Shelby County duo commits to Air Force

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

College commitments from Shelby County high school football standouts continue to roll in ahead of National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Shelby County High School senior Mike Pate became the latest verbal commitment Jan. 17 when he pledged to play college football at the Air Force Academy.

Pate, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound tight end who also played on the offensive and defensive lines during his high school career, will likely play on the offensive line for the Falcons.

Pate will join Chelsea High School senior Joey Mock in Colorado Springs, Colo. Mock, a 6-foot-5, 244 pound defensive end, verbally committed to play college football at Air Force last September.

The pair of Air Force commitments brings the total number of Shelby County products in the Class of 2012 committed to play at college football’s highest level to 10.

Oak Mountain High School senior Bradley Bostick, a 5-foot-6, 155-pound running back, made a verbal pledge to play at Navy earlier in the week.

Briarwood Christian School senior Ben Craft, a 6-foot-2, 197-pound quarterback, became the first Shelby County product to commit to the Blazers in the Class of 2012 in July. Chelsea High School senior Jake Ganus, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound quarterback/safety, committed to UAB three days later.

Spain Park High School defensive backs Destin Challenger, a 5-foot-11, 213-pound safety, and Devon Brown, a 5-foot-11, 182-pound cornerback, both committed to the Blazers in early August.

All four players remained committed to UAB following the resignation of head coach Neil Callaway last month. Garrick McGee, who spent last season as the offensive coordinator at the University of Arkansas, was hired as the Blazers’ new coach in early December.

Pelham High School senior Jacob Forehand, a 6-foot-6, 275-pound offensive tackle, became McGee’s first commitment at the school in early December.

Spain Park High School senior Justin Carter, a 6-foot, 200-pound defensive back, is committed to Rice University.

Briarwood Christian School senior Kalan Reed, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound defensive back, is committed to Southern Mississippi University.

Spain Park High School senior Chris Humes, a 6-foot, 190-pound cornerback, currently has scholarship offers from Auburn, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Louisville, UAB and South Alabama.

Humes is currently scheduled to visit Mississippi State this weekend before making a trip to Troy during the last weekend before National Signing Day, said Spain Park coach Chip Lindsey.

Humes has also drawn interest from Alabama and Arkansas, but neither school has offered him a scholarship as of yet.

In addition to the Football Bowl Subdivision commitments, Spain Park High School senior offensive lineman Ben Tamburello has verbally committed to Samford University. The 6-foot-3, 285-pound center plans to sign with the Bulldogs next month.