|Cabot seniors Heath and Keith Pledger signed Wednesday to play college football for Harding University.|
Cabot High School senior standout linemen Heath and Keith Pledger made their college destinations official on Wednesday, National Signing Day, as both twins signed their national letter of intent to play college football at Harding University in Searcy.
The Pledger brothers made it official at approximately 12:10 p.m. in the Cabot High School Media Center in front of friends, family, coaches and teammates, all of whom were in attendance to show their support for the highly-decorated Panther linemen.
As far as the decision-making process, the other school the Pledgers seriously considered was Arkansas Tech University, who also showed strong interests in the unique duo.
What led to them both choosing Harding University came down to several factors that include the Bisons’ smashmouth style of play that’s appealing to linemen and the camaraderie between the coaches and players. But the biggest factor came down to the private university’s strong Christian influence and teachings.
“The biggest reason was it being a private, Christian school,” said Heath Pledger. “That’s a big thing in our family. The college is private, and it teaches what we believe in. You can’t beat that. That’s the biggest reason. There were a bunch of reasons why we chose it, but another reason was being closer to Cabot, and they’re smashmouth just like Cabot.”
“It’s not just a team, it’s a brotherhood,” said Keith Pledger. “It’s kind of like a family. They’re religious, and their religious beliefs are kind of what we’re all about. It’s always been one of my dreams to play college football, and go as far as you can while you’re still young and you’re still able to do it.”
Both Pledgers were rare three-year starters in the Cabot Panther football program, and both excelled in their own right. Each Pledger played both offense and defense consistently, but their size, strength, physicality and blocking skills on offense is what stood out to college coaches and scouts.
Keith Pledger was the Panthers’ tight end on offense, and his brother was the team’s right guard. Harding has expressed its desire to turn them both into standout guards on the offensive line.
“They want us to be at both guards,” Heath Pledger said. “So, that’s going to be fun. It’s going to be an experience.”
During their three years in the Cabot High School football program, each Pledger twin has put together a long list of individual accolades. In their senior seasons, each earned All-State honors, and both were All-Conference selections the last two seasons.
They were both big-time contributors in helping Cabot reach the class 7A state championship game last December and they’ll play in the Arkansas High School All-Star Game later this summer.
This past season, Keith Pledger was named the 7A/6A East lineman of the year, and Heath Pledger received the prestigious Brandon Burlsworth Award, which is awarded to a student athlete of good moral character that demonstrates a desire to excel in the classroom, which is something both have done throughout their high-school years.
Each Pledger twin has maintained an overall 3.7 grade point average, which earned them both Academic All-Conference selections over the last three seasons, and both are members of the school’s National Honor Society.