E.A. Sports Today

4 county stars pick UWA

UPDATED: Thurmond’s choice brings him under direct tutelage of his coaching dad

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – West Alabama is making a recruiting killing in Calhoun County.

Four top prospects from the county have given the Tigers their verbal commitment over the last two days — Jacksonville’s versatile Sid Thurmond and linebacker Savon Parker, Saks quarterback Devin Harris and Piedmont receiver C.J. Savage.

One of the reasons Thurmond said he committed was being in the program “felt like I was at home.”

It should have. His dad is on the coaching staff.

“I just liked it,” Thurmond said. “As soon as I got there it felt like I was at home. The people were nice, the coaches were nice – but that’s probably going to change with practice and all. I just liked it. It’s going to be fun playing for my dad.”

Thurmond’s father, Maxwell, is the linebackers and special teams coach for the Tigers. With Sid looking forward to being a specialist – and hopefully a back in their spread offense — he’ll come under the direct watch of his dad.

“I’m kind of nervous,” he said. “The last time I played for him was in baseball a couple years ago. I know it’s going to be fun, though. Hopefully on the offensive side I can try to make him mad scoring touchdowns on him.”

The elder Thurmond was encouraged by athletics department officials not to make an immediate comment.

Thurmond played five different positions for the Golden Eagles this past season — safety, corner, quarterback, receiver and running back. He had more than 700 yards rushing, 500 yards receiving and 20 touchdowns. Parker has been the Golden Eagles’ leading tackler with more than 100 three years in a row. He had 127 tackles this past season.

Savage became the first 1,000-yard receiver in Piedmont history when he grabbed 51 passes for 1,078 yards and nine touchdowns. He also rushed for four touchdowns and had two special teams scores.

Saks linebacker Monty Young was on the same visit with the other Calhoun County prospects, but there is no official word on any decision. The East Alabama Sports Today Calhoun County Defensive Player of the Year also has interest from the Air Force Academy.

“I’ve been playing with them for a long time,” Savage said. “They know what I can do on the field and I know what they can do. Mix it up with five good players, you can’t go wrong.”

Savage said the group talked about being teammates for a long time.

“At first we were all hyped up about going on the visit down there,” he said. “We got down there and we all liked it – the campus, the coaches, the players; they treated us right. We all got together the next day and asked what we thought about it and everybody said we liked it; it was a good fit for us. I guess I was the last one.”

Savage believes there will be a time they’ll all be on the field together at the same time. Savage could be a slot in the Tigers’ spread, but a list he saw had ‘RB’ next to his name.

“We haven’t really gotten to all that yet, but I believe we could work our way up and all get on the field if we do what we’re supposed to do,” he said. “I think it’s possible. … I think I could be a good fit for a running back.”

Jacksonville linebacker Savon Parker (7) wraps up an Alexandria ballcarrier. On the cover, Sid Thurmond (9) sizes up a Saks runner. (Photos by Greg McWilliams)

Jacksonville linebacker Savon Parker (7) wraps up an Alexandria ballcarrier. On the cover, Sid Thurmond (9) sizes up a Saks runner. (Photos by Greg McWilliams)

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