Reese Phillips, the heir apparent to graduating Signal Mountain quarterback Hogan Whitmire, has been named the top quarterback at DI football combines in Nashville and Knoxville.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Phillips turned in average 40-yard times and shuttle performances but really wowed observers with his throwing.
"They seem to like him as a pure thrower," Eagles coach Bill Price said. "He looked like just another athlete, but when they started throwing, everybody came over to watch him throw. He was named the top quarterback at both combines. He's going to be a guy who ends up with [college] offers very early."
Phillips went to the Nashville combine three weeks ago and the Knoxville combine last Saturday.
"In Nashville we did one-on-ones with cornerbacks and receivers, and in Knoxville we did drills on footwork and then throwing," he said.
Phillips is just turning his attention to quarterback duties. Already a two-year starter, the junior has played tight end, split end, safety, cornerback, defensive end and outside linebacker.
After baseball, he plans to attend more combines and camps.
"I have another combine in about a month in Nashville," he said. "I want to go to Tennessee's camp, but that's the only one I want to stay overnight. I hope to go to several one-day camps. This summer I'll be working all football."
Nelson to Cumberland
East Ridge linebacker Stefan Nelson will sign papers this afternoon to continue his football career at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn.
The 5-foot-11 1/2, 195-pounder was a first-team selection on the Best of Preps all-city football team in 2010.
"He plays reckless," East Ridge coach Mike Martin said. "He lets a lot of energy go out there. He has great instincts. He's going to make tackles. He game-plans well. He listens and prepares well. I'm glad somebody is signing him and giving him a chance to go play."
Martin said Nelson has continued to work out and is steadily increasing his strength. The coach said Nelson also has a grade point average higher than 3.0.
"Signing day is a big day," Martin said. "I'm proud of Stefan for taking the extra time making his decision. He did it the right way. I think he'll be contributing there soon."
Bradford joins Pirates
Former East Ridge assistant football coach E.J. Bradford has joined the South Pittsburg staff as strength and conditioning coach. Bradford, who played at East Ridge and then for two years at Georgia before finishing his playing career at UTC, has been a high school assistant for 12 years, including the last seven at his alma mater.
"We're all really excited because E.J. brings in a lot of fresh ideas," Pirates coach Vic Grider said. "Our staff has been together for a while, so it was a lot of the same workouts over and over, but E.J. is really motivated to help us improve in that area.
"With my administrative duties and all of our other coaches being involved in helping with other sports, it's a huge help to have someone I'm confident in to oversee our workouts. E.J. also has plenty of on-field experience to help us out when we start spring practice, too."
Bradford, 35, will work as a non-faculty coach. His wife is the new parks and recreation director in South Pittsburg.
"I'm fired up to join a program that takes the game as seriously as I do," Bradford said. "One of the first things I noticed when I started helping was how much these guys care about it and want to get better and stronger. They play a lot of schools with more players, and I'm confident I can get these guys bigger and stronger and ready to finish the job against those type teams."
Trojans' brick drive
Soddy-Daisy is running an alumni brick drive for former players to invest in future Trojans baseball teams. They're selling the bricks that will be placed either behind the home dugout or along the hillside leading to the field.
"They can contact me at SDTrojans9@aol.com or visit SDTrojansbaseball.com," Soddy-Daisy coach Jared Hensley said.
Bricks are $75 for individuals or $300 for corporate bricks. Hensley said all proceeds will go toward the team's new clubhouse.