A Land O’ Lakes football player will be playing on the college level next season, as the Gators defensive stalwart Shaheed Salmon announced via Twitter he had committed to Central Arkansas.
“I am blessed to say I’ve committed to the University of Central Arkansas!! #GoBears” Salmon tweeted Tuesday.
Salmon, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker/defensive lineman, had a team-high 117 tackles, including 21.5 for a loss, 8.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown for the 8-2 Gators that narrowly missed the playoffs in 2013.
Salmon had a couple of other offers, including South Dakota State and Wyoming, but opted for UCA, which is located in Conway, Ark.
The Bears, which play in the Division I Southland Conference, were 7-5 and 4-3 in their conference.
Salmon will be part of new UCA coach Steve Campbell’s inaugural signing class, as Campbell was hired to the Bears on Dec. 20.
Additionally, fellow-linebacker Darius Wells, who had 6.5 sacks and 60 tackles, committed to Benedict College, a Division II liberal arts college located in Columbia, S.C.
Barrett headed to Marist
The past two years for Anclote’s Willie Barrett have been filled with speculation on which school would pull the trigger first on offering the 5 foot 9, 220-pound bulldozing running back and linebacker.
On Monday evening via Twitter, Barrett announced he would be committing to Marist College, which is located in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Barrett follows a line of tailbacks from Anclote that have signed college offers, following Travis Hendrix (New Mexico Military Institute) and Alonzo Pettiford (Fort Hays State).
Barrett helped lead Anclote to back to back postseason appearances, including winning the Class 5A-District 7 title this season. Barrett had consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in 2012-13 and this past season rushed for 1,062 yards off 129 carries for nine touchdowns.
Barrett was also named to Sunshine Athletic Conference and Tampa Tribune All-Pasco County First Team Defense.
Grippo to run for Saint Leo
Saint Leo’s cross country team is getting another local, and talented, runner.
Gulf’s Kari Grippo has committed to the Lions, the school tweeted Friday.
Grippo has been one of Pasco County’s top runners for three seasons after missing one of them due to an ineligibility issue. Grippo also reached the state meet her junior year, but suffered a stress fracture in her right foot and missed the track season.
This season, Grippo won her third-straight district title, picked up a regional title and took fifth at the Class 2A state meet with an 18:34.
Grippo will join former Wiregrass Ranch runner Berlin Waters on Saint Leo’s team.
Mike Camunas, Andy Villamarzo