MURRELL COLUMN: Take note: LU ranked with best FCS recruiting class

Published 11:41 pm Thursday, January 28, 2016

This coming football season could be very pivotal in the history of the Lamar program’s resurrection, and any upswing coming the Cardinals’ way will be very welcome.

They’ll be pleased to know that their recruiting class, according to, is ranked the best among Football Championship Subdivision programs. Overall, that makes the Cardinals No. 117 out of more than 225 programs listed across divisions.

In fairness, not every FCS team is listed (I couldn’t find Arkansas-Pine Bluff, but that’s par for the course), and many recruiting lists, one would imagine, are incomplete. (No way Stony Brook can win with three new signees.)

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But when your class is ranked better than 12 FBS teams — third-year program Charlotte (officially the University of North Carolina at Charlotte), UTEP, Bowling Green, Louisiana-Monroe, Idaho, Northern Illinois, New Mexico State, UTSA, Georgia State, North Texas, Hawaii, Kent State — you’re in position to receive some good blessings.

Now, what about the perennial FCS powers like Coastal Carolina and five-time national champion North Dakota State? Well, they’re second and third in the subdivision (Nos. 124 and 125 overall), but they’re ahead of the bottom six FBS teams.

Lamar finished 5-6 last season, one win removed from its only winning season since the program rebooted in 2010. Of the 25 listed Cardinal recruits according to 247, four of them are three-star or better and 16 are within a 100-mile driving radius of Beaumont.

You know by now that the class has a strong local flavor with Port Neches-Groves quarterback Adam Morse, wideout Caisen Sullivan and defensive lineman Christian Langston joining forces with Nederland running back Austin Krautz. Nederland offensive lineman Justin Carr, who was listed as a Lamar recruit, is expected to commit to Tyler Junior College on Wednesday.

Two of the three-star players, inside linebacker David Crosley and defensive tackle Daniel Crosley are coming from DeRidder, Louisiana, with Blinn College transfer Jaylon Bowden and DeSoto High senior Caleb Abrom expected to help the safeties.

Hamshire-Fannett athlete Kendrick King is among seven two-star athletes. It remains to be seen if he’ll join a loaded quarterback race that will include returning starter Carson Earp, medical redshirt Blake McKenzie, sophomore Brett Cox and Morse.

To find out what Lamar coach Ray Woodard thinks about all this, you’ll have to wait until Wednesday. That’s National Signing Day, the first day athletes can sign letters of intent with college football programs and coaches are allowed to publicly comment about them.

But here’s what I’m thinking: The Cardinals don’t have to worry about life after Kade Harrington or Earp. With a new defensive coordinator just hired and a high-ranking incoming class for FCS, they’ll have time to figure out how to finish in big ballgames and win the Southland Conference.

They may have already figured out how to fill more seats at Provost Umphrey Stadium, rain or shine. If not, then people just don’t like Lamar football.

Come on, people like Kade, right?

I.C. Murrell can be reached at 721-2435 or On Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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