"I looked at other schools like Eastern, Pikeville, Georgetown and the Cumberlands, but, after I went down and visited Campbellsville, I knew that was the place I wanted to be," said Marcum, "I liked the family atmosphere and it's a good Christian school and, where I've grown up in the church, I figured that was a good fit."
Wills, who had played basketball at Lincoln after moving back from Indianapolis his junior year, had looked at a few schools before settling on either Campbellsville or Pikeville College. A Pikeville-Campbellsville football game helped Wills make his final choice.
"I took a couple visits to Campbellsville and I really liked the campus and everything but I still was considering Pikeville," he said. "But, when I watched them play against Campbellsville, Campbellsville put a whooping on them so I kind of thought I might like to play there."
Tim Rogers, Campbellsville recruiting coordinator and linebacker coach under Perry Thomas, handled the signing of the letters of intent and noted that word of mouth was what made it a double deal.
"We were really on Chase early because of all the information we had on him and the feedback we'd gotten," Rogers said. "Cody came into the picture later. A former player of mine that coaches with Coach (Mike) Settles — Bobby Leffew — filled me in on Cody and said he was looking for a place so we started looking at him and liked what we saw."
"He's a great kid and it's great to give him an opportunity to play," he said.
Marcum and Wills are joining a team with a great football past, which includes Mid-South Conference championships, national rankings, and playoff and bowl appearances, but the Tigers are in a rebuilding phase. Rogers said the Tigers, who were 0-10 last year, are a very young team.
And that's one reason both Marcum and Wills picked Campbellsville. With the rebuilding under way, Rogers said that many incoming players will get an opportunity to play.
"That's definitely a big factor in my decision," said Marcum. "You don't want to have to practice all the time and not get to play. To be able to play as a freshman is great."
"That means a lot to me," added Wills. "I love to play football and just to know that I could get a chance to play as a freshman means a lot."
That "chance to play" is not just something the Campbellsville coaching staff is saying to draw in players.
"(Chase) can come in and actually have a chance to play next year, but there are no guarantees," Rogers said. "We are weak at the offensive line as far as depth is concerned and we've got a couple spots that we need kids ready to play at."
"For his (Cody's) position, we're a little heavy right now so he might have to wait a little longer," he said. "He's got tremendous hands. You're probably not going to find a better 3rd-down possession type receiver than Cody. I think he could really contend for a starting spot in his sophomore season."
Rogers said Wills could use a few more pounds on his frame when he gets to Campbellsville.
"I know they want me to put on some weight. They're big there — real big," said Wills. "I'm lifting weights, but those kids there have worked all their high school years to get bigger and stronger so they could play college football."
Campbellsville expects to use both Marcum and Wills in their same positions, which comes as a welcome relief for Marcum.
"They said they could use me on offensive line and that's fine with me because I won't be getting too much out of my comfort zone," he said.
Patriot coach Mike Settles was standing proudly by as his former players inked to play college ball.
"I'm really proud of these guys. They're good football players and they know how to do it in terms of working hard and doing their best," he said.
"It's exciting to see these guys, after the tough year we've had, to still have the passion to play at the next level," said Settles. "There are a lot of players that would have gotten discouraged, but they showed how much they loved the game of football and wanted to play. And look how it's paid off."