Southeast Missouri’s 2013 Football Signing Class consists of 25 members, including five mid-year transfers and 20 new commits. This year’s class is the second-largest under head coach Tony Samuel.
“It’s a diverse group and you are going to see that there’s a concentration on the linemen and linebackers,” said Samuel. “This is a larger class with a good combination of guys with different skill sets.”
The Redhawks 2013 class is second to Samuel’s 2007 and 2009 groups which each consisted of 28 members. Southeast also had 22 players as part of its 2011 class, assembled the year after the Redhawks clinched their first-ever Ohio Valley Conference title and NCAA Playoff appearance.
Seventeen spots belong to either linemen (7 defensive; 6 offensive) or linebackers (4).
Meanwhile, the mid-year transfers include Zach Clouse (DT, 6-1, 255, San Diego, Calif./Grossmont College), Kyle Finney (OL, 6-3, 285, Huntington Beach, Calif./Orange Coast College), Lucas Melo (DT, 6-1, 290, Lake Mary, Fla./Pierce College), Ron Davis (S, 6-1, 185, Compton, Calif./Cerritos College) and Kelvin Wilkins (CB, 6-2, 205, Spartanburg, S.C./North Dakota State College of Science). These individuals are currently enrolled at Southeast and will participate in spring drills.
Clouse attended Grossmont College where he recorded 26 tackles and five sacks in 2012, while Finney earned Second-Team All-Southern California Football Association honors at Orange Coast College.
Melo was a First-Team All-Conference and Team Captain at Pierce College in Los Angeles, Calif. He left Pierce College and went to South Alabama where he participated in preseason camp in 2012, but did not play that year.
Davis earned All-South Coast Conference honors at Cerritos College in 2012, and Wilkins turned in 59 tackles and two interceptions at North Dakota State College of Science.
Along with Finney, Tyler Couch (6-2, 275, Lebanon, Mo./Lebanon H.S.), Billy Dasher (6-2, 275, Birmingham, Ala./Oak Mountain H.S.), Jake McCandless (6-0, 275, Newburgh, Ind./Castle H.S.), Gabe Phillips (6-5, 290, Springfield, Ill./Glenwood) and Alex Snyder (6-4, 275, Humble, Texas/St. Thomas H.S.) bring more size to the offensive line.
Marlon Hampton (DT, 6-2, 285, Webster Groves, Mo./Webster Groves), Lloyd Laufili-Ti’me (DE, 6-1, 225, Birmingham, Ala./Oak Mountain), John Popovich (DT, 6-5, 230, Louisville, Ky./Christian Academy), Cale Svehla (DE, 6-3, 205, Bellevue, Neb./Bellevue West) and Zack Tamburo (DT, 5-11, 275, Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista) are the other defensive linemen.
Southeast also welcomes linebackers Demontre Boyd (6-1, 190, Louisville, Ky./Central), Fletcher Evans (6-3, 235, Champaign, Ill./Centennial), Aaron Nix (6-1, 220, Louisville, Ky./Eastern) and Alex Schwab (6-1, 210, New Berlin, Wis./West Allis Hale).
Defensive backs Tyler McLemore (S, 6-2, 195, Godfrey, Ill./Alton) and Buck Wilson (CB, 5-10, 165, Commerce, Texas/Commerce); running backs Michael Ford (5-11, 185, Alton, Ill./Marquette Catholic) and Brendan Stewart (5-11, 210, Carlinville, Ill./Carlinville); fullback Mark Cushing (5-11, 225, Wentzville, Mo./Holt) and tight end Lawton Kietzman (6-4, 225, Springfield, Ill./Glenwood) make up the remainder of this year’s class.
Ford rushed for 1,614 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior at Marquette Catholic High School. He earned First-Team All-Conference honors and was named his team’s Offensive Player of the Year each of his final two prep seasons.
Stewart is another fine addition to the backfield from Carlinville High School. He was a three-time Small School Player of the Year who rushed for 4,425 yards and 782 touchdowns on 440 carries in his career. He ran for 2,049 yards and 34 touchdowns, averaging 12.5 yards per carry during his senior year alone.
Southeast will look to add one more offensive lineman, another interior defensive lineman, a long snapper and kicker prior to its 2013 campaign.
The Redhawks open spring drills on Mar. 26.
Michael Ford, RB 5-11, 185, Alton, Ill./Marquette Catholic H.S
Earned First-Team All-Conference honors on offense and defense at Marquette Catholic High School…Was named his team’s Offensive Player of the Year each of his last two prep seasons…Garnered All-State and All-Area accolades…Tabbed the USA Today’s top Week 6 performer his senior campaign…Rushed for 1,614 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior…Ran for 1,000 yards and 16 TDs his junior year…Three-year starter and four-year letterman in football…Helped lead the Explorers to the playoffs all four years…Was also on the track team, where he competed in the triple jump.
Billy Dasher, OL, 6-2, 275, Birmingham, Ala./Oak Mountain H.S.
One of the best linemen to play at Oak Mountain High School…All-State honors… Birmingham News All-Shelby County selection…Earned All-Metro honors and was an honorable mention Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State selection…Also a member of the wrestling team where he was his team’s Junior Wrestler of the Year.
Brendan Stewart, RB, 5-11, 210, Carlinville, Ill./Carlinville H.S.
Three-time Alton Area Telegraph Small School Player of the Year…All-State, All-Area and All-Conference performer…Honorary Captain of Springfield All-Area Team…Three-time Carlinville High School Most Valuable Player…Rushed for 4,425 yards and 72 touchdowns on 440 carries in his career…Averaged 10.1 yards per attempt in his career…Ran for 2,049 yards and 34 touchdowns with 12.5 yards per carry as a senior…Caught 37 passes for 640 yards and six TDs in his four-year stint…As a senior, he rushed for 2,049 yards with 34 touchdowns…Piled up 5,065 total yards and scored a total of 528 points as a prep…Returned 21 kickoffs for 469 yards and 12 punts for 265 yards, as well.
John Popovich, DT, 6-5, 230, Louisville, Ky./Christian Academy
All-District selection at Christian Academy of Louisville…Played in the Jefferson County East/West All-Star Game…Played for former Louisville and Carolina Panther quarterback Stefan Lefors.
Alex Schwab, LB, 6-1, 210, New Berlin, Wis./West Allis Hale H.S.
Made the 2012 NOW Newspapers All-Suburban Team at linebacker…Named his team’s Most Valuable Defensive Player…First-Team Greater Metro Conference honoree…Three-year starter…Collected 58 solo tackles, 23 assisted tackles and 12 tackles for loss at West Allis Hale High School…Added two sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles…Also had two fumble recoveries…All-State honorable mention selection and All-Suburban First-Team pick…West Allis Hale head coach Brandon Ehret was a teammate of Southeast Missouri wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Joel Beard at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
Aaron Nix, LB, 6-1, 220, Louisville, Ky./Eastern H.S.
Was an All-District honoree at Eastern High School…Recorded 61 tackles, averaging 5.1 per game as a senior…Played in the Best of Bluegrass All-Star Game.
Cale Svehla, DE, 6-3, 205, Bellevue, Neb./Bellevue West H.S
Nebraska Coaches’ All-District pick at Bellevue West High School…All-Metro honoree…Two-year starter, who recorded 57 tackles with two sacks and seven pass breakups as a senior…Blocked a field goal to save his team’s win against Bellevue East…Also a member of the baseball team where he was named to the 2012 Omaha Under Armour Preseason All-American 2013.
Demontre Boyd, LB, 6-1, 190, Louisville, Ky./Central H.S.
Was part of three-straight Kentucky State High School Championship teams at Central High School…Four-time All-District selection, who earned honorable mention All-State honors as a senior…Finished with 245 career tackles, including 40 for loss…Forced nine fumbles in his prep career…Scored a touchdown in the State Championship game as a sophomore…Played in the Best of Bluegrass All-Star Game.
Tyler Couch, OL, 6-2, 275, Lebanon, Mo./Lebanon H.S.
All-State offensive lineman at Lebanon High School…First-Team All-Conference defensive lineman and Second-Team All-Conference offensive lineman…Garnered All-District honors as both an offensive and defensive lineman…Posted 51 tackles and three sacks as a senior.
Tyler McLemore, S, 6-2, 195, Godfrey, Ill./Alton H.S.
Belleville News Democrat First-Team All-Area performer at Alton High School…First-Team All-Southwestern Conference pick as a senior…Earned Third-Team All-Conference honors as a junior…Was his team’s Offensive Player of the Year…Had 41 catches for 746 yards and 11 touchdowns his senior year… Also collected 55 tackles and one interception on defense…Made 24 receptions for 296 yards and notched 49 tackles as a junior…Played in the Illinois Shrine Game…Three-year letterman in basketball…Was a United States Junior Olympic Gold medalist in Tae Kwon Do.
Fletcher Evans, LB, 6-3, 235, Champaign, Ill./Centennial H.S.
Two-Time All-State and All-Conference pick at Centennial High School…Had 211 career tackles…Registered 81 tackles as a senior and 86 as a junior…Outstanding punter who averaged 41.5 yards per punt…Led his team to the Illinois State Playoffs in 2010…Two-time Academic All-State honoree…Earned the IHSA Academic Award…Also played hockey.
Alex Snyder, OL, 6-4, 275, Humble, Texas/St. Thomas H.S.
Earned First-Team All-State, All-District and All-Greater Houston Area at St. Thomas High School…Ranked 150th on Texas’ Top-200 Recruit Rankings…Helped his team to a District Championship in 2012 and the State Semifinals in 2011…Earned Second-Team All-District honors as a junior…Won two State Championships in rugby…Also a member Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Senior Leaders…His father, Mark Snyder, was quarterback at Rice University from 1977-79 and then attended the Dallas Cowboys training camp in 1979.
Jake McCandless, OL, 6-0, 275, Newburgh, Ind./Castle H.S.
Two-Time First-Team All-Conference selection at Castle High School…Ranked among the top-50 players in Indiana…Helped lead his team to two undefeated seasons, a pair of conference titles and two sectional crowns in three seasons…Also a member of the track & field team.
Zack Tamburo, DT, 5-11, 275, Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista H.S.
Team Captain as a senior at Desert Vista High School…Notched 23 tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles as a senior…Registered 25 tackles and one sack as a junior, helping lead the Thunder to a 13-1 record and No. 1 ranking in Arizona that year…Two-time All-City, All-Section and honorable mention All-State selection…Three-year starter who had playing experience at defensive line, offensive line and long snapper…Helped Desert Vista compile a record of 40-8 in the four years he was there.
Lawton Kietzman, TE, 6-5, 225, Springfield, Ill./Glenwood H.S.
Garnered honorable mention All-Conference accolades at Glenwood High School…Helped lead his team to three state playoff berths…Glenwood reached the championship game in 2010…Was part of an offensive line that accumulated 4,400 yards of total offense, including 2,800 rushing and 1,600 passing his senior season…Registered 90 career tackles on the defensive line…High School teammate of fellow signee Gabe Phillips.
Marlon Hampton, DT, 6-2, 285, Webster Groves, Mo./Webster Groves H.S.
Impact player on both sides of the ball at Webster Groves High School…As an offensive guard, blocked for Webster’s 1,000-yard rusher Marlon Peal…Was credited with 70 tackles, including 12 for loss and four sacks as a senior…First-Team All-Suburban South Conference, Missouri Football Coaches Association First-Team All-State and Third-Team All-Metro selection as a senior…Second-Team All-Conference defensive pick as a junior…Two-time Missouri State Qualifier in wrestling…Went 25-3 in the 285-pound weight class…2012 Webster Groves Statesmen Hall of Fame Outstanding Male Student Athlete.
Gabe Phillips, OL, 6-5, 290, Springfield, Ill./Glenwood H.S.
Secured special mention All-Conference honors during his junior and senior seasons at Glenwood High School…Helped lead his team to three state playoff berths…Glenwood reached the championship game in 2010…Was part of an offensive line that accumulated 4,400 yards of total offense, including 2,800 rushing and 1,600 passing his senior season…Won the Outstanding Offensive Lineman of the Year Award…Excelled in the classroom, earning Academic All-Conference laurels in 2012.
Mark Cushing, FB, 5-11, 225, Wentzville, Mo./Holt H.S.
Second-Team All-Conference and All-State honoree at Holt High School…Was his team’s third-leading rusher in 2012…Ran for 355 yards and two touchdowns on 53 carries…Averaged 6.7 yards per rush…Made a team-high 18 catches for 194 yards and tied for a team-best four receiving touchdowns…Averaged 10.8 yards per catch…Ranked second on the team with 121 tackles and notched a team-high 29 for loss…Also had five sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception…The Indians went 8-4 overall and undefeated in league play en route to winning the Gateway Central Conference crown…Also garnered Academic All-Conference accolades.
Mendaryian “Buck” Wilson, CB, 5-10, 165, Commerce, Texas/Commerce H.S.
Rated a two-Star Athlete by Rivals.com…Earned First-Team All-District Honors in 2012…As a senior he recorded 868 receiving yards on 54 catches with nine touchdowns and recorded 52 tackles on defense… Finished his junior season with 42 tackles, including 36 solo stops on his way to earning All-State Honorable Mention accolades…Made 35 catches for 753 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 21.5 yards per reception…Averaged 68.5 receiving yards per game…Also a First-Team All-district selection in baseball…Named Youth of the Year by Hunt County African American Leadership Conference.
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