'Jacks Add 29 Players to Roster
2008 Signee Bios
Feb. 6, 2008
NACOGDOCHES - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack football team added 26 high school standouts and three transfers on National Signing Day head coach J.C. Harper announced at a media luncheon Wednesday afternoon. The class consists of balance across the board with 14 players on the offensive side, 13 defensive players, one kicker/punter specialist and an athlete.
"I believe this class filled our needs on both sides of the ball," said Harper. "We went into the recruiting process wanting to bring in a well-rounded class that addressed all areas. On top of that, we went after highly-motivated individuals who want to be at Stephen F. Austin, and who want to succeed on the field, as well as, in the classroom."
The SFA coaching staff added talent at the skill positions, while still adding size and depth to its line. The offensive signees include three quarterbacks, two running backs, three wide receivers and six offensive linemen. There is also balance on the defensive side of the ball with five defensive backs, four linebackers and four defensive linemen.
Harper continues to live up to his promise of recruiting East Texas talent. Following a 2007 class that included eight East Texas standouts, the SFA coaching staff topped that this season by adding 14 area prospects in 2008. The list of East Texas signees includes Jeremy Barnes (San Augustine, Texas), Brandon Brown (Texarkana, Texas), Derrick Choice (Tyler, Texas), Gralyn Crawford (Palestine, Texas), Corey Dickenson (Livingston, Texas), Ryan Epperson (Chandler, Texas), Joshua Hahn (Tyler, Texas), Romonte Hampton (Tyler, Texas), Shawn Hawkins (Longview, Texas), Jarred Hill (Daingerfield, Texas), Maurice Hood (Tyler, Texas), Kendrick Jackson (Carthage, Texas), Christopher Mass (Tyler, Texas), Drew Nelson (Livingston, Texas), Tyrone Ross (Tyler, Texas) and Austin Wright (Henderson, Texas).
"When I was hired here, I said that I was going to recruit East Texas talent," said Harper. "Last year we signed eight guys from the region, and this year we are bringing in 15 East Texas kids. This part of the state is loaded with talent, and we want to attract East Texas kids that want to stay close to home, because we are the university in East Texas."
Despite the return of all-conference running back Vincent Pervis to the fold, the Lumberjacks learned in 2007 that you can never have too many backs in the stable. The 'Jacks added Navarro Junior College transfer Tyrone Ross and Hampton to bolster the lineup.
Ross is a former Tyler Lee standout who helped guide Navarro College to a No. 4 national ranking in the NJCAA/JCFootball.com poll. Hampton, ranked as the No. 35 overall prospect in East Texas according to www.smoaky.com, rushed for 1,064 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Lions in 2007.
With only two quarterbacks returning with NCAA Division I experience on the roster, SFA has also strengthened its lineup behind center with the signing of Killeen Ellison's Ivan Delgado and Coppell's Dalton Williams, and Central Michigan's Duane Brooks. Delgado comes to Nacogdoches after a prep career that saw him set school records in passing, rushing and total yards. The dual-threat signal caller combined for more than 8,000 yards during his career. Williams is a 2007 first-team all-district selection who threw for 2,245 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior. He finished his career by passing for more than 3,500 yards and 35 scores. Brooks comes to SFA where he'll have two years of eligibility remaining.
The 'Jacks' stable of young quarterbacks will have three new receivers to work with over the course of the next four years with the additions of Crawford, Taylor Lokey (Denton, Texas) and Brandon Scott (Texas City, Texas). All three athletes bring size and speed to the position, including Lokey, who is the son of former SFA All-American, and current SFA assistant coach Eric Lokey.
After bringing in only two linebackers in 2007, the Lumberjacks' 2008 class is stocked with four talented prospects that include Brown, Choice, Epperson and Logan Mullins (Grapevine, Texas). All four athletes are first-team all-district selections that bring intimidating size to the position. Epperson, ranked among the top-40 recruits in East Texas by smoaky.com, recorded 526 tackles during his prep career and earned first-team AP All-State honors for Brownsboro High School.
With the loss of five letterwinners, including two all-conference performers, from the offensive line, SFA filled a huge need by signing six offensive line standouts, including junior college transfer Cameron Schacht. A 6-4, 285, product from Navarro College, Schacht is a former first-team all-state selection from Coppell who signed with Oklahoma out of high school. Schacht should be able to come in and provide some immediate help on the 'Jacks' offensive front.
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack Football 2008 Signee Bios
Jeremy Barnes 6-0 175 DB San Augustine, Texas (San Augustine HS) A 2007 District 23-2A first-team quarterback ... A 2006 District 23-2A second-team running back ... Accounted for over 1,300 total yards for the Wolves in 2007 with 9 TDs, including returning a pair of kickoffs for touchdowns ... Had over 1,200 yards rushing with 8 TDs in 2006.
Wylum Bivins 5-10 200 DB Corsicana, Texas (Corsicana HS) A two-sport letterwinner at Corsicana High ... Was a three-year letterwinner in football ... Also lettered in track ... Garnered first-team all-district honors on the gridiron ... Is related to Daniel Manning who plays for the Chicago Bears.
Andrew Blackwell 6-5 275 OL Corsicana, Texas (Corsicana HS) A second-team all-district selection as a junior ... Honorable mention all-district as a sophomore and senior ... District champion in power lifting weight class ... Winner of the Tiger Heart Award as a senior.
Brandon Brown 5-11 210 LB Texarkana, Texas (Texas HS) Named 2007 District 11-4A Defensive MVP ... A 2007 All-District 11-4A first-team selection ... A 2006 All-District 11-4A second-team selection ... Totaled 170 tackles with a pair of sacks and a defensive TD during his prep career.
Derrick Choice 6-0 200 LB Tyler, Texas (John Tyler HS) A two-time first-team All-District 12-4A selection ... Also garnered second-team All-East Texas honors as a senior ... Finished prep career with 226 tackles, three INTs, two defensive TD's, three fumble recoveries and a blocked punt ... Twice named Linebacker of the Year ... Named 2007 team Defensive MVP ... Ranked in the top 5% of his graduating class.
Gralyn Crawford 5-10 180 WR Palestine, Texas (Westwood HS) Second-team All-East Texas selection by Tyler Morning Telegraph in 2007 ... Honorable mention 2007 TSWA All-State selection ... A 2007 District 19-3A Co-MVP ... Led Panthers to upset win over state-ranked Diboll in 2007 bi-district round of 3A state playoffs ... All-area MVP as a sophomore, junior and senior ... First-team all-district as a junior and sophomore ... Honorable mention all-state as a sophomore.
Ivan Delgado 6-2 187 QB Killeen, Texas (Ellison HS) A two-time first-team All-District 13-5A ... Named Central Texas and District Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore ... Academic all-district selection each of his four seasons, academic all-state as a senior ... Named district newcomer of the year in basketball as a sophomore ... Combined for over 8,000 yards rushing and passing in his prep career, accounting for 70 career TD's ... Holds school records for passing, rushing and total yards in a career ... Earned team MVP three straight years in addition to being a team captain as a senior.
Corey Dickerson 6-8 315 OL Livingston, Texas (Livingston HS) A two-year letterwinner for coach Randy Rowe ... A 2007 honorable mention All-District 18-4A ... Was also a three-year power lifting letterwinner.
Ryan Epperson 6-1 220 LB Chandler, Texas (Brownsboro HS) Posted 526 tackles in his career at Brownsboro ... No. 38 overall recruit in East Texas by smoaky.com ... Named district 14-3A Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 ... A 2007 first-team 3A AP All-State selection ... A 2007 second-team 3A TSWA All-State selection ... All-Henderson County selection each of his four seasons on varsity ... Four-year all-district and All-East Texas ... Earned all-state honors for three seasons ... Dual-sport athlete, was named all-state in baseball along with earning all-state honors three times.
Joshua Hahn 6-4 320 OL Tyler, Texas (Robert E. Lee HS) Adds immediate size and depth the Lumberjack offensive line ... A two-year letterwinner on the offensive front for head coach Mike Owens ... Also lettered as a thrower on the track and field team.
Romonte Hampton 5-9 185 RB Tyler, Texas (John Tyler HS) Rushed for 1,064 yards and 10 TDs in 2007 ... First cousin of SFA recruit Chris Mass ... Had a career high of 176 yards on 36 carries in senior-season finale against North Mesquite ... No. 35 overall recruit in East Texas by smoaky.com ... Unanimous first team All-District 12-5A selection in 2007 at RB ... Second-team All-East Texas selection by Tyler Morning Telegraph in 2007.
Shawn Hawkins 6-4 225 DL Longview, Texas (Spring Hill HS) A three-year letterwinner at Spring Hill High School ... A 2007 third-team 3A TSWA All-State selection ... Also lettered in basketball as a prepster.
Jarred Hill 6-1 185 DB Daingerfield, Texas (Daingerfield HS) Named KLTV Channel 7's Built Ford Tough/Dallas Cowboys 2A Player of the Week (10/18/07) for performance in 60-7 win over Ore City in which he was 8-of-12 passing for 134 yards and 2 scores ... A 2007 honorable mention All-East Texas selection by the Longview News-Journal ... A 2007 District 17-2A MVP ... Earned 2007 all-district honors as a quarterback and second-team All-State honors as a defensive back ... Accounted for 25 TD's in 2007 in addition to making 90 tackles with five INTs and three fumble recoveries ... Earned 2006 Baseball District Offensive MVP after posting a .455 batting average for the season ... A first-team all-district selection in basketball.
Maurice Hood 5-11 174 DB Tyler, Texas (Robert E. Lee HS) Earned 2007 second-team 5A all-state honors ... Garnered first-team All-District 12-5A honors as a senior ... Lists his best individual game as a 19-tackle performance ... Recorded 97 tackles and picked off two passes.
Kendrick Jackson 5-11 175 DB Carthage, Texas (Carthage HS) A second-team All-District 20-3A as a junior and senior ... Named Most Outstanding Safety for Bulldogs ... Totaled 20 receptions for 500 yards, and carried the ball for more than a 1,000 rushing yards for his career ... Picked off eight passes in his career on the defensive side of the ball.
Taylor Lokey 6-0 175 WR Denton, Texas (Ryan HS) Hauled in 55 passes for 804 yards (14.6 ypc), and seven touchdowns as a senior ... Made a 110 career receptions for 1,413 yards, and 14 scores ... Also returned a punt for a touchdown ... Had 10 catches for 122 yards and two TDs in seven-point loss to regional finalist Abilene ... A two-time first-team All-District 5-4A selection ... Is the son of SFA assistant coach Eric Lokey.
Chris Mass 6-4 200 ATH Tyler, Texas (Chapel Hill HS) Led Bulldogs to bi-district championship in 2007 ... First cousin of SFA recruit Romonte Hampton ... Dual-sport athlete, averaged 17 points per game his senior season at Chapel Hill before season-ending injury ... Led Chapel Hill HS to 3A state basketball tournament in 2007 ... Ranked No. 19 recruit in East Texas area by smoaky.com ... First-team All-District 14-3A quarterback and defensive back in 2007.
Logan Mullins 6-0 190 LB Grapevine, Texas (Grapevine HS) Totaled 1,780 rushing yards and 780 receiving yards along with 26 TD's in prep career ... Recorded 192 tackles, with 24 sacks and four interceptions on defense ... Unanimous first-team All-District 5-5A linebacker ... GHS Impact Player of the Year in 2007 ... A 2007 Academic All-District selection ... An Area Top-100 selection by Ft. Worth Star-Telegram ... Earned first-team All-District 5-5A linebacker honors as a junior ... Also earned second-team all-district running back honors ... Named 2006 GHS Impact Player of the Year ... A 2005 honorable mention All-District 5-5A honoree.
Hector Negrete 6-4 270 DL Arlington, Texas (Seguin HS) A three-year letterwinner for coach Ricky Albus ... Named defensive team MVP after his sophomore season ... Was also named Outstanding Sophomore ... Earned co-defensive MVP honors the following season ... Garnered first-team all-district honors as a junior ... Holds school record for sacks in a game.
Drew Nelson 6-1 195 K/P Livingston, Texas (Livingston HS) A two-time first-team All-District 18-4A kicker ... Received academic all-district honors in 2006 and 2007 ... Holds LHS school record with 49-yard field goal ... Converted 12-of-15 FG attempts in career ... Was 80-of-84 on PATs.
Kenny Onwubuya 6-3 255 OL Houston, Texas (Cy Creek HS) Helped pave the way for his running back, Jacob Thompson, to rush for over 1,000 yards and 16 TD in 2007 ... A two-time All-District 17-5A first-team selection ... Registered 183 pancake blocks in prep playing career ... Elected team captain as a senior ... Recorded 15 pancake blocks against rival Cy-Fair.
Brandon Scott 6-0 190 WR Texas City, Texas (Galveston Ball HS) A four-year letterwinner at Galveston Ball ... A 2007 first-team All-District 24-5A selection ... Named team captain as a senior ... Second-team All-Galveston County selection ... Also lettered in basketball and track.
John Steel 6-3 230 DL Boyd, Texas (Boyd HS) A three-year letterwinner for coach J.G. Cartwright ... Named 2005 Newcomer of the Year ... Received honorable mention all-state honors on offense and defense ... Was a 2007 all-district selection as a linebacker and offensive lineman ... Recorded 223 tackles during his high school career ... Made 130 stops as a junior and 93 in nine games prior to an injury-shortened senior campaign ... Lists his best individual performance as a 20-tackle effort against Paradise High School ... Holds school record as the fastest lineman (4.69).
John Thomas 6-2 295 DL Arlington, Texas (Summit) A three-year letterwinner for coach Klye Geller ... Garnered all-district recognition as a senior ... Received all-conference honors during his sophomore season ... Recorded 125 tackles during his three-year career, including 49 tackles for a loss ... Carded 14 quarterback sacks as a prepster ... Also lettered in track.
Dalton Williams 6-4 200 QB Coppell, Texas (Coppell HS) Garnered first-team All-District 6-5A honors ... Passed for 2,245 yards and 18 touchdowns in 10 games for the Cowboys in 2007 ... Threw for more than 3,500 yards and 35 TDs during his two-year career at CHS ... Owns CHS career and single-season passing marks ... Completed 22-of-29 passes for 271 yards, 2 touchdowns and no picks against Carrollton Creekview.
Austin Wright 6-2 290 OL Henderson, Texas (Henderson HS) A two-time first-team All-District 12-4A pick ... A 2007 second-team All-East Texas selection ... Earned honorable mention All-East Texas honors as a junior ... Named team offensive MVP.
TRANSFERS Duane Brooks 6-0 180 QB Irving, Texas (MacArthur HS/Central Michigan) A transfer from Central Michigan ... Will have two years of eligibility remaining ... A three-year starter for coach David Beaty at Irving MacArthur ... Guided his prep squad to a 10-0 season as a senior ... Completed 112-of-194 (58 percent) passes for 1,757 yards and 21 touchdowns, with only three interceptions.
Tyrone Ross 5-8 180 RB Tyler, Texas (Robert E. Lee HS/Navarro) A two-year letterwinner for coach Ray Woodard at Navarro College ... One of the top running backs in the state of Texas coming out of high school carrying the ball 248 times for 1,768 yards and 24 touchdowns ... Averaged 7.12 ypc during his prep career ... Lists his best individual high school performance as a playoff game where he carried the ball 28 times for 226 yards and two touchdowns ... Guided Tyler Lee to the 2004 state title in 2004 ... Graduated as the school's all-time leading rusher and scorer.
Cameron Schacht 6-4 285 OL Trinidad, Texas (Coppell HS/Navarro) Is expected to have an immediate impact on the 'Jacks' offensive front ... Earned All-SWJCFC honorable mention honors last season at Navarro ... Listed as one of the top-100 recruits in the state of Texas in 2003 ... Garnered first-team all-area, and all-state honors in 2003 ... Received first-team all-district accolades in 2002 ... A two-time first-team All-NW Dallas selection ... Named Most Valuable Lineman in 2003 ... Played in the 2004 Coca-Cola Texas All-Star Game ... Signed with Oklahoma out of high school.