Feb. 6, 2002
NACOGDOCHES, Texas -- Stephen F. Austin head football coach Mike Santiago announced today the signing of 14 student-athletes to national letters of intent to play football and continue their education at SFA next fall. Included among the signees are thirteen high school seniors and one junior college transfer.
"First and foremost I have to congratulate my coaching staff for the job they did in identifying and signing a great group of new Lumberjacks. We identified a number of needs and with the 14 student-athletes we signed today, along with the two transfers we picked up at the start of the spring semester, we've gone a long way toward filling those needs," said Santiago.
Filling the most immediate need for the Lumberjacks in 2002 will be Lufkin High School kicker Stephen Coker. Coker helped the Panthers to the Class 5A state title in 2001, setting a class 5A state record with 19 field goals made during the championship run. Coker is listed as the eleventh ranked kicker in the nation coming out of high school.
Included among the signees Wednesday are eight defensive players, five offensive players and a kicker. Among the nine defensive players, four are linebackers. "We addressed a need at what we call the intermediate athlete position, an athlete that possesses both size and speed. With the addition of the four linebackers, we've done just that. This group of young men has the ability to play linebacker, but also have the potential to play a defensive end position."
James Satchel, a linebacker from Klein Forest High School leads a quartet of new linebackers that include Newton's Ryan Smith, Daingerfield's Montral Walker and Erik Wilson from Fort Worth Polytechnic High School. Satchel was a member of Dave Campbell's Texas Top 300 List, and listed among the top 35 linebacker prospects in the nation by one recruiting service.
Another need was also addressed with the addition of Nick Houston, a transfer from Tyler Junior College. Houston was a two-year starter at TJC and will give Santiago experience in the secondary. "The addition of Nick Houston addressed another immediate need for us by adding another cover corner with collegiate experience," said Santiago.
Along with Houston, SFA also signed two other high school defensive backs with Hemphill's Keldrick Holman and Tyler John Tyler's Cliff Edwards joining the team in 2002. Edwards was a two-way starter for the Lions as both a running back and defensive back and will also be given that opportunity as a collegiate player. During his career at John Tyler, Edwards was part of a running back rotation that featured a number of players, and possesses the speed and quickness to add a great deal to the Lumberjack ground game, as well as, the defensive secondary. Holman was both a quarterback and safety at Hemphill where he intercepted 30 passes in his high school career.
The 'Jacks also continued to build the offensive line with the addition of Aaron Kincade of Corsicana, Joseph Kutac of Magnolia and Daniel Latimer of Greenville. All three have excellent size and will add additional depth along the offensive front next season.
Along the defensive front, the 'Jacks also added a standout defensive end from Vinton, Louisiana with the signing of David Coleman. Coleman was a two-way starter as both a tight end and defensive end, earning All-State and All-Southwest Louisiana honors in his career. He was also selected to play this summer in the Louisiana High School All-Star game.
The coaching staff also added to an already talented stable of wide receivers with the addition of two speedster wide receivers. Ben Booker, of Beaumont Central, and J.R. Molinar, of Haltom High School in Haltom City, will bring great credentials and tremendous speed to the team in 2002. Booker was a triple threat for Beaumont Central, catching passes, returning kicks and also using his speed out of the backfield.
Molinar had an outstanding high school career, recording 107 catches for 1,912 yards and 20 touchdowns. Coupled with Booker, these two bring added quality to the offensive side of the ball.
Both Booker and Molinar also ran track in high school, setting records in the 4x100-meter relay at each of their respective high schools. Booker was also a member of the 2001 State 5A Champions 4x100-meter relay team.
"Overall, we filled several immediate needs while at the same time improving the overall athleticism and speed of our entire football team with this class. This group will join the two tranfers that joined us at the start of the spring semester and help us all continue to pursue our goal of another Southland Football League title and an appearance in the NCAA playoffs," said Santiago.
6-2 185 K Lufkin, Texas * Lufkin HS
Coker helped Lufkin to a class 5-A state title in 2001, setting a state 5A record for field goals made in a season with 19 along the way.... First Team 5A All-State as a kicker his senior year... First Team All-District... 11th ranked kicker in the nation... also lettered as a member of the Panther baseball team.
5-7 165 WR Beaumont, Texas * Central HS
Extremely fast wide receiver that will provide a deep threat for the 'Jacks... three year letterwinner for coach Enoch Dixon at Beaumont Central.... also lettered in track each year in high school... member of the 2001 State Champion 5A 4X100-meter relay team... holds 200-meter record with a time of 21.2.
6-3 210 DE Vinton, Louisiana *Vinton HS
Two-way starter at Vinton High School earning All-State and All-Southwest Louisiana honors as a tight end... First Team All-District football and basketball player at Vinton High School for coaches Phillip Reynolds and Larry Johnson. .helped team to three straight playoff appearances... chosen to appear in Louisiana Football All-Star game in 2002.
5-11 180 DB/RB Tyler, Texas * John Tyler HS
Exceptional athlete with great cover skills and tremendous speed... earned All-District honors for coach Allen Wilson as a two way starter at both running back and strong safety.. will be given opportunity at both positions with the Lumberjacks.... could add a great deal of speed and quickness to SFA offensive backfield.
6-0 180 S Hemphill, Texas * Hemphill HS
Four sport star at Hemphill High School... Two-time All-District selection as a free safety... also district MVP as a senior... First Team All-State safety as a senior... also played quarterback for the Hornets... All-District honors in both basketball and baseball as well.. recorded 12 interceptions as a senior, and 30 INTs in his career... helped team to state semi-final appearance as a senior.
5-11 190 CB Alief, Texas *Hastings HS *Tyler Junior College
Two year starter at Tyler Junior College with excellent speed and great coverage ability.... an All-Conference performer at TJC... was a two-way starter at Alief Hastings High School at both wide receiver and defensive back.
6-5 315 OL Corsicana, Texas * Corsicana HS
Two year letterwinner at Corsicana HS for coach Jeff Berry... also lettered in power lifting for two years... two-time First Team All-District selection... member of the All-State Sports Writer's Team in 2001... member of Dave Campbell's Texas Top 300 List... helped team to back-to-back district titles as a junior and senior.
6-4 250 OL-DS Magnolia, Texas * Magnolia HS
Three sport letterwinner at Magnolia High School in football, baseball and track... was a Second Team All-District defensive end and Second Team All-County as a junior.. earned All-District honors on the offensive line as a senior... nephew of former Texas A&M QB and current Denver Broncos OC Gary Kubiak.... member of the National Honor Society.
6-5 300 OL Greenville, Texas*Greenville HS
Big, strong offensive lineman that earned All-District honors at Greenville High School... also a member of the powerlifting squad... helped team to 9-3 record as a junior...
5-10 180 WR Haltom City, Texas *Haltom HS
Three sport letterman at Haltom High School... a two-time Fort Worth Star-Telegram Player of the Week as a senior... voted Team MVP his senior season... recorded 49 catches for 948 yards and six touchdowns as a senior... career totals of 107 receptions for 1,912 yards and 20 TDs... member of school record holding 4x100-meter relay team (41.9).
6-2 210 LB Houston, Texas *Klein Forest HS
Listed among Dave Campbell's Texas Top 300 in 2001.... three year letterwinner for coach Gene Johnson... recorded 106 tackles as a senior, including 11 tackles for a loss... ranked among the top 35 linebacker prospects in the nation... two-time All-District selection.
6-3 215 LB/DE Newton, Texas *Newton HS
Two sport letterman at Newton High School, lettering in both football and track... helped Newton to regional finals as a junior and to the state semi-finals as a senior... First Team All-District selection for coach Curtis Barbay.
6-3 215 LB/DE Daingerfield, Texas * Daingerfield HS
Two-time All-District selection as both a tight end and defensive end... also an All-District basketball player as a junior... regional qualifier in the 110-meter high hurdles... honor roll student.
5-11 247 LB Ft. Worth, Texas *Polytechnic HS
Recorded 151 tackles with 17 tackles for losses in his career for the Parrots... earned First Team All-District honors at middle linebacker as a senior.