GOMER — Las Vegas is a long way from Gomer, Ohio, but Quentin Poling never forgets his roots and never forgets his friends.
The Las Angeles Raider and former stand-out at Ohio University and Elida was back in the small community to help support his childhood friend Alan D. Tyrrell Jr. who is running for Allen County commissioner.
Poling and Tyrrell first befriended each other when Poling moved to Gomer in the sixth grade. The two hung out together and played on a few sporting teams together.
“I am appreciative of Quentin’s endorsement,” Tyrrell said. “He understands the younger generation and hometown dreams for Allen County.”
Poling said coming to Gomer in the sixth grade could have been a tough adjustment but it was made easier when he as was embraced by Alan and his family.
“They made me feel like family,” Poling said. “It’s the kind of place where your parents didn’t have to worry where you were at when the street lights came on because your friend’s parents were your parents. It is that kind of community and you can see that was the way Alan was raised.”
Poling adds because of these traits he has come back to lend a hand to his friend’s campaign.
“I see the kind of values him and his family had when I came and moved here and the things they stand for,” Poling said. “I think he is a great candidate, and he is ready to take those values to the next level and to a bigger platform, I think it is good to have different tiers of age groups in all forms of level of government and positions regardless.”
As a 24-year-old candidate Tyrrell believes he cannot only bring a different perspective but also bring some technological skills to the position.
“Growing up we have a little more flow to it and make a lot of progress just sitting at home and it can save us a lot of money and a lot of time,” Tyrrell said. “Watching Quentin drafted by the Miami Dolphins and even before that at Ohio University, Quentin held a lot of hometown and small town pride.”
Poling tries to get back to Ohio as much as he can and spent most of January here and said it was longest consecutive time since about seven years ago. He, along with his wife and daughter, spent time with his parents.
Poling signed with the Las Vegas Raiders in February after having spent the bulk of the 2019 season on the team’s practice squad. He appeared in one game on special teams.
The 6-foot-1, 235-pound linebacker has had a topsy-turvy professional career. After being drafted in the seventh round of the 2018 draft by Miami, Poling has battled injuries that has hampered his progress.
“It’s crazy,” Poling said. “I’ve had a situation where through some injuries and stuff I have been with a couple of different teams.”
Poling added that he got released by the Raiders with three weeks left in the season, drove back from California to Ohio, thinking he would have an extended holiday season and soon he received a call from his agent and he was heading to Atlanta for a workout and then spent three weeks there before coming back to the Raiders.
“It’s hard to explain to people back home that it is confusing but it is the nature of the business,” Poling said. “It’s tough and obviously at this time of year its a lot of discipline …. Everything you do, working out, staying in shape and keeping up with your nutrition is all on your own so you have to figure out how to handle that and conduct yourself as a business man and a professional all around the year.”
Poling said living in Las Vegas will be a positive experience and he added that living in “Sin City” is more than just the neon lights and gambling.
“It will be interesting in the area the next couple of years,” Poling said. “There is so much more to that community, that area and the strip and the Vegas you see, the pictures, the videos and ‘The Hangover.’”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.