Matt Padgett faced a problem of small or large proportions when deciding his college future in recent weeks.
The Greenbrier High School senior could attend a big university and enjoy all its benefits, or he could play football at a smaller school.
The latter did not seem as attractive until Newberry College called Feb. 2, the day before National Signing Day. Newberry offered a scholarship to the Wolfpack defensive lineman, whose father once played for the school. Padgett signed Feb. 19.
"I really liked it up there," Padgett said. "It's just a small college. And I have a good feeling about the football team."
Greenbrier had two connections to the school. Assistant coach Chad Grant is a former Newberry player. Matt's father Wade Padgett, who coached the Wolfpack defensive line, played defensive line at Newberry.
Matt Padgett said working with his dad helped his development during high school. In middle school, all he needed to do was drive off the ball and make the tackle.
In high school, Padgett learned more technique from his father.
"Me and him are tight," Padgett said. "We had a lot of fun."
Padgett said his strength is probably his push off the ball. He said he has a solid spin move that didn't see a lot of use during the Wolfpack's alignment this past season.
"I try to change momentum quickly," he said. "I feel like I have a good push in the middle."
He sent his highlight videos to Newberry and waited while exploring other possibilities. His other option was to play at Carson Newman, which did not offer a scholarship.
Padgett said Newberry coaches told him he would probably redshirt -- meaning he would not play during games his freshman season while retaining four years of eligibility.
Padgett said he hopes the time will be used to become stronger and faster, so he is ready to take the field and contribute as a sophomore.
Padgett came away from a recent visit impressed with the school.
"It seems like it's a big deal to play football there," he said.
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