A&M-Commerce
4:27 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Lions football program signs 53

A&M-Commerce head coach Colby Carthel announced the signing of 53 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play their college football for the Lions on Wednesday's National Signing Day.

"This was a really fun year out on the recruiting trail, because it was obvious the momentum from the season carried right over into recruiting. High School coaches and players alike are excited about what's going on in Commerce, which makes it a very fun time to be a Lion," Carthel said. "We are very committed to building this program the right way, with high school talent from Texas. I expect 10-12 of these guys to play as freshmen, much like last year, as we continue to build this team back to a championship caliber program." 

The all-Texas signing class exceeds the 37 players signed by Carthel and his staff a year ago, concentrating primarily on the offensive line and defensive backfield. The Lions received NLIs from nine offensive line prospects, in addition to a dozen slotted to find their way into the defensive backfield. 

"The strength of this class is obviously in the numbers, with 53 really good players in the bunch," Carthel said.  "It will be fun to see who develops into the great college players in their time here."

Carthel managed to find talent at the local level with Paris linebacker Josh Reynolds, who was an all-Red River Valley selection for Paris High School and also made his name on the state track team, leading off PHS's Class 3A state championship 4x200 relay team in 2013.

The Lions also pulled multiple athletes from five schools, including four from Mansfield Legacy in wide receivers Josh Conrad and Bryson Sheffield, and linebackers Michael Sanders and Chris Smith. A pair of Tatum Eagles also signed in Jaylen Shans and all-state defensive back Klifton Willis, who led all of East Texas with 11 interceptions as a senior.

Five all-state selections are included in the class, including linebacker Dru Lust (Abernathy HS), wide receiver Charles Porter (Round Rock Cedar Ridge HS),  athlete Benny Colbert (Kilgore HS) and defensive backs Draylon Sterling (Mildred HS) and Willis. 

In all, the breakdown includes two quarterbacks, eight wide receivers, three running backs, two tight ends, 12 defensive backs, five defensive linemen, nine linebackers and three listed as athletes. 

"It's also exciting to see the caliber of students that we brought in, as over half of these guys qualified for academic scholarships," Carthel said. "They will be making a positive impact in the classroom, as well as on the football field."

2014 A&M-Commerce Football Signing Class

Jacque Kuykendall • DB • 5-10 • 165 lbs • Marshall, Texas (Marshall HS)

Devante Durgan • DB • 6-1 • 170 lbs • Wharton, Texas (Wharton HS)

Chris Smith • DB • 6-1 • 165 lbs • Mansfield, Texas (Legacy HS)

Draylon Sterling • DB •  6-0 • 180 lbs • Corsicana, Texas (Mildred HS)

TJ Griffin • DB • 5-11 • 167 lbs • Tyler, Texas (Lindale HS)

Brent Walker • DB • 5-11 • 165 lbs • Humble, Texas (Humble HS)

Daniel Sefcik • DB • 5-10 • 178 lbs • Lucas, Texas (Lovejoy HS)

Treyvin 'TJ' Milburn • DB • 6-2 • 180 lbs • Frisco, Texas (Lakeview Centennial HS)

Michael Haywood • DB • 5-11 • 178 lbs • Houston, Texas (Westside HS)

Benny Colbert • ATH • 5-10 • 180 lbs • Kilgore, Texas (Kilgore HS)

Charles Harris • DL • 6-5 • 250 lbs • San Antonio, Texas (Wagner HS)

Jaylen Shans • ATH • 5-9 • 175 lbs • Tatum, Texas (Tatum HS)

Klifton Willis • DB • 5-11 • 180 lbs • Tatum, Texas (Tatum HS)

Danny Huckaby • DB • 6-1 • 180 lbs • Mexia, Texas (Mexia HS)

Tristan Taylor • DL • 6-1 • 260 lbs • Tyler, Texas (Lee HS)

Josh Reynolds • LB • 6-4 • 202 lbs • Paris, Texas (Paris HS)

Peyton Thorne • DE • 6-2 • 240 lbs • Sugar Land, Texas (Dulles HS)

Michael Wallace • LB • 6-3 • 250 lbs • Lewisville, Texas (Hebron HS)

Dale Roberts • DE • 6-5 • 220 lbs • New Boston, Texas (New Boston HS)

Tre'von Taylor • LB • 6-2 • 214 lbs • Cypress, Texas (Woods HS)

Jared Smith • LB • 6-0 • 200 lbs • Dallas, Texas (Prime Prep Academy)

Michael Sanders • LB • 6-0 • 220 lbs • Mansfield, Texas (Legacy HS)

Austyn Beasley • LB • Amarillo, Texas (Tascosa HS)

Dru Lust • LB • 6-1 • 190 lbs • Abernathy, Texas (Abernathy HS)

Gary Spencer • LB • 6-2 • 192 lbs • Martinsville, Texas (Lampasas HS)

Anastacio Carino • OL • 6-8 • 275 lbs • Ennis, Texas (Ennis HS)

Macailyn Wilder • WR • 5-11 • 175 lbs • Hallsville, Texas (Hallsville HS)

Caleb Wright • OL • 6-4 • 250 lbs • Beaumont, Texas (Ozen HS)

Charles Porter • WR • 5-8 • 155 lbs • Round Rock, Texas (Cedar Ridge HS)

Bryson Sheffield • WR • 6-1 • 180 lbs • Dallas, Texas (Mansfield Legacy HS)

Lucas Saenz • TE • 6-4 • 205 lbs • San Antonio, Texas (Churchill HS)

Jason Foley • OL • 6-3 • 270 • Lewisville, Texas (Lewisville HS)

Justin Young • OL • 6-3 • 300 • Lindale, Texas (Lindale HS)

Claude Franklin • WR • 6-3 • 180 • Jacksonville, Texas (Jacksonville HS)

Tristen Cockrell • RB • 6-2 • 205 lbs • Dallas, Texas (Richardson HS)

Joseph Garcia • OL • 6-3 • 279 • Del Rio, Texas (Del Rio HS)

Trey Marks • OL • 6-2 • 310 • Little Elm, Texas (Little Elm HS)

Josh Conrad • WR • 6-1 • 187 lbs • Mansfield, Texas (Legacy HS)

Sam McCormick • OL • 6-5 • 360 lbs • Denton, Texas (Guyer HS)

Sam Straughan • ATH • 6-2 • 210 lbs • Katy, Texas (Cinco Ranch HS)

Justice Luce • WR • 6-1 • 200 lbs • Fairview, Texas (Lovejoy HS)

Metrelle Taylor • WR • 6-1 • 175 lbs • Pasadena, Texas (Pasadena HS)

Tayvohn Glover • WR • 6-3 • 187 lbs • Fort Worth, Texas (Crowley HS)

Jacob Norton • QB • 6-6 • 218 lbs • Conroe, Texas (Oak Ridge HS)

Zach Cripps • QB • 6-3 • 210 lbs • League City, Texas (Clear Springs HS)

Jared Machorro • OL • Coldspring, Texas (Oakhurst HS)

DaRobie Stenline • RB • 6-1 • 195 lbs • Pasadena, Texas (Dobie HS)

Kenneth Stewart • DE • 6-4 • 200 lbs • San Antonio, Texas (Wagner HS)

Kamron Williams • DB • 5-9 • 180 lbs • League City, Texas (Clear Springs HS)

Juan Chavarria • LB • 6-4 • 205 lbs • San Antonio, Texas (Burbank HS)

Andre Ewing • TE • 6-5 • 201 lbs • Belton, Texas (Belton HS)

Marces Garza-Dishman • LB • 5-10 • 180 lbs • San Antonio, Texas (O'Connor HS)

Jordan Smith • OL • 6-4 • 315 lbs • Mansfield, Texas (Summit HS)