By LARRY VAUGHT
John Hardin defensive tackle Matt Elam certainly showed his fun-loving side to the Louisville Quarterback Club Tuesday when he received the Paul Hornung Award.
The list of previous Hornung Award winners included quarterback Tim Couch, a No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft. But it was also pointed out that Couch had married a Playboy playmate he met during his playing career.
“I would like to hang out with Tim Couch. Hopefully, I want to be like him. He is doing very good right now,” Elam joked.
When he was asked when he started playing football, he said it was early.
“I just know I was bigger than everybody else. I thought I was good,” he smiled and said. “I thought, ‘I kind of like this sport.’ My mom said, ‘You should, you are the biggest one around.’ That was about second grade I think, so I stuck with it.”
John Hardin coach Chad Lewis said Elam has always been able “to light up a room” with his personality.“He can walk into an intimidating situation with a smile and punch line,” the John Hardin coach said. “A few times his comedic side put him in my doghouse, but not often.”
John Hardin principal Lynn Gibson said she had watched Elam “grow and mature from a goofy freshman” to a mature young man.
“There are still some goofy times, but he has matured a lot and we are proud of him,” she said. “Matt and his talent have put us on the national map and we are very proud of that. He has brought us a lot of positive attention.”
More will come when he makes his college choice live on ESPN Jan. 4 during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio where Barker will be on his team — and likely be his roommate.
“I know everybody thinks my choice is made, but it isn’t,” Elam said. “I have some more time to think about it, but it will be nice to get it done so it will all be settled. I can’t make a bad choice, so I just have to decide what feels right.”