Thursday, April 28, 2011

Signing Day Recap - Tarleton State

To say that the 2010 was a disappointment for the Texans is a huge understatement. A year removed from advancing into the second round of the NCAA playoffs, Tarleton State finished 2010 with a 3-8 record, capped off with a 35-10 home loss to Eastern New Mexico. Offensive production fell by 10 points and 52 yards per game, while the defense allowed 12 points and 61 more yards per contest. Injuries and inexperience were a big part of the falloff, but that should not be the case going forward.

Offense -
The biggest losses are up front, as Bubba Wagner, Mike Hernandez (both HM LSC South) and Josh Martin were seniors last year.

Expected back are RB Evan Robertson (1st LSC South, 771 yds 6 TDs rushing), QB Nick Stephens (HM LSC South, 1,774 yds, 9 TDs, 12 Ints), WRs Jeken Frye, Devon Gray, Jamal Mays, Saalim Hakim, and Clarke Renfro (combined 119 receptions, 1,720 yds and 13 TDs). Jonathan Arnold, Adrian Campbell, Shawn Wyatt, Solomon Orr and Zac Munro all started 2-7 games on the line. TEs Will McLane and Bradley Peschke are also back.

Defense -
The Texan defense does lose some talented players - DEs Jamaal Steamer (received LSC honors all four years he played) and Jacob Rowe (HM LSC South) combined for 86 tackles, 21 for loss, and 9.5 sacks. In the secondary, Brandon Johnson and Lonnie Buchanan both received HM LSC South honors. Backups, LB Corey White and DB Sam Cole will also be missed.

Returning for Tarleton are six linemen with at least two starts (Michael Washington, Logan Johnson, Jason Billings, Danile Mena, Brian Ford, and Cole Vitolo) as well as Anthony Gonzales. Damian Perkins, Matt Knicky (both HM LSC South), Julius Hurndon, and Levi Kirkland are expected back at LB. The secondary should have Terrence Henry, Cassius Bradley, Blair Johnson and Dashaun Phillips back as the most experienced players.

Special Teams -
The special teams skill players shoule return intact. Blake Wiest was good on 12-17 FGs, and 24-25 PATs, while Jerry Owens averaged 36.9 on punts and 57.7 yards on kickoffs. Dashaun Phillips was the leading punt returner (8.2 yd avg) and Brandon Lowery averaged 31.4 yds on kickoff returns.

Top 5 signees
QB - Henry Hunter IV - signed w/ James Madison last year, but did not play, 3,000 yds passing, 1,300 rushing as a jr. and sr. in high school
QB/WR - Roddy Green - passed for 1,910 yds and 21 TDs, rushed for 564 yds in two seasons at Navarro JC
DT - Andre Jones - top 10 DT in HS by Rivals and Scout
DL - Tyrone Melton - Dave Campbell top 20 linebacker, all state powerlifter
DB - Desmond Jackson - top 20 safety in HS by Rivals, Scout and ESPNU

Other top signees
QB - Chance Wallace - second team all state
DT - Chase Bowers - JC Transfer, committed to Fla. Atlantic out of HS
DB - Joe Jones - JC Transfer, All conference at Navarro
CB - Ramonte Harris - JC Transfer, played at UTEP as a freshman

Oveall grade
The Texans brought in players to compete for playing time, especially on the defensive line, secondary and even quarterback. There are still some questions on the offensive line, but the team looks to have upgraded everywhere else. Grade A+

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Lone Star Conference

Angelo State University

Cameron University

Eastern New Mexico University

Texas A&M-Commerce

Tarleton State University

Texas A&M-Kingsville

Texas Woman's College

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

West Texas A&M University

Western New Mexico