SFA signs 23 to 2013 recruiting class

NACOGDOCHES, TX (News Release) - NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack football team signed 22 high school standouts to National Letters of Intent, and added a junior college transfer SFA head football coach J.C. Harper announced at a press luncheon Wednesday afternoon. The 2013 class consists of 13 offensive players, nine defensive players and a specialist.

The Lumberjacks brought in talent on both sides of the ball to help fill needs in several key areas. The incoming class consists of five wide receivers, four linebackers, four defensive linemen (three tackles), four offensive linemen, two quarterbacks, two athletes, one defensive back and a kicker.

The SFA coaching staff added five prospects from the East Texas area. The five East Texans include Patrick Brown (DB – Henderson), Aaron Doddy (Ath. – Hooks), Justice Liggins (WR – Tyler), Justin Reasons (OL – Groves) and Vedial Johnson (LB – Trinity Valley CC).

"I am very excited about our incoming class," said Harper. "From day one we targeted guys that would be a fit academically for SFA. Then we began looking for players who could fit into what we do both offensively and defensively. Our coaches did a great job of targeting these players, and we look forward to coaching them over the next four-to-five seasons.

"One of our biggest needs was at defensive tackle. We really needed to add some depth at the tackle position. I'm happy with our additions on the defensive front. We are bringing in some very strong, talented young men," added Harper.

With only two defensive tackles on the roster heading into the spring, the coaching staff addressed its need on the defensive line with the addition of Juvon Gales, Shane Roberson, Randy Timmons and Mitchell Zimmerle. The 'Jacks trio on incoming (Zimmerle is projected to play defensive end) tackles averages 6-1, 285 pounds led by Gales. A two-star athlete according to Rivals.com, and one of only two Louisianans in the signing class, Gales is rated as one of the state's top tackles.

Lumberjack fans have been fortunate to watch All-American receivers like Dominique Edison and Cordell Roberson in recent years, but with Roberson having exhausted his eligibility the coaching staff reloaded its talented stable with five receivers. This talented crop of receivers adds immediate size and depth to the roster.

"We entered the recruiting season knowing that we needed some impact guys at receiver," said Harper. "This group consists of good size and great speed. We have several guys who have the ability to stretch the field. The thing that really impressed me about this group was their ability to make something happen after the catch."

SFA graduated three all-conference players on the offensive line, but the coaching staff answered this need with the addition of four high school standouts. The 'Jacks' 2013 offensive linemen enter their collegiate career averaging 6-3, 284 pounds.

"It is hard to focus on just one guy," said Harper. "Each of the incoming (offensive) linemen are so talented. They are all hard working players, but the most impressive thing about them is how strong and athletic they are. Each one has great footwork, and does a great job of pass blocking."

The newcomers on the offensive line will be using their talents to protect quarterbacks Colton Bretton (6-4, 190, Glen Rose) and Dru Smith (6-1, 195, Sherman) over the course of the next four years. Both signal callers enter college after highly touted prep careers. Bretton threw for 4,700 yards and 40 touchdowns during his prep career, while Smith is rated as one of the state's top 200 prospects.


2013 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack Signee Roster

Colton Bretton • 6-4 • 190 • QB • Glen Rose, Texas/Glen Rose HS

Patrick Brown • 5-11 • 170 • DB • Henderson, Texas/Henderson HS

Aaron Doddy • 6-4 • 190 • Ath • Hooks, Texas/Hooks HS

Juvon Gales • 6-3 • 280 • DT • Hahnville, La./Hahnville

Hunter Harwell • 6-2 • 205 • LB • Mesquite, Texas/Horn HS

Justice Liggins • 6-1 • 195 • WR • Tyler, Texas/John Tyler HS

Trey McGahan • 6-2 • 195 • LB • Kennedale, Texas/Kennedale HS

Andy McNew • 6-4 • 285 • OL • Waco, Texas/Robinson HS

Roman Mitchell • 5-11 • 200 • LB • Lake Dallas, Texas/Lake Dallas HS

Anthony Pullins • 6-1 • 290 • OL • Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill HS

Brett Rattan • 6-1 • 215 • K • Mesquite, Texas/Poteet HS

Justin Reasons • 6-3 • 280 • OL • Groves, Texas/Port Neches-Groves

Shane Roberson • 6-2 • 285 • DT • Little Elm, Texas/Frisco HS

De'Quann Ruffin • 6-2 • 185 • WR • Humble, Texas/Summer Creek HS

Dru Smith • 6-1 • 195 • QB • Sherman, Texas/Sherman HS

Robert Sylvester • 6-0 • 176 • Houston, Texas/Cypress Lake HS

Rodney Timmons • 6-0 • 295 • DT • Irving, Texas/Irving HS

Brian Walker • 5-10 • 170 • WR • Sulphur, La./Sulphur

Jalend Washom • 6-4 • 280 • OL • Houston, Texas/Eisenhower HS

Joshawa West • 5-10 • 170 • WR/Ath • Angleton, Texas/Angleton HS

Eugene Wright • 5-9 • 165 • Ath • Rosenberg, Texas/Terry HS

Mitchell Zimmerle • 6-3 • 210 • DE • Danbury, Texas/Danbury HS


Vedial Johnson • 6-2 • 225 • LB • Sugarland, Texas/Kempner HS (Trinity Valley CC)