Junior Colleges

UAB’s rebirth on football field intriguing to Gulf Coast lineman

Mississippi Gulf Coast offensive lineman Carter Wood has been a big reason the Bulldogs have had success running the football.
Mississippi Gulf Coast offensive lineman Carter Wood has been a big reason the Bulldogs have had success running the football. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

UAB’s unique situation — a college football rebirth of sorts — is partially what has made them attractive to several Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College targets.

Former MGCCC offensive linemen Brandon Hill and Rishard Cook, along with quarterback A.J. Erdely, signed with the Blazers as part of their last two recruiting classes. Current Bulldog right tackle Carter Wood could be the next to head to “Gulf Coast-East.”

The hulking 6-foot-4, 285-pound committed to UAB last month and said he intends to sign with the Blazers in December despite constant interest from schools like Louisiana-Lafayette, Akron and Central Arkansas.

After disbanding the football program for the 2015 season, the Blazers returned last year but were only allowed to practice.

“That’s kind of the fun part,” Wood said of UAB’s return. “They have a chip on their shoulder. It makes you want to do good and go play for them.”

Wood has visited Birmingham several times, most recently during last week’s 23-22 victory over Louisiana Tech for a homecoming special.

The Starkville Academy graduate said the UAB staff — plus his former Bulldog teammates — have made the school a home away from home of sorts.

“When I went up there (the coaches) told me to go to the place that really wants you,” he said. “They really make you feel like they really want you. I know Rishard Cook is there now and A.J. Erdely. It’s kind of MGCCC-UAB family over there.”

His former Gulf Coast teammates helped keep things real.

“I talked to them when I was up there for my visit,” he said. “They said straight up there’s no promises, but Coach (Bill Clark) rewards hard work.”

Paving the way

Former Gautier standout Deandre Torrey is leading the nation in rushing heading into Thursday’s 7 p.m. home kickoff against Southwest (0-6, 0-3).

Through six games, the former Gator has collected 832 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s averaging 138.7 yards per game and 6.8 yards per carry. Holmes’ Cameryn Brent is just behind Torrey with 811 yards.

“Deandre comes to work every day. He’s a self-starter,” Huff said in a release. “He does a good job of understanding the blocking schemes up front. The offensive line is doing a tremendous job. Coach (Les) George has those guys playing really physical right now.”

About Southwest

The Bulldogs (4-2, 2-1) lead the all-time series against Southwest 57-22-3 and has won 10 straight dating back to 2007. During that stretch, the Bulldogs have averaged 44 points per game while allowing 16.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

Game plan

Who: Southwest at Gulf Coast

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Radio: 103.1 FM

Streaming: https://livestream.com/BulldogLIVE

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