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Dallas Fort

Southern University is on the Way Back With Stump

by Lee Brecheen

Dallas Fort
Dallas Fort – Tara High School

February 4, 2010 – I was at Southern University’s recruiting banquet as a guest speaker for the eleventh time in fourteen years. This was the largest turnout I’ve ever seen for a recruiting banquet at Southern University. There must have been at least 400 people there; several players from the current team, and some of the Southern band. Mayor Kip Holden spoke, as did the Chancellor of Southern, and I was blown away and super impressed by the speech that the new head football coach, Stump Mitchell, gave to the Southern alumni. The alumni there were former players, current coaches, and long time season ticket holders as well as Head Baseball Coach, the legend, Roger Cador.


Dray Joseph
Dray Joseph – West St. John

I remember watching Stump Mitchell as a kid in the early 80’s play RB for the then St. Louis Cardinals. He was this 5-8, 200 pound tough RB that I remember gave it his all. It reminded me a lot of LSU’s version of former RB Dalton Hilliard of the New Orleans Saints. I was super impressed by the staff that he put together in just a matter of two and a half weeks. Keeping the long time receiving coach, Eric Dooley of thirteen years is a smart move to get a lot of the top talent to sign with Southern in such a small amount of time. I was also impressed to know that former glen oaks QB Ted White from Baton Rouge who played at Howard University in Washington DC was hired to be on the staff. Ted played a little in the NFL and I remember seeing him when he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He had a great college career at Howard. White was responsible for getting big time recruit, ATH Virgil Williams, from Evangel Christian HS. I thought the best signee in this class was a kid named Dray Joseph ATH (6-1, 190, 4.5/40) from West St. John HS. Dray was coached by Former Southern football player and current head coach at West St. John, Robert Valdez. Dray Joseph can play for anybody in the Country. I saw this kid play in several games this year and I’m shocked that not one D1 school offered him.. He can play safety, receiver and even be a big time QB. He also has a 4.0 GPA. The other diamond in the rough that I thought Southern found was Dallas Forte, (5-7, 200) a RB from Tara HS in Baton Rouge. Dallas is like running into a small refrigerator with quick feet. This kid will be a great player at Southern and you might see him in the pros one day because of his work ethic. I was also impressed with the hiring of former Texas A&M assistant O’Neil Gibert. If people follow history of LA recruiting, Gilbert, when he was at Illinois, signed the number one player in America in the early 90s. That was Eric Jefferson a DT from Evangel Christian HS (6-4, 270). He was the number one recruit in the country. I was impressed with all the assistants that were brought in. I was expecting a smaller class for signing day for Southern University but when I found out they signed 34 players (some walk ons and some TOPS, because you can only enroll 25 per class). It’s scary to see what this staff could do with a full year. Stump Mitchell from his speech reminds me of a Nick Saban because when you hear him talk you can tell it’s going to be discipline, hard work, and he’s going to be a tireless recruiter. Mitchell came from the Washington Redskins staff. At the end I would like to thank Southern University for inviting me to speak again. The food was great, the band was great, and it was great talking to a lot of different alumni and coaches that were there.

About Lee Brecheen

Lee Brecheen, is the owner and publisher of La, Football Magazine and TV show. He is relentless in his pursuit for excellence. He initially broke into the business in 1992 as a football scout. It is his intent to be fair and honest to all high school players and coaches in Louisiana. Lee strives to be the most thorough and accurate researcher and analyst in order to give the best evaluation of all Louisiana high school football talent. He regularly consults with, and is sought by major college football programs throughout the country for information and advice regarding scholarship prospects from among Louisiana’s high school players at all levels of potential.