Memorial underclassmen discuss plans for after high school, football recruitment

Published 12:14 am Friday, February 28, 2020

Sophomore Jaylon Guilbeau is getting looks from several colleges hoping to recruit him for their football programs, but before he can say which school he’s leaning toward, Memorial head coach Brian Morgan points out he still has two more years with the Titans.

“He’s leaning toward playing for Memorial next year,” Morgan joked.

Guilbeau isn’t the only Memorial underclassman getting phone calls and letters.

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Branden Chaney, Tre’Vonte Caines and Jordon Thomas join Guilbeau among the Titans who have heard from colleges about taking the next step after high school before their senior years.

Morgan says the attention Memorial players receive probably as a lot to do with the successes of other players that have come from the program. 2017 graduate Kary Vincent Jr. was a part of the LSU Tigers’ 15-0 national championship season in 2019. It’s players like Vincent that show the young men coming from Memorial will go the distance, Morgan says.

“There’s been a lot of guys that have come through the program in Port Arthur that go places and are successful,” he said. “College coaches see that, and we get a reputation for putting out good players that go places and graduate. I think those guys are super fortunate for the attention that they’re getting, but a lot of the guys that have come through before make it easy for schools to come back and recruit kids from here. They know they’re going to get a tough kid that can play football, take care of his business and make it through a college program.”

Jaylon Guilbeau

Guilbeau says he most recently received letters from USC and Belmont University, but that he’s especially getting attention from LSU, Texas and Texas A&M.

“They call me every day, talk to me every day,” Guilbeau said. “I feel like they have good programs.”

Guilbeau thinks A&M’s season looked promising.

“If they get new players it’s going to be a good time,” he said.

He’s paying attention to the coaching staff as he continues to evaluate what’s best for him during the rest of his high school career.

“I’m trying to make sure they have good coaching, make sure the coach up there is hard,” he said. “That way you won’t have a soft coach and you can be a dog on the field.”

When he finally gets to college, he’s hoping to study chemical engineering. For now, his eyes are on winning more games for Memorial.

“I want to finish out the season this year, and the following year try to get to the playoffs,” he said. “I want to try to get that ring this year,”

Branden Chaney

Chaney has gotten some interest from Louisiana Tech, as well as letters from Baylor and TSU, along with a few others, he said.

For a long time Chaney’s dream school was Texas A&M. He’s visited the campus several times, and he liked the school’s mechanical engineering program.

“I used to visit there a lot, and I really like their facility,” he said. “I don’t really have a particular school at the moment, I’m just looking for a place to call home.”

One of those homes might be La Tech. He visited the school a couple months ago and was impressed.

“I like the way their program’s set up, and their academics,” he said. “I like the way they do stuff. They do it different from a lot of other schools, and I’ve been to a lot of other schools. Their program is just different, and it stands out to me.”

He’s still thinking about studying mechanical engineering though.

Tre’Vonte Caines

Caines has talked to several coaches from Tulane, Stephen F. Austin and Northwestern State, but right now he doesn’t have a preference.

“I just want to go somewhere,” he said.

SFA might have a bit of an edge. As Caines competes in shot put for track, he likes SFA’s track program too. He’ll be studying sports medicine to stay connected to sports in general.

Like Guilbeau though, he’s hoping now for a championship win for the Titans.

“Hopefully things are going our way,” he said. “We’re helping our teammates and we’re making sure everybody is on the right track.”

Jordon Thomas

Like Guilbeau, Thomas is also getting attention from Texas, Texas A&M and LSU, but as for his preference, he’s keeping that one close to the chest.

“I have an idea but I don’t want to tell everybody right now,” he said.

For Thomas, the environment at the college is an important factor in what he’s looking for.

“Every single time I go to a school I always see what the school environment is like first and then I’ll look for the football stuff,” he said. “That right there plays a big role for my school that I want to go to.”

Sports management and sports medicine are his interests, but getting through high school is first on his priorities.

“After high school I want to train my mental mind just to prepare my heart and my mind for the college and the surroundings,” he said. “Just to get used to it, that’s one of my short term goals right there.”

He may have Guilbeau for company if they head to the same school.

“I tell everybody they’re a packaged deal,” Morgan joked.