Before he moved to Nashville, Luke Combs went to Appalachian State University, where he studied Criminal Justice. Combs was about one semester away from graduating when he moved from North Carolina to Music City, which he says was in part because he wasn't sure he would ever actually graduate.
"That was a thing I honestly struggled with [for] a long time 'cause I did want to graduate," Combs said on Sunday Today (via PEOPLE), of his decision to drop out. "I just don't know honestly if I could have, you know? Maybe I'm dumb for saying this but, I don't think I wasn't smart enough to graduate. I just don't think I was committed enough."
Combs wasn't exactly in love with the academic life either, which could have been because he wasn't doing as well as he would have liked.
"Well, I mean, I hated school," Combs conceded. "That helped; I was also probably failing out. We can pull the records on that probably. I love getting the alumni letters in the mail 'cause somehow those have wound up at my place like, 'Hey, old pal, you sure love it up here don't you?' Which I do actually."
It was while Combs was at Appalachian State University that he started singing in public, inspired by Eric Church, who also attended the same college. Once he started performing, Combs realized there was no turning back.
"There was nothing about it that made me want to be like, 'Man, I just — I gotta get up and go to science class today,'" Combs recalled. "Nothing about me wanted to go to math or science, you know what I mean? I was just more concerned with drinking and playing rugby and singing."
When Combs realized that of his three favorite things, only one of them could turn into a profession, his mind was made up.
"I was like 'Man, this is all stuff that I want to do,'" he recalled. "Obviously you can't drink for a living, so that was off the list and then I quickly realized I couldn't play rugby for a living either and so there was really only one choice. That left one thing."
Combs received three 2020 ACM Awards nominations. The 29-year-old is nominated for Male Artist of the Year, Album of the Year (for his recent What You See Is What You Get), and the night's highest honor, Entertainer of the Year.
The 2020 ACM Awards will air live from MGM's Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 5, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
Photo Credit: Getty / Terry Wyatt