The Port Arthur News
Lamar University head football coach Ray Woodard announced at Wednesday’s National Signing Day press conference that 20 student-athletes, including three with ties to Southeast Texas, have committed to play for the Cardinals this fall.
“We signed 20 players today, and we’re getting pretty close to being full-force for the first time,” Woodard said. “Like a lot of coaches, we’re very excited about our class. This was just a ‘best player available’-type class because we’re to that point now, and that’s the way we’ll be from now on.
“We wanted to just get a little bit of everything, so we don’t have big holes in any class. Our assistant coaches did a great job over the entire recruiting process, and I’m excited about this group.”
Beaumont Central High School quarterback Robert Mitchell, Nederland defensive end Koby Couron and Little Cypress-Mauriceville offensive lineman Tyler Howlett will stay close to home in continuing their playing careers.
The Cardinals missed out on a fourth area player when Port Arthur Memorial QB Ricky Fisk, who had committed a couple of weeks ago, changed his mind and signed with Morgan State. Fisk said he switched because Morgan State told him he could play quarterback.”
“It was disappointing to not get Ricky,” said Woodard. “We were really excited about his potential. We had told him we’d give him a shot at quarterback.”
Couron was named to the Associated Press Class 4A all-state second-team after registering 86 tackles and 14 sacks during senior campaign. Mitchell was named co-Offensive Player of the Year in District 20-4A and Howlett was a first-team selection in the same district.
First-team Class 5A all-state selection Kade Harrington of Kingwood High School and honorable mention all-state selection Emmitt Raleigh of Spring Westfield High School are both expected to add punch at the running back position.
Also adding talent on the offensive side of the ball are fullback Cole Carleton of Elkhorn South (Neb.) High School, tight end Sam Keeter from Woodrow Wilson High, Longview High running back Tory White and quarterback Judge Wolfe of Palmer High School.
Lamar also looked to bolster its offensive front with the additions of linemen Hunter Conn (Whitehouse High School), John Craven (Klein Collins High School/Navy Prep), Kevin Greif (Klein Oak High School) and junior college transfer Tramon Shead (Cayuga High School/Kilgore Junior College).
Defensively, Woodard and his staff inked linemen Ramondo Stewart of Newton High School and Omar Tebo of Liberty High School.
Lamar also added linebackers Kade Burman of Livingston High, Richard Gipson of John Tyler High School and Zach Stuart from Knoxville West (Tenn.) High School. The defensive secondary will see the additions of Colby Campbell of Whitehouse High School and Lloyd Julian of Episcopal High in Houston.
All-state kicker Juan Carranco of Dayton High School also signed with the Cardinals. Carranco is second all-time in Texas high school history with 42 career field goals and has a career-long make from 52 yards.