PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

January 22, 2013

FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Memorial's Jalen Barnes decommits from Iowa State

David Coleman
The Port Arthur News

Barnes decommits from Iowa State

Memorial’s Jalen Barnes took to Twitter Monday night with some big news. According to his account on the popular social networking site, Barnes has decommitted from Iowa State after they let him know they'd be redshirting him next season.

Barnes said Tuesday that he'd wait to make his next decision until National Signing Day on Feb. 6.

Early playing time was the issue that set things in motion. After the Iowa State coaching staff told Barnes they would redshirt him next season, he told them he'd be looking at other schools.

Barnes has visited both the University of Houston and Texas Tech and said that the Red Raiders are his top choice out of those two right now. Both schools are looking at him as a safety.

The 6-foot-1, 185 pound Barnes played free safety for the Titans last season after starting at cornerback his junior year. Barnes had 54 tackles last season with one interception and five pass breakups.

Cockrell  changes commitments, chooses UTEP

Memorial senior defensive back Devin  Cockrell  changed his mind on Tuesday. Cockrell decommitted from Morgan State in favor of Texas-El Paso, a Division I school in Conference USA.

Cockrell originally verbally committed to Morgan State during the football season, but started entertaining offers from schools other than the Football Championship Conference school. Cockrell also had offers from Texas State and Stephen F. Austin.

The senior missed all of 2011 season after injuring his knee early in the Beaumont Central game year in Week Zero. Cockrell returned to have a strong senior year, leading a Memorial secondary that finished with the fewest passing yards allowed in school history at 70 yards per game.

The 6-foot-1, 175 pound Cockrell had 25 tackles last season with one interception, three pass breakups and a forced fumble. The versatile athlete also played some tailback, carrying the ball four times for 7 yards. 

He joins fellow Southeast Texas alum Da'Carlos Renfro, a freshman defensive back from West Orange-Stark, on the Miners roster.

National Signing Day is on February 6.

PN-G's Smith chooses Henderson State

Port Neches-Groves quarterback A.J. Smith has committed to Henderson State.

Smith will make the switch to receiver, something he also did early last season before sophomore quarterback Ky Walker broke his hand to force Smith back under center.

Smith threw for 1,179 yards last season, completing 52.5 percent of his passes with nine TDs and 14 INTs. Smith also rushed for 351 yards and seven TDs. 

Located in Arkadelphia, Ark., Henderson State a Division II school in the Great American Conference. The Reddies had 30 players from Texas on their roster last season, when they went 10-1 under head coach Scott Maxwell and made the Division II playoffs.

Smith, who had been offered a scholarship by Lamar before the season, is the second PN-G player to commit this winter, joining offensive tackle Justin Reasons, who committed to Stephen F. Austin.