Lumberjacks Sign Bonus Recruiting Class

February 2, 2000


CONTACT: Rob Meyers

NACOGDOCHES, Texas -- Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack football coach Mike Santiago announced today the signing of 20 high school seniors, three junior college transfers and three other transfers to national letters of intent to attend SFA next fall and play football for the Lumberjacks.

"The signing of these young men to national letters of intent is the culmination of a great deal of work by the coaching staff here at the university. The staff has done a great job identifying the student-athletes that we feel will continue to build a solid foundation for the long-term success of the Lumberjack football program. This class addresses immediate needs at running back and kicker, and also adds depth along both lines" said Santiago.

Included among these signees are a good mixture of Dallas area, Houston area and East Texas student athletes. Included among this year's class are student-athletes from Diboll, Jasper, Alto, Crockett, San Augustine, Hooks and Hemphill in the East Texas area, and student-athletes from the Dallas area schools of Royse City, Skyline, South Oak Cliff, Ft. Worth Everman and The Colony. The `Jacks also signed student-athletes from Houston area schools Baytown Sterling, Crosby, Cy-Springs, and Sharpstown.

"Overall, this recruiting class will help us fill some immediate needs, and will also help us build depth at certain positions. From top to bottom, these young men are the type of student-athletes that will help us give each and every football student-athlete at this university the chance to leave here with a ring on one hand and a diploma in the other," said Santiago.

The class consists of thirteen offensive players and thirteen defensive players. Included among the defensive players are four defensive linemen. Several East Texas are athletes are listed among the defensive linemen signed by SFA. Ed Henson, an All-State defensive lineman from Hemphill will add immediate bulk to the defensive front of the Lumberjacks, as will Diboll's Phillip Richard.

SFA also signed three defensive backs in this class, including Dallas Skyline's Braylon Lester, one of the top defensive backs in the state according to Dave Campbell's Texas Football.

Another defensive standout is linebacker Jeremy Davis from The Colony. Davis was a Dallas area Top 100 recruit and will add to the `Jacks young corp of linebackers.

On the offensive side, the `Jacks signed three high school running backs and a fullback/tight end. The highlight among the running backs is Baytown Sterling's Gary Allen, a Top 20 running back in the state prior to the 1999 season. Allen is a tremendous talent that will add to the long line of feature backs at the university. Along with Allen, SFA also signed Thomas Williams, a 6-0 196 pound tailback from Ft. Worth's Everman High School. Both Allen and Williams were highly regarded recruits.

SFA also signed a kicker from Metairie, Louisiana among this year's recruting class. Ryan Rossner, a 6-3, 230 pound placekicker will help fill an immediate need as a specialist. Rossner has a strong leg, and also won three state championships as a soccer player. Not only is Rossner an outstanding athlete, he scored a perfect 1600 on the SAT exam.

Four offensive linemen also round out the recruiting class. Two of the linemen are transfers, Tim Hodges a 6-8, 320 pound sophomore from the University of Tennessee and Dustin Nichols, a 6-3, 270-pound junior from Blinn Junior College.

"This class contains student-athletes with a great deal of speed at every position. That is one thing we wanted to accomplish, sign guys that can run. We've done that. We were also able to surprise a few people with a couple of signings as well. Until last night, Gary Allen and Jeremy Davis were both committed to Division I schools before making the right decision and signing with us. Both of these young men are extremely talented players, and we are extremely happy they chose SFA," said Santiago.

"I can't say enough about this group of student-athletes and about the job that the coaching staff has done in signing these young men. I am very excited about the future, and I'm looking forward to seeing these young men on campus in August."

Gary Allen RB 5-11 220 Baytown Sterling High School

Jeremy Davis LB 6-2 220 The Colony High School

Roy Chad Eddins OL 6-5 320 Jasper High School

Brent Hafford DB 5-10 165 Jasper High School

Marcus Hamilton FB 5-10 240 Crosby High School

Lance Hays TE/FB 6-2 220 Royse City High School

Ed Henson DL 6-4 275 Hemphill High School

Demetrius Hoyle OL 6-5 320 Dallas South Oak Cliff HS

Braylon Lester DB 5-9 185 Dallas Skyline

Braxton O'Banion DB 5-11 180 Kilgore JC/ Aldine Nimitz

Robert Price WR 6-3 190 San Augustine High School

James Prince DB 6-2 185 The Colony High School

Phillip Richard DL 6-2 275 Diboll High School

Eric Robinson LB 5-11 215 Alto High School

Ryan Rossner K 6-3 238 St. Martin's Episcopal - Metairie, LA

LeAlfred Sanders DL 6-2 255 Houston-Sharpstown High School

Nick Trotter LB 5-11 215 Hooks High School

Brandon Warfield RB 5-9 185 Crockett High School

Michael Williams QB 6-0 190 Cy-Springs High School

Thomas Williams RB 6-0 196 Ft. Worth Everman High School

Kenneth Winters DL 6-3 260 Hull-Daisetta High School


Taylor Bunch RB 5-11 220 Mississippi State

Brandon Louvier DS 6-0 210 Tyler Junior College

Tim Hodges OL 6-8 320 Tennessee

Kevon Morton DB 5-7 160 Brigham Young University

Dustin Nichols OL 6-3 270 Blinn Junior College


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