Meet the Football Lions Class of 2014
Fifteen recruits commit to SAGU on Signing Day
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The encore of the best season in Southwestern Assemblies of God University got a solid boost on Signing Day with an initial group of 15 recruits committing to don the Purple and Gold in the fall of 2014.
With even more recruits anticipated in the near future, SAGU announced the initial catch on Wednesday afternoon.
Head Coach Jesse Godding and the staff have worked to address the needs of the team, who finished second in the Central States conference with a 6-4 record. The Lions went 4-1 in league games.
Offensive Coordinator Frank Tristan and John Allen, the Defensive Coordinator, split the 15 recruits with the offense nabbing eight signees.
After a slower than anticipated start last fall, the Lions finished with an average of 26.5 points per game. They racked up 350 yards per game; 188 on the ground, 162 through the air.
The team returns the entire offensive line and most of the receiving and backfield corps. Much attention will be given to determining who will take the reins at quarterback after the graduation of Reid Golson.
Luke Standage, a 6-foot-4, 205-lb tight end out of Aurora, Nebraska heads the offensive haul. He was a standout for Aurora H.S. Head Coach Randy Huebert. The Huskies posted an 8-3 record last season.
He earned the Jim Farrend Leadership Award at Aurora, which is 75 miles west of Lincoln. Standage, a three year letter winner, was an All-District First Team winner and was chosen to the All-Heartland Super Squad.
Multi-dimensional Jacob Fielden (6’0 / 175) brings experience at two positions, punter and wide receiver. He starred at Harmony H.S. in Big Sandy, Texas (northeast of Tyler).
He played for the Eagles, who were 7-4 under HC Tim Russell. Fielden was chosen the Texas Dream Team Punter of the Year after averaging 43 yards per kick.
He was named All-District First Team at both positions. At Harmony he was a team captain in football and baseball while also serving as a huddle leader for the local chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
One student-athlete who committed as the lone Offensive Lineman is Jacob Carlson. He stands 6’4 and tips the scale at 290. He hails from Melissa, Tx, near McKinney, 65 miles northeast of Waxahachie.
Carlson played on the D-Line as well for HC Seth Stinton and the Melissa H.S. Cardinals (9-3 record).
Two quarterbacks signed; Jackson Watts (6’1 / 190), of Royse City, Tx, and C.J. Collins (6’4 / 190), from Waco, Tx.
Watts operated a ground oriented attack for HC David Petroff and the Royse City H.S. Bulldogs. He rushed for nearly 600 yards and averaged 95 yards passing per contest.
At Bosqueville H.S., Collins led the Bulldogs to a 10-4 season for HC Clint Zander. In going 3-1 in the state playoffs the Bulldogs scored 46, 41, 42 and 26 points. They averaged 38 ppg during the season.
The Co-Offensive MVP All-District QB passed for 2,871 yards, 27 TD’s and had eight interceptions. He rushed for 316 and eight TD’s.
As a junior Collins threw for 2,505 and 30 touchdowns (12 INT), and ran for 606 and 8 TD’s.
Two players come with enough skills to garner the Athlete title as their position. It usually translates into someone who has experience at multi-roles on offense, defense and sometimes special teams.
They are Maleek Tarver (5’9 / 165), from Saginaw H.S. (Saginaw, Tx), and Matt Humphrey (6’3 / 195), from nearby Ovilla Christian School (Red Oak, Tx).
At tailback for HC Mike Peters’ Rough Riders, Tarver registered 448 yards and gained 5.0 yards per carry. Humphrey played for the Ovilla Christian Eagles.
The Purple Pride held their own on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage. Yielding 26 ppg was second in the CSFL and the 374 yards allowed (167 rushing, 207 through the air) was a close third behind Bacone College (7-4) and Langston University (6-4).
The Lions look to fill five positions due to attrition. Those who look to step into the fray as freshman include four linemen, three linebackers and one defensive back. Individually:
Cornell Moses, a very agile defensive lineman at 5’11, 265 pounds, is a native of the Big Easy. He was a stalwart at Edna Karr H.S. in New Orleans.
Moses had 60 tackles, including four sacks, while also breaking up five passes for the Cougars.
Linebacker Clay Trotter (6’0 / 200) played for HC Jeremy Dombek at Class 6A Mustang H.S. (Mustang, Ok). He garnered First Team All-District honors for the Broncos (7-5).
Trotter had 69 solo tackles and 51 assisted stops, nine for losses. He also sacked the QB four times, forced four fumbles, recorded a safety and registered five pass break-ups.
Ian Austin comes to SAGU from Siloam Springs, Arkansas, where he was a 6-foot-2, 220-lb lineman. His HC at Siloam Springs H.S. was Brian Ross.
Colter Gray (6’4 / 265) manned positions along the defensive line for the Williams Field H.S. Black Hawks.
The team, from Gilbert, Arizona, posted an 11-2 mark for HC Steve Campbell. They won two playoff games before falling in the state semi-finals, 31-28, to Queen Creek.
Jay Johnson, the lone defensive back in the group, was a high school teammate of fellow recruit, QB Watts. He played in the secondary as well as at running back for Royce City H.S. (Tx).
He had one interception and registered 52 tackles as a senior for the Bulldogs.
Domingo Gonzalez and Caleb Bowers (6’1 / 190) signed with the Lions after prep careers at linebacker.
Gonzalez is from the coastal Rockport, Tx where he played for the Class 3A Rockport-Fulton H.S. Pirates. He was credited with 46 tackles, two of them for lost yardage.
Versatile at 5’11, 205-lbs, he also served as a running back.
He averaged 5.0 yards per tote in a senior season that witnessed him gain 656 yards. His HC was Huey Chancellor.
It is the same school that produced Texas A&M and Dallas Cowboys LB Dat Nguyen.
Bowers was a defensive lineman at Rowlett H.S. (Rowlett, Tx). He had three QB hurries while playing for Eagles HC Doug Stevens.
P.J. Helu continues the line of SAGU players from Euless, Tx state power, Trinity H.S. There he was a 6’1, 240-lb defensive lineman for HC Steve Lineweaver. The Class 5A Trojans went 11-3.
Other recruits will be announced during the off-season.
SAGU reports for spring practices at the end of March and begin preseason camp in August.
The Lions are members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and are members in the Central States Football League.
They finished the 2013 season with a 38-34 triumph over nationally ranked Bacone College (Ok).
The team has all of their home games broadcast in HD on the SAGU Sports Network.