Greetings, Lion fans. The staff here at The Wire would like to welcome you all to a New Year, and it is our sincere hope that 2021 turns out to be a better one than 2020 was for all of you.
It is that time of year that, for college football fans in Texas, is only eclipsed by the holidays, and your team going deep in the playoffs……National Signing Day.
The Lions added 23 new members to our family, and it looks to be deep, talented, and balanced. Today, we’ll share the highlights, and follow up next week with a thorough analysis of each individual recruit.
Recruiting in 2020-21 has been completely different this time, but Head Coach David Bailiff and his assistants have not allowed it to slow them down. The Lion coaching staff currently in place are to be congratulated on a job well done. They are reaching out and aquiring talent, the likes of which we as Lion fans have rarely seen, and that one would think a small school like ours would be able to convince to come to that little place off of I30 in northeast Texas. At this point, a hat tip is warranted for former AD Ryan Ivey, and former head Coach Colby Carthel, and their staffs for laying the foundation, and completly changing the culture to going beyond the occasional winning record, but winning consistently. David Bailiff and current AD Tim McMurray have expanded on that vision to being in the hunt for a national championship every single season. It’s been a long process, and the road will always be under construction, but make no mistake, the road is paved, fans, and it’s time to roll on down the highway. Outstanding work, gentlemen.
Two words are best to describe the 2021 class…..SIZE AND SPEED. Of the 23 signees, only 5 are transfers. That speaks to the fact that a winning culture is present, and the facilities are top notch. The offensive/defensive line group, along with the tight ends, average 6’4″ 268 lbs. Kedrick Smith, a tight end originally form Waco LaVega, originally signed with Alabama. Linebacker Tyler Malin , with Kentucky. They are two tremendous additions.
Of the high school signees, , there are six that really stand out. They are:
QB Brock Nellor (Mt. Vernon HS)-Nellor was an outstanding player, leading his team to the state semifinals, where they lost a close battle to eventual champion Tuscola Jim Ned.
LB Jaheim Lowe (Cedar Hill HS)-A starter at outside linebacker on Cedar Hill state finalist team. Lowe is a very fast, physical player who is a vicious edge rusher.
TE Austin Samaha (Sour Lake Hardin Jefferson HS)-A punishing blocker with soft hands. Plays right to the whistle.
RB Ke’ori Hicks Denton(Ryan HS)-If this name isn’t familiar to you, it should be. A starter and top producer on the Ryan state championship team, Hicks has an unbelieveable blend of speed and power.
DB Michael Ray(Crosby HS)-A starter on the Crosby state finalist team, Ray has great size, ,and is a ferocious hitter.
LB Eli Carruthers(Kilgore HS)-Big, rangy, and very fast. Good tackler.
There is much to be smiling about, Lion fans, and much to look forward to. We’ll be back next week with a full breakdown and analysis of what appears to be a great recruiting class.
“The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.”
Musical Group Timbuk 3