Two B.B. Comer standouts will soar off to college in the fall after signing letters-of-intent Monday to play football for Huntingdon College.
Senior middle linebacker Ward Rush and safety Brian Bradford officially became Hawks during a signing ceremony at the high school.
“Both of those guys have done a great job for us and represented our program well,” Tigers head coach Adam Fossett said. “They represented athletics well. Both of them are multiple-sport athletes. They’re going to be successful.
“Huntingdon’s going to get two hard-working kids, two good kids and two kids with character. I think Huntingdon’s a good fit for them.”
Rush said he had only one other school recruiting him — Knox College (Galesburg, Illinois).
“It was a 12-hour drive, so it wasn’t really a question where I was going,” Rush said. “Plus, the overall expectations at Huntingdon that they had on me was what I wanted. They’re competitive and they push you to your limit, which is kind of what I want in a school.”
Bradford said he had offers from Huntingdon, Faulkner University and the University of the Cumberlands (Williamsburg, Kentucky) and a preferred walk-on offer from West Alabama.
“The reason I went to Huntingdon is because through communications with coaches and my visits, it felt like family,” he said. “It felt like fate.”
Rush and Bradford enjoyed a memorable run in their final season at B.B. Comer.
The Tigers qualified for the postseason in Class 3A, Region 6 and knocked off Region 5 champion Fultondale 28-19 in the first round for B.B. Comer’s first playoff win since 2000.
Rush said the change in coaching regimes to Fossett and his staff prior to the 2019 season helped set the table for the program.
“They never let up with us, even when they knew that we had a group of young kids that, you don’t have to necessarily baby them, but you need to kind of slowly put the process in,” Rush said. “They told the whole team to trust the process. We trusted them and we worked our butts off to get better every day.”
Bradford said the playoff victory was a confidence-builder.
“It helped us all around the whole athletic program,” he said. “It helped us and showed us we can actually accomplish stuff and win. It was a big boost for us.
“(The win) meant everything. I think we were down by 19 … Just the will and us not giving up, us playing as a family, it sparked a fire in me to help us get the win.”
He added he hopes the players they’re leaving behind will continue to build off the successes from the 2019 season.
“One thing that we left (them) is showing them they can be somebody and showing them that if they’re down, they don’t have to give up in the fourth quarter or the third quarter,” Bradford said. “They can actually win ballgames and just have confidence when they go out there.”
Bradford will line up at safety for the Hawks after spending time as a hybrid linebacker/safety on defense and playing all skill positions on offense except for tight end. Rush will play outside linebacker at Huntingdon.
Not only will Rush and Bradford will remain teammates. They’ll also be roommates, Rush said.
“I think it'll be a fun experience for us to be together,” Rush said. “We’re already really good friends, and I think it’ll be awesome to get to room together.”