Griffin Appleman

Bracken County football player Griffin Appleman signed his letter of intent with Mount St. Joseph on Sunday, to continue his academic and athletic career.

Garrett Appleman

He may not wow with speed and agility, but Griffin Appleman always seemed to get the job done.

The bruising Bracken County running back transferred over from Pendleton County after his sophomore year and never looked back, totaling 1,620 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns in two seasons with the Polar Bears.

With that, Appleman earned a scholarship to play at Mount St. Joseph University as he signed his national letter of intent on Sunday.

"I've played with so many good players that helped me become the best version of myself as a player and person. I thank all of my teammates and coaches for believing in me for pushing me to achieve my very best," Appleman said. "I know I wouldn't be anywhere without great teammates and coaches. Our two-year run at Bracken County was so much fun, it was awesome. I'll remember it forever and the special bonds we created."

Not only did Appleman get it done on the gridiron, but excels in the classroom as well, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He thanks his older brother, Garrett for that.

"He always had the smarts and good grades and pushed me to do well. He told me grades would really help for college and getting a degree just sets you up for success in life," Appleman said.

Appleman wants to major in criminology and one day become a detective.

"I'd like to bust crime. I'll do whatever it takes. If it means going to the academy to be a police officer and work my way up, so be it. I'm in it for the long haul. Shows like CSI and Criminal Minds have always interested me so that's how I got into it," Appleman said.

The senior also detected offenses very well for the Polar Bears. Appleman played linebacker the past two seasons, third on the team in tackles this past season with 55 for a "Bear Down" defense that was nasty, allowing just 13 points a game and posting four shutouts.

He'll head to the Lions program most likely playing on the offensive side of the ball. He embraces the downhill running style he presents. 

"I've always been that way. I've always had bigger legs and a bigger build. I pride myself on running downhill and running through someone's face," Appleman said.

That was evident on November 3, 2017, when Appleman slugged for 238 rushing yards and two touchdown's in the school's first playoff win in program history.

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"That was the only time in my 17 years of existence that I felt unstoppable. It was the anniversary of my aunt passing away and I felt like she was on my shoulders that night. It was truly amazing," Appleman said.

He chose Mount St. Joe over a variety of other schools interested that included Arkansas State, Baldwin-Wallace, Cincinnati Christian and Georgetown, among others. 

"Coach Hopp and his staff really made me feel wanted from day one like I was really going to be part of a family. Every time they talked to me, whether it was via text or Twitter, a phone call, it didn't matter. When they visited me at school, on my visits to campus, at my games, I just felt really wanted," Appleman said.

Appleman will also get to join former Polar Bear teammate Nick Parker, who redshirted last season with the Lions. Much like when he arrived at Bracken County after coming over from Pendleton County, Parker will help Appleman with his new surroundings.

"When I first got to Bracken I was a little intimidated. I knew some kids, but not all. He helped introduce me to a lot of people. At first I thought it would be hard, but I came in and everyone welcomed me. It's a loving community, through the ups and the downs, my teammates and friends were always there for me," Appleman said.

Appleman exits as two-time All-District player and a two-time All-State Acadmeic team member. He tallied 2,084 yards rushing and 32 touchdowns from his sophomore to senior year, also catching 19 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns. In his freshman year at Pendleton County, he set the freshman record for most tackles in a season with 76. Appleman was an iron man, starting in all 43 games of his high school career.


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