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Cardinals ink 10 on early signing day

LU head football coach announces early signings, Dec. 19.
LU head football coach announces early signings, Dec. 19.

Lamar University signed four high school standouts to National Letters of Intent and added six junior college transfers announced LU head coach Mike Schultz at a press conference Wednesday morning in the Dauphin Athletics Complex.

The 2018-19 season marks the second year the NCAA allowed an early signing period for high school seniors in the sport of football, a switch from the traditional National Signing Day during the first week of February. Players who don’t sign during the early signing period will also have an opportunity to sign with the school of their choice in six weeks.

The 2019 signing class has historical significance for the Red and White. It marks first signing class in program history to come in following a trip to the NCAA FCS Playoffs. The Cardinals rattled off six-straight wins – including three over top 25 opponents – to advance to the playoffs for the first time in program history.

The early signing class is evenly broken down on both sides of the ball with five signees on offense and defense.

The position breakdown on offense consists of four offensive linemen and a quarterback. Defensively, the class shapes up with three defensive backs, a defensive end and a linebacker.

“With our team advancing to the playoffs this season we had a plan in place on how we were going to handle recruiting. It was something we did at the beginning of the year,” said Schultz, who guided the Cardinals to the postseason in just his second year with the program. “We had a plan in place for us advancing to the postseason and if we didn’t. We had a plan in place if we advanced to the next round. That is just part of the process. I’m very proud of this staff for the hard work they put in during the whole recruiting process. Recruiting is about filling your needs, and I think we hit on our needs. Our staff did a tremendous job of sticking to the plan all season.”

A highlight of each signing class are players added from the talent rich Golden Triangle. The Cards kept that tradition going with the addition of Beaumont West Brook’s Donovan Edwards (6-1, 285). An imposing force on the offensive front, Edwards has helped West Brook make it first run to the state championship since its inaugural season in 1982.

“Donovan is a high-character guy,” said Schultz. “He carries the presence of a leader. Having said that, he is an extremely talented player on the field, and we’re excited to sign him. He’s a very strong kid who can run and brings athleticism to the position. He is the type of guy we look for to build a program around.”

The 2018 early signing class also expands beyond the reach of the state of Texas. The newest members to the roster represent five different states including Texas (4), Louisiana (3), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1) and Hawaii (1).

With the graduation of one quarterback, and 2018 Southland Newcomer of the Year Jordan Hoy entering his senior year of eligibility, the quarterback position was very an important need for Big Red entering the recruiting process. The Cardinals filled the position with the addition of prep standout Jermaine Givens (6-0, 185) from Mesquite, Texas. A former district MVP, Givens racked up more than 8,300 yards of total offense (5,093 passing and 3,253 rushing) during his career.

“Jermaine comes to us from a big-time school in the metroplex – Mesquite Horn,” said Schultz. “He is a very talented, athletic young man. He has a strong arm. The way we do things offensively we have to have a dual-threat quarterback and Jermaine fits that mold.”

Another key area for the Cardinals heading into the 2019 campaign was the secondary. LU graduated all five starters from the 2018 squad that made a run to the postseason. The Red and White filled this gap with the addition of three junior college transfers, including Jerod Alton who played in 11 games during his rookie season with Missouri before transferring to Iowa Western.

“One of the areas that we felt we had to hit on coming into this recruiting cycle was in the secondary,” said Schultz. “You look at what we’re losing from this past season and you can see just how big of a need it really is. The talent we’ve added during the early signing period was huge based on our needs. We had to have guys who could not only come in and compete but win starting jobs.”

Schultz also continued to put focus on bulking up the Cardinals’ offensive line with four more signees, including three prep signees. The four incoming linemen average 6-3 and 305 pounds.

https://youtu.be/9w34wIdeh2s

2018 Early Signing Day Roster

Signees

Donovan Edwards • OL • 6-1 • 285 • Beaumont, Texas/West Brook HS

Alexander Frithiof • OL • 6-5 • 320 • Carson, Texas/Springtown HS

Jermaine Givens • QB • 6-0 • 185 • Mesquite, Texas/Mesquite Horn HS

Ted Melson • OL • 6-3 • 305 • New Orleans, La./St. Augustine HS

Transfers

Jerod Alton • DB • 5-11 • 185 • St. Louis, Mo./Kirkwood HS (Iowa Western)

Tariq Anthony • DB • 6-2 • 180 • Copperas Cove, Texas/Copperas Cove HS (Kilgore College)

Nick Dunomes • OL • 6-3 • 310 • Gulfport, Miss./Gulfport HS (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC)

Daquirs Griffin • DB • 6-1 • 185 • Houma, La./ A.J. Ellender HS (Arizona Western CC)

Davion May • DE • 6-2 • 230 • Hammond, La./Hammond HS (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC)

Soane Vaohea • LB • 5-11 • 225 • Kihei, Hawaii/Maui HS (Merced CC)

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