Gwinnett's high-level football commitments grew by two on Tuesday when North Gwinnett quarterback Mikey Tamburo committed to Boise State and Shiloh defensive end Cameron Whigham chose Ole Miss.
Tamburo visited Boise State over the weekend and committed to the nation's No. 9-ranked team over a host of other schools. The Boise offer was his 20th scholarship offer, a group that included schools like Tulsa, Louisiana-Monroe, Toledo, Bowling Green, Air Force, Navy, Ohio, Ball State and South Alabama.
But he said no other program came close to Boise and its famed blue artificial turf.
"I definitely liked the coaches and the system they run," said Tamburo, who officially called the Boise coaches around
8 p.m. Tuesday. "I like how much success they've had with their quarterbacks and their team in general. It just felt good overall, the town, the campus. It just really felt comfortable, like a place I could spend the next four or five years."
The left-hander has been one of the state's top quarterbacks in recent years. He has thrown for 1,614 yards and 13 touchdowns this season, in addition to rushing for 469 yards and six more scores.
He threw for 2,311 yards and 19 TDs and rushed for 594 yards and 10 TDs as a junior, leading North to a Class AAAAA runner-up finish.
North's wide-open offense was a perfect fit for Tamburo's throwing and passing skills, which is why he and his family wanted a similar system for college. They found it in Boise, even if it's a long plane flight away.
"If you look at Rennie (Curran), he plays at Georgia and he doesn't get to come home too often," said Tamburo, whose team begins the state playoffs Friday against Brookwood. "College football's like a job so you're not home much anyway. And there isn't much difference with a four-hour flight or a drive home from somewhere in the South."
Whigham is already the sixth Gwinnett senior to commit to an SEC school this year, joining Buford's Dallas Lee (Georgia), Peachtree Ridge's Kevin Minter (LSU), Parkview's Brandon Jacobs (Auburn), Brookwood's Kellen Williams (Alabama) and Greater Atlanta Christian's Blake Southerland (Vanderbilt).
A 6-foot-3, 235-pound defensive end, Whigham made 79 tackles (17 for losses) this season with seven sacks and 12 quarterback hurries. He also caught four passes for 103 yards as a tight end.
"I just liked the fact that they were a program on the rise," Whigham said of Ole Miss. "They have a new coach (Houston Nutt) and everything's been looking good for them."
Whigham, who also had an offer from Central Florida, hasn't visited Ole Miss yet, but plans to in January. He has developed a good relationship in the past few months with Ole Miss defensive line coach Tracy Rocker, an Atlanta native.
"When I first got here and talked to Cameron, he said he wanted to play in the SEC," first-year Shiloh head coach Keith Wilkes said. "So it's like a dream come true for him."