky.
“I moved here (Paintsville) my junior year, so I didn’t get to play with Kash but I have met him. He and my dad were close so he’s family to me and it means a lot to have someone down there who will watch my back.”
While playing at Kentucky was always a dream for Couch, it was also something his father wanted him to do and he knows his decision would please him.
“It means a whole lot to me to play at the same place as my dad. He wanted me to go to Kentucky and he would be very happy with my choice.”
Despite having other offers, Couch took notice of the job Mark Stoops is doing with the program in Lexington, especially leading the Wildcats to back-to-back bowl appearances.
“I really like what coach Stoops has done for the program, rebuilding it back to bowl game contention every year and I’m impressed with the job he’s done.
As far as a position, Couch mentioned that the staff has discussed playing him at center or guard on the offensive line. Regardless of his position, he is eager to help the team continue success and do anything he can to contribute.
“I’m going to bring heart, effort, and toughness. I might not be the biggest guy but I’ll do anything to contribute to the team and I’m ready to get to work.”
Couch’s stepmother, Angel Justice Couch, left the following message on a previous article written about Tyler’s decision to attend Kentucky, “Joey would be so proud of Tyler. I told him his dad is fist pumping Coach Claiborne in Heaven.”
“Coach Claiborne believed in my dad when nobody on the coaching staff did. He was my dad’s father figure while at UK and my dad held a special place in his heart for coach Claiborne.”