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Speaking of the Southland

Southland Signings and League Quick Hits

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National signing day has come and there are probably a few fax machines may need some new toner around the country.

Below is a brief recap of each class with some notes, comments and highlights. Click on the name of the school to access the official release of signees.

[b][url=]Central Arkansas[/url][/b]

A very diverse class as far as geographic region for head coach Clint Conque. His staff led him to Texas (11), Louisiana (four), Mississippi (three), Alabama (two), Oklahoma (two), Tennessee (two), Missouri (one) and that is in addition to their home state of Arkansas (four). All told, 29 players signed with Conque's staff. The primary focus - defense. Six DBs, six defensive lineman and three linebackers signed.


Head coach Ray Woodard continued to build a program by signing 15 players. Possibly to the chagrin of the Lamar fans, Woodard signed just three players with Southeast Texas ties, including Dayton quarterback Payton Ploch. The former junior college coach, Woodard added two players from his old stomping grounds of Navarro by signing CB Stephone Mercer and WR Josh Powdrill.

[b][url=]McNeese State[/url][/b]

Could Matt Viator have found a true freshman to start at quarterback next year? One could argue that Baton Rouge product Will Briscoe, the top player in Louisiana's 5A classification, could be the player to replace Derrick Fourroux. Along with Will Briscoe, was his brother Wes, who plays at wide receiver. The dynamic duo of brothers could become a staple for the Pokes over the years to come. McNeese had just one player out of the 15 signed come from outside of the Pelican State this year, perhaps a sign of the arrival of Lamar and UT-San Antonio on the recruiting radar?

[b][url=]Nicholls State[/url][/b]

If head coach Charlie Stubbs wanted to garner some attention in wake of the New Orleans Saints making the playoffs, he may have done so by landing the son of former NFL quarterback and current Saints' analyst Bobby Hebert. Beaux Hebert, who also plays quarterback, comes to Thibodaux by way of Norcross, Georgia. With the big emphasis on changing the offensive scheme, Stubbs signed three quarterbacks total. For those who had doubts about Stubbs' ability to recruit local, he cleaned up in southeast Louisiana with more than 10 players from the area.

[b][url=]Northwestern State[/url][/b]

Second-year head coach Bradley Dale Peveto signed 35 players on Wednesday. After signing a handful of Football Bowl Subdivision transfers, the lone transfer this year wasDE Michael Adams of Arkansas State. Adams' father, also named Michael, played for the New Orleans Saints after playing college ball with Arkansas State. The other notable signee is Sherard Sorrells, an offensive lineman from Navarro CC, former home of current Lamar head coach Ray Woodard.

[b][url=]Sam Houston State[/url][/b]

Head coach Willie Fritz had to replace 27 seniors and did so by signing 24 high school seniors and adding three transfers. Two of the transfers are Texas junior college transfers with the lone Football Bowl Subdivision transfer - WR Seth Patterson - hailing from Western Michigan by way of Round Rock, Texas. Two of the high school signees who have generated a bit of publicity are QB Brian Bell out of China Spring, Texas and OL Colton Cline from Seminole, Okla.

[b][url=]Southeastern Louisiana[/url][/b]

Mike Lucas continued to tap his ties in Texas and continued his foothold of Mississippi junior colleges by combining to sign nine different players from the two states. Coupled with 10 players from Louisiana and one from Alabama, Lucas signed 20 student-athletes total. With plenty of returnees, Lucas looked to fill holes by signing several junior college transfers, namely two from Mississippi on the defensive line.

[b][url=]Stephen F. Austin[/url][/b]

Riding the wave of winning the SLC championship, head coach J.C. Harper added 25 players to the Lumberjacks roster. Harper signed three FBS transfers, headed by WR Houston Tuminello, who comes to the program via Louisiana Tech. Rice DB Broderick Jackson and UTEP kicker Logan Barrett also join the squad. Most notably, SFA did not sign a quarterback to potentially replace Jeremy Moses in the future, though there are several potential backups presently on the roster.

[b][url=]Texas-San Antonio[/url][/b]

The first signing class for UT-San Antonio was inked on Wednesday and head coach Larry Coker brought in 26 players, including transfers from Texas A&M-Kingsville and Penn State. A heavily San Antonio-based class, Coker signed 13 local prep athletes with both transfers also hailing from the city known for the Alamo. Two quarterbacks are in the group with Cole Hubble of Bandera HS and Kam Jones of Edna HS.

[b][url=]Texas State[/url][/b]

Texas State made a splash when they announced Tyler Arndt had signed with the program. Arndt was named one of the top quarterbacks in the nation by ESPN and had thrown for 75 touchdowns during his high school career. Head coach Brad Wright only added two transfers amongst the small signing class - adding safety Jarrad Stewart from Utah and inking junior college offensive lineman Thaddeus Watkins from Diablo Valley College in California. With just 12 scholarships, Wright hopes that there were no misses and plenty of hits.

[b]Southland Conference Quick Hits[/b]

Central Arkansas [url=] announced three new football hirings[/url] on Monday as Clint Conque named Zak Clark, Nathan Brown and Matt Middleton to his staff.

Clark, the new quarterbacks coach, played two seasons for UCA by setting numerous passing records while working his way to a spot amongst the finalists for the Harlon Hill Award - the Division II equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. Brown is a familiar name and will serve as halfback and tight end coach. Most notably, Brown led UCA through the transition to Division I while becoming one of the top quarterbacks in the country. Middleton is the new co-offensive coordinator and wide receiver coach, coming off from a stint as the OC as Arkansas-Monticello.

Former Northwestern State head coach Sam Goodwin will be "toasted and roasted" by his alma mater, Henderson State, this coming Saturday. Goodwin was an All-American guard at Henderson State, who later spent the better part of two decades as a head coach for the Demons. During his time at the helm, Goodwin coached NSU to four Southland Conference championships (1984, 1988, 1997 and 1998). Goodwin is currently the athletic director at HSU, a position he will retire from on Mar. 1.

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Updated 02-03-2010 at 10:00 PM by jplotkin