THIBODAUX — Nicholls State stuck with its plan to recruit Louisiana athletes by signing 13 state prospects, including four from the Baton Rouge area on Wednesday.

“We are very excited about this signing class,” Nicholls State Charlie Stubbs said in a university news release. “We have some versatile players in many of the positions that I would consider playmakers. And in addition to having talent on the field, several of the signees are exceptional student athletes.”

In all, the Colonels signed 17 players to open the NCAA’s football signing period. The four Baton Rouge area players signed reflect the diversity Stubbs noted.

Two of the BR signees, running back C.J. Okpalobi and offensive lineman Blake Hartman, come from St. Michael the Archangel. Offensive lineman Brian Hernandez, of Dutchtown High, and St. James linebacker Seth Kelly are the other area signees,

The Colonels also added five players from their home bayou region — Assumption offensive lineman Hunter Alleman, athlete Treavon Evans of South Lafourche, E.D. White Catholic linebacker Geoffrey Hebert, E.D. White tight end Stephen LeBouef and Terrebonne linebacker Jeremiah Thomas.


The Tigers of coach Doug Williams added 19 signees, including two from the Baton Rouge area.

Running back Jestin Kelly, of Port Allen High, and McKinley defensive lineman Donovan McCray, were GSU’s BR signees. Kelly was the only running back on the Tigers’ list. McCray was one six defensive linemen in the GSU class.

Eight of Grambling’s signees are Louisiana products.

Louisiana College

Denham Springs offensive lineman Travis Hasselbeck committed to the Division III Wildcats, who do not offer athletic scholarships. No other information was available on LC commitments.


Defensive lineman David Elias, of Dutchtown High, was the only Baton Rouge area signee for the Warhawks. Elias was one of two defensive lineman in coach Todd Berry’s signing class.

In all, ULM signed 15 players, including Air Force transfer Devonte Haggerty, a wide receiver. Six of Warhawks’ signees are from Louisiana. ULM also offered grayshirt status to four players and made two others preferred walk-ons.

Louisiana Tech

The Bulldogs of first-year coach Skip Holtz signed 21 players. Two of those players, Woodlawn kicker Jonathan Barnes and St. Amant defensive lineman Nic Bickham, are Baton Rouge players.

Barnes was one of two kickers signed. Bickham was among three defensive linemen who submitted scholarship papers to the Bulldogs on Wednesday.

LSU transfer Paul Turner, a wide receiver and a former West Monroe standout, is also part of the Bulldogs’ signing class.

Tech signed players from five different states, including 10 from junior colleges.

McNeese State

The Cowboys announced the signing of 23 players, including one from the Baton Rouge area.

Catholic High running back Khalil Thomas was MSU’s BR signee and is projected as a wide receiver. Thomas was one of four receivers in the Cowboys’ signing class.

McNeese coach Matt Viator also added four offensive linemen and six defensive backs.

Running back Johntrey Tillman, a Houston transfer who prepped at West St. Mary High, also was among the MSU signees.

Northwestern State

Coach Jay Thomas’ first signing class at Northwestern features 20 players. Parkview Baptist defensive back Manny Mukes was the only Baton Rouge player signed by the Demons.

Mukes was one of 11 Louisiana signees for the Demons. Northwestern’s signees include two quarterbacks, Haughton’s James David Almond and Zach Adkins, a junior college transfer from Riverside (Calif.) City College.