Former Tiger lineman Tanner Fleming joins 49ers

Former Fred T. Foard standout Tanner Fleming officially joined the UNC-Charlotte football team on Wednesday.

Fleming, who played offensive and defensive line for the Tigers during his senior season in 2011, spent last year at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“The (Air Force) Academy taught me a lot about character and discipline, which I will use for the rest of my life, but I don't believe that it was the best place for me as a student-athlete,” Fleming said. “I sought an opportunity closer to home where I feel like I can lead on and off the field as we start the foundation for a new up and coming program here at UNCC.”

The 49ers started their football camp on Wednesday, which will continue through mid-August.

While at Foard, Fleming was a two-time All-NWC football selection (2010, 2012).

He was also field athlete of the year in track in 2011 and an all-conference wrestling selection in 2012.

The 6-foot-2, 285-pound Fleming is the third Catawba County prep football standout playing for the 49ers this fall.

He joins quarterback Matt Johnson (Maiden High) and offensive lineman Zach Bumgarner (St. Stephens High).

“Matt and Zach have really done a great job taking me in out here,” Fleming said. “It's hard to find a place where you once had high school rivals and play with them at the next level of football. We all share a common interest now, which is working together toward the main goal of winning games out in Charlotte and pulling in more local athletes.”

UNC-Charlotte opens its football season on Aug. 31 at noon against Campbell University at Jerry Richardson Stadium.