JONESBORO (2/6/08) – Head Football Coach Steve Roberts has announced Arkansas State’s 2008 signing class, made up of 27 players from across eight different states, that includes 20 high school and junior college standouts that signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, Feb. 6, to play for ASU next season.
“We are certainly very excited about this class,” said Roberts. “We were able to meet our immediate and most pressing needs, both in the junior college and high school ranks. I feel like we’ve added a ton of size, athletic ability and speed to our football program.”
The Indians have added 14 offensive players, 10 defensive players, a kicker and one player who could play on either side of the ball. The signing class includes eight junior college transfers and 19 high school players, including five from the state of Arkansas. ASU’s five signees from within the state are from Bentonville, West Helena, Fort Smith, Van Buren and Bearden.
ASU also signed five players from Alabama and at least two players from California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.
ASU inked six offensive lineman and six defensive backs, the most for any position. ASU also signed four wide receivers and two linebackers, quarterbacks and tight ends. ASU added a defensive tackle, defensive end and running back on national signing day as well.
2008 ARKANSAS STATE FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASS
1. Eric Allen: 6-1, 285, OL, Daphne, Ala. (Daphne High School)
2. Ryan Aplin: 6-1, 190, QB, Tampa, Fla. (Fleming Island High School)
3. Tyler Barnes: 6-4, 290, OL, Bentonville, Ark. (Bentonville High School)
4. Graham Bates: 6-0, 182, DB, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL (Allen D. Nease High School)
5. Najel Byrd: 6-0, 215, LB, West Helena, Ark. (Central High School)**
6. Taylor Clements: 5-10, 187, Jr., WR, Chico, Calif. (Butte (CA) College)***
7. Rashad Fields: 6-1, 195, DB, Caruthersville, Mo. (Caruthersville High School)
8. Bradley Guillory: 6-3, 308, Jr., OL, Lafayette, La. (Kilgore (TX) College)***
9. Nathan Herrold: 6-3, 230, LB, Ozark, Mo. (Ozark High School)
10. Brandon Johnson: 6-4, 307, OL, Memphis, Tenn. (Whitehaven High School)**
11. Ronnie Johnson: 6-1, 190, RB, Marbury, Ala. (Marbury High School)
12. Don Jones: 6-0, 193, DB, Town Creek, Ala. (Hazlewood High School)
13. Gregory McCall: 5-11, 297, DT, Prattville, Ala. (Prattville High School)
14. Jahbari McLennan: 5-11, 185, Jr., WR, Austin, Texas (Trinity Valley (TX) CC)***
15. Cordarious Mingo: 5-11, 195, Jr., DB, Terrell, Texas (Trinity Valley (TX) CC)
16. Walter Moody: 5-11, 175, So., DB, Oakland, Miss. (Northwest Mississippi CC)***
17. Kedric Murry: 6-3, 258, TE, Pleasant Grove, Ala. (Pleasant Grove High School)
18. Allen Muse: 6-4, 205, WR, Leesville, La. (Leesville High School)
19. Derek Newton: 6-6, 325, Jr., OL, Utica, Miss. (Hinds CC)
20. Brandon Parker: 6-1, 180, K, Coral Springs, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas HS)
21. Kiano Prater: 6-5, 280, Jr., OL, San Bernardino, Calif. (San Bernardino Valley (CA) College)
22. Justin Schoemehl: 6-3, 212, TE, St. Louis, Mo. (Oakville High School)
23. Andre Smith: 6-2, 190, QB, Killeen, Texas (Shoemaker High School)
24. Timothy Starson: 6-5, 209, DE, Fort Smith, Ark. (Northside High School)
25. Taylor Stockemer: 6-4, 200, WR, Van Buren, Ark. (Van Buren High School)
26. Leroy Trahan: 5-10, 175, So., DB, Rialto, Calif. (San Bernardino Valley (CA) College)***
27. Dewayne Watts: 5-11, 185, ATH, Bearden, Ark. (Bearden High School)
** Player originally signed with ASU in 2007 and sat out for a year to concentrate on academics
***Junior College Midterm Signee and is available for spring practice
Arkansas (5): Tyler Barnes (OL), Najel Byrd (LB) Timothy Starson (DE), Taylor Stockemer (WR), Dewayne Watts (ATH)
Alabama (5): Eric Allen (OL), Don Jones (DB), Ronnie Johnson (RB), Gregory McCall (DT), Kedric Murry (TE)
California (3): Taylor Clements (WR), Kiano Prater (OL), Leroy Trahan (DB)
Florida (3): Ryan Aplin (QB), Graham Bates (DB), Brandon Parker (K)
Louisiana (2): Bradley Guillory (OL), Allen Muse (WR)
Mississippi (2): Walter Moody (DB), Derek Newton (OL)
Missouri (3): Rashad Fields (DB), Nathan Herrold (LB), Justin Schoemehl (TE)
Tennessee (1): Brandon Johnson
Texas (3): Jahbari McLennan (WR), Cordarious Mingo (DB), Andre Smith (QB)
Athlete (1): Dewayne Watts
Defensive Back (6): Rashad Fields, Don Jones, Walter Moody, Cordarious Mingo, Leroy Trahan, Graham Bates
Defensive End (1): Timothy Starson
Defensive Tackle (1): Gregory McCall
Linebacker (2): Najel Byrd, Nathan Herrold
Kicker (1): Brandon Parker
Offensive Line (6): Eric Allen, Tyler Barnes, Bradley Guillory, Brandon Johnson, Derek Newton, Kiano Prater
Quarterback (2): Ryan Aplin, Andre Smith
Running Back (1): Ronnie Johnson
Tight End (2): Kedric Murry, Justin Schoemehl
Wide Receiver (4): Taylor Clements, Jahbari McLennan, Allen Muse, Taylor Stockemer
Eric Allen: 6-1, 285, OL, Daphne, Ala. (Daphne High School)
Three-year varsity letterman . . . Posted 12 pancakes and graded at 90 percent blocking as a senior . . . Voted 2007 Team Captain . . . Participated in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic . . . Named all-county, all-region and all-state . . . Track and field letterwinner . . . Also recruited by Auburn, Louisiana-Monroe and Alabama State.
Ryan Aplin: 6-1, 190, QB, Tampa, Fla. (Fleming Island High School)
Two-year varsity letterman . . . Recorded 1,300 passing yards and 350 rushing yards in seven games played . . . Posted 2,300 passing yards and 17 touchdowns, while also rushing for 650 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior . . . Named Shrine Bowl MVP . . . 2006 and 2007 First Team All-County and Second Team All-District . . . Also was lettered in baseball and was an all-conference selection . . . Also recruited by Middle Tennessee and Savannah State.
Tyler Barnes: 6-4, 290, OL, Bentonville, Ark. (Bentonville High School)
Three-year starter on the offensive line at Bentonville High School . . . 2007 Preseason All-State and All-Conference selection . . . Named Offensive Player of the Year as a senior. . . Associated Press Super Team, All-Area, All-District selection while at Bentonville . . . Named to Bentonville High School Honor Roll multiple times . . . Also recruited by Middle Tennessee and Tulsa.
Graham Bates: 6-0, 182, DB, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (Allen D. Nease High School)
Four-year letterman, helping lead Allen D. Nease HS to one 4A State Championship and two runner-up finishes . . . Helped lead Allen D. Nease High School to a 13-2 record last season . . . All-Conference, All-County and third team All-State selection . . . Also lettered in basketball, lacrosse and track and field.
Najel Byrd: 6-0, 215, LB, West Helena, Ark. (Central High School)
Played both running back and linebacker for Central High School, but is expected to play linebacker at Arkansas State . . . 5A All-State selection as both a junior and senior . . . Recorded 1,210 rushing yards on 122 carries as a senior . . . Posted 75 tackles in eight games in 2006 . . . Runner-up at 2006 state track & field meet in the shot put with a best throw of 53-8 . . . Posted a season-best time of 10.78 in the 100 meters.
Taylor Clements: 5-10, 187, Jr., WR, Chico, Calif. (Butte (CA) College)
Named a 2007 first team all-conference selection after catching 44 passes for 831 yards and nine touchdowns with the Butte College Roadrunners . . . Returned 23 kicks for 662 yards, including a season-high 88 yard return, as a sophomore . . . Helped lead the Roadrunners to a 7-4 record, including a 61-33 win over Delta College in the Stockman’s Bank Bowl, in 2007 . . . Named the bowl game’s MVP . . . Received an Academic Achievement Award and was a multi-sport athlete at Butte, earning first team all-conference baseball recognition in the spring of 2007 . . . Played both wide receiver and defensive back at Pleasant Valley High School in Chico, Calif. . . . Named first team all-league on both offense and defense as a senior after recording 44 receptions for 921 yards and 14 touchdowns and posting eight interceptions from his safety position . . . Four-year baseball and basketball letterwinner from 2002-06 . . . First team all-league selection in 2005 and 2006 as an infielder and was named the school’s Outstanding Senior Male Athlete.
Rashad Fields: 6-1, 195, DB, Caruthersville, Mo. (Caruthersville High School)
First Team All-District . . . First Team All-Region . . . First Team All-State selection . . . Part of two district championships . . . Played on both sides of the ball in high school . . . Tallied 10 tackles, and interception and a 30-yard fumble return for a touchdown during the 2007 season opener . . . Recorded eight touchdowns (5 receiving/3rushing as a junior) . . . Recorded 96 tackles and four interceptions during junior campaign . . . Also recruited by Ole Miss, Missouri and Kansas.
Bradley Guillory: 6-3, 308, Jr., OL, Lafayette, La. (Kilgore (TX) College)
Helped lead Kilgore (TX) College to an 8-4 record and a No. 15 national ranking in the final NJCAA/JC Football.com poll . . . Part of an offensive line that led the Rangers to a No. 6 national ranking in total offense with 417.7 yards per game . . . Kilgore also ranked No. 9 nationally in rushing offense with 225.4 yards per game and added 192.3 yards per game through the air to rank No. 16 . . . A three-year football letterman at Carencro High School in Lafayette, La., Guillory earned second team all-district honors as a sophomore, first team all-state recognition as a junior and second team all-state honors as a senior.
Nathan Herrold: 6-3, 230, LB, Ozark, Mo. (Ozark High School)
Three-year varsity letterman . . . During his three-year high school career, recorded 379 tackles (109 soph., 121 junior, 149 senior), five interceptions, nine touchdowns and three blocked punts . . . Caught 29 passes for 500 yards during his senior season . . . Helped lead Ozark to the state semifinals and an 8-5 record . . . 2007 awards and honors include: First Team AP All-State linebacker, First Team MFBCA All-State linebacker, First Team All-COC, First Team All-District tight end.
Brandon Johnson: 6-4, 307, OL, Memphis, Tenn. (Whitehaven High School)
Four year letterman . . . Named 2006 All-Metro . . . All-Region 8-5A selection as a senior . . . Selected to play in the Liberty Bowl Auto Zone game . . . Invited to and attended the U.S. Army Combine his junior year.
Ronnie Johnson: 6-1, 190, RB, Marbury, Ala. (Marbury High School)
First Team All-State and All-Metro selection as a senior . . . 2007 All-Metro Player of the Year (1-4A) . . . Rushed for 1,790 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior despite missing one full game and parts of two others due to injuries . . . Rushed for over 200 yards in four games during the 2007 season, including a career-high 259 yards in the first round of the playoffs . . . Also lettered in basketball and track and field . . . Also recruited by Troy, Alabama and Alabama State.
Don Jones: 6-0, 193, DB, Town Creek, Ala. (Hazlewood High School)
Recorded 58 tackles from safety position in 2007 and finished his high school career with 12 interceptions . . . Rushed for 1,853 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior as well . . . Decatur Daily Player of the Year . . . Moulton Advertiser Player of the Year . . . Named All-Area as both a junior and senior . . . Times Daily Athlete of the Year . . . Four-time Player of the Week selection . . . State champion in the 100, 200 and 400 meter events . . . All-County basketball selection in 2007 and 2008 . . . Also recruited by Jacksonville State and North Alabama.
Greg McCall: 5-11, 297, DT, Prattville, Ala. (Prattville High School)
Helped lead Prattville to back-to-back 6A State Championships in 2006 and 2007 . . . Recorded 60 tackles and two tackles for loss as a senior, including six stops in the state title game . . . Birmingham News All-Metro team (tri-county team) selection as a senior . . . Honorable Mention Class 6A All-State Team.
Jahbari McLennan: 5-11, 185, Jr., WR, Austin, Texas (Trinity Valley (TX) CC)
Named 2007 First Team All-Southwest Junior College Football Conference after recording 29 receptions for 550 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore . . . Three-year varsity football letterman at Reagan High School, where he also lettered four years in baseball and two in track and field . . . First team all-district selection at both wide receiver and defensive back his senior season . . . While at Reagan, McLennan recorded 60 career receptions for 1,832 yards and seven touchdowns . . . First team all-district baseball selection as a junior and track and field regional qualifier in the 4x100, 4x200 and high jump events.
Cordarious Mingo: 5-11, 195, Jr., DB, Terrell, Texas (Trinity Valley (TX) CC)
2007 First Team NJCAA All-America, first team all-region, first team all-conference . . . While at Terrell High School, earned first team all-state and first team all-district honors as a defensive back . . . Four-year high school varsity football letterman . . . Played running back and defensive back in high school . . . High school 400 meter event . . . Also recruited by LSU, Clemson, Florida, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Southern Miss, Texas A&M and Baylor.
Walter Moody: 5-11, 175, Soph., DB, Oakland, Miss. (Northwest Mississippi CC)
Played in all 10 games, including seven as a starter, for Northwest Mississippi CC last season as a freshman . . . Helped lead the Rangers to a 6-4 record while recording 38 tackles, four pass break-ups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery . . . Part of a Rangers’ defense that ranked No. 3 in the MACJC and No. 19 nationally in passing defense, giving up just 127.7 yards per game . . . Northwest Mississippi’s defense also ranked No. 2 in the MACJC and No. 18 nationally in total defense, allowing 241.7 yards per game . . . Received the team’s “Sledgehammer Award” for impact hitter . . . All-conference selection his senior season at Coffeeville High School, located in Oakland, Miss. . . . Recorded 130 tackles, intercepted five passes and posted three touchdowns to help lead Coffeeville to a 10-3 record.
Kedric Murry: 6-3, 258, TE, Pleasant Grove, Ala. (Pleasant Grove High School)
Four-year varsity football letterman and three-year varsity basketball letterman . . . Birmingham News First Team All-Metro as a senior . . . Honorable Mention 5A All-State . . . Caught 34 passes for 427 yards and three touchdowns in 2007 . . . Helped lead Pleasant Grove to a 9-3 record as a junior . . . Also recruited by Southern Miss, Middle Tennessee, Alabama State and Troy.
Allen Muse: 6-4, 205, WR, Leesville, La. (Leesville High School)
Four-year starter on the varsity football team . . . During his four-year high school career, Muse was named all-state, All-Vernon Parish and all-district . . . Caught 53 passes for 720 yards and four touchdowns as a senior . . . Track and field letterman . . . Who’s Who Among American High School Students . . . National Honor Roll . . . Received the Hugey O’Brian Leadership Award . . . Also recruited by Southern Miss, LSU, Louisiana Tech and Ole Miss.
Derek Newton: 6-6, 325, Jr., OL, Utica, Miss. (Hinds CC)
First Team All-State selection at Hinds Community College . . . Played in the Mississippi Junior College All-Star Game . . . Helped lead Hinds Agricultural High School to a 10-0 regular-season record during senior season, earning All-Metro and All-District honors . . . Named Most Improved Player as a senior as well . . . Also recruited by North Texas and Troy.
Brandon Parker: 6-1, 180, K, Coral Springs, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas High School)
Four-year letterwinner . . . Helped lead St. Thomas Aquina to a 5A state championship with a 15-1 record . . . Made 80-of-84 PAT’s and 7-of-12 field goal attempts . . . Recorded 54 touchbacks on kickoffs . . . Member of Social Justice Club . . . Also recruited by Miami (Ohio), Southern Miss and Northern Illinois.
Kiano Prater: 6-5, 280, OL, San Bernardino, Calif. (San Bernardino Valley (CA) College)
Two-year starter at San Bernadino Valley College . . . Named Second Team All-Conference as a sophomore . . . .Three-year varsity football and two-year varsity track letterwinner at Arroyo Valley High School . . . high school honor roll member . . . Also recruited by Idaho State, Temple and Kansas State.
Justin Schoemehl: 6-3, 212, TE, St. Louis, Mo. (Oakville High School)
First Team All-Conference selection senior season after recording 738 receiving yards and a team-high 13 touchdown catches . . . 738 receiving yards led the Suburban West Conference . . . Averaged 25.4 yards per reception . . . Suburban Journal Athlete of the Week during September of 2007 . . . Post Dispatch High School Weekender during November 2007 after leading metro area in receiving yards . . . Received the Oakville HS MVP award and Eye of the Tiger award . . . Honor Roll student all four years . . . Member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Andre Smith: 6-2, 190, QB, Killeen, Texas (Shoemaker High School)
Rushed for 682 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 5.4 yards per carry as a senior . . . Completed 103-of-205 passes (50.2 percent) for 1,414 yards and nine touchdowns during senior season as well . . . 2007 First Team 13-5A All-District selection . . . Rushed for 215 yards in one game . . . Passed for 856 yards and six touchdowns as a junior . . . Also recruited by Tulsa, SMU and Central Arkansas.
Timothy Starson: 6-5, 209, DE, Fort Smith, Ark. (Northside High School)
Three-year letterman, including one as a starter at Northside High School . . . Recorded 80 tackles, eight sacks and nine tackles for loss as a senior . . . Named Outstanding Lineman of the Year and Defensive Newcomer of the Year senior season . . . All-State selection.
Taylor Stockemer: 6-4, 200, WR, Van Buren, Ark. (Van Buren High School)
Rivals.com Top-15 (No. 12) player in the state of Arkansas . . . Rivals.com nationally ranked top-100 wide receiver (No. 92) . . . Rivals.com three-star recruit . . . Three-year varsity starter . . . Holds the Van Buren High School records for single-season receiving yards, career receiving yards (1,661), career receptions (100) and career receiving touchdowns (14) . . . Two-time All-Conference selection . . . All-Nike Combine Team . . . Hooten’s 2007 Preseason Super Team . . . Two-time Southwest Times Record Preseason All-Area Team . . . Named All-State track and field . . . Finished third in the state in the decathlon event . . . Also recruited by Kansas and Air Force.
Leroy Trahan: 5-10, 175, Soph., DB, Rialto, Calif. (San Bernardino Valley (CA) College)
Posted six interceptions for 89 yards, seven pass break-ups and 29 tackles as a freshman in 2007 at San Bernardino Valley (CA) College . . . Earned First Team All-Foothill Conference as an All-State Nominee, Region 3 Football All-America and All-California Community College First Team Defense recognition . . . While at Carter High School in Rialto, Calif., Trahan was a two-year varsity football letterman as a wide receiver and defensive back . . . Two-year varsity baseball letterman and helped lead Carter to its first ever conference baseball title in 2006.
Dewayne Watts: 5-11, 185, ATH, Bearden, Ark. (Bearden High School)Named all-state in 2006 and 2007 . . . Rushed for 1,861 yards on 234 carries as a junior and came back his senior season to post 1,130 rushing yards on 108 attempts . . . Rushed for a combined 43 touchdowns as a junior and season and also threw 35 touchdown passes the last two seasons . . . Recorded six career interceptions, including one returned for a 90-yard touchdown . . . Accounted for 79 touchdowns the last two seasons . . . Two-time all-conference selection . . . In addition to football, participated in basketball, baseball and track and field.