WOS’ Dallas, former Aggie RB White join Schultz’s first Lamar signing class

Published 6:24 pm Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT — The Lamar Cardinals signed 15 high school standouts to National Letters of Intent, and added five transfers (three junior college and two FBS), first-year head coach Mike Schultz at a press conference in the Dauphin Athletics Complex Wednesday afternoon.

The signing class puts a focus on offensive talent with 13 of the signees coming on the offensive side of the ball. LU also added six defensive players and one specialist.

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“This has been a race from the get go,” said Schultz, who becomes LU’s second head coach since the program’s rebirth. “The first thing I needed to do was recruit the returning players, while doing that I also had to assemble a staff and from there we immediately went into recruiting. We obviously got a little bit of a late start due to the situation, but I believe our staff did a great job of putting together a very competitive recruiting class in a very short period of time. This class was aided by our Texas ties, and the relationships that have been built over the years by our coaches.”

The position breakdown on offense consists of five offensive linemen, four wide receivers, two running backs, a quarterback and a tight end. On the defensive side of the ball, LU added four linebackers and two defensive linemen. The Cardinals also signed a kicker on special teams.

A source of pride for the Cardinals since re-establishing the program has been its ability to keep Southeast Texas talent close to home. The 2017 class added three more Southeast Texas standouts which includes Reggie Boseman (Beaumont), Jack Dallas (Orange) and Tyris Williams (Liberty).

“We were able to sign a few athletes from the Southeast Texas area,” said Schultz. “We’re not where we want to be there but once we get into a full recruiting cycle we will be a lot better off.”

The 2017 class also expanded beyond the reach of just the Lone Star State. The newest members to the LU football family represent four different states including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Pennsylvania. In addition to bringing in talent from four different states, the Cardinals also went into the backyard of Southland rivals McNeese State and Sam Houston State to sign athletes. Receiver Kirkland Banks is from Lake Charles while Elvin Martinez hails from Huntsville.

One of the most prominent names on the list is West Orange-Stark quarterback Jack Dallas. A Willie Ray Smith Award winner and state championship game MVP, Dallas guided West Orange-Stark to three state championship appearances and two state titles, including a perfect 16-0 season in 2016. Dallas also guided the Mustangs to a state championship appearance on the baseball diamond as well.

“There are certain quarterbacks who have the ‘it’ factor,” said Schultz. “The guys who have that are winners. Jack has proven that he has the ‘it’ factor. The more you watch him play, you begin to see all of the positive things he does on the field. Jack is a competitive player who always seems to find a way to win.”

The Cardinals strengthened their offensive line with the addition of five signees, including Texas State transfer Willie Williams (6-3, 285). The Cardinals’ four prep additions on the line are Humberto Lopez (6-6, 295), Micah McComb (6-5, 300), Colton Peterson (6-4, 300) and J.T. Vongor (6-2, 315). The offensive front was a pressing need for the Cardinals who graduated three letterwinners, including two starters, following the 2016 campaign.

“I’m really excited about the offensive linemen that we have coming in,” said Schultz. “We have helped ourselves immensely in this area. These are big, physical guys that come to Lamar averaging 6-4, 300 pounds. These guys not only look the part, but they’re very talented. We couldn’t be more excited about this group.”

The position of running backs took some heavy, and unexpected losses during the offseason. All-American Kade Harrington exhausted his eligibility, and the need at running back was made more pressing by the announcement that rising sophomore Austin Krautz of Nederland would not be returning for the 2017 campaign.

The coaching staff was able to fill this gap with two signees, including Texas A&M transfer James White. A Pearland native with three years’ experience in the SEC, White has one year of eligibility remaining at LU. He rushed for nearly 500 yards and seven scores during his time in College Station.

The Cardinals also added Summer Creek High School standout Myles Wanza. One of the state’s most sought-after running backs, Wanza was named to the Houston Chronicle’s Top 100 following a standout prep career. Wanza rushed for more than just 1,600 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior.