On national signing day, HBCUs attract top football talent
Texas Southern, North Carolina Central sign many players early to help turn around disappointing seasons
As Alcorn State and North Carolina A&T prepare for the Celebration Bowl, the rest of the teams in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) are looking to improve for the 2020 season.
With the early signing period from Dec. 18-20, many top players have already announced their commitments to join historically black college and university (HBCU) programs.
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
With their top three receiving players, Manasseh Bailey, Wesley Wolfolk and Deontaye White, in either their senior or graduate seasons, the Morgan State added a pair of receivers to their roster.
- Trevin Ewing, 5-foot-10-inch wide receiver/defensive back from Elkton High School in Elkton, Maryland.
Committed… ‼️🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/AfurBTe95D
— Trevin Ewing (@trillxtrev) October 13, 2019
- DJ Hamler, 5-foot-8-inch wide receiver from Waterford Kettering High School in Waterford, Michigan.
North Carolina A&T
- Mychale Salahuddin: After a season at the University of Pittsburgh, Salahuddin joins the North Carolina A&T Aggies. A 5-foot-10-inch running back from Washington, Salahuddin was a four-star athlete at H.D. Woodson High School. As a freshman at Pittsburgh in 2018, he rushed for 37 yards in four attempts. He sat out the 2019 season.
— Mychale Salahuddin (@DeRealHoudini) December 15, 2019
North Carolina Central
After posting a 4-8 record and ranking in the bottom half of the MEAC in total offense, the North Carolina Central Eagles added players on the defensive side of the ball.
- Marvin Reed, 6-foot-2-inch defensive back from Life Christian Academy in Chester, Virginia.
COMMITTED 🦅❗️ pic.twitter.com/2aTZYQK3hi
— Marvin Reed (@balloutmarv) November 11, 2019
- Jalen Thompson, 6-foot-5-inch defensive end from Southern Wayne High School in Dudley, North Carolina.
— Jalen Thompson (@JalenThompson23) November 2, 2019
- Mason Grubbs, 6-foot-2-inch linebacker from Oak Grove High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
— Mason Grubbs (@MasonGrubbs1) December 3, 2019
Southwestern Athletic Conference
- Jamar Knox, 6-foot-4-inch defensive end from East Gadsden High School in Havana, Florida.
— Big Sosa 🦍 (@gc_jamar) December 5, 2019
- LaDarius Fair: With wide receiver Chris Blair, who led the Alcorn State Braves with 781 yards, playing in his senior season in 2019, the Braves added Fair to fill his position. Fair is a 6-foot, three-star recruit wide receiver from Lancaster High School in Lancaster, Texas.
— LaDarius “ShowTyme” Fair 😉 (@LDFair_) November 3, 2019
After going 6-5 during their season, surpassing their win total from the previous three seasons combined, the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions brought in Elzie Barnett Jr. and Jayden Bethea.
- Elzie Barnett Jr., 5-foot-11-inch safety from Wilmer-Hutchins High School in Dallas.
— Elzie Barnett Jr (@elzie_barnett) October 22, 2019
- Jayden Bethea, 6-foot-1-inch defensive lineman from Tampa Catholic High School in Tampa, Florida.
Blessed and excited to announce that I will be committing to the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff!!🦁 #GoldenLions #LionsRoar @CoachLeez @JerisMcIntyre @TC_Football @CoachMcClain73 pic.twitter.com/SWeHGuznmd
— Jayden Bethea (@jayden_bethea) August 25, 2019
- Josh Jefferson, 6-foot-4-inch offensive lineman from ASA College in New York.
— JOSHUA JEFFERSON🦍 (@primetime_100) November 26, 2019
- Dayron Butler, 5-foot-9-inch cornerback from Manor High School in Manor, Texas.
- Justin Armstrong, 5-foot-10-inch cornerback from Terry High School in Terry, Mississippi.
Prairie View A&M
Averaging a conference-leading 35.5 points per game, the Prairie View A&M Panthers further strengthened their offense by adding two offensive line transfers, Tyus Phillips and Jordan Johnson.
- Kendall Johnson, 5-foot-11-inch defensive tackle from South Oak Cliff High School in Cedar Hill, Texas.
- Tyus Phillips, 6-foot-9-inch offensive line transfer from Iowa Western Community College.
— Tyus Phillips🃏 (@Tyusphillips72) December 17, 2019
- Jordan Johnson, 6-foot-4-inch offensive line transfer from Hinds Community College.
Locked in💯🔒 pic.twitter.com/pMlqIwBLuO
— Jordan Johnson (@Jordan__j68) December 17, 2019
Posting an 8-5 record during the 2019 season, the Southern Jaguars stood atop the SWAC West. They allowed the fewest rushing yards in the conference and solidifying this area of strength for the program, the Jaguars added two linebackers.
- Jadyn Landrum, 5-foot-11-inch linebacker from Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas.
— HIT🦍STIQ 🔞 (@JadynLandrum) December 15, 2019
- Rahem Shorter, 5-foot-11-inch linebacker from Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Mississippi.
— Rahem Shorter🎸 (@RShorter_19) October 31, 2019
After a winless 2019 season, the Texas Southern Tigers actively bolstered their roster with early commits. The program added more than a dozen players as coach Clarence McKinney looks to rebuild TSU football.
- Darryl Brown, 5-foot-9-inch free safety from Yates High School in Houston.
- Dylan Hamilton, 6-foot-2-inch athlete from Klein Forest in Houston.
- Terry Petry, 5-foot-10-inch cornerback who played at the University of Missouri and Blinn College.
- Gabe Smith, 6-foot-2-inch defensive end from Lyndon B. Johnson High School in Austin, Texas.
I will be signing my National Letter of Intent and officially becoming a Tiger Wednesday December 18th In the LBJ Gym @ 10:30AM📄🖊 Everyone is invited to come🤍‼️#TheSauceU #ThirdWardU #FollowTheDrip 🐅🐅🐅 pic.twitter.com/nsiU3Ikfyi
— Gabe Smith🦹🏽♂️ (@TheHumbleOne5) December 16, 2019
- Tzion Dixon, 6-foot-3-inch linebacker from East Los Angeles College.
— Tzion Dixon (@_Tziondavion_) December 16, 2019
- Jyrin Johnson, 6-foot-3-inch wide receiver from East Ascension High School in Gonzales, Louisiana.
— Jyrin Johnson1️⃣2️⃣ (@cantguardjahh12) December 16, 2019
- Terence Jackson, 6-foot-5-inch left tackle from Beaumont United High School in Beaumont, Texas.
— Terence Jackson (@GamtimeJack) December 14, 2019
- Xavier Goynes, 6-foot cornerback from Crowley High School in Crowley, Texas.
— X.Goynes 💸 #3| LLD (@3GXavier) December 14, 2019
- Bobby Wooden, 6-foot running back from Dawson High School in Pearland, Texas.
I am very thankful for everyone that has helped me in my athletic career. Whether it was my parents or coaches they always found a way to make me better and make great decisions. With that being said I’m glad to say i am committed to
Texas Southern University🖤🐯!!@dalblac99
— B Wooden (@Woodenn6) December 14, 2019
- Isaac Garcia, 6-foot-1-inch defensive end from Paschal High School in Fort Worth, Texas.
— Isaac García (@isaacrgarcia7) December 13, 2019
- Jalen Brown, 6-foot-2-inch quarterback from Cedar Ridge High School in Round Rock, Texas.
— Jalen Brown (@jalenbrown122) December 10, 2019
- C’ing Blanton, 6-foot-2-inch athlete from Southwest High School in Fort Worth, Texas.
— |3K $ kbaby💙| ‘SuperFREAK ⚡️ (@Cingggggggg2) December 8, 2019
- Isaiah Hamilton, Channelview High School in Channelview, Texas.
— isaiah hamilton (@KINGzae157) December 6, 2019
- Mehdi Torrence, 6-foot-5-inch offensive lineman from Clear Brook High School in Friendswood, Texas.
Had an amazing time at the Official Visit. Thank you @CoachMckinney3 @MannyMa57066315 and the whole coaching staff for everything and making me feel at home. Let’s ride for H-town! #FollowTheDrip #TheSauceU pic.twitter.com/Ql9GDoKFLd
— Mehdi Torrence (@TorrenceMehdi) December 9, 2019