NATCHITOCHES - Northwestern State head football coach Bradley Dale Peveto announced the signing of 24 players, including three other transfers, on National Signing Day Wednesday during the annual luncheon in Prather Coliseum.
The list includes 16 players from Louisiana, 10 from Texas and one from Mississippi.
"It's a great signing class," said Peveto about his fourth at NSU. "I felt we were able to answer a lot of needs."
Offensively, the Demons notched eight offensive linemen, three tight ends, two running backs, two athletes, a wide receiver, a quarterback and a long snapper.
"I felt like we were able to add to our offensive line," said Peveto. "We were able to get some center-type, guard-type, and some tackle-type guys that we desperately needed.
Among the offensive linemen were 6-3, 320 all-district selection Terrance Boyd, Jr. out of Robert E. Lee HS in Baytown, Texas; 6-6, 266 pound Pace Murphy of Strake Jesuit College Prep in Houston, Texas, a two-time all-district performer; all-district and all-region selection Michael Ringuet of Jennings HS who stands 6-5 and weighs 250; 6-2, 278 pound all-state, all-parish, all-metro, and all-district player Austin Loup of Denham Springs HS; Zach Britton, a 6-2, 288 pounder from Keller-Central HS who is a four-sport standout; and Thomas Little, a 6-1, 295 pound all-state performer out of Winnfield HS.
"We got a quarterback and a couple of running backs. We also got a true height at the receiver position to coin the term 'X-receiver.' Those big, tall type guys that can run."
The quarterback is Daniel Hazlewood out of Huntsville HS in Huntsville, Texas who threw for over 1,800 yards and earned all-district honors.
Running back Matthew Flores out of St. Thomas More HS, was one of the most exciting players in the Acadiana/Lafayette area for turning little plays into big gains. The all-district selection accounted for nearly 2,000 all-purpose yards his senior season, a year after accumulating over 2,300 all-purpose yards as a junior.
NSU also landed three tight ends - Khris Watkins, a 6-2, 210 pound all-district selection from Jennings HS; Steve York, a 6-3, 235 pound all-district performer out of Huntsville (TX) High Shool; and Thomas Moore, a 6-3, 200 pounder who garnered all-district and all-state honorable mention honors after making 30 catches for 546 yards from Parkway HS in Bossier City.
In addition to the three tight ends, NSU signed Tuff McClain, a 5-11, 180 pound wide receiver out of Klein Oak HS earned district co-MVP honors this past season after he caught 78 passes for 1,266 yards and 11 touchdowns.
"I'm very proud of this class and extremely happy for the hard work our coaches put into the recruiting process. We recruited big, athletic, and great academic guys with high character."
Defensively, NSU inked four defensive backs, three defensive linemen and a linebacker.
"We were able to get some cornerbacks and safeties. We added five defensive linemen that can run and can play really well. And we got a linebacker out of Houston that is very athletic," said Peveto referring to Adam Jones who was rated as a two-star recruit by Rivals.com.
Jones was a two-time all-district performer out of Seven Lakes HS in Katy, Texas after he intercepted six passes this past season and two the year before.
Dylan LaVergne is a 5-10, 174 pound safety from Jennings HS who earned all-district honors as a running back after he rushed for 1,602 yards on 239 carries. He'll be used as a safety at NSU. Joining LaVergne in the defensive backfield is Jahvez Barnes, a 6-0, 180 pound all-district selection from Zachary HS; Ed Eagan, a 5-11, 180 pound safety from Holy Cross HS; and Sylvester Grimble, a 5-10, 170 pound cornerback from West Jefferson HS.
On the defensive line, the Demons signed Natchitoches Central standout Leroy Armstrong, a 6-1, 230 pound defensive end. Armstrong earned all-state honors this past season after he recorded 69 tackles with 11.5 sacks.
In addition to Armstrong, NSU landed Neville product Lorenzo Lenoir, a 6-1, 260 pound defensive tackle who earned all-state honors following a season where he recorded 56 tackles, five sacks and six tackles for a loss.
JaMarcus Marshall, a 6-4, 220 pound defensive end out of Ouachita Parish HS, earned all-district and all-Northeast honors when he led his team with 85 tackles and seven sacks. He was also named to the Class 5A Academic All-State team.
The Demons also signed two athletes out of Ville Platte HS - Cody Jones, a 5-11, 176 pound quarterback who passed for 2,077 yards and rushed for another 877 and earned district MVP honors for his play. NSU nabbed teammate Darius Poullard, a 5-11, 170 pound all-district running back and cornerback who rushed for 869 yards and had another 694 yards receiving on 36 catches. He also averaged 26.8 yards per punt return and 17.2 yards per kick return.
The Demons also signed three junior college transfers - offensive linemen Warren K. Jones of East Mississippi Community College and Jeremy Raine out of Trinity Valley Community College, as well as long snapper Kevin Garza also out of Trinity Valley CC.
"The thing about this class," said Peveto, "is that there are some upstanding you men. Great athletes, great character, and great students. I really felt like we were able to feel our needs extremely well."
2012 Northwestern State Football Signees
Leroy Armstrong III, DE, 6-1, 230, Natchitoches Central HS, Natchitoches, LA
Jahvez Barnes, CB, 6-0, 180, Zachary HS, Zachary, LA
Terrance Boyd, OL, 6-3, 320, Baytown Lee HS, Baytown, TX
Zach Britton, OL, 6-2, 288, Keller-Central HS, Keller, TX
Ed Eagan, S, 5-11, 180, Holy Cross HS, New Orleans, LA
Matthew Flores, RB, 5-9, 185, St. Thomas More HS, Lafayette, LA
Sylvester Grimble, CB, 5-10, 179, West Jefferson HS, Harvey HS
Daniel Hazlewood, QB, 6-1, 205, Huntsville HS, Huntsville, TX
Adam Jones, S, 6-2.5, 190, Seven Lakes HS, Katy, TX
Cody Jones, ATH, 5-11, 176, Ville Platte HS, Ville Platte, LA
Dylan LaVergne, S, 5-10, 174, Jennings HS, Jennings, LA
Lorenzo Lenoir, DT, 6-1, 260, Neville HS, Monroe, LA
Thomas Little, OL, 6-1, 295, Winnfield HS, Winnfield, LA
Austin Loup, OL, 6-2, 278, Denham Springs HS, Denham Springs, LA
JeMarcus Marshall, DE, 6-4, 220, Ouachita Parish HS, Monroe, LA
Tuff McClain, WR, 5-11, 180, Klein Oak HS, Spring, TX
Thomas Moore, TE, 6-3, 200, Parkway HS, Bossier City, LA
Colton Moorehead, DT, 6-3, 250, Chapel Hill HS, Tyler, TX
Pace Murphy, OL, 6-6, 266, Strake Jesuit College Prep, Houston, TX
Darius Poullard, ATH, 5-11, 170, Ville Platte HS, Ville Platte, LA
Michael Ringuet, OL, 6-5, 250, Jennings HS, Jennings, LA
Daniel Taylor, RB, 5-10, 175, Lutcher HS, Lutcher, LA
Khris Watkins, TE, 6-1.5, 210, Jennings HS, Jennings, LA
Steve York, TE, 6-3, 235, Huntsville HS, Huntsville, TX
Leroy Armstrong III DE 6-1 230 Natchitoches Central HS Natchitoches, LA
Recorded 69 tackles, 11.5 sacks, blocked two punts, caused five fumbles and recovered two his senior season at Natchitoches Central HS... unanimous First Team All-District 2-5A... 5A All-State... All-Cenla... Shreveport Times All-Area... First Team All-District 2-5A as a junior with 47 tackles, six sacks, a blocked punt, two fumble recoveries... First Team All-District 2-5A his sophomore season with 39 tackles, four sacks and two fumble recoveries... district honorable mention honors as a freshman after collecting 19 tackles, three sacks and one fumble recovery... helped take an 0-10 team his freshman season to back-to-back 6-5 squads as a junior and senior and two playoff appearances... President of the African American History Club... Student Mentor... Positive Behavior Role Model... lettered 4 years in football, 3 in basketball, and one in baseball and track... son of Leroy Armstrong, Jr. and Cheryl Armstrong... has one brother, Jacarrious (10)... born Nov. 1, 1993.
Jahvez Barnes CB 6-0 180 Zachary HS Zachary, LA
Earned all-district honors at defensive back his senior season after collecting 67 tackles with 13 pass break-ups... was clocked with a 4.46 40-yard dash... lettered 4 years in football and 4 in track... son of Alicia Tennell... plans to major in computer science and has aspirations of designing video game software... born May 15, 1994.
Terrance Boyd, Jr. OL 6-3 320 Robert E. Lee HS Baytown, TX
First team all-district at offensive line as a senior and second team as a junior... unanimous first team all-district selection at defensive line his junior season... all-district honorable mention as a sophomore... lettered 3 years in football and 2 in basketball... A-B Honor Roll with a 3.0 grade point average... attended Boys State and is a member of the Thesbian Club... son of Terrance and Yolanda Boyd... one sister, Brooke Littles (24)... nickname is "Big T"... born Jan. 3, 1994.
Zach Britton OL 6-2 288 Keller-Central HS Keller, TX
A four-sport star at Keller HS in football, wrestling, track and field, and power lifting... earned all-state honors as a power lifter... all-district and all-region honors in wrestling... all-district and all-region honors in track and field... in football, led his team to an 8-3 mark and district runner-up finish his senior season... wrestling team finished 20-4 his senior year and 15-4 as a junior... played for Bart Helsley in football, Bill Wilson in wrestling, Rory Durham in track and Dusty Ortiz in power lifting... Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader... son of Bobby and Amanda Britton... one brother, Elijah (14) and a sister, Lauren (12)... born July 20, 1994.
Ed Eagan S 5-11 180 Holy Cross HS New Orleans, LA
Had 3 interceptions and returned 2 punts, 1 kickoff and 1 fumble recovery for touchdowns as a senior... earned all-state, all-metro and all-district honors... picked off eight passes and had one punt return for a touchdown his junior season where he earned all-state, all-metro and all-district honors... picked off a state record five passes in one game... team finished 10-3... had 5 interceptions and returned two punts for touchdowns in an 8-3 sophomore season... lettered 4 years in football, 4 in track and field and 1 in basketball... was the long jump regional champion and finished third in the state as a junior... son of Charles and Jennifer Eagan... one brother, Joe (21) and a sister, Mavra (16)... born June 19, 1993.
Matthew Flores RB 5-9 185 St. Thomas More HS Lafayette, LA
One of the most exciting players in the Acadiana/Lafayette area for making little plays turn into big gains with his great speed and quickness... tallied nearly 2,000 all-purpose yards as a senior and earned first team all-district and all-Acadiana honors in leading his St. Thomas More squad to an 11-2 record and quarterfinal spot in the playoffs... named Offensive Most Valuable Player of his district as a junior to go along with first team all-district, all-state, and all-Acadiana honors after compiling over 2,300 all-purpose yards... team finished 13-1 that season with a semifinal appearance in the state playoffs... starter as a sophomore and earned second team all-district honors... team finished 9-2 and advanced to the state playoffs... also lettered in baseball and helped his team to a district championship as a junior... played for Jim Hightower in football and Gary Perkins in baseball... member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes... Honor Roll student with a 3.0 grade point average... son of Brian and Gloria Flores... one brother, Michael (16)... his father played football at Louisiana-Monroe and was a member of the 1987 National Championship team.