RUSTON, La. – Louisiana Tech head football coach Skip Holtz officially announced the signing of 13 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, making it a total of 20 new Bulldogs that joined the family on National Signing Day.
In all, the 2017 signing class is balanced as Holtz and his staff brought in nine players on the offensive side of the ball and nine on defense. Additionally, the Bulldogs inked two players on special teams. LA Tech added 13 players out of high school with six from the junior college ranks.
“Today is an exciting day and this is my favorite time of year,” Holtz said. “There is a lot of excitement right now with the 2017 season because of the class we just signed. Having the opportunity to put this class together really excites me. There is a great mix of players in this group that will have the opportunity to come in and compete as freshmen and make a major contribution on this team. When you go out recruiting, you have to make sure to answer all your needs for 2017, but also your needs for 2018, ’19, ’20 and ’21. This class has a chance to make an impact on the field in 2017, but there is also a chance to have some impact players long into the future.”
Both the defensive secondary and offensive lines received the biggest bolsters Wednesday morning with several playmakers signing on with the Bulldogs. Seven of LA Tech’s signees will be featured in the secondary with one of the biggest gets of the day coming at 7:45 a.m. when defensive back Amik Robertson out of Thibodaux High School signing on to be a Bulldog in 2017. LA Tech also received a pair of local products when Neville’s Jaiden Cole and Jacorion Andrews officially became Bulldogs. Jordan Baldwin (Iowa Central CC/Tickfaw, La.), Randy Hogan (Pearl River CC/Pascagoula, Miss.), Kollin Hurt (Gilmer HS/Gilmer, Texas) and Michael Sam (Trinity Valley CC/Lafayette, La.) also add depth in the secondary for the Bulldogs.
On the offensive line, Robert McFarland added five players to his position group, including a junior college duo of Drew Kirkpatrick and Hanner Shipley out of Blinn College. Conner Estes (East Central HS/Moss Point, Miss.), Kennedy Madison (Ouachita HS/Monroe, La.) and Joshua Mote (Oak Grove HS/Oak Grove, La.) make up the additional three offensive linemen that joined the LA Tech family today.
The day began with the Bulldogs receiving a National Letter of Intent from quarterback and Amite High School product Elijah Walker at 7:30 a.m., while LA Tech also received more boosts on the offensive side of the ball as the morning continued with three prep wide receivers signing on the dotted line on Wednesday in Griffin Hebert (St. Thomas More HS/Lafayette, La.), George Scott III (Adams County Christian HS/Natchez, Miss.) and Cualan Williams (Lafayette County HS/Stamps, Ark.).
The 2017 class includes players from all across the south with nine players from Louisiana, five from Texas, four from Mississippi, one from Arkansas with the final student-athlete set to join the Bulldogs being punter Davan Dyer (Griffith University), who hails from Gilston, Australia. The Bulldogs also added a kicker in the signing class with Brady Farlow set to join the LA Tech family from Jones County Junior College.
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LA TECH SIGNING DAY 2017 – SIGNEE BIOS
TRISTAN ALLEN – LB – 6-4 – 225 – ATLANTA, TEXAS (ATLANTA HS)
High School: Expected to graduate from Atlanta High School in 2017 … Three-sport athlete who lettered in football, powerlifting and track … Named first team all-region in both 2015 and 2016 while receiving playing time as a linebacker, defensive end, tight end and full back … Registered 397 career tackles, 50 tackles for loss and 30 sacks, while also forcing 20 fumbles and recovering 15 over the course of his high school career … Coached by Matt McClure.
Personal: Tristan M. Allen … Son of Tedrick and Delashay … Born on Feb. 20, 1999 … Has two siblings: Te’Aisha (19) and Shanterria (25).
JACORION ANDREWS – DB – 6-0 – 200 – MONROE, LA. (NEVILLE HS)
High School: Expected to graduate from Neville High School in 2017 … Helped lead Neville to back-to-back state championships in 2014 and 2015, as well as leading the Tigers to 39 consecutive victories leading up to the 2016 state title game versus Edna Karr … Was a first team All-District 2-4A selection … Named All-NELA Big School Second Team as a senior … Also named second team all-state by USA Today … Coached by Mickey McCarty.
Personal: Jacorion S. Andrews … Son of Shontae and Wesley … Born on Jan. 22, 1999.
JORDAN BALDWIN – DB – 6-1 – 175 – AMITE, LA. (AMITE HS)
2016 (IOWA CENTRAL CC): Played in seven games while registering 46 tackles (19 solo, 27 assisted) … Recovered a fumble on the season and also recorded four pass break-ups … Earned second team all-region honors in 2016 as a safety for the Tritons … Coached by Kevin Twait.
High School: Graduated from Amite High School in 2015 … Two-sport athlete who lettered in both football and basketball … Helped lead Amite to a district title and appearance in the Class 3A state championship game as a senior … Earned all-district honors as both a defensive back and wide receiver for the Warriors … Coached by Alden Foster.
Personal: Son of Wanda Baldwin … Born on Dec. 29, 1996.
JAIDEN COLE – ATH – 6-0 – 198 – MONROE, LA. (NEVILLE HS)
High School: Expected to graduate from Neville High School in 2017 … Three-star athlete ranked No. 22 in the state of Louisiana by Rivals.com … Lettered in both football and track for the Tigers … Helped lead Neville to back-to-back state championship titles in 2014 and 2015 that played on both sides of the ball … Named first team all-Louisiana by Louisiana Football Magazine … Accounted for over 1,000 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior at Neville … Helped lead the Tigers to 39 consecutive victories leading up to the 2016 state title game versus Edna Karr … Named All-NELA Big School First Team as a senior … Coached by Mickey McCarty.
Personal: Jaiden J. Cole … Son of Jason Cole and Erica Robinson … Born on Feb. 17, 1999 … Has two siblings: Brelen (12) and Erynn (8).
DAVAN DYER – P/K – 6-4 – 225 – GOLD COAST, QUEENSLAND (AUSTRALIA)
Previous Experience: Trained at Prokick Australia Academy and played Australian Rules Football … Coached by Nathan Chapman.
Personal: Davan Dyer … Son of Estelle Shaire … Born on April 20, 1994.
CONNER ESTES – OL – 6-5 – 290 – MOSS POINT, MISS. (EAST CENTRAL HS)
High School: Paved the way for a rushing attack that averaged 453.1 yards per game in 2016 and 328.8 yards per game in 2015 … Selected to play in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star game … Registered a total of seven pancake blocks over the course of his junior and senior seasons … Received offers from Arkansas State, Southern Miss and UL-Lafayette.
BRADY FARLOW – K – 5-11 – 185 – HATTIESBURG, MISS. (JONES COUNTY JC)
2016: Connected on 10 of his 15 field goals (66.7 FG pct.) as a freshman for the Bobcats with a long kick of 49 yards … Was 28-of-32 (87.5 PAT pct.) on extra points … Totaled 58 points in his only season at Jones County.
High School: Graduated from Purvis High School in May 2016 where he was 18-of-21 on field goals during his prep career … Was 116-of-119 on extra points for the Tornadoes to account for a total of 170 points in three seasons.
GRIFFIN HEBERT – WR – 6-3 – 200 – LAFAYETTE, LA. (ST. THOMAS MORE HS)
High School: Expected to graduate from St. Thomas More High School in 2017 … Earned a total of six letters as a two-sport athlete in both football and basketball … Helped lead St. Thomas More to its first state title in school history as a senior in 2016 … Named All-Acadiana as both a junior and senior, while also earning all-district honors … Eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards and hauled in 24 touchdowns in his prep career … Coached by Jim Hightower.
Personal: Griffin Hebert … Son of Charles and Lanette … Born on April 2, 1999.
RANDY HOGAN – LB – 6-1 – 220 – PASCAGOULA, MISS. (PEARL RIVER CC)
2015-16: Led Pearl River Community College with 98 tackles and three sacks in 2016, following a freshman season where he recorded 59 total tackles … Earned second team honors on the MACJC All-South Division Teams … Coached by David Saunders.
High School: Graduated from Pascagoula High School in 2015 after a standout prep career for the Panthers … Registered 164 total tackles (5.9 tackles per game), two sacks and four forced fumbles … Had 82 tackles in 12 games his junior year of high school, including six tackles for loss … Coached by Lewis Sims.
KOLLIN HURT – DB – 6-3 – 180 – GILMER, TEXAS (GILMER HS)
High School: Expected to graduate from Gilmer High School in 2017 … Three-sport athlete for the Buckeyes that lettered in football, baseball and track … Helped lead Gilmer to a state championship in 2014 as a sophomore … Earned all-state honors as both a junior and senior for the Buckeyes … Recorded 22 interceptions over the course of his high school career … Coached by Matt Turner.
Personal: Kollin L. Hurt … Son of Kollin and Melinda Hurt … Born on Sept. 6, 1998 … Has one sibling, Mason (14).
DREW KIRKPATRICK – OL – 6-3 – 310 – UVALDE, TEXAS (BLINN COLLEGE)
2015-16: Named second team all-conference in 2016 by the Southwest Junior College Football Conference … Helped pave the way for a Blinn offense that racked up 462.8 yards per game and 38.1 points per game in 2016 … Joins Blinn teammate Hanner Shipley who also signed with the Bulldogs.
High School: Played for Gary MacGriffin at Uvalde High School . . . named first team All-District 2013 . . . honorable mention in 2012 . . . first team All-District 2014 . . . high school made first round of playoffs in 2012, 2013 and 2014 . . . competed in powerlifting and track.
Personal: Born on June 23, 1996 in Uvalde, Texas . . . parents are Benny and Dee Kirkpatrick . . . siblings are Ty Kirkpatrick and Jesse White.
KENNEDY MADISON – OL – 6-3 – 275 – MONROE, LA. (OUACHITA HS)
High School: Graduated from Ouachita High School in 2016 … Lettered in football and track … Started in 22 consecutive games … Received honorable mention all-state honors as well as second team all-district and first team All-Northeast Louisiana accolades … Coached by Jeff Fitzgerald.
Personal: Kennedy Madison … Son of Braslin Madison and Lee Jordan … Born on Nov. 24, 1997 in Metairie, Louisiana … Chose Louisiana Tech over Southern Miss, Tulane and UL-Lafayette.
JOSHUA MOTE – OL – 6-3 – 270 – OAK GROVE, LA. (OAK GROVE HS)
High School: Expected to graduate from Oak Grove High School in May 2017 … Earned a total of 11 letters as a three-sport athlete for the Tigers in football (4), track and field (4) and basketball (3) … Named all-state three times, while also earning All-Northeast Louisiana honors for three years … Earned all-district honors all four years at Oak Grove … Helped lead Oak Grove to a 9-4 record his senior year thanks to 95 pancake blocks … Coached by Ryan Gregory and Josh Bradley.
Personal: Joshua M. Mote … Son of Mike and Kandace Mote … Born on June 18, 1998 … Has two siblings: Kanaan and Judah.
AMIK ROBERTSON – DB – 5-9 – 170 – THIBODAUX, LA. (THIBODAUX HS)
High School: Expected to graduate from Thibodaux High School in 2017 … Two-sport athlete that lettered in both football and track all four years of high school … Earned all-state honors for the Tigers, while also being named All-District MVP and All-Region MVP.
Personal: Amik Robertson … Son of Arthur and Kima Robertson … Born on July 6, 1998.
MICHAEL SAM – DB – 6-0 – 195 – LAFAYETTE, LA. (TRINITY VALLEY CC)
2014-16: Spent two seasons at Trinity Valley Community College where he totaled 46 tackles (24 solo, 22 assisted), two interceptions for 73 yards and 10 pass break-ups in 2016 … Also totaled 492 all-purpose yards in 2016 as a returner on special teams for the Cardinals, including returning a punt for a touchdown against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (Nov. 5) … Helped lead Trinity Valley to an 11-win season, a Southwest Junior College Football Conference championship and a victory in the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl over Northwest Mississippi this past season … In 2015, he recorded 25 total tackles (16 solo, 9 assisted), three interceptions for 35 yards and six pass break-ups … Returned seven kickoffs in 2015 for 237 yards (33.9 avg.) and a touchdown … Named second team All-SWJCFC as a returner in 2015 … Coached by Brad Smiley.
High School: Graduated from New Iberia Senior High School in 2014 … Three-sport athlete who lettered in football, basketball and track … Named first team all-state by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association following his senior season … Earned a spot on the Louisiana High School Coaches Association All-Star Football Game as a senior … Coached by Rick Hutson.
GEORGE SCOTT III – WR – 6-1 – 195 – NATCHEZ, MISS. (ADAMS COUNTY CHRISTIAN HS)
High School: Expected to graduate from Adams County Christian High School in 2017 … Selected as a MAIS All-Star (Mississippi Association of Independent Schools) … Ranked No. 43 in the state of Mississippi by 247Sports.com … Helped lead Adams County to an appearance in the 2016 MAIS 3A state title game.
HANNER SHIPLEY – OL – 6-5 – 295 – MARBLE FALLS, TEXAS (BLINN COLLEGE)
2015-16: Named second team all-conference in 2016 by the Southwest Junior College Football Conference … Helped pave the way for a Blinn offense that racked up 462.8 yards per game and 38.1 points per game in 2016 … Joins Blinn teammate Drew Kirkpatrick who also signed with the Bulldogs.
High School: Played for Matt Green at Marble Falls High School . . . was named all-state junior year and all-district freshman year . . . helped Marble Falls to first round of playoffs in 2011 and 2013 . . . also played basketball, track and baseball at Marble Falls . . . previously played for Louisiana State University and Abilene Christian University.
Personal: Born on Dec. 12, 1996 in Meadowlakes, Texas . . . parents are Stephen and Ashley . . . three sisters are Hailey, Hannidy and Hadley . . . would like a career as a coach, or NFl career or become a game warden.
ELIJAH WALKER – QB – 6-2 – 207 – AMITE, LA. (AMITE HS)
High School: Expected to graduate from Amite High School in May 2017 … Three-star dual-threat quarterback ranked No. 33 in the state by Rivals.com … Named Honorable Mention All-State … Threw for 3,379 passing yards his senior year, while also rushing for 1,049 yards on the ground … Scored over 60 total touchdowns as a senior … Lettered in both football and baseball … Coached by Zepheniah Powell.
Personal: Elijah M. Walker … Son of Elijah Sr. and Marlena Walker … Born on June 13, 1999 … Has one sibling, Madison (12).
CUALAN WILLIAMS – WR – 6-3 – 205 – STAMPS, ARK. (LAFAYETTE COUNTY HS)
High School: Expected to graduate from Lafayette County High School in 2017 … Three-sport athlete that lettered in football, basketball and track for the Cougars … Saw action as a safety and guard in addition to being a wide receiver at Lafayette County … Coached by Bobby Clark and Tony Hartsfield.
Personal: Cualan Williams … Son of Cedric Williams and Latresa Sterling … Born on July 26, 1999.
MILTON WILLIAMS – DE – 6-4 – 230 – CROWLEY, TEXAS (CROWLEY HS)
High School: Expected to graduate from Crowley High School in May 2017 … Two-sport athlete that lettered in football and basketball … Named Defensive MVP in District 5A-Region II … Registered 300 total tackles, 22 sacks and scored four touchdowns for the Eagles … Coached by Chris James.
Personal: Milton Jawauh Williams … Son of Milton and Willanette Williams … Born on April 6, 1999 … Has three siblings: Mishayla (21), Mia (17) and Malia (2).