Lufkin Athletic Director John Outlaw knows to keep his schedule clear the first Wednesday of February. Each and every year, Outlaw sends a large group of Panthers on to college football. National Signing Day saw seven Panther seniors sign the dotted line. Five will play Division One football, three will play Division 1A.
Offensive lineman Josh Emshoff signed with S.M.U. The offensive tackle really liked new head coach June Jones. Jones is bringing in his pass happy offense from Hawaii.
Fellow lineman Jacolby Ashworth is headed to Houston. John Outlaw says Ashworth reminds him a lot of his cousin. Rex Hadnot played four years with the Cougars before heading to the N.F.L. Hadnot has spent five seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Outlaw sees the same potential in Ashworth. Ashworth believes it could happen.
"I think about it a lot," the future Cougar says. "It gives me hope that the same dude (Rex) I used to wrestle with when we were younger, is in the league making money. It gives me a lot of hope."
Cornerback Darrius Terry signed with Louisiana Tech. Outlaw says Terry is the biggest steal out of Texas. The senior is a three star recruit by rivals dot com. Terry had other choices, but says Louisiana Tech was by far the best option.
"It's a good school," Terry says. "Good campus, good people. I liked the people around there. Good coaches, Just somewhere I could see myself going."
Wide receivers James Davis and Eric Johnson will stay together four more years. Both seniors signed with Texas Southern. They will catch passes from Oklahoma State transfer Bobby Reid.
The final two Panthers to sign will both play at Tyler Junior College. Receiver Jabroski Smiley will be joined by defensive tackle Montavus Mott. Outlaw expects Mott to play division one football in two years.