Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

February 5, 2014

Navarro Football: National Signing Day — Bulldogs happy with solid class

By Rob Ludwig
Special to the Daily Sun

Corsicana — Navarro’s football program had a big, quality haul on the first day high school student-athletes can sign National Letter of Intent on Wednesday.

In need of offensive linemen, the Bulldogs landed 11 players to man the trenches, including a pair of high-quality brothers.

Among the mid-term enrollees are former Longview quarterback Bivins Caraway (6-0, 200), who transferred from Louisiana-Monroe. Also checking in this January are massive offensive linemen Wilford Beard (6-6, 270) and Tristan Nicholson (6-8, 285), wide receiver Del’Michael High (6-2, 180), running back Jamel James (5-11, 220) and University of Tulsa transfer Ray Crockett, son of longtime NFL player Ray Crockett.

“We had a really, really good day,” said Navarro Coach Brian Mayper. “We had no big surprises. I thought it went about how we planned it.”

Navarro lost several of its offensive linemen after the 2013 season and was in need to restock the two-deep roster. It did so in a big way, literally. The Bulldogs signed four players 6-5 or bigger and eight of the newcomers top the 300-pound mark. Among those is Beard’s brother, Stefan, a double-signee with Baylor who attended Austin Westlake in the fall after transferring from Chicago.

(Wilford) Beard has got to get back in shape because he hasn’t played in a couple of years, but he’s going to be a quality player,” Mayper said. “All of the linemen we signed were of high quality.”

Navarro also signed three big safeties, including Jyren McCain (6-2, 160) of Fort Bend Bush, Khalil McCathern (6-4, 200) of Smithville. They’ll be matched with Texarkana High’s Kevin Harris, who Mayper said is the fastest player in the state.

“We’re going to be a big secondary for the first time in a long time,” Mayper said.

James could be a productive back immediately for the Bulldogs after signing with Texas State last winter. James originally committed to Notre Dame before settling on Texas State.

“He’s a big back who can really run,” Mayper said. “He had a great sophomore year in high school and two very good years after that. We’re going to  get him back to the way he was as a sophomore.”

Three Bulldogs signed LOI’s with FBS schools. Quarterback Josh Greer landed with North Texas, his favorite target Devin Lauderdale went to Texas Tech and offensive lineman Carter Wall is already on the University of Houston campus.

Greer has a chance to start in his first year at North Texas after missing several games with a broken collarbone in his only season at Navarro.

“He was (Offensive Coordinator Mike) Canales’ guy,” Mayper said.  “(Canales) really wanted him. I expected him to compete for the starting job up there. He’s a special kid. If he had been healthy all of last fall, I think the writing was on the wall with what we could have done.”

Lauderdale originally signed with Texas Tech, but an NCAA Clearinghouse issue left him in Corsicana for his freshmen season. That issue was resolved late in the fall and now he’ll be stretching defenses for the Red Raiders.

Wall’s versatility will enable him to potentially grab a starting job at Houston. Wall played all three line positions for Navarro and will be a favorite for extended playing time this spring for the Cougars.

Former Corsicana High School star Cameron Washington, the second-leading rusher for the Bulldogs in 2013, signed with Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday.

Here's a list of Navarro's signees:

INCOMING FRESHMAN SIGNEES: (34, As of 1:00 PM)

KENNY ARTHUR II, 6-1, 185, QB, Dallas South Oak Cliff

DOMINIQUE BARNETT, 6-2, 175, CB, Alief Elsik

STEFAN BEARD, 6-4, 310, OL, Austin Westlake

CHRISTIAN BRITT, 6-3, 215,LB, Ingleside

CHRIS BROOKS, 5-11, 195, OLB, Beaumont Central

DeKENDREA COLE, 6-2, 315, NG, Beaumont Central

DEXTER COLLINS, 6-1, 298, NG, Langham Creek

XAVIER CONLEY, 6-4, 200, QB, Pflugerville Hendrickson

SHAQUILLE CRANE, 6-0, 215, OLB, Converse Judson

JAMES DAVID, 6-3, 225, LB, Rockdale

SEAN EDDINGTON, 5-10, 160, CB, San Antonio Warren

AARON FOY, 5-9, 160, WR, Kilgore

KOLTON GATSON, 6-3, 300, OL, Fairfield

BRANDON GLENN, 6-4, 254, DE, Carrollton Ranchview

DOMINIQUE HARRIS, 5-8, 165, WR, Langham Creek

KEVIN HARRIS, 6-2, 180, WR-DB, Texarkana Texas High

EONTE JENKINS, 6-4, 260, OL, Dallas South Oak Cliff

JOHN JOHNSON, 6-1, 230, LB, Aldine Eisenhower

DARIUS JOINER, 6-5, 280, OL, Temple

CALVIN JONES, Jr., 6-0, 181, WR, Richardson Berkner

JAMES JUDIE, 6-4, 241, DE, Temple

KARL KALUBI, 6-5, 305, OL, Fort Bend Dulles

MICHAEL KELLOUGH, Jr., 6-6, 330, OL, Brazoswood

JYREN McCAIN, 6-2, 160, S, Fort Bend Bush

KHALIL McCATHERN, 6-4, 200, S, Smithville

WALTER MILLER, 6-1, 210, LB, Mesquite Horn

DaSHANE MOORE, 6-5, 360, OL, Plano

JOSH MORRIS, 5-10, 175, OLB, Fort Bend Bush

BRANDON NICCUM, 6-4, 320, OL, Justin Northwest

GEWHITE STALLWORTH, 6-8, 355, OL, Houston Reagan

HARRIS TAFAH, 6-3, 253, DL, Mansfield Legacy

LaDARIUS THOMAS, 6-0, 165, DB, Temple

XAVIER TURNER, 5-10, 205, RB, Birdville/North Richland Hills

DONOVAN WHEATON, 6-3, 310, OL, Prime Prep Academy

 

MID-TERM ENROLLED HERE:

WILFORD BEARD, 6-6, 370, OL, Chicago, Ill., (Marshall)

TRISTAN NICHOLSON, 6-8, 285, OL, League City (Clear Falls) / Tr-Fork Union Academy

BIVINS CARAWAY, 6-0, 200, QB, Longview / Tr-University of Louisiana Monroe

DEL’MICHAEL HIGH, 6-2, 180, WR, Mesquite Horn

JAMEL  JAMES, 5-11, 220, RB, Katy (Cinco Ranch)

RAY CROCKETT, 6-0, 170, CB, Southlake Carroll / Tr-University of Tulsa

 

SOPHOMORE TRANSFERS

JOSH GREER, 6-5, 22, QB, University of North Texas

DEVIN LAUDERDALE, 5-11, 170, WR, Texas Tech

CARTER WALL, 6-4, 304, OL, University of Houston

CAMERON WASHINGTON, 5-11, 190, RB, Stephen F. Austin