AHS grad among 16 new signees at SLU
SLU Adds 16 for 2020 to Open Early Signing Period
HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana announced the addition of 16 student-athletes who will continue their academic and athletic endeavors as members of the Lion football program on Wednesday as the 2020 early signing period opened.
With the 2020 signing class, SLU continued its focus on recruiting the state of Louisiana first, as 12 of Wednesday’s signees hail from the Pelican State, running the total of in-state signees to 36 in the last two classes. Of the 2020 class, 13 are current high school seniors.
“We believe we can win championships with the talent available in the state of Louisiana,” Southeastern head coach Frank Scelfo said. “We’re always going to recruit our state first. The name of our university is Southeastern Louisiana and we want to win with south Louisiana student-athletes.”
The influx of talent buoys a Southeastern program that took a major step forward in 2019. In just his second year at the helm of the program, Scelfo, the Southland Conference Coach of the Year, led the Lions to its third appearance in the NCAA FCS playoffs, advancing to the second round. SLU finished 8-5 with three wins over top 10 ranked opponents to its credit.
“We took the first step towards establishing a winning culture for our program this season,” Scelfo said. “We’ve built a nice foundation, which this group we’ve added today helps solidify. We’ve brought in young men today that are going to enhance our winning culture, not just by their performance on the field, but in the classroom and the community as well.”
While the returning talent for 2020 is more plentiful than the previous offseason, Scelfo and his staff saw several areas of need that had to be addressed. The signing class includes six defensive backs, four offensive linemen and three defensive linemen. The Lions also added a tight end, a wide receiver and a placekicker.
“We felt like there were several areas where we needed to add depth,” Scelfo commented. “We addressed some positions of need and this is a well-rounded class that makes us a better football program.”
The three junior college additions come from the Mississippi ranks. Offensive lineman John Allen (6-1, 320, Jackson, Mississippi, Copiah-Lincoln CC/Forest Hill HS), defensive end Tijuane Bolton (6-3, 245, New Augusta, Mississippi, Mississippi Gulf Coast CC/Perry Central HS) and defensive lineman Rodney Sopsher (6-1, 275, Amite, Louisiana, Southwest Mississippi CC/Amite HS) will all participate in spring practice, as will 2020 freshmen tight end Ivan Drobocky (6-4, 230, Bowling Green, Kentucky, IMG Academy/Bowling Green HS), safety Jacoby Wells (6-1, 200, Harvey, Louisiana, Helen Cox HS) and safety Taquan Thomas (6-0, 190, New Orleans, Louisiana, Kennedy HS).
Wells and Thomas are two of six additions to the secondary, along with fellow freshmen Zy Alexander (6-3, 175, Loreauville, Louisiana, Loreauville HS), Blayne Delahoussaye (5-10, 160, New Iberia, Louisiana, Westgate HS), Jack Henderson (6-3, 205, Mandeville, Louisiana, Mandeville HS) and Edward Wilson (5-11, 175, Port Allen, Louisiana, Port Allen HS).
Allen is part of a newcomer group of offensive linemen that includes Noah Devlin (6-3, 290, New Orleans, Louisiana, De La Salle HS), Jhy Orgeron (6-4, 270, Galliano, Louisiana, South Lafourche HS) and Javin Turner (6-2, 285, Patterson, Louisiana, Patterson HS).
Bolton and Sopsher will team with Kamron Johnson (6-4, 210, Saraland, Alabama, Saraland HS) to bolster the defensive line. Rounding out the class are wide receiver Cam Jones (6-2, 185, Gonzales, Louisiana, East Ascension HS) and kicker Jack Landry (5-9, 160, New Orleans, Louisiana, Brother Martin HS).
Southeastern Louisiana football spring practice officially opens on March 3. The Lions open the 2020 season at Tulane on Sept. 3.