Feb. 5, 2014
BEAUMONT, Texas -
Lamar signed 10 high school standouts to National Letters of Intent and added seven transfers announced head coach Ray Woodard at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
The Cardinals brought in talent on both sides of the ball to help fill needs in several key areas. The 2014 incoming class consists of five defensive backs, three defensive lineman, three offensive linemen, two linebackers, two deep snappers, a tight end and a running back.
"Overall, this is a very talented class," said Woodard. "We really feel that this class compliments our previous two signing classes. If this group of young men can come in and perform as well as we expect, especially following the production of last year's signing class, we will have back-to-back classes that will perform well for us in the years to come.
"Unlike early on in our first couple of classes, now we recruit specifically for positions that we need to fill. We will never pass on a great player, but now we have returning players so we look to fill specific needs," added Woodard.
A major goal for Lamar every recruiting class is to protect Southeast Texas. The LU coaching staff accomplished that task with the additions of five players from the area, as well as making inroads in new areas. The five Southeast Texans include Seth Adams (DL - Silsbee HS/Silsbee, Texas), Shawn Jones (LB - Jasper HS/Jasper, Texas), Melbrodrick Matthews (LB - Memorial HS/Port Arthur), Kyle Holmes - (DE - Central HS/Beaumont, Texas) and Tylond Robertson (DE - Hempstead HS/Hempstead, Texas). Jones and Matthews represent the first athletes signed by Lamar from their respective schools since the university resurrected the program.
"Our philosophy hasn't changed since we began this program," said Woodard. "We are going to recruit the Golden Triangle hard because we want to keep these players home. This area produces a number of very talented players every year that go play football all over the country. We want to keep those guys close to home. I felt like we did a very good job of that with this group, in addition to signing some players from places where we haven't been as successful in the past."
With only two returning starters on the defensive side of the ball, Lamar filled several gaps with the addition of 11 defensive standouts. Among the seven incoming transfers, five are on the defensive side the ball and will be expected to provide immediate help. The Cardinals keyed in on the defensive line, a front that lost both starting ends due to attrition this past season. LU filled this need with the addition of two ends and a tackle.
"Opposite from last year's class, where we had to replace a number of players on offense, we have several needs on the defensive side of the ball," said Woodard. "So if we were going to take a transfer we were primarily looking at the defense."
Lamar's 2014 class expanded well beyond the Texas borders. The Cardinals signed players from both coasts, and from all four time zones. The out-of-state additions include Seth Ellis (Coolidge HS/Coolidge, Ariz.), Reid Entsminger (Sherando HS/Stephens City, Va.), Michael Sheridan (Highland HS/Palmdale, Calif.) and Daquan Stewart (Hoboken HS/Hoboken, N.J.). Entsminger comes to Beaumont with a connection Texas football. His grandfather, Mark Moseley, played 16 seasons in the NFL winning the 1982 MVP award.
2014 Signing Class Bios
Seth Adams DL 6-0 285 Silsbee, Texas/Silsbee HS
High School: A two-time first-team All-District 21-3A selection ... Has also been named first-team Beaumont Enterprise Super Gold twice during his high school career ... Recorded 81 total tackles, including 55 solo stops, during his senior season ... Was also credited with two sacks, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble ... Received honorable mention all-state honors following his junior season ... Named the 2011 district newcomer of the year ... Also lettered in football, track and field and powerlifting ... A three-year letterwinner on the gridiron ... Personal: Son of Jermey and Galene Weems ... Born Oct. 18, 1995, in Beaumont, Texas.
Seth Blenderman OL 6-4 290 Magnolia, Texas/Magnolia West HS
High School: A two-star prospect according to Rivals.com and Scout.com ... Earned first-team All-District 18-4A following his senior season ... Guided Magnolia West to a 9-4 record in 2013 ... Magnolia West finished third in the district in total offense averaging better than 357 yards of total offense per game ... The Mustangs pounded out better than 230 yards rushing per contest ... Blenderman helped produce the district's fourth-best running back while protecting one of the district's top passers ... Received attention from Arkansas State, Houston, North Texas, Texas State, UTSA and UTEP.
Ladamian Coney DB 5-11 175 League City, Texas/Clear Springs HS
High School: Received all-state recognition as a senior ... A 2013 first-team All-District 24-5A selection at defensive back ... Recorded 110 tackles, including 66 solo stops in his final two seasons at Clear Springs ... He also recorded nearly 800 all-purpose yards during his career ... Chose Lamar over Kansas ... Also received interest from Baylor ... Was one of the state's top triple jumpers during the track and field season ... True-definition of a student-athlete earning honorable mention Academic All-State honors.
Reid Entsminger DB 5-10 185 Stephens City, Va./Sherando HS
High School: Was named first-team all-state as an athlete, and second-team all-state at quarterback ... Garnered 2013 District Player of the Year honors ... Was named all-area and all-region player of the year ... Also received area defensive player of the year honors ... Had 115 completions for 2,120 yards, including 20 touchdowns ... Had 168 carries for 875 yards and seven scores during his senior season ... Recorded 182 career tackles, including 92 solo stops ... Was also credited with six sacks and seven forced fumbles ... Picked off eight passes which he returned 93 yards ... Named MVP of the 2014 FBU Top Gun Camp ... Guided football team to the 4A state title game as a senior ... Earned honorable mention all-state honors in 2011 ... Invited to the U.S. Army National Combine for Underclassmen ... Was also a standout on the baseball diamond earning 2013 Northern Virginia Daily's 2013 Baseball Player of the Year award, and guided his team to the Group AA state championship, and was the district pitcher of the year ... Personal: Grandfather is former NFL MVP kicker Mark Moseley.
Shawn Jones LB 6-2 220 Jasper, Texas/Jasper HS
High School: Was a four-year letterwinner in football for coach Daryl Barbay ... Selected to play in the 2013 Blue-Grey All-American Bowl ... Received all-state recognition following his senior season ... A four-time first-team all-district selection ... Received first-team all-district honors on the defensive side of the ball as a freshman and sophomore ... Was an all-district linebacker as a freshman and as a defensive end during his sophomore season ... Was a first-team all-district fullback in his final two seasons ... Personal: Son of Shawn and Lynn Jones ... Born Dec. 20, 1995 in DeRidder, La.
Melbrodrick Matthews LB 6-0 200 Port Arthur, Texas/Memorial HS
High School: A three-year letterwinner for Coach Kenny Harrison ... Named 2013 VYPE Magazine Preseason All-Southeast Texas ... A 2013 first-team All-District 21-5A selection ... Guided Memorial to a 27-9 (.750) overall record the past three seasons, including a 12-2 (.857) record as a sophomore ... Personal: Son of Margo Mouton ... Born Dec. 6, 1994, in Lafayette, La.
Zach Roberts DS 6-2 215 Magnolia, Texas/Magnolia HS
High School: Named 2013 Magnolia Special Teams Most Valuable Player ... A two-time special teams player of the week selection during his senior season.
Tate Smith TE 6-4 235 Texas City, Texas/Texas City HS
High School: Was a three-year letterwinner at Texas City High School ... Helped guide Texas City to a 12-1 (.923) record, and a perfect 7-0 district mark as a senior ... Helped lead Texas City to the state regional finals ... Garnered second-team all-district honors for his work on the field ... Hauled in four catches for 64 yards as a senior ... Also recorded 15 tackles, including seven solo stops ... Personal: Son of Colby Smith and Heather Weitz ... Born Aug. 4, 1996, in Galveston, Texas.
Connor Ward OL 6-3 280 Bryan, Texas/Bryan HS
High School: A two-year letterwinner for coach Ross Rodgers at Bryan High School ... A first-team all-district selection as a senior ... Just as successful in the classroom as he is on the field earning academic all-state honors ... Personal: Son of Kyle and Charnell Ward ... Born Feb. 11, 1996, in Round Rock, Texas.
Chase Woods OL 6-4 285 Plano, Texas/Plano West HS
High School: Helped guide West to a regional final appearance during junior season ... Garnered honorable mention all-district recognition following the 2013 season ... A key figure in a line that protected an offense which averaged more than 400 yards per game ... Plano West averaged nearly 300 yards rushing per game (292.6 ypg).
Seth Ellis DB 6-1 185 Coolidge, Ariz./Coolidge HS (Pima CC)
Pima CC: Played in six games in 2013 ... Finished the year with 79 carries for 307 yards and four scores ... Posted a career-day against Snow College with 12 carries for 92 yards and three touchdowns ... High School: Named MVP of the Arizona Coaches Association All-Star game ... Was ranked as the No. 13 running back in the state Arizona as a senior ... Garnered 247Sports.com Mideseason All-State honors as an all-purpose back.
Carl Harris RB 5-10 190 Dallas, Texas/Wilson HS (Memphis)
Memphis: Played in seven games for the Tigers in 2012 ... Rushed for 175 yards and a score for the Tigers ... Carried the ball 15 times for a career-high 68 yards in the conference opener against Rice ... His lone touchdown of the season came against Middle Tennessee State ... High School: Ranked as a three-star running back by Rivals.com ... Received second-team AP All-State honors ... Was also named district offensive player of the year ... Lettered three seasons for Coach Bobby Estes at Woodrow Wilson High School ... Served as team captain in 2010 ... Posted 1,836 yards on 245 carries while scoring 25 touchdowns in 2010 ... Averaged 7.4 yards per carry as a senior ... Rushed for 200 yards in a game five times ... Rushed for 1,200 yards and 12 scores as a junior ... Earned all-region honors in track as well ... Utilized his redshirt during the 2011 season ... Personal: Son of Sharon House ... Born Sept. 25, 1992, in Dallas, Texas.
Kyle Holmes DE 6-2 245 Beaumont, Texas/Central HS (Blinn JC)
Blinn JC: Played in 10 games as a sophomore at Blinn ... Finished the year with 36 tackles, including 22 solo stops ... Was also credited with six sacks for nearly 50 yards in losses, and recovered a fumble ... High School: A three-sport letterwinner at Beaumont Central ... Was a finalist for the Willie Ray Smith Award ... Named to the Southeast Texas Ford Dealers All-Star Classic East roster ... Earned first-team all-district honors for Coach Andrew Washington ... Also lettered in track and powerlifting ... Personal: Son of Carl Holmes and Shelia Allen ... Born Dec. 31, 1993, in Beaumont.
Brent Nicholson DS 6-2 260 Corinth, Texas/Denton Guyer HS (Navarro JC)
Junior College: Earned all-conference honors as a deep snapper ... Helped guide Navarro to a 19-5 (.792) overall record during his two seasons on campus ... Also led Navarro to the 2012 conference title and a Hot Bowl victory, and a 2013 Brazos Valley Bowl victory ... High School: Never recorded a bad snap during his prep career ... Helped lead Denton Guyer to the second round of the playoffs ... Personal: Son of Terry and Olga Nicholson ... Born March 8, 1994, in Houston, Texas.
Tylond Robertson DE 6-3 270 Hempstead, Texas/Hempstead HS (Texas State
Texas State: Played in 11 games during his redshirt freshman season ... Registered 19 tackles, including 11 solo stops ... Had 4.0 tackle for losses of seven yards and two quarterback hurries ... Recorded a season-best five tackles at New Mexico ... Had three stops versus Texas Tech and Louisiana Tech ... Tallied two tackles against Utah State, UTSA and New Mexico State ... Had three tackles for losses of 5 yards for New Mexico ... Recorded one quarterback hurry against Nevada and UTSA ... High School: Was listed as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com ... Two-time unanimous all-district selection ... Finished his senior season with 39 tackles, including 6.5 sacks, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery ... Recorded 86 tackles, including 15 sacks during his career at Hempstead ... Also was a standout on the basketball court and track as a prepster ... Personal: Son of Vincent and Dell Robertson ... Born March 1, 1993, in Houston ... Related to former Houston Texans linebackers coach Johnny Holland.
Michael Sheridan DB 5-10 180 Palmdale, Calif./Highland HS (Antelope Valley College)
Antelope Valley: Finished the season with 41 tackles, including 27 solo stops, and had 2.5 tackles for losses ... He also recorded one interception ... Recorded a season-high seven tackles seven times ... His lone interception came in a win over West Los Angeles, which he returned 47 yards for a touchdown ... Garnered second-team All-Pacific Conference honors ... High School: Carried the ball 64 times for 190 yards and a touchdown, while hauling in 25 passes for 228 yards during the 2008-09 seasons ... He also recorded 29 tackles during the those two years.
Daquan Stewart DB 6-1 190 Hoboken, NJ/Hoboken HS (Contra Costa College)
Junior College: Recorded 68 total tackles, including 45 solo stops ... Recorded 16 tackles for losses ... Also picked off three passes, returning two for touchdowns ... Also credited with a forced fumble ... Scored 21 touchdowns on offense ... Finished the year with 989 total yards ... Garnered all-conference honors ... Personal: Son of Shanita Stewart ... Born Jan. 16, 1993, in New Jersey.