Tiffin #8216;nose#8217; about Pemberton

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 14, 2007

John Paul Pemberton has a nose for the ball. The Tiffin Dragons plan to use his nose on the ball.

The 6-foot-2, 290-pound Pemberton can play either on either the offensive or defensive line. Dragons coach Nate Cole initially plans to use Pemberton at nose guard and that’s just fine with the Ironton lineman who signed a full scholarship to play for Tiffin University Wednesday.

“I’d rather play defense. I like making tackles and hitting people,” Pemberton said. “They talking to me about nose guard. They said they’re going to move their old nose guard to defensive tackle. They want to re-establish the line of scrimmage and have me play both A-gaps.”

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A member of the Great Lakes Conference, Tiffin is an NCAA Division II program and was 10-1 last season and ranked 17th in the nation. The Dragons lost their season finale 24-23 to St. Joseph (Ind.) and just missed making the postseason playoffs.

Pemberton was a first team selection to the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League team, the Division IV Southeast District as well as first team All-Ohio by the Associated Press.

Pemberton had an opportunity to throw shot put in track for Cincinnati and would be guaranteed a spot on the football roster, too, but opted for Tiffin which produced a full financial aid package.

“I was pretty much going to Cincinnati. (Tiffin) kept calling me. They must have called 20 times. They asked me what it would take and I told them and they called me back and said they’d give me everything,” Pemberton said who also talked with more than a dozen schools including Ohio, Akron, Youngstown State and Marshall.

Ironton head coach Merril Triplett said Pemberton’s work ethic and team-oriented attitude will be a plus to the Tiffin program.

“He’s great working with our younger kids. He’s a great role model. He’ll help anyone. He just wants the team to get better,” Triplett said.

Pemberton is the son of John and Kim Pemberton of Ironton.