A look back at the 2011 signing class

Our look back at Southern’s previous four signing classes (2007-10) concludes with last year’s group.

This is the 2011 class, and two major things are worth noting here: 1) it was the first time Stump Mitchell and his staff had a full year to evaluate talent and recruit players, and 2) several of them made key contributions right away.

Southern fans have to hope that in 2012, the Jaguars put together a better record because they’re loaded with more experienced players. In the Southwestern Athletic Conference, perhaps more than any other league, experience counts.

Here’s a look at how each signee fared last season:

SOUTHERN SIGNEES (2011)
Kristopher Scruggs, LB/DE, 6-2, 230, Jacksonville, Fla. (Ribault)

Never made it to campus.

Gene Pete, ATH, 6-1, 195, Iowa (Iowa)
Never made it to campus.

Jamal Massey, DL, 6-3, 240, Orlando, Fla. (Jones)
Did not make it through the NCAA Clearinghouse.

Eric Janeau, TE, 6-6, 250, New Orleans (St. Augustine)
Redshirted in 2011.

Allan Spry, OL, 6-2, 280, Blyethwood, S.C. (Blythewood)
Among true freshmen, he was the only offensive lineman to redshirt. Practiced at center.

Arthur Miley, DL, 6-6, 230, Mangham (Mangham)
Playing at defensive end, he had 22 tackles and two sacks as a true freshman.

Jeffrey Watkins, DL, 6-4, 215, Mangham (Mangham)
Playing at defensive end, he had 20 tackles and five sacks as a true freshman.

J.P. Douglas, QB, 6-1, 185, Roswell, Ga. (Roswell)
With three starts as the “1A” quarterback, he threw for 1,282 yards, 10 TDs and six INTs.

Isaiah Webster, OL, 6-4, 315, New Orleans (O.P. Walker)
One of several freshmen who played on the offensive line. A part-time starter at guard.

Robert Sanchez, LB, 6-3, 245, Houston (Lamar)
A cousin of OL Lee Almanza, he moved to tight end and redshirted in 2011.

Zach Brown, OL, 6-4, 315, Missouri City, Texas (Elkins)
One of several true freshmen who played and started. Fought through an ankle injury.

Jaylen Jordan, DL, 6-3, 245, Missouri City, Texas (Elkins)
Another true freshman DE, he had 15 tackles and 3½ sacks in 11 games.

Daniel Brown, LB, 6-2, 235, New Orleans (J.S. Clark)
Playing in six games at MLB, he had 26 tackles, half a sack and one blocked kick.

Donald Glover, OL, 6-4, 320, Camden Co., Ga. (Camden County)
One of several freshmen who played on the offensive line. A part-time starter at guard.

Brandon Thibodeaux, OL, 6-3, 285, New Orleans (Higgins)
Played as a part-time starter at tackle, and as a blocking tight end.

Lamarkius Pettaway, DB, 6-2, 170, Chattonnoga, Tenn. (Howard School)
Played most of the season as the No. 2 cornerback, with 30 tackles and one INT.

Jeremy Coleman, DB, 6-2, 220, Houston (New Mexico Military Inst.)
Practiced early, but was removed from the roster and did not appear on any game logs.

*Bradley Coleman, WR, 6-5, 210, Norcross, Ga. (Norcross)
Redshirted in 2011.

*Mike Berry, WR, 6-3, 205, Magee, Miss. (Copiah-Lincoln CC)
Shifted to tight end just before the opener, he had 39 catches for 508 yards and seven TDs.

*Corry Roy, LB, 6-0, 215, Maui, Hawaii (Eastern Arizona CC)
After getting through the NCAA Clearinghouse, he made 21 tackles in eight games.

A look back at Stump Mitchell’s first signing class

Our look back at Southern’s previous four signing classes (2007-10) continues with Stump Mitchell’s first group.

This is the 2010 class.

If you’ll recall — yes, it’s been a long two years for Southern fans, so maybe you don’t — Mitchell was formally offered the SU coaching job on Dec. 31, but didn’t technically accept until Jan. 13, after an exit interview with his previous employer, the Washington Redskins.

That left Mitchell and his staff about three weeks to cobble together a signing class.

Thirty-four players sent letters of intent on National Signing Day.

Had all these players stayed at Southern, they’d be juniors or third-year sophomores next season.

Here’s a look at how each of them have fared:

SOUTHERN SIGNEES (2010)
Javon Allen LB, 5-11, 205, New Orleans (Edna Karr)

Never played a game for Southern.

Charles Barkins, OL, 6-2, 285, New Orleans (O. Perry Walker)
Never played a game for Southern.

D’Vonn Brown, TE, 6-2, 245, Rosenberg, Texas (Lamar Consolidated)
Never played a game for Southern.

Travis Clark, FB, 6-1, 210, New Orleans (Edna Karr)
Never played a game for Southern.

Roosevelt Wright WR 6-1 195 Capitol Academy Baton Rouge
Never played a game for Southern.

Chris Little, OL, 6-5, 340, Jeffersonville, Ga. (Northwest Miss. JC)
Never played a game for Southern.

Artis Sullivan, OL, 6-2, 275, Memphis, Tenn. (Coahoma JC)
Never played a game for Southern.

Christopher Bernard, RB, 6-0, 225, Houston (Westbury)
Practiced early in 2010 camp, but ruled academically ineligible.

David Henderson, OL, 6-7, 345, Vicksburg, Miss. (Hinds CC)
Left 2011 camp after only a few days; turned up at Alcorn State last season.

Darius Deloach, RB, 5-10, 200, Ft. Myers, Fla. (Dunbar)
Redshirted in 2010, but left campus before the end of the season.

Julius Magee, OL, 6-1, 290, Monticello, Miss. (Copiah Lincoln CC)
Suffered a concussion in 2011 camp; stayed in school but gave up football.

Detrane Lindsey, LB, 6-0, 210, Houston (Booker T. Washington)
Redshirted in 2010; academically ineligible last season.

Chris Colwell, S, 5-10, 195, Pearland, Texas (Manville)
Had seven tackles in nine games in 2010, did not return to the team last season.

Cantrell McKinley, RB/KR, 6-0, 195, Texarkana, Texas (Liberty-Eylau)
Played sparingly as a true freshman, but left the team late that season.

Jordan Rose, S, 5-11, 185, Pearland, Texas (Dawson)
Redshirted in 2010; did not return to the team last season.

Jordan Bilbo, WR, 5-10, 175, Houston (Lamar)
Redshirted in 2010, made four catches for 124 yards last season.

Dallas Fort, RB, 5-10, 200, Baton Rouge (Tara)
Redshirted in 2010; had eight carries for 10 yards last season.

Stanley Williams Jr., DE, 6-2, 230, Zachary (Zachary)
Redshirted in 2010; did not return to the team last season.

Stepfan Henderson, CB, 5-10, 180, Zachary (Zachary)
Redshirted in 2010; did not return to the team last season.

Aaron Hall, OL, 6-4, 295, Central (Central)
Played each of the last two seasons at guard, mostly as a starter.

Dwayne Houston, OL, 6-4, 305, Lafayette (Northside)
Redshirted in 2010; became a starter at right tackle last season.

Rashaad Hoyle, CB, 5-10, 180, Roswell, Ga. (Roswell)
A part-time starter in 2010, he did not play last season; his future status is unclear.

Dray Joseph, QB, 6-1, 190, Edgard (West St. John)
One of the top two QBs the past two years, with 2,661 yards, 18 TDs and 13 INTs.

Todd Mabry, CB, 5-11, 190, Amite (Amite)
Redshirted in 2010; did not return to the team last season.

Wynton Perro, QB, 6-2, 205, Houston (Booker T. Washington)
Redshirted in 2010; flip-flopped between safety and quarterback last season.

Kesean Peterson, TE, 6-2, 210, Folkston, Ga. (Charlton County)
Had seven catches for 100 yards in ’10; ruled academically ineligible before ’11 opener.

Johnathan Preston, OL, 6-3, 280, Pearland, Texas (Dawson)
Redshirted in 2010, played sparingly in ’11; will be a third-year sophomore.

Jaleel Richardson, WR, 6-0, 180, New Orleans (Warren Easton)
Redshirted in 2010; moved to safety in ’11; will be a third-year sophomore.

William Waddel, WR, 6-4, 205, Houston (Booker T. Washington)
Redshirted in 2010; made no catches last season.

Franchot West, LB, 6-1, 215, Stone Mountain, Ga. (Stephenson)
Played in spot duty as a true freshman. He has 44 career tackles and 2½ career sacks.

John White, LB, 5-10, 225, Boutte (John Curtis)
Ranked second on the team with 48 tackles in 2010; academically ineligible in ’11.

William Griswold, PK, 6-0, 165, Tampa, Fla. (Countryside)
Made 15 of 20 field-goal attempts in 2010, but left school and gave up football.

Virgil Williams, ATH, 5-9, 160, Shreveport (Evangel Christian)
Moved to safety early in 2010; settled in as Southern’s No. 1 cornerback last season.

Kedy Enabulele, DL, 6-1, 280, Crosby, Texas (Kilgore JC)
Played DE and DT for two years, making 63 tackles and six sacks.

A look back at the ’09 signing class — Pete Richardson’s final class at SU

Our look back at Southern’s previous four signing classes (2007-10) continues with the final group of players signed by Pete Richardson, who, lest we forget, won five Southwestern Athletic Conference championships, though his last title came in 2003.

This is the 2009 class.

Four years later, these players should be gearing up to be seniors next season, or, if they redshirted, fourth-year juniors.

Either way, if you’re Stump Mitchell and you’re three years deep into your program, you’d like to have these guys around as core veterans, as leaders, as productive players.

Here’s a look at how each of them fared:

SOUTHERN SIGNEES (2009)
Adonis Armstrong, DB, 5-10, 175, Clinton, Miss. (Clinton HS)

Never made it to campus.

Verlis Martin, DB,  5-10,  170,  Houston (Eisenhower HS)
Never made it to campus.

Marcus Thompson, DE, 6-0, 215, Houston (Eisenhower HS)
Never made it to campus.

Terrence Fletcher, DB, 5-11, 180, Houston (Eisenhower HS)
Never made it to campus.

Brandon Haskin, OL, 6-3, 285, Baton Rouge (Desire Street Academy)
Never made it to campus. Ended up at Tennessee State.

Joshua Gant, LB/DS, 6-0, 220, Amite (Amite HS)
Practiced early in 2009 camp, but never made it through the NCAA Clearinghouse.

Darin Self, RB, 6-1, 227, Greensburg (St. Helena Central HS)
Practiced early in 2009 camp, but never made it through the NCAA Clearinghouse.

David Daye, LB/SS, 5-11, 230, Houston (Southeast Prep HS)
Made 12 tackles in ’09 under Pete Richardson, but did not return to play for Mitchell.

LeAndre Thompson, QB, 6-3, 195, Baton Rouge (McKinley HS)
Tossed off the team, he threw for 2,060 yards last year at West Los Angeles Community College.

Jeremiah McGinty, QB, 6-0, 200, Houston (Southeast Prep HS)
After throwing for 1,271 yards, 9 TDs and 6 INTs in 2010, he was tossed off the team in ’11.

Pierre Warford, DB, 5-10, 170, Amite (Amite HS)
He had 40 tackles and two INTs from 2009-10, but did not return to the team last year.

Dion Palmer, DE, 6-3, 230, Houston (Southeast Prep HS)
He had three tackles in six games in 2010, but tore an ACL in the first game of 2011.

Lynnon Coleman, LB, 6-1½, 230, Baton Rouge (Scotlandville HS)
Made 15 tackles in ’09 as a freshman; was academically ineligible and never played again.

*Brandon Rice, RB, 5-9, 205, Columbus, Ohio (Walnut Ridge)
Has 229 rushing yards and 2 TDs in three years, including one carry for minus-1 yard in 2011.

*Richard Wilson, WR, 5-8, 170, Monroe (Richwood)
A return specialist, he had 884 all-purpose yards in 2010, but did not return last season.

*Brandon Turner, DL, 6-5, 280, Indianapolis (Lawrence Central)
Made 15 tackles the past two seasons, but was benched for the final two games in ’11.

*Nik Trabue, DL, 6-3, 265, Indianapolis (Lawrence Central)
Flip-flopped between offense and defense. He left the team after Mitchell came aboard.

*Derrion Robinson, DL, 6-2, 250, Shreveport (Byrd)
Flip-flopped between offense and defense, playing only occasionally. Left the team last season.

*Kadeem Lewis, DE, 6-4, 240, Metairie (Grace King)
Redshirted in 2009, he has 34 tackles 2½ sacks over the past two seasons.

*Clinton Boyd, OL, 6-3, 285, Atlanta (Dutchtown)
Redshirted in 2009; academically ineligible in ’10; used as a tackle and blocking TE last season.

*Traé Tiller, OL, 6-2 289, Reynoldsburg, Ohio (Harvest Prep)
Redshirted in 2009; played sparingly on the offensive line; moved to DT last season.

*joined the program after signing day.

A look back at the 2008 signing class

Here on the blog, exactly one year ago, we took a look back at Southern’s previous four signing classes (2007-10) and noted what became of each player.

The results helped to explain why Southern went 2-9 in Stump Mitchell’s first year.

Now, after one more year and a 4-7 record, we’re taking another look.

Some of the results will surprise you. A lot of them will make you cringe.

A few things to keep in mind: These are only players who sent letters of intent to play at Southern on or near National Signing Day. They don’t include guys like Jamie Payton and Jared Green, who made significant contributions after transferring from other schools; or guys like Demetric Rogers and Anthony Balancier, who walked on and became key players.

Nonetheless, National Signing Day is supposed to be the meat and potatoes of each incoming class. And each class is supposed to be the lifeblood of a college football program.

We begin with the 2008 class — the second-to-last class signed by then-coach Pete Richardson. Four years later, these players should have finished their college careers in 2011, or they should be returning as fifth-year seniors in 2012.

In other words, these should be the Jaguars’ core veterans.

SOUTHERN SIGNEES (2008)
Ryan Broussard, WR, 6-2, 175, Lafayette (Northside)

Never played a game for Southern.

Kennon Bradford, OT, 6-3, 285, New Orleans (McDonogh 35)
Never played a game for Southern.

John Dees, LB, 6-1, 201, Evergreen, Ala. (Hillcrest)
Never played a game for Southern.

Odell Pippins, OT, 6-5, 310, Houston (Madison)
Never played a game for Southern.

Darryl Scott, TE/DE, 6-2, 240, New Orleans (O.P. Walker)
Never played a game for Southern.

Byron Jones, G, 6-3, 290, Garden City (Kan.) Community College
Left campus after only a few days in 2008 preseason camp.

Jeremy Robinson, G, 6-4, 335, Greenville, Ala. (Greenville)
Health concerns ended Robinson’s college career before it began.

Tyrus Harris, TE/DL, 6-3, 260, Lutcher (Lutcher)
Used as a tight end in 2008, he became academically ineligible and never played again.

Lee Almanza, OT, 6-4, 310, Houston (Madison)
A four-year mainstay who played every position on the offensive line.

Chris Browne, OT, 6-3, 270, Shaker Heights, Ohio (Shaker Heights)
One of the SWAC’s best left tackles, he’ll be a fifth-year senior in 2011.

LaQuinton Evans, WR, 6-2, 185, Mansfield (Mansfield)
Led the team with 1,025 yards and 11 touchdowns over the past two years.

Roderick Banks, WR, 6-2, 185, Shreveport (Evangel)
Finished his career with one catch for 24 yards.

Demetrius Bentley, LB, 6-1, 220, Akron, Ohio (East)
Spent three years bouncing between FB, LB and DE. Had 29 tackles and two sacks in ’11.

Tim Berry, DB/WR, 6-1, 180, St. Francisville (West Feliciana)
A starting CB in 2009, Berry was ineligible the past two years.

Ron Ferdinand, LB/DE, 6-0, 240, New Orleans (J.S. Clark)
Played eight games in 2008, posting eight tackles. Did not return for 2009.

Justin Fletcher, LB, 6-2, 210, Missouri City, Texas (Marshall)
Another LB with promise, he was removed from the team before 2010 training camp.

Jerry Joseph, RB, 6-0, 200, Ville Platte (Ville Platte)
Rushed for 18 yards (’08); academically ineligible (2009-10); rushed for 25 yards (’11).

Darian Prentiss, QB/DB/RS, 5-9, 175, Maringouin (Catholic-Pointe Coupee)
Used sparingly in 2009, he rejoined the team late in ’10, but never played.

Byron Williams, RB, 5-10, 190, Clinton (Clinton)
Played as KR, RB in 2009; ineligible in 2010; averaged 14.7 yards per punt return in 2011.

*Delwin Williams, DE, 6-2, 240, Napoleonville (Assumption)
Late-blooming end had 56 career tackles, 4½ career sacks and two forced fumbles.

*joined the program after signing day.

Taking stock of SWAC basketball: Did the Jaguars really just do that?

This was supposed to be another great challenge.

Sure, the Southern men’s basketball team had won five of its first seven games in Southwestern Athletic Conference play — and considering where the Jaguars had been lately, what with their 9-49 record from 2009-11, their early success was nothing to brush off.

But Southern had lost two lopsided games against the SWAC’s top two teams, Mississippi Valley State and Texas Southern.

So when the Jaguars hosted Alabama State on Monday night, a mere 51 hours after they went into overtime against Alabama A&M, well, it figured to be more than a leisurely stroll through the F.G. Clark Activity Center.

After all, Alabama State has been the premier program in the SWAC, having won or shared five titles in the last 11 years.

Maybe the Hornets weren’t a superpower. But they’ve been a whole lot stronger than Southern lately.

Still, SU won 68-56, in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score.

Southern won despite getting blown away in rebounds (45-27). That pattern will continue.

Southern won despite forcing several key players to log heavy minutes (they’re undoubtedly tired after a week like this).

Southern won despite having only seven team assists (the Jaguars had only seven turnovers, attacking the rim in transition at every term).

So take a bow, Roman Banks. In your first season back at SU, your team is doing a whole lot more than anyone could’ve reasonably expected.

At any rate, here are our SWAC power ratings, updated and revised:

1. MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE
Sean Woods’ team is still rolling. They’re deep, long, aggressive and experienced. They’re 8-0 in SWAC play. Pretty good ballclub.

2. TEXAS SOUTHERN
The Tigers lost in overtime at Valley on Monday, and there’s no shame in that. TSU is still plenty dangerous. The question remains: How did they lose at JSU?

3. SOUTHERN
Last week, we rated the Jaguars and said they had a chance to move up with a few big wins. They got ‘em. But with a short bench, can they keep it up?

4. PRAIRIE VIEW
The Panthers’ three conference losses were to Valley and TSU (both blowouts) and Southern (a fairly close game, 73-65).

5. ALABAMA STATE
Lewis Jackson was none too thrilled with the leadership, or lack of it, after the Hornets’ loss Monday. They went 0-2 this week. History says they’ll pull out of it.

6. JACKSON STATE
The Tigers were open Monday. They’re 2-0 in their last two games, and they’re coming off a stunner of an upset against TSU. How well can they do without Jenirro Bush?

7. ALABAMA A&M
These guys sure didn’t look like the seventh-best team Saturday in Baton Rouge. The Bulldogs looked a lot better. But with a 2-5 conference record, what are we to assume?

8. GRAMBLING
Bobby Washington is an impressive man who says the right things, and he’s got a star in Quincy Roberts. Friendly reminder: The Jaguars play at Grambling on Feb. 4, and no SU team has won there since 2000.

9. ALCORN STATE
It might still be a tough first season for Luther Riley in Lorman, but the Braves get credit for surprising Alabama State with a 61-60 win at home.

10. ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF
Two years ago, George Ivory’s team fared well in SWAC play and wound up in the NCAAs. This year, his guys have lost to SU and Prairie View by one point. Tough, tough breaks.

 

Signing Day Celebration almost upon us

Anyone heard the news?

According to the rumor mill, it’s late January. That, of course, means many things. First, basketball season is in full swing — which, after a long, nightmarish stretch, is no longer a point of shame for Southern fans.

Second, and perhaps more importantly to some, national signing day is almost here.

The Southern University National Signing Day Celebration will happen from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Cotillion Ballroom in the Smith-Brown Memorial Student Union. Tickets are $20 per person and $300 for reserved tables, which seat 10 guests.

The event is sponsored by the SU Quarterback Club and the Blue & Gold Club.

For information, call the Quarterback Club at (225) 926-2730.

As for the meat-and-potatoes stuff — commitments, needs, previous signing classes, etc. — we’ll get to that in the next few days.

Calling on the ’81 SWAC champs

David Williams, a 6-foot-6 senior swingman on Southern University’s 1981 basketball team, has quite a little project going.

Saturday afternoon, when the Jaguars host Alcorn State in the F.G. Clark Activity Center, Williams and his ’81 teammates will be recognized as the first SU squad to earn an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.

Most of the guys will be there, said Williams, who’s spearheading an event that will include a dinner, a brief history of the team and an introduction of the players.

But a few players are still missing, Williams said. He’s asking that if you know someone who played on that ’81 team, pass along their names, or have them check out www.su81champs.org.

That’s right: These guys have their own website.

The ’81 team, coached by SU legend Carl Stewart (and assistant Roger Cador), was picked to finish fifth in the Southwestern Athletic Conference that season. But the Jaguars ran the table at the SWAC tournament in the Riverside Centroplex, earning a trip to Wichita, Kan., for an NCAA first-round game against Wichita State.

The Shockers, led by future NBA players Antoine Carr and Cliff Levingston, dropped Southern 95-70.

Even if you don’t know anyone from the ’81 team — or, for that matter, even if you’re not old enough to remember 1981 — it really is worth checking out the website. They’ve got old photos, a media guide and several clips from your favorite local newspaper.

Take a look.

Taking stock of the SWAC

We all saw this coming, right?

Torn asunder by shoddy recruiting, player departures and outright carelessness with the Academic Progress Rate, the Southern men’s basketball program had all but flat-lined when Roman Banks took over in April.

This was year supposed to be a mulligan. The Jaguars still can’t play in the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament, and with a thin roster and little experience, well, they really weren’t supposed to compete much.

Had Southern finished ninth or better in Banks’ first year, fans probably would’ve understood.

Well, after six conference games, they’re not ninth. They’re alone in fourth.

Yes, it’s a long season. No, we don’t know if the Jaguars can keep this up. But they’re playing hard, and they’re a whole lot more fun to watch.

This week, our SWAC power rankings return, and Southern checks in at No. 5.

Here’s the rest of the crew:

1. MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE
Sean Woods has an all-senior starting lineup and a program on the rise. The Devils are long, athletic and aggressive. These guys look pretty good.

2. TEXAS SOUTHERN
They’re also long and athletic. They run the floor and rebound. Before this week, they were blowing teams away. How did they lose at JSU?

3. ALABAMA STATE
Haven’t we seen this before? The Hornets were suspect early last season, but rebounded to make the NCAAs. They’re in the hunt again.

4. PRAIRIE VIEW
Yes, the Panthers lost at home to Southern in the SWAC opener. But they’ve won four of their last five — including back-to-back road games.

5. SOUTHERN
Who saw this coming? So far, Banks is getting the most out of his guys. A key three-game homestand awaits.

6. JACKSON STATE
The Tigers might’ve stunned TSU, but expect them to drop in the next few weeks with Jenirro Bush’s season-ending Achilles’ injury.

7. GRAMBLING
This team looks like it should be so much better. With scoring machine Quincy Roberts, the Tigers could still make noise.

8. ALABAMA A&M
The Bulldogs’ only conference win came by three points, at home, against then-winless UAPB. Could be a long year.

9. ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF
The Lions would’ve been 10th — but they dropped Alcorn and nearly upset Southern this week. They’re not dead.

10. ALCORN STATE
Could be tough this in Lorman. Give the Braves due credit for upsetting JSU. But it could be a long first year for Luther Riley.

A late honor for Southern left tackle

Chris Browne’s junior season at Southern wasn’t as great as he wanted it to be.

The left tackle played through an ankle injury that limited his effectiveness; the Jaguars finished 4-7 overall; and he wasn’t voted to the All-Southwestern Athletic Conference team.

But he did make another team.

A media group called Beyond Sports Network, which covers the Football Championship Subdivision and lower levels of college football, made Browne an honorable mention on its All-America team.

Browne, a Cleveland native, was Southern’s only preseason first-team All-SWAC selection this summer, but he failed to make the cut on the postseason team.

Only one SU player, linebacker Jamie Payton, made the postseason All-SWAC first team.

Browne will be a fifth-year senior this fall, part of an offensive line that lost only one full-time starter — center Lee Almanza.