Jaguar set to sign with Arkansas

Spain Park High School senior cornerback Chris Humes plans to sign with the University of Arkansas on National Signing Day next month. (Reporter Photo /Jon Goering)

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

Spain Park High School senior Chris Humes didn’t need to hear a great recruiting pitch from University of Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino during a weekend visit to Fayetteville, Ark., to convince him to sign with the Razorbacks next month.

Humes, who said he’s had an offer from the Arkansas coaching staff dating back to spring practice before his senior season, was satisfied to spend the next four years at the Southeastern Conference school after spending a few days with his future teammates Jan. 13-15.

“(The trip) was amazing,” Humes said. “It’s an electric atmosphere even in the offseason.”

Humes, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound cornerback who will join former Spain Park standout Jeremiah Jackson in Fayetteville, said he met with Petrino, defensive coordinator Paul Haynes, defensive line coach Kevin Peoples and secondary coach Bobby Allen on the last day of his trip, Jan. 15, to shore up his plans to sign with the Razorbacks on National Signing Day, which is Feb. 1.

“They said I could sign in the Class of 2012,” Humes said. “We’ve got a great plan.”

Humes, who said he doesn’t anticipate having any trouble meeting Arkansas’ admission standards following graduation at Spain Park, said he can’t wait to begin fall practice with the Razorbacks in August.

“It’s going to be a great experience at a big-time program on the rise,” Humes said.

Humes, the county’s highest-profile recruit who also had offers from Auburn, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Louisville, Cincinnati, UAB and South Alabama, is expected to be the only Shelby County high school football standout to sign with an SEC school next month.

Humes became the 11th player from Shelby County to verbally commit to play at the highest level in college football, the Football Bowl Subdivision, in the Class of 2012.

Shelby County High School senior Mike Pate, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound tight end who also played on the offensive and defensive lines during his high school career, will join Chelsea High School senior Joey Mock in signing with the Air Force Academy. Mock, a 6-foot-5, 244 pound defensive end, verbally committed to play college football at Air Force last September.

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.

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.