Southern University went heavy on offensive linemen and defensive backs in its seven-player national signing day class Wednesday.
In-state offensive linemen Ja’Quon Jones of St. James and John Miller of Carencro were joined by safeties Horacio Johnson of Booker T. Washington in Miami; Cameron Mitchell of Duncanville (Texas) High School; and Mykel Randoll of Ocala, Florida.
Also joining the class was defensive end Malik Rugley, as well as some help for special teams with Canadian long snapper Stefano Dimitriadis, who played last season at Clearwater Academy International in Clearwater, Florida.
Jones was a Class 3A all-state selection for the Wildcats and a starter on the 2019 state champion team. Miller played on Carencro’s 2020 Class 4A state champion squad.
Southern coach Dawson Odums emphasized the need for offensive linemen and safeties with the Jaguars losing three starters from last year’s offensive line and two safeties. The Jaguars exto enter the fall 2021 season with a senior heavy group.
“We really wanted to fill in some needs going into the fall semester,” Odums said. “Even though we’ve got guys who got an extra year, we’re going to lose some safeties in December. Having those guys here puts us ahead on next year’s class. They’re not guys we have to have ready to play when they come in. They’ll add to the depth we already have.”
Southern also brought in two former Zachary Broncos among four transfers: wide receiver Chandler Whitfield, who played two seasons at ULM, and safety Tyler Judson, who transferred after one season at Tulane.
Whitfield caught 22 passes for 128 yards and one touchdown in two seasons at ULM. He will have four seasons of eligibility.
Judson was arrested May 25, 2020, after police said he punched a teenage girl at a Waffle House in Zachary. Tulane dismissed him from the team two days later.
Less than a month ago, on Jan. 6, Judson pleaded guilty to second-degree battery, a felony. A judge placed him on bench probation for six months and ordered 40 hours of community service, anger management classes, that he have no contact with the victim and that he pay fines and court costs.
On Wednesday, Judson’s attorney filed a motion to expunge the felony conviction from his record.
Odums said Judson is conditioning but will not officially join the team until his legal status is cleared.
Also transferring in were defensive tackle Jordan Woods from Florida International and linebacker Ray Anderson from Youngstown State.
Odums has already touted Anderson as a player who could make an impact with the loss of the team’s leading tackler from a year ago, middle linebacker Calvin Lunkins.
The Jaguars signed three players in the early December signing period: quarterback Kobe Dillon of Hinds Community College, who played high school ball at Ferriday; wide receiver Devin Ellison of Cherokee High School in Canton, Georgia; and kicker/punter Joshua Griffin of Warren Central high School in Vicksburg, Mississippi.