Castille, Bell see increase in roles

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 24, 2004

There is an old saying that goes, &uot;If two’s company then three’s a crowd.&uot;

This fall, two of Shelby County’s former high school football stars, both sporting their new No. 3 jerseys, could find themselves bringing in the crowds in their new starting roles.

Former Thompson standout Tony Bell, now at Auburn, has been making his case to start for the Tigers this fall.

Bell, who recorded 60 tackles, eight for loss and four sacks during his injury-shortened senior season, has seen substantial playing time during fall two-a-day practices.

Due to the injury of David Irons, who was slated to start in the Tigers’ defensive backfield but suffered a season-ending ACL tear in his knee during fall two-a-days, Bell has moved up the depth chart.

Earlier this week, Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville even removed the doubt of whether Bell might be redshirted during his freshman year.

Bell, along with highly-touted offensive lineman Leon Hart, defensive linemen Pat Sims and Neil Brown and wide receiver James Swinton, have been told they will not be redshirted and should be ready to play this fall, Tuberville said.

Another one of Shelby County’s former high school standouts looking to make an impact early is Alabama’s Simeon Castille.

Castille, the Briarwood Christian product who recorded nine interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, and more than 100 tackles as a senior, will look to emulate his brother Tim’s freshman year at UA.

Tim, a 2003 Briarwood Christian graduate, played in all 12 of the Tide’s games last year and should start at fullback this fall. Tim is also expected to see ample playing time at tailback.

During SEC media days, Alabama head coach Mike Shula praised the elder Castille for his athletic ability, something that seems to run in the family.

The Castilles are sons of Jeremiah Castille, who played for coach Paul &uot;Bear&uot; Bryant in the early 1980s.

&uot;The No. 1 thing is (Tim) is a football player,&uot; Shula said. &uot;Every time he is on the field, he makes plays.&uot;

Simeon seems to be following in his brother’s footsteps as the freshman cornerback led the team with five tackles, one quarterback pressure and one pass breakup in the Tide’s scrimmage Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Simeon should be the team’s starting nickel back, while he will also line up at cornerback