CHESTER -- Running back Terrell Springs, who will play defensive back in college, told the coaches at the University of Alabama-Birmingham he's headed their way next year, becoming the second Chester football player to make a college commitment.
Last month, wide receiver/quarterback Gene McCaskill committed to the University of Kentucky.
Springs, entering his senior season, will join former teammate Marquis Coleman at UAB in 2008. Coleman is expected to compete for one of the safety positions with the Blazers as a freshman this fall.
"I'm very excited for the opportunity to play in college and in the same defensive secondary with Marquis,'' Springs said. "The coaches told me if I come in and work hard my freshman year, I have a good chance to play because I was the No. 1 cornerback they recruited.
"I liked UAB when I visited. Their coaches saw me at a camp at the University of Georgia and offered me there. I told them to give me a week and I'd let them know.''
Springs, 5-foot-7 on his tiptoes and a muscular, 170-pound speedster, said he wanted to give it a week and see if he got contact from Georgia or Wake Forest. Both, he said, were showing interest. Springs said he also got an offer from Duke.
"I guess Georgia and Wake Forest were concerned about my height,'' Springs said. "The coaches at UAB don't have a problem with my size. They said I'd probably return kicks too, so I feel I made the right choice.''
What the bigger schools might have overlooked is his speed. Springs said he's done well in the 40-yard dash at camps, running a 4.25 at Wake and a 4.4 at Georgia. Springs ran a leg on Chester's Class AAA state championship 4x100 relay team.
The Cyclones have one of the most recruited players in the state in quarterback/defensive back C.C. Whitlock, who is getting national attention from Division I schools but hasn't narrowed his list.
Springs said his stock rose because college coaches were coming to see his teammates play and because of coach Victor Floyd.
"Coach Floyd has brought a new attitude to Chester,'' Springs said.
"He pushes us to succeed. He takes us to camps around the country so we can get exposure. He means a lot to every player at Chester.''