BEAUMONT, Texas — From a Lamar University Athletics news release...
Lamar University signed a high school standout to a National Letter of Intent and added eight transfers announced head coach Mike Schultz at a press conference Wednesday afternoon at the Dauphin Athletics Complex.

Wednesday’s signing class adds to the 11 players the Cardinals signed during the early signing period, which brings the total signing class to 20 (five signees and 15 transfers). Among the transfers, 14 come from the junior college ranks (Will McBride transferred from FBS Tennessee).

“I first want to congratulate the staff,” said LU head coach Mike Schultz. “Most people don’t understand the amount of hours that is put into recruiting and these guys did a really good job of hitting the road and identifying talent. I believe because of the playoff run we were able to elevate our targets in recruiting, but when you elevate your targets you also take on more competition. Some of those battles you win and some you don’t, but we feel really good about the guys we added to our roster.”

The newest additions to the class bring a heavy focus on the defensive side of the ball where LU lost seven starters or key reserves from the 2018 FCS playoff squad, including All-America selection Davon Jernigan. The class consists of seven defensive players and four offensive.

The position breakdown on defense consists of five defensive backs and a linebacker, while incoming offensive players include two receivers and a quarterback.

The breakdown for the overall class consists of 12 players on the defensive side of the ball and eight offensive. The overall position breakdown on defense includes eight defensive backs, two linebackers and two defensive ends. The offensive breakdown includes four offensive linemen, two receivers and two quarterbacks.

Similar to the early signing period, the Cardinals’ newest additions to the roster stretched far beyond the borders of Texas. The most recent crop of signees hail from Illinois, Louisiana, California, Mississippi and Texas. The overall state breakdown for the 2019 LU signing class represents seven states – Texas (7), Louisiana (5), California (3), Mississippi (2), Hawaii (1), Illinois (1) and Missouri (1).

With the graduation of a starter at quarterback and returning Southland Newcomer of Year, Jordan Hoy, down to his final year of eligibility, the coaching staff filled a need at quarterback with the addition of two standouts. Tennessee transfer Will McBride joins talented high school standout Jermaine Givens from the early signing period.

“We also have Jack Dallas coming back, although he won’t be with us during the spring because he will with the baseball team,” said Schultz. “We feel good about what we were able to accomplish here during the signing period. We added a quarterback from the high school ranks during the early period and now we’ve added Will McBride to that list. McBride has three years of eligibility remaining so we feel very good about where we are at with quarterbacks.”

McBride (6-1, 200, League City, Texas) was a three-star prospect coming out of high school and originally signed with Tennessee. Another dual-threat option for Coach Schultz behind center, McBride was considered one of the top 50 signal callers in the nation coming out of high school. He played in one game as a freshman for the Volunteers.

Two big needs for the Cardinals following their 2018 run to the FCS playoffs were at receiver and in the secondary. The Cardinals had a senior-laden lineup in the secondary and will be faced with replacing all five starters entering 2019 season.

“We signed some really good guys in the secondary,” said Schultz. “I really like safeties who are six-feet tall. The one thing you will see with the new guys is length. We’re excited about where are now and I can’t wait to get them all in and start working with them. Several of these guys are already here on campus with the team. Our secondary was a major concern heading into recruiting but we addressed this need.”

It is a similar story at receiver for the Red and White. The Cardinals lost four receivers to attrition at the end of the season, three of whom had significant time in the starting lineup for the Cardinals over the previous three seasons. LU added two more to the roster Wednesday with the additions Kenny Allen (6-0, 155, East Los Angeles College) and Ryan Matlock (6-0, 190, Moorpark College).

#WeAreLU

2019 National Signing Day Roster 

Signees

Anthony Ruffin • DB • 6-1 • 190 • Houma, La./Terrebonne HS 

Transfers

Kenny Allen • WR • 6-0 • 155 • Los Angeles, Calif./Fairfax HS (East Los Angeles College)

Michael Lawson • DB • 5-10 • 165 • Patterson, Calif./Patterson HS (City College of San Francisco) 

Dallas Martin • LB • 6-2 • 220 • Murrieta, Calif./Foothills HS (City College of San Francisco) 

Ryan Matlock • WR • 6-0 • 190 • Newbury Park, Calif./Newbury Park HS (Moorpark College) 

Will McBride • QB • 6-1 • 200 • League City, Texas/Clear Springs HS (Tennessee)

Kyron Norwood • DB • 5-11 • 185 • Hattiesburg, Miss./Forrest County HS (Pearl River CC) 

Nakota Shepard-Creer • DB • 6-1 • 185 • Chicago, Ill./Salesian HS (Santa Barbara CC) 

Keshawn Young • DB • 6-2 • 200 • Lafayette, La./Lafayette HS (Antelope Valley College) 

2019 National Signing Day Bios

Signees

Anthony Ruffin • DB • 6-1 • 190 • Houma, La./Terrebonne HS 

High School: Two-time all-district selection … Garnered first-team All-District 7-5A honors as a sophomore … Guided Terrebonne HS to an 11-2 overall record and a 5-1 mark in district play during his senior season … Also guided prep squad to a top-20 state ranking … Three-sport letterwinner who earned all-state honors in track and field … A standout in basketball as well … Received offers from Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Nicholls, McNeese and Southeastern Louisiana.

 

Transfers

Kenny Allen • WR • 6-0 • 155 • Los Angeles, Calif./Fairfax HS (East Los Angeles College) 

Junior College: Played in nine games during his sophomore season hauling in 37 passes for 716 yards and 11 touchdowns … Finished his junior college career with 60 receptions for 1,455 yards and 21 touchdowns.

High School: Named First-Team CIF Division II All-City.

 

Michael Lawson • DB • 5-10 • 165 • Patterson, Calif./Patterson HS (City College of San Francisco) 

Junior College: Recorded 36 tackles, including 25 solo stops during his sophomore season … Also picked off a pass and had 3.5 tackles for losses during the 2017 season … Closed out his junior college career with 89 total tackles – including 67 solo stops – and eight tackles for losses … Also forced two fumbles and recovered a third … Picked off five passes and broke up nine others.

High School: A 2015 All-Sac-Joaquin Section pick … Was a first-team selection as an athlete … Recorded 31 touchdowns as a senior … Defensively, stats were not as high as they could’ve been because offenses stopped throwing in his direction … Guided Patterson HS to an 11-1 (.917) overall record and a district title with a perfect 6-0 mark as a senior … Hauled in 39 passes for 911 yards and 11 touchdowns during his two seasons on varsity … Also carried the ball 190 times for 1,848 yards (9.7 ypc) with 23 touchdowns … Recorded seven 100-yard rushing performances … Also, a standout on the basketball court.

Dallas Martin • LB • 6-2 • 220 • Murrieta, Calif./Foothills HS (City College of San Francisco) 

Junior College: A three-star recruit … Garnered first-team all-conference honors … Recruited by Marshall, Bowling Green, Indiana and UL Lafayette … Originally signed with Marshall before transferring to LU.

High School: All-conference selection after recording 120 tackles during his senior season … Ranked second in the state and led conference in tackles … A two-time all-east bay selection.

 

Ryan Matlock • WR • 6-0 • 190 • Newbury Park, Calif./Newbury Park HS (Moorpark College) 

Junior College: Named as a Player to Watch by the Ventura County Star … Led Ventura with 20 rushing touchdowns as a freshman, before returning to receiver as a sophomore … Hauled in 14 passes for 358 yards and two touchdowns in nine games as a freshman … Was also used as a return specialist … Closed out his rookie season with four receptions for 175 yards and two scores against Santa Monica College.

High School: A three-star athlete coming out of high school according 247Sports.com … Was ranked among the top 200 players in the state of California … Also ranked among the nation’s top 100 running backs according to 247Sports.com … Received recruiting attention from Fresno State, North Carolina and Utah State.

 

Will McBride • QB • 6-1 • 200 • League City, Texas/Clear Springs HS (Tennessee) 

Tennessee: Played in one game as a freshman, completing one pass for 13 yards in a victory over Southern Mississippi … Utilized his redshirt season in 2018.

High School: A three-star prospect according to ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports … Ranked as the No. 41 quarterback in the nation, and the No. 225 prospect in the region … Considered the No. 172-ranked player in the state of Texas as a senior … Ranked as the No. 28 dual-threat quarterback nationally according to 247Sports.com … Three-year letterwinner … Guided Clear Springs to the 2016 district title and a 9-2 overall record … Earned first-team all-county honors … Member of the National Honor Society.

Personal: Son of Stephanie and Jere McBride … Born Oct. 9, 1998 … Grandson of Louisiana sports Hall of Fame coach Don Shows.

 

Kyron Norwood • DB • 5-11 • 185 • Hattiesburg, Miss./Forrest County HS (Pearl River CC) 

Junior College: First-team All-MACJC … Recorded 93 tackles during his two seasons at Pearl River … Ranked among the NJCAA leaders with 10 pass breaks … Also recorded an interception … Was credited with nine tackles for losses, 1.5 sacks and a recovered fumble.

High School: Finished his career with 90 tackles, including eight interceptions and 15 pass breakups … Credited with a forced and recovered fumble … Also blocked six field goals during his career … Named 4A MVP … Garnered first-team all-district and second-team all-state honors … also lettered in baseball, track and field and soccer.

Personal: Son of Carla Thomas … Born Aug. 7, 1999, in Natchez, Miss. … Sister played basketball at Central Arkansas and father is a former professional boxer.

 

Nakota Shepard-Creer • DB • 6-1 • 185 • Chicago, Ill./Salesian HS (Santa Barbara CC) 

Junior College: A two-star athlete according to 247Sports.com … Ranked as the No. 354 junior college recruit in the country … Ranked among the top 50 junior college corners nationally … Also considered a top-100 California JUCO recruit according to 247Sports.com … Played in 10 games for Vaqueros … Posted 32 total tackles … Led the conference with four interceptions … Also blocked two kicks on the season.

High School: Signed with New Mexico State out of high school before transferring to Santa Barbara City College … Led high school to the 2013 Division 5 State Championship … Was also a letterwinner in basketball.

Personal: Son of Robert Creer and Monica Shepard … Born in Bay Area, Calif.

 

Keshawn Young • DB • 6-2 • 200 • Lafayette, La./Lafayette HS (Antelope Valley College) 

Junior College: Garnered first-team all-league honors … Played in 10 games during his sophomore season recording 35 total tackles, including four for losses … Two of his four tackles behind the line of scrimmage were sacks … Was also credited with two pass breakups.

High School: A three-year starter at Lafayette High School … A four-year letterwinner.