McNeese Cowboys ink 9 to NLIs, brings total to 18 for 2019 football signing class

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LAKE CHARLES – McNeese football head coach Sterlin Gilbert announced his 2019 signing class on Wednesday, nine that signed on National Signing Day as well as nine that signed back in December in the early signing period.

Gilbert and his staff inked national letters of intent to four wide receivers, three offensive linemen, three linebackers, two defensive linemen, two defensive backs, two athletes, a quarterback and a tight end.

“Today is a huge day in Cowboy Country and for McNeese football,” said Gilbert when addressing the media. “But obviously, for these young men and their families. We see this day as a life changing day and an opportunity for a lot of young men.

“We were looking for kids that are dual sport, multi-sport kids in high school,” said Gilbert. “And as you go down this list, we were able to find some of these guys. We got guys that are power lifters. We got track guys; we got baseball guys; we even got a swimmer. What we wanted in those dual sport athletes is a kid who is competing from August all the way through May. We know that when a student-athlete is doing that, not only is a kid competing, but just as important, we know he’s held academically to be eligible.

“At the end of the day, we’re looking for quality football players that want to be at McNeese and that’s what this class is.”

2019 McNeese Football Signing Class (Includes Early Signees)

Cade Bartlett • QB • 6-3 • 205 • Waller, Texas • Waller HS (Early Signee)
2nd team all-district… academic all-state… 4,450 passing yards and 33 touchdowns… 650 rushing yards with 12 TDs.

Kevin Brown • TE • 6-2 • 230 • Richwood, Texas • Brazoswood HS
1st team All-Southern Brazoria County… team MVP… 34 catches for 511 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Markel Cotton • WR • 6-2 • 190 • Franklinton, La. • Pine HS (Early Signee)
Two-way starter… 1st team all-district WR… 2nd team all-district DB… 40 catches for 701 yards and 5 touchdowns… picked off three passes.

Davion Curtis • WR • 6-0 • 180 • Temple, Texas • Temple HS • Tyler JC (Early Signee)
Signed with the University of Texas out of high school in 2016… played in one game as a redshirt freshman for the Longhorns in 2017… at Tyler JC, caught 50 passes for 1,000 yards and 15 TDs… at Temple HS, earned all-state and all-district honors… chosen to the 2015 Super Team and as one of 2016 Texas’ Best by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football… ranked the No. 5 recruit on the Centex 25 and picked a Top 100 prospect in Texas by the Waco Tribune… ranked No. 94 WR national and No. 83 overall in Texas by ESPN… also played basketball and competed in track and field.

Kody Fulp • LB • 6-2 • 235 • China Spring, Texas • China Spring HS • Navarro JC (Early Signee)
Led Navarro College with 71 total tackles as a redshirt freshman in 2018, which also ranked him 10th in Region XIV… ranked second in the conference and ninth in the region with five sacks, three of those coming in the Salt City Bowl against Hutchinson CC… will have three years to play for the Cowboys.

Earenest Grayson III • DE • 6-3 • 230 • Tulsa, Oklahoma • Jenks HS
District 6AI-1 All-District… Tulsa World All-State Honorable Mention… 4-time defensive player of the game… 51 tackles, 8 sacks, 11 tackles for a loss… 33 solo tackles… offered by Texas State, Missouri State, Eastern Illinois, Pittsburgh State, Central Oklahoma, Houston Baptist… drew interest from Arkansas and Tulsa.

Anthony Johnson • ATH • 5-11 • 180 • Lake Charles, La. • LaGrange HS (Early Signee)
All-district honorable mention honors… scored 14 touchdowns his senior season.

Eli Johnson • DB • 6-0 • 190 • Baton Rouge, La. • Live Oak HS (Early Signee)
1st team 4-5A All-District and All-Parish… honorable mention all-state… 47 tackles with 2 interceptions, one sack, four tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries… as a junior, recorded 100 tackles with seven pass break-ups, 11 TFLs and an interception.

Jake LaFleur • LB • 6-3 • 210 • Sulphur, La. • Sulphur HS (Early Signee)
Earned all-district and all-academic honors… all-SWLA team… recorded 162 tackles, 103 solos, as a senior with four tackles for a loss, four quarterback hurries, forced two fumbles and recovered one.

Josh Morgan • CB • 5-10 • 175 • San Antonio, Texas • Roosevelt HS • Navarro JC (Early Signee)
All-Southwest JC Football Conference honors as a defensive back for Navarro in 2018… ranked second on the team with 60 total tackles while leading the squad with 12 pass break-ups… recorded two tackles for a loss and picked off one pass… had a season-high 10 tackles against Blinn and four pass break-ups versus Cisco.

Mason Pierce • WR • 5-9 • 160 • Pearland, Texas • Pearland Dawson HS
District 23-6A All-Purpose Player of the Year… 1st team all-district at wide receiver and all-purpose… 54 catches for 765 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Carlos Scott • LB • 6-1 • 235 • Houston, Texas • Dulles HS • Navarro JC (Early Signee)
Ranked fourth on the team in 2018 with 50 total tackles to go along with three tackles for a loss… playing in nine of the 11 games on the season, he recorded a season-high 11 tackles, nine of those solos, in a win over Trinity Valley.

Hayden Shaw • OL • 6-3 • 285 • Glen Rose, Texas • Glen Rose HS
1st team all-district… district lineman of the year… Texas Class 4A state quarterfinalist.

Markquell Stewart • WR • 6-0 • 175 • Gonzales, La. • East Ascension HS
2nd team all-district honors… Played for former McNeese Cowboy Darnell Lee.

Damarcus Thomas • OL • 6-3 • 290 • Houston, Texas • Galena Park North Shore HS
1st team all-district… played for the Texas 6A state champion North Shore HS.

Kaleb Wenson • DT • 6-2 • 255 • Austin, Texas • Lake Travis HS
As a junior at Lake Travis, earned 1st team All-District 6A while helping lead his team to a 15-1 record and a state runner up spot… Began his HS career at Cambridge HS in Georgia and was rated the #60 player… in 2016, voted to the All-American USA Bowl representing Georgia as a middle linebacker… offered by Air Force, UTEP, Houston Baptist, and a couple of Division II schools.

Carlos Williams • RB/ATH • 5-11 • 191 • Dixie County, Fla. • Dixie County HS
1st team all-state… 1st team all-district… 1,500 rushing yards… 25 touchdowns… on defense, recorded 60 tackles with two interceptions.

Jack Zelezinski • OL • 6-5 • 300 • Houston, Texas • Summer Creek HS
1st team all-district honors… Texas Class 6A state quarterfinalist.

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