Cardinal football signs 26 players

Cardinal football signs 26 players
Rodney Randle Jr.

The Lamar Cardinals football team signed 23 high school standouts to National Letters of Intent and added three transfers. In one of the more balanced signing classes since the return of the program, the Cardinals brought in a wealth of talent on both sides of the ball. The 2015 class consists of 13 defensive players, 13 on the offensive side of the ball, and one athlete – Southlake Carroll product Tariq Gordon – comes to Beaumont listed as a receiver and defensive back.

“I’m excited to be signing this group of young men,” said head coach Ray Woodard. “This is a large class, and I believe we landed some talented players in every area with this group. Because of the job we’re doing academically, we have been able to attract better student athletes. I really believe this class has the potential to be the best class we’ve ever signed.

“We were in a bit of a unique position with so many new coaches this season, but I believe new guys will bring some fresh ideas and added enthusiasm. This staff got out on the road and did a great job recruiting. We were able to get out in front of a lot of people,” added Woodard.

The offensive signees consist of six offensive linemen, three wide receivers, two running backs, a quarterback and a tight end. On the other side of the ball, the Cardinals signed five defensive backs, five linebackers and two linemen (one end and a tackle).

A primary key for every recruiting class is to protect your backyard. The Lamar staff once again accomplished that task with an infusion of several players from Southeast Texas. They include Ethan Cothen (West Brook), Duncan McVey (Deer Park), Corey Nance (Hardin), Rodney Randle Jr. (Ozen) and transfer Matthew Oubre (Dayton) from Louisiana-Monroe.

A major question mark heading into 2015 for the Cardinals was quarterback, with record-setting quarterback Caleb Berry out of eligibility, and Lamar’s two returning quarterbacks electing to transfer. Lamar believes it found the quarterback of the future in 6-4, 200-pound Sachse product Brett Cox. A three-star prospect, Cox brings a big-time arm to Beaumont after throwing for more than 3,000 yards last season. He will battle transfers Joe Minden (Stephen F. Austin) and Carson Earp (Navarro College) for the starting spot.

Over the course of the past two seasons, attrition has taken a significant toll on the Cardinals defensive line. The Cards addressed that need with the addition of signees Stelen Covel (6-2, 260, Oklahoma City) and David Dorsett (6-3, 240, Fort Worth), bolstering the defensive signees from last year’s class.

The Cardinals also brought in one of its strongest classes of offensive linemen since the program’s rebirth. Lamar lost two key pieces of its 2014 offensive front, but replaced those with six newcomers. The incoming class of offensive linemen consists of Jesse Brewster (6-7, 285, Friendswood), Cothen, Joseph Gonzales (6-4, 285, Waco), Hayden Kaaiohelo (6-5, 285, Edmond, Okla.), Nance and Oubre.

The Cardinals one tight end signee is already familiar with the university, LU football and the offense. He is the brother of outgoing senior Payden McVey. The younger McVey, Duncan (6-4, 220) comes to Beaumont looking to replace Payden following a successful high school career at Deer Park High School.

Hoops

Freshman point guard Kevin Booze scored a career-high 35 points to lead the Lamar Cardinals to an 80-61 win over Abilene Christian on Feb. 10 in Garland. Booze’s 35 points are the most scored by a Cardinal since Mike James set the LU single-game record with 52 against Louisiana College during the 2011-12 season.

LU is now 12-12 overall and 6-6 in the Southland Conference and will next host Houston Baptist on Monday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. HBU beat the Cards 79-77 on Jan. 24.

The Lady Cards (13-10, 10-2 SLC) have won six in a row and will next host Houston Baptist on Thursday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. LU defeated HBU 80-64 on Jan. 24.

Baseball

The 2014-15 season begins on Friday, Feb. 13, as Lamar hosts the Cardinal Classic at Vincent-Beck Stadium.

New Mexico State and Illinois will kick off the tournament at 2 p.m. followed by Lamar vs. New Mexico State at 6 p.m.

Saturday, Illinois will play New Mexico State again at 11 a.m. Lamar plays a double header beginning at 2 p.m. vs. Illinois then New Mexico State at 6 p.m.

The Classic will conclude Feb. 15 when Lamar plays Illinois at 11 a.m.

Senior catcher and first baseman Brandon Provost was voted to the 2015 preseason All-Southland Conference first team and was joined by Reed Seeley (3B) and Kyle Markum (DH) on the second team.

Softball

The Lady Cards went 3-2 in the Sand Dollar Classic in Gulf Shores, Ala., beating Jackson State (9-2), Liberty (10-6), and Eastern Kentucky (7-4) while losing to Florida International (4-3) and Southern Miss (5-2).

LU will next travel to Starkville to play in the Mississippi State Invitational on Feb. 13-15.

The Lady Cards will open the event on Friday vs. Louisiana Tech (10 a.m.) and Tennessee-Martin at 12:30 p.m.

LU plays hosts Mississippi State on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Illinois at 7 p.m. before closing the tournament on Sunday at 11 a.m. vs. Tennessee-Martin.

 

— Compiled by Chad Cooper

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