PN-G, Nederland standouts seal futures with Lamar, TJC; Giblin becomes a Roadrunner

Published 5:45 pm Wednesday, February 3, 2016

As soon as Caisen Sullivan and two of his Port Neches-Groves football teammates were offered scholarships to Lamar, he said, they all knew the short road to Beaumont would be their college destination.

“We all sat down and really talked about it,” quarterback Adam Morse said. “We all decided that’s the place we wanted to go. It’s a great thing to have friends to go play football with.”

They’ll have another friend from Nederland joining them on the Cardinals’ practice field in August.

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Nederland running back Austin Krautz became one of 22 high school signees during National Signing Day ceremonies Wednesday to officially commit to Lamar, along with PN-G’s Christian Langston, Sullivan and Morse. Plenty of attention will be on the key playmakers from the District 22-5A co-champions, and both Krautz and Morse said there was no chance of de-committing from their local university.

“Ever since I committed, I’ve been die-hard Lamar all the way,” Morse said. “It’s finally here, and this is the day.”

That wasn’t all the Division I signees from PN-G. Wide receiver Jack Giblin joined Frank Wilson’s first incoming class at UTSA.

One of Krautz’s fellow Bulldogs, offensive lineman Justin Carr, was committed to Lamar until last week and signed with Tyler Junior College on Wednesday so he can learn the tight end position in preparation for Division I football. But the Cardinals are still very high on his list of choices when he finishes his career with the Apaches.

“I think they’re going to be a great program two years from now,” Carr said of Lamar. “They got a great recruiting class last year, got No. 1 in the nation this year. It’s going to be a great school.”

Lamar had that ranking among Football Championship Subdivision teams by until Coastal Carolina made the move to 120th overall among Division I teams. Lamar was ranked third in the FCS and 131st overall, two places behind Columbia.

Morse is the only quarterback among Lamar’s high school signees, which he said means a lot. He’ll compete with University of Miami transfer Clayton Turner of Marietta, Georgia, and returning quarterbacks Carson Earp, Blake McKenzie and Brett Cox for the starting job.

“It shows a lot of trust in the coaches that they have in me, and I’m going to do my best to fulfill what they have in store from me,” Morse said.

Whenever Morse gets its opportunity, Sullivan looks forward to hauling in passes from his fellow Indian teammate.

“It’s great,” Sullivan said. “We’ve known each other through high school, so it’s going to be great. It’s going to be continuing that and getting better. He’s a great quarterback.”

Sullivan helps replenish a wide receiving corps that loses All-Southland Conference perfomer Reggie Begelton to graduation. Crosby’s Shane Hudson and Cisco College transfer Marcus Daggs are the other newcomers.

“I’m definitely going to come in and do the best I can and work my hardest,” Sullivan said. “Whatever they want me to do, I’m going to go do my best at it and help the team next year.”

Langston was a defensive end and long snapper for the Indians and will focus solely on the latter for the Cardinals. His father Chuck is the offensive coordinator.

“In high school, I was just an average defensive end, and I came to the realization of that and said, I want to play college football,” he said. “I picked it up, and Lamar had a deep snapper two or three years ago [Chris Maikranz]. He was invited to minicamp with the Texans, and that’s who I learned from.”

Krautz, The Port Arthur News’ Super Team Most Valuable Player, has drawn plenty of comparisons to National Offensive Player of the Finalist Kade Harrington, who will return to Lamar for his senior season, and Lamar coach Ray Woodard made it known during his signing day watch at the Cardinals’ meeting room facility. “Shame on all of you for putting so much pressure on him,” Woodard joked.

But when Harrington’s time in Beaumont is done, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Krautz, who’s almost the same height as All-American, could be the next great Cardinal running back.

His 1,895 yards and 23 touchdowns rushing in 13 games last fall could be a sign of things to come, even if he has to fill the shoes of a 2,000-yard rushing junior.

“I’m excited about it, getting to play with Kade and then the class we’ve got coming in,” Krautz said. “We’re going to have a good four years, for sure.”

Giblin, another of Morse’s targets in Port Neches, maintained his commitment to UTSA through the coaching change from Larry Coker to Wilson. Coker, who won a national championship at Miami in the 2001 season, led the Roadrunners for the program’s first seven years until his January resignation.

“He had a lot of trust in me as a player,” Giblin said. “I really liked him as a coach. Coach [Coker assistant Charlie] Reeve came down here all the time, and I had a good relationship with him. When they got the new coaching staff, I knew [special teams coordinator Ricky] Brumfield had talked to me. It was just kicking like the same thing.”

UTSA competes in Conference USA.


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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