The Tarleton Texan football program has added 26 high school and junior college signees with National Letters-of-Intent on Wednesday. Tarleton also released the names of eight players who have already transferred to Tarleton for the spring semester.
The Texans, who are coming off a 10-3 season, are the reigning Lone Star Conference Co-Champions and LSC South Division Co-Champions. Tarleton advanced to the second round of the NCAA playoffs for just the second time in school history, and interim head coach Cary Fowler said that helped the recruiting process.
“Making the playoffs and being able to show conference trophies makes a difference,” Fowler said. “When kids see championships and they grow up in the state of Texas, wining is a dream. To see that Tarleton has won over the past decade makes them want to be a part of the success we have had here at Tarleton.”
Fowler said he and the staff were pleased with the recruiting class for 2010.
“How these kids will mature over the next few years will tell the truth about this class,” Fowler said. “I think we are balanced out at every position, and if those kids can stay together for five years, it will be very interesting to see what they will do. I like our athleticism, I like our size and I like our speed.
“We covered the spectrum and the whole state,” Fowler said. “We didn’t really lose anyone we really, really wanted and most of these kids were listed at the top of our board.”
Fowler and the staff contacted each of the signees last night to tell them of the departure of former head coach Sam McElroy, who left to take a NCAA Division I coaching job on Tuesday.
“This is not a knock on anyone, but I told those kids that they signed up to be Tarleton Texans,” Fowler said. “This University sells itself. We have won 73 percent of our ballgames over the last decade. I told them to take football out of the question and asked them to decide where they could go to school over the next four years and be happy. To make sure that they know that no matter who the head coach is, that they choose to go somewhere that is going to be successful. And if you look at it, that is Tarleton State University.”
The Texans will have spring football practice this semester and are tentatively set to open the 2010 schedule on Thursday, Sept. 2 at home against Northeastern State.
High School Signees
Kyle Anderson LB 6-2 220 Wills Point
Kyle Anderson runs a 4.5 40 and has played both outside and inside linebacker at Wills Point. He was a three-time unanimous all-district selection from 2007 through 2009. Anderson was named the 2008 District Defensive Back of the Year, and he is an academic all-state selection with a 3.8 grade point average. Anderson also runs track and powerlifts.
Tay Davis WR 6-2 165 Nevada Community
Tay Davis was a key contributor during his time at Community High School in Nevada, TX. He showed good versatility by displaying talent offensively as a wide receiver but also helping his team on defense as a defensive back. He has good height to go along with good speed with makes him an asset at wide receiver.
Jeremy Dickey Ath 6-0 205 Liberty
Jeremy Dickey was recruited as an athlete, but he was a first team all-district selection as a quarterback. He lives in Kingwood and will graduate from Liberty High School.
Tim Durden RB/LB 6-1 205 Nevada Community
Tim Durden showed how versatile he is while playing football at Community High School in Nevada, TX. As a junior Tim was named a first team all-district selection as a running back. His senior season he was chosen first team not only as a running back but also as a linebacker.
Louis Ernst Ath 6-6 220 Rowlett
Louis Ernst runs a 4.6 40 and was named a 2009 all-district team member. He has a 3.3 grade point average.
Devin Figures CB 5-10 180 Jefferson
Devin Figures is a 2009 second team all-state selection at defensive back. The cornerback runs a 4.4 40 and was a first team all-district selection at kick returner. In 2008, he was selected to first team all-district as a wide receiver and a second team defensive back. Figures also plays basketball, baseball and runs track. He has a 3.2 grade point average and is a one star recruit by Scout.com. Other interested schools at one time were Louisiana, North Texas, Northwestern State, Sam Houston State and Stephen F. Austin.
James Freeman S 5-10 185 Liberty
James Freeman was a first team all-district selection at defensive back in 2009 and a second team all-district selection at linebacker in 2008. He plays basketball, powerlifts and runs track. Freeman has a 3.9 grade point average at Liberty High School.
Chris Greene LB 6-2 215 Little Elm
Chris Greene was an honorable mention all-district selection in 2008 and a first team selection in 2009 for the Lobos. He was also looked at by Air Force and Stephen F. Austin. Coach Phil Mannie said, “Chris is a player who has been getting better year after year.” He is the son of Pat Greene.
Justin Grisham DE 6-6 250 Dallas First Baptist Academy
Justin Grisham was a standout first team all-district player who plans to major in criminal justice. He received a one-star rating from Scout.com. Coach Henry Cofer said, “Justin is a player who plays with great passion and a love for the game.”
Garrett Hughes S 6-2 185 Daingerfield
Garrett Hughes is a safety on back-to-back state championship teams in Daingerfield. He was a second all-district selection in 2008 as a junior and a first team selection in 2009. He was also a second team defensive selection as a senior by TheOldCoach.com. Scout.com gave Hughes one star.
Luke Hyde LB 6-2 210 Smithson Valley
Luke Hyde was a first team all-district selection. He was second on the team with 78 tackles including 15 for loss. Coach Nick McBroom said, “Luke pursues the football with a passion and can drop in pass coverage, his hard-nosed mentality will allow him to succeed at the next level.”
Blake Jordan OL 6-3 300 Graham
Blake Jordan helped Graham to the finals of the 3A state championship. Jordan was an all-state selection at guard while also playing defensive line. He was also looked at by Kansas State, TCU and Texas-El Paso). Coach Nick McBroom said, “With Blake’s size and agility, he has the opportunity to play well at Tarleton.”
Lucas Love OL 6-5 251 Van Alstyne
Lucas Love was a first team all-district selection at offensive tackle for Van Alstyne. He also was a first team selection at defensive end and is the son of Robin Gade and Allen Love. Coach Phil Mannie said, “Lucas is a big and strong offensive lineman that still has room to grow into an even better player.”
Brandon Lowery RB 5-10 180 Sacshe
Brandon Lowery ran for 320 yards as a senior while recording 476 receiving yards at Sacshe High School. Lowery is a first team all-district selection as a junior and senior. He runs a 21.9 200-meter dash.
Ryan Martin OL 6-3 260 Smithson Valley
Ryan Martin was a first team all-district selection at offensive line. He was also a first team All-San Antonio as well as a 5A All-State player. Coach Nick McBroom said, “Ryan is an athletic tackle who has recorded over 70 pancake blocks in his career and can get to the next level against defenders.”
Charles Moore DB 5-10 182 Carrollton Turner
Charles Moore is a defensive back that plays receiver as well. He was a two-way starter for R.L. Turner High School in Carrollton. Moore was named an all-district honorable mention selection as a junior and was a second team all-district pick as a safety his senior season. He is the son of Rochell Boyd and Charles Moore.
Bubba Morgan OL 6-3 290 Brenham
Bubba Morgan played on a state finalist team during his time at Brenham High School. Brenahm was a state finalist in 2009 and Morgan was a first team all-district selection as a senior. Coach Nick McBroom said, “Bubba is a big, physical lineman who likes to grind and get dirty on every snap.”
Brian Ngwa LB 6-2 210 Mansfield Timberview
Brian was a two-year letterman at Mansfield Timberview and an all-district player. He also received all-academic honors. Coach Henry Cofer said, “Brian has a tremendous love for the game of football and leads by example.” Ngwa plans to study chemistry next fall.
Steven Pipes QB 6-0 185 Odessa Permian
Steven Pipes was a second team all-district quarterback at Odessa Permian. He threw for over 2,400 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior.
Jerome Regal RB 5-10 190 Naaman Forest
Jerome Regal runs a 4.4 40 and recorded 1,446 yards and 18 touchdowns as a running back in 2009 for Naaman Forest. He was a first team all-district selection as a junior and senior and a first team all-area both years as well. Regal was the district’s Most Valuable Player in 2009.
Clarke Renfro WR 5-9 175 North Richland Hills Birdville
Clarke Renfro is a second team all-district selection at wide receiver. He is the grandson of Ray Renfro, the nephew of Mike and Dean Renfro and the son to Mitch Renfro – all of whom played collegiate and professional football. He is the son of Donna Ruiz and Mitch Renfro. Coach Phil Mannie said, “Clarke has good hands along and is good at running routes. He is tough which makes him a good wide receiver.”
Shaquille Ross LB 5-10 185 Huntsville
Shaquille Ross was a second team middle linebacker on the all-district list in 2007 and a second team outside linebacker in 2008. In 2009, Ross was a first team all-district selection at outside linebacker and running back. He has a 4.0 grade point average and runs a 4.6 40. He was named a one-star recruit by Scout.com.
O’Chea Thomas OL/DL 6-0 250 Rowlett
O’Chea earned first team all-district honors as a center and was a second team pick on the defensive side of the ball as a defensive tackle. His play on the field while attending Rowlett High School earned him a one-star rating from Scout.com.
Stacy Whitaker CB 6-2 180 Jacksonville
Stacy Whitaker runs a 4.4 40 and was a first team all-district selection in 2009 at defensive back. Whitaker also runs track at Jacksonville High School.
Mitch Villemez RB 6-1 205 Hardin
Mitch Villemez was a second team all-district selection at linebacker in 2007 and was the district’s Offensive Most Valuable Player at running back in 2008. In 2009, Villemez was a first team all-district running back. He also plays basketball, baseball and track. The one-star recruit by Scout.com was also looked at by Kansas, Kansas State, Rice, TCU and Texas A&M).
Brian Ford DL 6-1 260 jr Pearland (Blinn)
Brian Ford transferred to Tarleton from Blinn College. He rotated on a defensive line that led Blinn to the national championship in 2009. He recorded 30 tackles in 2009, including one sack. Coach Nick McBroom said, “Brian should come in and contribute quality snaps to our defense.”
Terrance Henry CB 6-0 185 jr Katy (Blinn)
Terrance Henry transferred to Tarleton from Blinn College. He helped Blinn to the national championship in 2009 and helped lead Katy to a state championship while in high school. Henry recorded 33 tackles and one sack while scoring one touchdown. He also recorded two fumble recoveries and one tackle for loss. Henry is a two star recruit from Rivals.com and was looked at by Colorado State, North Texas, Northern Iowa and Sam Houston State. Coach Nick McBroom said, “Terrance is an aggressive corner who comes up to tackle, has catch-up speed to gamble on short routes and will compete for a starting spot in our secondary.”
Dan Jackson LB 5-11 205 jr Mansfield (TVCC)
Dan Jackson transferred to Tarleton from Trinity Valley Community College. He was an all-conference selection who led his team in tackles. He had 50 total tackles in 2009 and one fumble recovery. Scout.com has Jackson listed as a two star recruit who had interest from Louisianna-Monroe. Coach Henry Cofer said, “Dan is an athletic linebacker who can run from sideline-to-sideline very well.”
Logan Johnson DE/LB 6-1 220 jr Brenham (Blinn)
Logan Johnson was a first team all-conference selection in 2009. He is a one star recruit by Scout.com and interest was listed to be shown by Baylor, Houston and Texas-El Paso. Coach Nick McBroom said, “Logan is explosive off the football and has a high motor and relentless pass rush. He will give solid minutes to a defense that is known for sacks and tackles for loss.”
Herman Marshall DE 6-5 260 jr Baton Rouge, La. (Hinds CC)
Herman Marshall is a defensive end that transferred to Tarleton from Hinds Community College. He is a native of Baton Rouge, La.
Damian Perkins RB/LB 5-11 225 jr Hallsville (Stephen F. Austin)
Damian Perkins transferred to Tarleton from Stephen F. Austin. He was a preseason All-American for the Lumberjacks in 2007. He went to SFA as a running back but made the switch to linebacker. In 2008 as a junior, Perkins carried the ball eight times for 36 yards and score in his only game. He also had one solo and four assisted tackles. As a sophomore he was a second team All-Southland Conference selection after leading the league with 92 tackles, including 34 unassisted stops. He was second in the SLC with 11.5 tackles for loss and nine with three sacks. He was a SLC Defensive Player of the Week and a Division I-AA Weekly All-Star. As a freshman, he played in four games and carried the ball 66 times for 281 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry and 70.2 yards per game.
Sam Robinson WR 6-3 225 jr Sebring, Fla. (Pearl River CC)
Sam Robinson transferred to Tarleton from Pearl River Community College. A native of Sebring, Fla., other schools named as potential schools were South Florida, Penn State and Florida State. Robinson was a Mississippi All-Star in the all-star game at the end of the 2009 season.
Cordarell Smith DT 6-2 275 jr Jackson, Miss. (Hinds CC)
Cordarell Smith transferred to Tarleton at the break from Hinds Community College. He is a graduate of Provine High School in Jackson, Miss. Smith played in the Mississippi All-Star Game.
Michael Washington DT 6-3 255 jr Cedar Hill (TVCC)
Michael Washington is a transfer from Trinity Valley Community College where he was a top-rated lineman in the SWJCFC. He is a one star recruit by Scout.com. Coach Henry Cofer said, “Michael is an athletic player who possesses great speed and skill for his size.”