'Jacks Ink 24 on National Signing Day
Feb. 4, 2009
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack football team signed 21 high school standouts, and three transfers to National Letters of Intent SFA head football coach J.C. Harper announced at a media luncheon Wednesday afternoon. The 2009 class has a majority of the talent on the defensive side of the ball with 14 defensive signees, eight offensive players and two specialists.
"I feel like we met all of our needs on both sides of the ball with this class," said Harper. "We've added quality student-athletes who I believe will succeed both on the field and in the classroom here at SFA."
The Lumberjacks added talent at the skill positions, while bulking up both its offensive and defensive lines. The '09 class consists of six defensive backs, four receivers, four defensive linemen, four linebackers, three offensive linemen, two specialists and a quarterback.
Harper has continued to stay focused on his goal of building the program around the talent in East Texas adding nine high school standouts to the roster. The nine East Texas signees include Stephen Alfred (Kirbyville, Texas), Brady Attaway (Whitehouse, Texas), Jacob Fincher (Trinity Valley Community College), Brandon Harris (Paris, Texas), Joshua Hughey (Kirbyville, Texas), Michael Leaks (Winnsboro, Texas), Cordell Roberson (Jefferson, Texas), Sean Warren (Texas City, Texas) and Garry Williams (Texarkana, Texas).
"We focused our efforts here in East Texas, which has been our primary focus since I took over," said Harper. "We targeted the guys that we felt would fit our system, and we feel good about the nine additions to our roster from the East Texas area," added Harper.
Despite the return of record-setting quarterback Jeremy Moses, the Lumberjacks signed highly-touted Attaway from Whitehouse High School. The former all-state selection completed 61 percent of his passes for 8,086 yards and 80 touchdowns during his prep career. He comes to SFA after a high school career that saw him among the state's all-time top 10 in passing yards, touchdown passes, completions and attempts.
Attaway will be surrounded by plenty of weapons to get the ball to when he is behind center. Not only does SFA return standouts like Duane Brooks, Contrevious Parks and Aaron Rhea, but SFA also added four athletic, speedy wideouts to the roster. The receiver class is highlighted by 6-1, 190-pound Plano, Texas, native, Kris Lott who comes to SFA as the nation's 93rd ranked receiver according to Rivals.com.
With three starting offensive linemen heading into their final year of eligibility, the offensive front was another area of concern; therefore, SFA brought in three linemen to bolster its line. Greg Hall is a 6-3, 290-pound guard from Denton, Texas, while Andrew Ratliff is a 6-5, 320-pound prospect out of Llano High School. Both Hall and Ratliff were all-state selections, while Fitiseula Partsch is considered one of the top linemen in the country. Partsch was ranked as the No. 13 center in the nation according to ESPNU.com.
The 2009 class also focused on securing the future of the defensive front by adding Fincher, Warren and Williams. Both Fincher and Warren come to SFA by way of the junior college circuit. A three-star prospect, according to Rivals.com, Warren was listed as the 76th overall junior college player in the country, and the No. 3 JUCO interior defensive lineman, while Fincher helped anchor one of the top defensive units in the nation at TVCC.
The 'Jacks have also added four talented linebackers to the roster. In the previous two seasons, SFA has had good success with freshmen coming in and having an impact at the linebacker spot, and that same potential exists with this group which consists of Caleb Gatlin (Beaumont, Texas), Ryan Hamlett (Dallas, Texas), Brandon Harris (Paris, Texas) and Darren Robinson (Dallas, Texas).
SFA also paid considerable attention to the secondary by adding six athletes to the roster. The incoming crop of defensive backs adds immediate size and speed to the position. Of the 'Jacks' six signees, four of them are 6-0, or taller.
The graduation of Cory Long leaves the Lumberjacks with only one kicker on scholarship, 2008 signee Drew Nelson. While Nelson is capable of handling both kicking and punting responsibilities, the 'Jacks added two highly sought after kickers, Evan Engwall and Thomas Henshaw, who may give Nelson the opportunity to only on punting. Engwall is a 6-0, 170-pound prospect from Wichita, Kansas, and was named the 2008 state special teams player of the year. He is ranked among the nation's top-20 kickers, according to Rivals.com., and is considered a three-star recruit by Scout.com. Henshaw also comes to Nacogdoches with some notable accolades. He is considered a five-star recruit according to the Kohl's recruiting service.
"The loss of Cory Long left us with Drew Nelson as the only kicker with game experience, and although we think he can handle both responsibilities, he really excelled at punting this past year," said Harper. "I'm real excited about the kickers we signed. They are among not only the best in this area, but are also considered among the tops in the nation." 2009 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack Signing Class
Stephen Alfred - WR 5-9 180 Newton, Texas (Newton HS) Brady Attaway - QB 6-2 200 Whitehouse, Texas (Whitehouse HS) Jordan Aubrey - DB 5-10 190 Tyler, Texas (Lee HS) Josh Aubrey - DB 5-11 190 Tyler, Texas (Lee HS) Evan Engwall - K 6-0 170 Derby, Kan. (Derby HS) Vencent Finley - DB 6-3 205 Waco, Texas (University HS) Anthony Foster - WR 6-2 185 Schertz, Texas (Cibolo Steele HS) Caleb Gatlin - LB 6-0 200 Beaumont, Texas (Westbrook HS) Greg Hall - OL 6-3 290 Denton, Texas (Guyer HS) Ryan Hamlett - LB 6-0 195 Dallas, Texas (Skyline HS) Brandon Harris - LB 6-3 240 Paris, Texas (Paris HS) Thomas Henshaw - K/P 5-11 182 League City, Texas (Clear Creek HS) Josh Hughey - DB 6-0 170 Kirbyville, Texas (Kirbyville HS) Ortavious Hypolite - DB 6-0 215 Orange, Texas (West Orange Stark HS) Michael Leaks - DE 6-2 250 Winnsboro, Texas (Winnsboro HS) Kris Lott - WR 6-1 190 Plano, Texas (Plano Senior HS) Fitiseula Partsch - OL 6-4 300 Baytown, Texas (Sterling HS) Andrew Ratliff - OL 6-5 320 Llano, Texas (Llano HS) Cordell Roberson - WR 6-3 185 Jefferson, Texas (Jefferson HS) Darren Robinson - LB 6-0 222 Dallas, Texas (Carter HS) Garry Williams - DT 5-11 265 Texarkana, Texas (Texas HS)
2009 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack Transfers
Andre Banks - DB 6-3 195 Austin, Texas (McCallum HS/Navarro JC) Jacob Fincher - DE 6-3 240 Waxahachie, Texas (WHS/Trinity Valley CC) Sean Warren - DT 6-0 292 Texas City, Texas (Texas City HS/Blinn JC)
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack Football 2009 Signee Bios
Stephen Alfred - WR 5-9 180 Newton, Texas (Newton HS) A 2008 honorable mention 2A all-state wide receiver ... Helped lead Eagles to Class 2A Region III championship game in 2008 playoffs ... A 2008 first-team all-district selection ... Named All-Southeast Texas by setxsports.com ... First-team all-district selection in basketball as freshman, sophomore and junior.
Brady Attaway - QB 6-2 200 Whitehouse, Texas (Whitehouse HS) Three-year letterwinner for coach Randy McFarlin ... Rated as one of top 150 quarterbacks in nation for Class of 2009 according to Scouts.com ... Was 677-of-1,112 (61%) passing in career for 8,086 yards, 80 TDs and only 37 INTs ... Finished career ranked ninth all-time in TD passes, seventh in career passing yards, third in pass attempts, and fourth in career pass completions in the history of Texas high school football ... 2008 District 14-4A Offensive Player of the Year ... 2007 14-4A MVP ... 2007 TWSA third-team all-state quarterback and AP honorable mention all-state ... Had best year as a junior, throwing 248-of-391 (63%) for 39 TDs and only 12 INTs ... Led Whitehouse High School to 2007 District 14-4A title and berth in regional semifinals of Class 4A state playoffs ... Two-time all-district selection in baseball.
Jordan Aubrey - DB 5-10 190 Tyler, Texas (Lee HS) A two-year starter for coach Mike Owens ... Earned second-team all-state honors as a senior ... Named first-team all-district and first-team All-East Texas this past season ... Was also named to the All-Smoaky.com first team in 2008 ... Received honorable mention TSWA 5A all-state honors ... Recorded 158 tackles, 17 tackles for losses and two sacks during his prep career ... Also picked off three passes and blocked three kicks during his high school career ... Holds school record for longest fumble recovery returned for a touchdown (87 yards) ... Helped guide his high school to a district title ... Brother, Josh, is also a Lumberjack signee.
Josh Aubrey - DB 5-11 190 Tyler, Texas (Lee HS) A two-year starter for coach Mike Owens ... A two-time all-district selection ... Garnered All-Smoaky.com recognition ... Also received TSWA all-state honors and All-East Texas recognition ... Recorded 90 tackles, including seven for losses during his high school career ... Was also credited with 15 pass deflections and returned a punt for a touchdown ... Helped guide his high school to a district title ... Brother, Jordan, is also a Lumberjack signee.
Evan Engwall - PK 6-0 170 Derby, Kan. (Derby HS) Considered a three-star prospect, and ranked as the nation's No. 14 kicker according to Scout.com ... Rated as No. 18 kicker in nation by rivals.com ... A three-time selection to Chris Sailer's National Top 12 Kicking Competition ... A 2008 6A Kansas first-team all-state kicker and punter ... Named 2008 Kansas Special Teams Player of the Year ... As a senior hit 10-of-13 field goals in 12 games with three over 40 yards and was good on 53-of-54 PATs ... Also had 41.9 yard punting average ... Earned first-team all-metro and all-league honors as a senior ... Was a 2007 Preseason All-Star in Arizona Top Guns Magazine ... Was the only sophomore to make Chris Sailer's Top 12 Kicking Competition.
Vencent Finley - DB 6-3 205 Waco, Texas (University HS) Caught 182 passes for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns during his career ... Also recorded 23 tackles, and picked off two passes ... A 2008 second-team All-District 16-4A wide receiver ... Was a 2007 unanimous first-team All-District 16-4A wide receiver.
Anthony Foster - WR 6-2 185 Schertz, Texas (Cibolo Steele HS) Caught 26 passes for 456 yards, and eight touchdowns during his senior season ... Had 30 catches for 550 yards, and 10 touchdowns as a junior ... Rated as one of the top 75 South Texas recruits by scout.com ... Helped lead Steele High School to 2008 bi-district title ... A 2008 second-team All-District 27-4A selection ... 2007 first-team All-District 26-4A ... Had seven receptions for 165 yards and three scores vs. San Antonio Alamo Heights in 2007 ... Holds school record in every receiving category.
Caleb Gatlin - LB 6-0 200 Beaumont, Texas (Westbrook HS) A 2008 All-District 21-5A first team selection ... A 2008 Beaumont Enterprise Super Gold second-team selection ... Recorded 155 tackles and four INTs in two-year varsity career.
Greg Hall - OL 6-3 290 Denton, Texas (Guyer HS) A 2008 Class 4A second-team all-state selection ... 2008 first-team all-district selection ... A member of Guyer team that advanced to the Class 4A state quarterfinals in only the program's third year of existence.
Ryan Hamlett - LB 6-0 195 Dallas, Texas (Skyline HS) A 2008 first-team all-district selection ... Helped lead Skyline to District 11-5A title in 2007 and on to the Region II championship game, and followed that with a 2008 District 9-5A title and another trip to the Region II championship game ... Recorded 195 tackles in his career.
Brandon Harris - LB 6-3 240 Paris, Texas (Paris HS) A two-year letterwinner at Paris High School ... Was a three-sport letterwinner as a prepster ... Lettered in football, basketball and track.
Thomas Henshaw - K/P 5-11 182 League City, Texas (Clear Creek HS) A 2008 second-team All-District 24-4A selection ... Made 29 PATs and eight field goals as a senior ... A five-star recruit according to the Kohl's recruiting service ... All-county selection ... Clear Creek HS special teams MVP in 2008 ... Made three field goals and five PATs against Brazoswood in 2008.
Josh Hughey - DB 6-0 170 Kirbyville, Texas (Kirbyville HS) A 2008 All-Southeast Texas selection by setxsports.com ... 2008 first-team all-district wide receiver and cornerback ... A member of 2008 Kirbyville team that advanced to the 2A state title game ... District champion and regional qualifier in 100m dash as a junior ... Caught 40 passes for 950 yards, picked off four passes and returned four punts for a touchdown.
Ortavious Hypolite - DB 6-0 215 Orange, Texas (West Orange Stark HS) Threw for 2,800 yards and 28 scores ... Also ran the ball for 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns ... Named 2008 Class 3A player of the year by setxsports.com ... 2008 District 21-3A offensive player of the year ... Led Mustangs to Class 3A regional semifinals ... A 2007 first-team all-district selection ... Named the 2008 Port Arthur News Super Team Player of the Year ... 2008 Orange County MVP ... Ranked among the top-10 percent of his graduating class.
Michael Leaks - DE 6-2 250 Winnsboro, Texas (Winnsboro HS) Helped lead Raiders to the 2008 area championship of 2A playoffs, and to the state playoffs each of his three years ... Three-time first-team all-district selection ... Had 253 tackles in his career, including 10 sacks and 62 tackles for losses.
Kris Lott - WR 6-1 190 Plano, Texas (Plano Senior HS) Hauled in 81 passes for 1,187 yards, and eight touchdowns this season ... Finished his junior year with 69 receptions for 1,127 yards, and nine scores ... Helped lead Wildcats to bi-district championship of Class 5A playoffs ... Is rated as the 93rd-best receiver in nation by rivals.com ... A 2008 first-team All-District 8-5A pick ... 2007 first-team All-District 9-A ... Was a two-time honorable mention all-state selection.
Fitiseula Partsch - OL 6-4 300 Baytown, Texas (Sterling HS) A three-year letterman for coach Herb Minyard ... Rated the No. 13 center in the nation according to ESPNU.com recruiting ... An honorable mention All-District 21-5A in 2008 ... A first-team All-District 21-5A in 2007 ... Also helped lead Sterling HS to 2008 state playoffs.
Andrew Ratliff - OL 6-5 320 Llano, Texas (Llano HS) A 2008 TSWA Honorable Mention All-State selection ... All-West Texas Super Team selection ... Recorded 43 pancake blocks during his senior campaign.
Cordell Roberson - WR 6-3 185 Jefferson, Texas (Jefferson HS) Hauled in 54 receptions for 794 yards, and 10 touchdowns ... A 2008 District 17-2A Offensive Co-MVP and a second-team all-district defensive back ... 2008 honorable mention all-state ... Lists best game against Paul Pewitt, catching nine balls for 176 yards and a pair of touchdowns ... Helped get JHS to bi-district title of 2A playoffs in 2008 ... 2007-08 TABC all-state selection in basketball.
Darren Robinson - LB 6-0 222 Dallas, Texas (Carter HS) A 2007 All-District 11-5A first-team selection ... 2008 District 11-4A defensive MVP ... Led district in tackles, while leading Carter to area championship of Class 4A playoffs ... Part of three-straight Carter teams that made the playoffs, advancing to the third round each season ... Recorded 268 tackles and 52 sacks in three-year prep career.
Garry Williams - DT 5-11 265 Texarkana, Texas (Texas HS) A 2008 All-District 13-4A second-team selection ... Was named an All-District 11-4A second-team pick as a junior ... Led Texas High to bi-district championship as a senior ... Regional qualifier in powerlifting.
Andre Banks - DB 6-3 195 Austin, Texas (McCallum HS/Navarro JC) A three-year starter at McCallum High School ... A 2007 All-Region IV second-team wide receiver by texashsfootball.com ... Garnered all-district recognition.
Jacob Fincher - DE 6-3 240 Waxahachie, Texas (WHS/Trinity Valley CC) Posted 31 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 2008 ... Part of TVCC defense that finished 14th in the nation in total defense ... Team also finished 10th in nation in passing defense, allowing only 130.3 ypg ... Two-star recruit according to Scout.com ... A two-time 2005 and 2004 District 15-4A defensive MVP for Waxahachie ... A 2004 All-DFW metroplex second-team defensive selection.
Sean Warren - DT 6-0 292 Texas City, Texas (Texas City HS/Blinn JC) Rated as the No. 79 overall prospect in nation by rivals.com regarding junior college prospects ... Also considered No. 8 best JUCO interior defensive lineman in nation by rivals.com ... Part of Blinn defensive unit that was the top ranked unit in the nation in 2008, allowing only 180.3 total yards per game, including only 46.7 yards per game on the ground, which was also the best mark in the nation ... Plugged up the interior of the line for the Bucs, making 28 stops in 2008, including 5.5 tackles for loss and five sacks as a sophomore ... Named Class 4A All-Region III first team on both the offensive and defensive lines as a senior in 2006 by texashsfootball.com ... The 2006 District 23-4A defensive MVP ... Three-time first-team all-district offensive lineman ... All-Greater Houston first-team offensive lineman ... AP honorable mention all-state defensive lineman ... Team Texas Class 4A first-team defensive lineman; third- team offensive lineman ... 2005 honorable mention all-state selection ... Two-time second-team All-Greater Houston offensive lineman ... A 2005 first-team All-Greater Houston team defensive lineman ... Took part in 2006 Down Under Bowl in Australia ... Played in 2007 North/South Bowl Game and Texas vs. Louisiana Bowl game.