LU adds 22 football players on National Signing Day

Lamar University added 22 players — 12 signers and 10 transfers (seven Division I transfers and three junior college) — on National Signing Day, head coach Pete Rossomando announced at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. The 22 additions bring the Cardinals’ 2023 signing class to 28 overall.

“I felt our staff did a great job challenging our recruiting footprint, which we sort of created when I got here,” Rossomando said. “I think this class is pretty well rounded and we have all our needs met. Now it’s just a matter of getting them here on campus and see if they can live up to their hype.”

The 2023 class was weighted more on the defensive side of the ball with 14 approaches while eight are on offense. The incoming division’s positional breakdown includes seven defensive linemen, five defensive backs, four offensive linemen, two quarterbacks, two linebackers, one running back, and one receiver.

Combined with the additions from the early signing period, 19 of the 28 Cardinals are coming to the defensive side of the ball with nine offensive players (including early signee Iyioluwa Adekoya, who is currently listed as tight end/defensive end).

“We had some immediate needs that we needed to fill — some people were leaving the portal — we needed to fill those positions with some older men through the portal to balance the classes,” Rossomando said. “I think we’ve done a great job of getting really quality players here and they’re going to be really good players too. At the end of high school we took a couple of guys who we think could help us right away. This is a balanced class.”

Despite a strong Texas flair for the class, Rossomando and his staff stretched beyond the Lone Star State to find the roster’s newest members. Of the 22, 14 are from Texas (including one from the Golden Triangle – Jah’mar Sanders), while three are from Louisiana. The class also includes one player each from California, Florida, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

LU’s coaching staff focused on strengthening both sides of the ball with 11 new signings on either offense or defence. The cards four incoming offensive linemen average 6-3.5 and 288 pounds, while the defensive linemen average 6-3, 249 pounds coming.

“For starters, I’m a line guy,” Rossomando said. “So we’re building this thing from the inside out. If we say that, then we have to do it in recruiting as well. I feel like we did that in this signing class.

The coaching staff has also expanded the quarterback competition with two new signings — junior college transfer Robert Coleman and prep signee Aiden McCown. Coleman will have the obvious experience advantage that brings two years of JUCO experience, having racked up nearly 4,500 yards and 45 touchdowns at Mt. San Jacinto College.

“Robert is a junior college transfer, and after we came in and saw him in the film, we really felt like he fit what we want to do from a program standpoint,” Rossomando said. “Once we got to know him as a person, we realized we needed this man on our team because he is ambitious, highly competitive and will lead from the front. We hit the mark with Robert.”

Coming from a strong football bloodline, McCown is the son of former NFL signal caller Josh McCown. More than just the son of an NFL star, Aiden is a three-star contender in his own right, McCown rushed for 2,312 yards and 27 touchdowns in his debut football season. He also rushed for nearly 800 yards while averaging 8.3 yards per carry.

“Aiden really only played quarterback for a year at the high school level, but we’re thrilled with his ability,” Rossomando said. “He can certainly sit back in the pocket and read defences; He has a great understanding of schemes. We’re very comfortable with his athleticism and the things he can do when games collapse. As a younger player, he also played in several other positions. Aiden’s best football is yet to come.”

Kevin Anderson – S – 6-0 – 200 – Lewisville, Texas/Lewisville HS (Texas State)
Knox Boyd – OL – 6-4 – 290 – Denton, TX/Guyer HS (Charlotte)
Brenden Bradshaw – DB – 6-1 – 180 – Denton, Texas / Guyer HS
Peyton Christian – DL – 6-1 – 290 – Kilgore, TX/Kilgore HS
Robert Coleman – QB – 6-0 – 190 – Riverside County, Calif./Vista Murrieta HS (Mt. San Jacinto College)
Zachery Curtis – OL – 6-4 – 260 – Dallas, TX/Bishop Lynch HS
Alex Haralson – DE – 6-5 – 240 – Argyle, Texas/Fort Worth Christian HS
Andrew Hardin – S – 6-2 – 210 – Alexandria, Virginia/Chippewa Valley HS (Youngstown State)
Foday Jalloh – LB – 6-2 – 220 – Reading, Pennsylvania/Wilson HS (Eastern Illinois)
Rashaad Johnson – RB – 5-9 – 220 – Houston, TX/North Shore HS
Joshua Landrum – S/CB – 6-0 – 190 – Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill HS (Rice)
Royce Maloles – DL – 6-2 – 240 – Cypress, Texas/Cy Ranch HS
Aiden McCown – QB – 6-2 – 180 – Rusk, Texas / Rusk HS
James Perkins – DL – 6-4 – 260 – Monroe, La./Neville HS (UL Monroe)
Ashton (Makhi) Reed – DL – 6-3 – 300 – Minden, La./Minden HS
Elias Ripley – OL – 6-2 – 290 – Cedar Rapids, Iowa/CR Prairie HS (Iowa Western)
Jah’mar Sanders – WR – 5-11 – 180 – Port Arthur, Texas/Memorial HS (New Mexico)
Kei’trone Simpson – DE – 6-2 – 220 – Dallas, TX/Duncanville HS
Alex Sumler – DL – 6-3 – 240 – New Orleans, La./McDonogh 35 HS
Jonovan Tillis – OLB – 6-3 – 230 – Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS (Mt. SAC)
Cecil (Tre) Turner – CB – 6-2 – 180 – Arlington, Texas / Liberty Christian HS
Kortez Winslow – OL – 6-4 – 280 – Houston, TX/Nimitz HS

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