NACOGDOCHES, Texas (Press Release)– Stephen F. Austin head football coach Clint Conque announced the addition of 29 players to the 2017 Lumberjack football roster on National Signing Day. 19 of those additions were high school seniors, signing their National Letters of Intent to further their educational careers at SFA beginning this summer, with 10 transfer players rounding out the 2017 class.
"I really like our process regarding this class," said coach Conque. "We didn't deviate from the benchmarks that we established. This was the first class that we could really address immediate needs across the board while also bringing in quality young men to add to the depth of the program. Character, athletic ability and academics were all major parts of the benchmarks that we were looking for. I really feel like we've addressed the areas we needed to address. This is a very talented group."
Needs were met across the board for the Lumberjacks, especially areas hit hard by both injury and graduation in 2016. The largest emphasis was placed on the safety position, bringing in seven new additions, while adding five each to both the wide receiver and offensive line groups. The full breakdown of 2017 additions by position is as follows:
• Quarterbacks (2): Foster Sawyer (TCU), Zach Smith (Pearland Dawson)
• Running Back (1): Dominic Williams (Round Rock Stony Point)
• Wide Receivers (5): Romello Bentley (Sierra College), Terian Goree (North Texas), Frank Iheanacho (Texas A&M), Dylan Parker (Elysian Fields), Josh Thompson (Garland)
• Tight End (1): Allen Arclies (Abbeville, La.)
• Offensive Linemen (5): Marcos Herrera (Magnolia), Josiah Hunter (Chaffey College), Jimmy Price (Houston Stratford), Hayden Young (Spring Klein Oak), William Youngberg (Glendale C.C.)
• Defensive Line (1): Holland Malone (Spring Klein Oak)
• Linebackers (4): Bert Morris (Amarillo Tascosa), Terrance Potts (Trinity Valley C.C.), Desmond Robinson (Atlanta), Sloan Rodberg (Wills Point)
• Cornerbacks (3): Davelle Fox (Southwestern College), Eli Jones (Duncanville), Caleb Lawton (Cedar Hill)
• Safeties (7): Bryce Gemmel (Independence C.C.), Nathan Giles (Royse City), Trenton Gordon (Rowlett), Michael McCain (Silsbee), Javon McInnis (Irving), Gavin Roland (Clear Springs), Andre Wiley (Naval Prep)
In addition, this class represents a tremendous effort by the SFA coaching staff not just in the state of Texas, but nationwide as well. The class comprises seven states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana and Texas. Of the 23 Texas additions, seven of them are from the East Texas corridor with an additional seven each from both the Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth areas and one from both Central Texas and the western portion of the Lone Star state. Conque credits the incredible variety of the class to a concentrated effort from his staff.
"I thought our coaching staff did a tremendous job throughout this process," Conque said. "They were tireless in their hours of evaluation and recruitment of these young men. A lot of miles, a lot of hours away from home, but they were very consistent and did an incredible job to help us bring in our largest class to date during my time at SFA. You can see from the class the reach the Lumberjack program is beginning to have, which is a credit to our players and coaches for representing this program at the highest level."
With the 2017 recruiting process now in the books, Conque and his staff will set their sights on beginning preparations for the 2017 fall season. Returning players are already involved in off season conditioning workouts, leading up to the start of the 2017 spring season on March 24th. The remaining players will join the team this summer as the Lumberjacks inch closer to the start of the 2017 season, beginning with a trip to Dallas to take on SMU on Saturday, September 2nd.