Everyone knew about the drama behind the recruitment of one Dutchtown High School player by 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Offensive lineman Lloyd Cushenberry received a late offer from LSU and wound up signing with the Tigers during a ceremony at the school.
There was another, lesser-known battle going on for a Griffins player. Afterwards, defensive back Coney Durr was all smiles because he realized his first instinct was best.
“Even up to last night I was confused,” Durr said. “I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I had North Carolina and Virginia Tech come in on me late. There was an appeal to both schools. I kept going over it and over it in my mind. As I weighed the options, it all came back to Minnesota. Given what I want to major in, it’s the best choice. And in terms of having the chance to play right away it was the best. So I decided to stick with Minnesota.”
Durr’s decision to stay with his original commitment to Minnesota may have caught some by surprise. As national signing day wore on Wednesday, it was evident that most Baton Rouge area players bound for out-of-state schools were opting to stand by their original commitments.
Zachary High offensive lineman Kellton Hollins (TCU), University defensive back Malik Antoine (Stanford) and Madison Prep linebacker/defensive lineman Malcolm Roach (Texas) stuck with the commitments they made months ago. Dutchtown quarterback Jared Sparks (Purdue) stayed with the school he selected in mid-January.
A few under-the-radar names also stood out. For example, Donaldsonville High defensive lineman Tyraise Stevenson signed with Tulsa. Stevenson committed to Tulane last summer but ultimately found a new home after the Green Wave changed coaches.
Zachary wide receiver Doug Coleman committed to Tulane initially, but changed that pledge to the school he signed with — Texas Tech — last weekend.
Southern Lab wide receiver Tevis Abraham opted for New Mexico State, following in the footsteps of linebacker Javahn Ferguson, who signed with the Aggies a year ago and played in five games last fall.
But the biggest out-of-state migration involved a school much closer to home: Jackson State. Former Capitol High head coach and Southern quarterbacks coach/recruiting coordinator Chad Germany joined the JSU staff last month and wasted little time taking the route back to Baton Rouge to recruit, reportedly offering scholarships to more than 20 area players. At least seven signed Wednesday.
The best-known players to sign with Jackson State were Zachary running back Terry Sullivan, who saw the chance to follow in the footsteps of the greatest JSU player, Walter Payton. Northeast High defensive lineman Leroy Roddy was a two-time All-Metro and Class 2A all-state selection. Belaire running back DaQuan Hicks, who rushed for 1,841 yards, was yet another signee.
The fact that so many players signed with Southern’s SWAC rival was a big part of signing day in Baton Rouge. That fact was one that surprised even some of the players themselves.
“When I went on my visit to Jackson State, I didn’t know what to expect,” Southern Lab defensive back/JSU signee Tenoa Alex said. “I had no idea the campus would be as beautiful as it was or what the school had to offer.
“Coach Germany did a great job. But when (new head coach Tony Hughes) told us his objective was to make sure every player walks across the stage to get a degree, that sold me.”
Wednesday’s football signees
RB DaQuan Hicks, Jackson State
FB Anthony Nelson, Jackson State
DT Quan Gales, Texas A&T JC
DB Kirkland Bova, Texas A&T JC
OL Akkai Ward, Louisiana-Lafayette
QB Ian Brian, Southeastern
DE Caleb Roddy, LSU
QB Tyler Brown, Southern
DL Tyarise Stevenson, Tulsa
WR Stephen Sullivan, LSU
OL Lloyd Cushenberry, LSU
CB Coney Durr, Minnesota
QB Jared Sparks, Purdue
DL Tra’Vontae Booker, Louisiana-Lafayette
OL Darius Davis, Alcorn State
LB Treylan Dunn, Grambling
WR Kamaron Irvin, Louisiana College
RB/DE Dunn Treylan, Grambling
T.J. Wisham, Army
DB Darren Evans, Nicholls State
CB Shyheim Carter, Alabama
DE Willie Baker, Louisiana Tech
DL Sully Laiche, Nicholls State
DB Ben St. Pierre, Nicholls State
WR Charrod Brumfield, Jackson State
LB/DL Malcolm Roach, Texas
DB/WR Everett Richard, Grambling
OL Thomas Sterling, Langston
LB Cedric Triplett, Jackson State
DT Justin Wade, Langston
LB Nic Wiggins, Louisiana-Lafayette
DL Leroy Roddy, Jackson State
OL Grant Kerstens, Army
RB Kayin White, Louisiana-Monroe
FS Bryce Beekman, Southern
OLB Caleb Carter, Southern
LB Reggie Cleveland, Louisiana Tech
WR Jordan George, Louisiana College
DL Maleek Grant, Louisiana College
WR Tyson Hives, East Texas Baptist
WR Chris Johnson, Tulane
SS D’Quincy Jones, Louisiana College
DB Ahmar Muse, Louisiana College
TE/WR Torrez, Williams Coffeyville C.C.
DE Deandre Williams, Tulane
DB DJ Williams, Louisiana Tech
OL Manzie Williams, Louisiana College
TE Colin Crockett, Louisiana College
OL Beau Morris, McNeese State
DL Deion Rainey, Tulane
QB Bladrick Veal, Southern
RB Darbbeon Profit Jr., Southern
WR Tevis Abraham, New Mexico St.
DB Tenoa Alex, Jackson State
OL Chad Smith, Mississippi Valley State
ATH Louis Tre James, Belhaven
DB Malik Antoine, Stanford
CB Tre Jackson, Tulane
LB Laryon James, Nicholls State
QB Terry Bozeman, Arkansas-Monticello
DB Trey Keller, Arkansas Baptist
LB Henry Monley, Louisiana College
DB Anthony Montgomery, Belhaven
LB/TE Kyle Nevels, Louisiana-Monroe
WR Gavin Landry, Northwestern State
RB Dontrell Taylor, Nicholls State
WR Doug Coleman, Texas Tech
TE/DE Cameron Carrier, Nicholls State
C Kellton Hollins, TCU
QB Lindsey Scott, LSU
RB Terry Sullivan, Jackson State
DE Aaron Celestine, Louisiana College
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