Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008

Locals ink college futures

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The class of 2008 is scored high marks in penmanship, with four more Frederick city footballers signing with college programs on Wednesday.

From Thomas Johnson High, Steve Chase will be heading to Wake Forest, Colin Bass will attend I-AA Towson, and Corey Hunt will head to Division II Shippensburg. Frederick High’s Alex Cornish signed with Columbia (N.Y.). All four were named to the 2007 All-Gazette first team.

The Patriots attracted the attention of scouts with their sheer size. And after winning the Class 4A North Region, head coach Ben Wright’s team got plenty of exposure.

Chase, who started the season as a defensive lineman and tight end, had to move to tackle on offense when he broke his hand midway through the season. While he has said that he would like to play as a tight end in college, it’s his services on the defensive line that drew the attention of the Demon Deacons of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

‘‘He’s academically very good, and he’s about 6-foot-6 1⁄2 and 270 pounds,” Wright said. ‘‘There aren’t a lot of kids like that. He’s got a world of potential.”

Bass, a 6-7, 260-pound lineman, was initially slated to attend Colgate. Over the weekend, Towson upped their offer to something Bass couldn’t refuse, changing his plans.

‘‘He’s a self-made kid in the weight room,” Wright said.

Hunt was also hampered by injuries in the middle of the season. A high ankle sprain scared off some scouts.

‘‘Shippensburg is getting a kid that’s a steal,” Wright said. ‘‘He can play so many positions. He’s fast, he has real good hands as a receiver. He can play free safety, he returns kicks.”

Wright was also happy that with Hunt going to Shippensburg, it makes for a regular match-up against Shepherd University, where 2007 Patriots graduate Bobby Humphries is playing.

Wright said that there are a few more collegiate-bound players from his recent season. Other Thomas Johnson alumni playing in college include Tredale Kennedy at Central Michigan, who played in the Motor City Bowl in December.

Terrence Kerns, a 2007 graduate, is still committed to playing at West Virginia University, and hopes to enroll there next year.

Frederick head coach Vince Ahearn said there are about three Cadets that are still considering their options among Division-III schools. Ahearn had plenty of praise for his Cornish Ivy League-bound linebacker, who was named the Defensive Player of the Year by the Monocacy Valley Athletic League’s Piedmont Conference.

‘‘This year, he was absolutely one of the smartest guys on the team,” Ahearn said of Cornish, who racked up 148 tackles, eight sacks and two fumble recoveries this past season.

‘‘He’s a nutty professor type of smart, a mad scientist type of smart.”