Posted: 2/5/2014 5:46:49 PM
|National Signing Day sees Cardinals make a recruiting haul
Just over two months removed from a triple-championship, record-setting season, the Trinity Valley Cardinals reloaded Wednesday.
National Signing Day saw Brad Smiley and his staff sign 34 high school seniors. With the addition of four mid-year enrollees, the Cardinals will have at least 38 newcomers going into the fall.
Smiley was all smiles as the fax machine printed the final letter of intent. It ended a highly productive morning.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt we have assembled one of the top recruiting classes in the country,” said Smiley, who just completed his seventh season as Cardinal head coach. “This is a talented, well rounded class.”
The Cardinals are coming off a 10-2 season which saw them capture conference, regional and bowl championships and finished ranked No. 5. They are returning a bevy of starters and lettermen across the board, leaving just one major need -- quarterback.
Smiley signed four quarterbacks, including 6-5 transfer Ford Childress, who started three games at West Virginia last season and enrolled at the college at the start of the spring semester. He is the son of former Houston All-Pro and Texas A&M All-American Ray Childress.
Childress will compete with returning sophomore Monty James and three other freshman signees for the right to replace SWJCFC Most Valuable Player and NJCAA All-American Ryan Polite.
“Quarterback was the only major need we had to address,” Smiley said. “We feel we have.”
Smiley said the recruiting class adds depth and will result in intense competition for playing time once the 2014 season rolls around.
“If we signed them, it’s because we feel they will come in and compete for playing time,” Smiley said. “We want to see how they come in and compete and how our sophomores react to the competition.”
Among the signees are two players ranked in the Rivals.com Texas Top 100 – offensive tackle Jovan Pruitt (6-6, 195, Dallas Bishop Dunne) and wide receiver Byron Daniels (6-0, 170, San Antonio Madison). Pruitt signed with Arkansas and Daniels with Texas Tech.
Smiley said the success the Cardinals experienced in the 2013 resulted in recruiting dividends.
“Last year (coming off a 3-6 season in 2011) we were successful signing a quality class by using the fact we led the nation in moving kids on to D-1 schools,” Smiley said. “This year, with the success we had on the field, it allowed us to get kids committed early and they stayed with us … didn’t have to fight near as many battles to keep them.”
Here is the breakdown of the class by positions: ATH (1), DB (6), DL (7), LB (6), OL (6), QB (4), RB (2) and WR (6).
“There’s no question this is the strongest recruiting class we’ve ever put together,” Smiley said.
Pos. Player Ht. Wt. Hometown (School)
2014 TRINITY VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
ATH Xavier Haley 6-0 185 Waco (Midway)
DB Chris Coby 6-0 170 Longview (Longview)
DB LaRoderick Evans 6-1 195 Winnfield, LA (Winnfield)
DB *Wesley Harris 6-0 175 Fort Worth (Southwest/Baylor)
DB Jamal Jones 5-10 190 Carrollton (Creekview)
DB Michael Sam 6-2 190 New Iberia, LA (New Iberia)
DB Dillon Thornton 6-2 180 San Antonio (Roosevelt)
DL Cardell Best 6-5 250 Little Elm (Little Elm)
DL Leroy Hardwell Jr. 6-1 275 Winnfield, LA (Winnfield)
DL Brahma Haugh 6-2 235 San Antonio (Warren)
DL *Josh McKinnies 6-1 280 Houston (Mayde Creek/Abilene Christian)
DL Colby Priest 6-5 270 Belton (Belton)
DL Chance Rogins 6-4 255 Garland (Naaman Forest)
DL Rashad Williams 6-4 270 Marshall (Marshall)
LB DeAnthony Cuney 6-0 235 Jasper (Jasper)
LB Josh Ehambe 6-3 230 Arlington (Prime Prep)
LB Mar’Quaveon Jones 6-2 210 Dallas (Skyline)
LB Ashston Terrell 6-2 200 Dallas (Carter)
LB Marcel Thomas 5-10 205 Denton (Guyer)
LB Chris Jefferson 6-2 215 Athens (Athens)
OL Griffin Bankhead 6-3 300 Carthage (Carthage)
OL Arien Ferguson 6-3 315 Missouri City (Ridge Point)
OL T.J. Henson 6-4 280 Plano (East)
OL Lucas Morales 6-5 310 Waco (Reicher)
OL Jovan Pruitt 6-6 295 Dallas (Bishop Dunne)
OL Jordan Wright 6-3 305 Houston (Northshore)
QB Rayjohn Austin-Ramsey 6-1 180 Converse (Judson)
QB *Ford Childress 6-5 240 Houston (Kincaid/West Virginia)
QB Ryan Cottingame 6-5 210 Sunnyvale (Sunnyvale)
QB Lane Novy 6-0 215 Mesquite (Poteet)
RB Adam Berryman 5-9 185 Gainesville (Gainesville)
RB Darrell Breedlove 5-9 175 Denton (Guyer)
WR Phillip Baptiste 5-11 185 Copperas Cove (Copperas Cove)
WR Byron Daniels 6-0 170 San Antonio (Madison)
WR Emmanuel Harris 5-9 190 Dallas (Skyline)
WR *Alex Pina-Rhoden 6-2 185 Wylie (Wylie)
WR Dezmon Randle 6-2 180 San Augustine (San Augustine)
WR Andre Wilson 5-10 180 Converse Judson
* Denotes mid-year enrollee