Lumberjacks Sign 21 on National Signing Day 'Jacks bolster roster with 11 East Texas standouts
'Jacks ink 21 on National Signing Day
Feb. 1, 2012
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack football team signed 21 high school standouts to National Letters of Intent two-time Southland Conference Coach of the Year J.C. Harperannounced Wednesday afternoon. The 2012 class consists of 10 players on the defensive side of the ball, 10 offensive players and a specialist.
The SFA defense was hit the hardest by attrition with the loss of five starters from the 2011 campaign, including all-conference corner Ben Wells, two of the top producing linebackers in program history in Derek Choice and Devin Ducote, and defensive linemen Jacob Fincher and Weekendfer Saurit. The 10 defensive signees fill needs at every position with three on the defensive line, two linebackers and five in the secondary (three corners and two safeties).
SFA signed 10 players to the offensive side of the football. The offensive signees include four offensive linemen, two receivers, two quarterbacks, a running back and an athlete.
"I am very excited about this incoming class," said Harper. "Our staff did an excellent job of evaluating talent, and establishing relationships with these guys throughout the year. I'm pleased with the balance of the class on both sides of the ball. As a coaching staff, we are excited to be able to work with these young men over the next four to five years.
"In addition to their ability on the football field, they are also quality students. That is the thing that I am most proud of with this class, they are a great fit on the field and in the classroom," added Harper.
"We are the `University of East Texas,'" said Harper. "That is what we tell kids when we go to their homes. There is a sense of pride about playing football in East Texas, and these guys want to show that pride by playing their college football in East Texas. We want them to stay close to home, and play for Stephen F. Austin, and SFA is where they want to be."
SFA's strength on the defensive line has been the catalyst for the team finishing among the nation's top 20 in sacks each of the past four years, among the top six in the last three, including the sack and tackles for loss national champion this past season. But SFA has faced heavy losses on the line graduating five starters at end and two on the interior in the past three years. The signing of ends Artrez Price(Killeen, Harrison and defensive tackle Clark fills a need, and they will have an opportunity for early playing time.
While the Lumberjacks only lost one starter on the offensive line, 2011 All-American George Bias, SFA will lose two more starters following the 2012 season, and a third after 2013. The Lumberjack coaching staff filled this need with the additions of Schomp, Byron Williams(Dickinson), Trevor Wiggins (Grand Prairie) and Vaughn.
"We really felt like we needed to add some quality offensive linemen to what we already have on roster," said Harper. "I really feel like we succeeded with the four guys we got coming in. They are all great kids who are big, strong and athletic. We went into the process wanting three, and we came away with four that met the standards we set. I believe they will go down as one of the best offensive linemen groups since I've been here."
Although starting quarterback Brady Attaway still has two years of eligibility remaining, the depth at quarterback was an issue with only 2011 signee Joe Minden as the only other quarterback on scholarship. The 'Jacks answered this need with two of the state's top signal callers, Marshall Williams(Flower Mound) and Taylor.
"Both Marshall (Williams) and Hunter (Taylor) put up impressive numbers in high school," said Harper. "They both finished among the nation's top seniors in passing yards, and we are very excited to have them. Marshall graduated mid-year and has already enrolled and will be able to go through spring drills. He is a real athletic guy who played receiver before moving to quarterback.
"I've always liked Hunter. We've wanted him to be a member of this football team, but you just never know how those things are going to work out during the recruiting process. Whitehouse runs a similar offense to us, and we are excited to have him on the roster," added Harper.
Lamarcus Brown - WR 5-10 170 Henderson, Texas (Henderson HS) Garnered honorable mention all-state recognition following the 2011 campaign ... A 2011 first-team all-district selection ... Finished second in the district, and 41st in the state in receiving as a senior ... Recorded eight receiving touchdowns in 2011 ... Was seventh in the district in receiving, and three touchdowns, as a junior.
Nick Bruno- K/P 5-10 185 Garland, Texas (Rowlett HS) Ranked fourth in the district in scoring ... Converted 8-of-11 field goal attempts, and was 50-of-52 on PATs in 2011 ... Averaged 41.8 yards per punt, including a long of 61 yards during his senior campaign ... Received first-team all-district honors in his final season with Rowlett ... Received 4.5 stars as a kicker, and a five-star punter rating from KohlsKicking.com ... Listed as the No. 13 punter, and 100th kicker by KohlsKicking.com ... Also a standout on the Rowlett soccer team.
Jordan Burton- LB 6-3 200 Longview, Texas (Longview HS) A three-star prospect ... Rated the No. 99 outside linebacker according to scout.com ... A two-time all-district selection ... Named first-team all-district following his senior season ... Recorded 106 tackles, including three for losses, and broke up four passes this past season for a Lobos' squad that went 11-2 and won a district title ... Recorded 110 tackles with an interception playing safety as a junior ... Posted 28 stops during Longview's run to the 2009 state title game ... Made official visits to Arkansas, Texas A&M, TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma.
Corey Clark - DT 6-2 250 Lufkin, Texas (Lufkin HS) Coached by the late John Outlaw at Lufkin High School ... A first-team all-district selection ... Recorded 47 tackles, including eight for losses and five sacks ... Guided the Panthers to a district title ... Also ran track for LHS ... Personal: Son of Corey Clark, Sr., and Kim Deason ... Born Oct. 27, 1993, in Lufkin ... Plans to major in wildlife biology ... High school teammate, Jamarcus Walker, is also a Lumberjack signee.
J.C. Franklin - S 5-11 160 Cedar Hill, Texas (Cedar Hill HS) Second-team all-district selection at safety ... Recorded 59 tackles, including 24 solo stops and one tackle for a loss this season ... Named team captain ... True definition of a student-athlete earning Academic All-District and honorable mention all-state honors ... Personal: Son of Roderick and Voncilla ... Born July 7, 1994, in Dallas, Texas ... High School teammate, Demundre Freeman, is also an SFA signee ... Father played football at Mississippi Valley State.
Demundre Freeman - CB 5-11 175 Cedar Hill, Texas (Cedar Hill HS) Recorded 27 tackles, including 16 assists and two interceptions during his senior year ... Guided Cedar Hill to a district title ... A two-time second-team all-district selection ... A 2010 private school honorable mention all-state ... Was also a standout on the track and field team ... High School teammate, J.C. Franklin, is also a Lumberjack signee.
Kedrick Harrison- DE 6-2 220 Coldspring, Texas (Coldspring-Oakhurst HS) Named Texas APSE 2011 Class 3A First-Team All-State ... Posted 122 tackles, including 16 for losses ... A 2011 first-team All-SETX selection ... Three-time all-district selection ... 2010 honorable mention all-state ... Named district defensive player of the year as a senior ... Honorable mention Academic All-State ... Closed out his career with 376 total tackles ... Personal: Son of Spiller and Denise Harrison ... Born Aug. 15, 1994, in Livingston, Texas ... Plans to major in kinesiology.
Avery Henderson- S 5-11 190 Tyler, Texas (Chapel Hill HS) Named to the 2011 ETFinalScore.com Super 50 team ... Recorded 43 tackles, including one for a loss, and recorded five pass deflections as a senior ... Also recorded 19 catches for 372 yards and five touchdowns in 2011 ... Hauled in 55 catches for 1,037 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior ... Rated the No. 2 receiver in District 17-3A, and 32nd-best receiver during his senior year.
Trevor Holmes- LB 6-1 215 Newton, Texas (Newton HS) Listed as the No. 40 prospect at the 2011 ESPN High School Football/Nike SPARQ Houston Combine ... Ranked 21st in the state, and first in district averaging 12.1 tackles per game ... First-team all-district selection ... A 2011 Beaumont Enterprise Super Gold selection ... Posted 135 tackles and recovered two fumbles in his final year with the Eagles ... Also a standout for the Newton baseball and basketball teams.
Anthony Kincade - CB 5-11 160 Tyler, Texas (Chapel Hill HS) MaxPreps.com rated Kincade as the fourth-best receiver in District 17-3A, and the 34th-best receiver in Region III following his junior year ... Considered the fourth-best receiver in the district, and ranked No. 43 in the region as a senior according to MaxPreps.com ... Three-time player of the week as a senior ... High school teammate Avery Hendersonis also a Lumberjack signee. De'Vante Lacy- WR 5-10 180 Grand Prairie, Texas (Grand Prairie HS) Hauled in 211 passes for 2,834 yards (13.4 ypc) and 27 touchdowns during his high school career ... "A playmaker, he can track the long ball and create in the open field," according to recruiting analyst Tom Lemming ... A 2011 MaxPreps Preseason All-America selection ... 2011 District 5-5A Offensive Player of the Year ... Received all-state honors following his junior campaign ... Also a standout on the diamond for the Gophers, earning all-state and all-district honors. Patrick Martin- CB 5-10 170 Spring, Texas (Dekaney) Named to the 2011 Super List ... Was named to the Best of the Rest DBs list according to TexasFootball.com ... Two-time second-team all-district ... Guided Dekaney to a 13-2 record and the 2011 Texas Division II 5A State title, the first in school history ... Recorded 43 tackles and picked off two passes as a senior ... Received interest from UTEP, Houston, Texas Tech, Wyoming and Central Michigan. Garrett Muehlstein- Ath 6-3 215 Decatur, Texas (Decatur) A two-star athlete according to scout.com ... Ranked as the No. 142 high school quarterback in the nation according scout.com ... Named 2011 District 7-3A MVP after passing for 1,666 yards and rushing for 630 ... Was ranked second in the district, and 67th in the region averaging 166.6 passing yards per game ... Threw 19 touchdown passes in his senior year ... A five-time MaxPreps.com Player of the Week selection as a senior ... Also a standout on the track and field team. Artrez Price- DE 6-3 225 Killeen, Texas (Killeen HS) Garnered first-team All-Centex recognition in 2011 ... A first-team all-district selection ... An honorable mention all-district pick following a junior season that saw him post 56 tackles, including 46 solo stops, and nine for losses ... Received attention from TCU, UTEP and Texas State. Sam Schomp- OL 6-4 295 Lindale, Texas (Lindale HS) Ranked as the 39th prospect in east Texas according to ETFinalScore.com ... Named to the 2011 3A Texas Sports Writers All-State team, garnering first-team attention ... Will play in the East Texas All-Star game ... Guided Lindale to a 10-2 record and a regional final appearance ... Received recruiting attention from Rice and TCU. Hunter Taylor- QB 6-1 180 Whitehouse, Texas (Whitehouse HS) Completed 619-of-1,008 passes (.614) for 9,143 yards and 105 TDs during his high school career ... Two-time second-team all-state ... A 2011 first-team all-district selection ... Led the state, and finished fourth in the nation in passing yards as a senior ... Ranked 12th in the district in rushing, and 15th in the nation in total offense in 2011 ... Tied a state record with nine touchdown passes in a game.
Terran Vaughn- OL 6-3 290 Beaumont, Texas (Ozen HS) Named 2011 First-Team All-District 20-4A ... Garnered Port Arthur News Super Team recognition ... An honorable mention academic all-state selection.
Jamarcus Walker - RB 5-8 170 Lufkin, Texas (Lufkin HS) Coached by the late John Outlaw at Lufkin High School ... Listed a three-start prospect by Rivals.com ... Considered the No. 68 running back in the nation, and the No. 203 prospect in the state of Texas by 247sports.com ... Named 14-5A district MVP after the 2011 campaign ... Rushed for 2,953 yards and 49 TDs between his sophomore and junior seasons ... Ranked the No. 48 prospect on ETFinalScore.com's Super 50 ... Received offers from Louisiana-Monroe, Memphis, SMU and Utah State ... An elusive scat back, with good change of direction ... Listed his best individual game performance against Tyler Lee where he carried the ball nine times for 205 yards and three touchdowns ... Personal: Son of Antwan Johnson and Julia Walker ... Born April 26, 1994, in Palestine, Texas ... High school teammate, Corey Clark, is also a Lumberjack signee ... Plans to major in nursing and kinesiology.
Travis Wiggins- OL 6-3 280 Grand Prairie, Texas (S. Grand Prairie HS) Rated as the No. 110 offensive tackle, and the No. 221 prospect in the class of 2012 by 247sports.com ... Ranked as the No. 139 offensive guard in the country, and the No. 306 prospect in the state of Texas ... Named to the 5ATexasFootball.com 2011 Regional Super List ... A two-time all-district selection ... Did not surrender a sack during his high school career ... Had offers from Utah State, Louisiana-Monroe and Texas State ... Was also a standout shot putter for South Grand Prairie ... Personal: Son of Annette Wiggins ... Born Dec. 29, 1993, in Dallas, Texas.
Byron Williams- OL 6-3 285 Dickinson, Texas (Dickinson HS) A 2011 first-team all-district selection ... Garnered 2011 First-Team Daily News All-County honors ... A member of an offensive line that averaged more than 290 yards rushing per game and allowed fewer than two sacks per game in 2011 ... The O-Line blocked for a rushing attack that averaged better than 200 rushing yards per game during Williams' junior year.
Marshall Williams - QB 6-5 195 Flower Mound, Texas (Flower Mound HS) Led the nation averaging 392.5 passing yards per game ... Ranked 12th in the state of Texas among senior quarterbacks in total passing yards ... Passed for 3,140 yards and 33 touchdowns as a senior ... One of two quarterback signees who finished among the nation's top-five in passing yard average ... Was third in the country averaging 410.8 yards of total offense ... Recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said Williams "Has what it takes to become a big-time QB and possibly even a four or five-star player," ... A two-star quarterback according to Scout.com ... Ranked as the No. 105 QB according to Scout.com ... Received attention from North Texas, SMU, Sam Houston State, Arizona, Houston and Baylor.