PIGEON FORGE — For Pigeon Forge’s Hussein Al-Sultani, the opportunity to play college football is something he has always dreamed of.
On Friday, he officially reached his goal by signing with Emory & Henry.
“He has such a great work ethic,” Pigeon Forge head coach Scott Meadows said.
“He needs to continue doing what he is doing. Whenever he gets their work out program, he needs to stick with it and whatever he is doing now, he needs to step it up and continue to grow as a player. I think he will do great things.”
Al-Sultani doesn’t exactly know where he will end up playing for the Wasps, but he is open to either side of the ball.
They will likely play him at either outside linebacker as an edge rusher or at receiver, but whichever he ends up at he just wants to help them win.
“Whatever they want me to play that is what I am willing to play. They have talked to me about playing defense and offense,” he said. “Wherever they want me that is where I will play.”
The Wasps are currently transitioning from NCAA Division III to NCAA Division II, and they will play their first provisional year as a NCAA Division II member this fall.
In 2022, they anticipate that they will play their first full South Atlantic Conference schedule which is also home for nearby Carson-Newman.
Al-Sultani is the second Pigeon Forge football player to sign this offseason with a college program, as teammate Mustafi Algarawi signed with East Tennessee State University, and Al-Sultani hopes that he isn’t the last as his brother, Hassan, is a junior at Pigeon Forge this upcoming fall, and he hopes to see him sign in the future.
“We have been working really hard for this to come out of Pigeon Forge and sign. With Coach Meadows coming back this year and with Mustafi and I signing this year, it feels good,” Al-Sultani said. “Now I am just waiting for my brother to do this after he graduates.”
Meadows believes that Emory & Henry is getting a versatile player, and he sees him playing on either side of the ball or on special teams.
Al-Sultani helped rebuild the Tigers in Meadows first year back as head coach, and the future is bright for both.
“I am going to keep working and doing what I have been doing since I started to play football,” Al-Sultani said. “I want to grind and do my thing such as working out every day. I am hoping to have a good season and see where it goes.”