Lee Brecheen’s Recruiting Recap: Northwestern State University
by Lee Brecheen and Jace LeJeune
As all 12 Louisiana college teams are currently participating in spring practices, that could mean only one thing and that is the upcoming college football season is approaching near. As we continue to wait the days before fall practice, for the next three weeks, we will recap the National Signing Classes for all 12 Louisiana collegiate football teams. Today, we will recap the National Signing Class for the Northwestern State University Demons. The Demons have a bright future under Brad Laird. Laird, who was also a former Northwestern State quarterback and defensive coordinator, spent his first year as Head Coach in 2018. After a 1-10 season in 2017, Coach Laird led the Demons to a very competitive 5-6 record in only one year. Playing in a tough Southland Conference, it was more of an accomplishment achieving that feat. Now, with another year, Laird used his resources as former Ruston High School Head Coach and recruited some talented Louisiana recruits as well as other talented out of state recruits to help build on that momentum. Louisiana Football Magazine’s recruiting expert Lee Brecheen has watched all of the Louisiana high school signees featured below at one point. Whether it is watching full game film or seeing them in person, Brecheen has gotten the chance to see a lot of these signees play. In today’s college recruiting recap, Brecheen takes a dive in the Northwestern State football program as he gives out his top five talented high school signees, top college transfer, sleeper players to keep an eye on, and also, his final thoughts on the entire signing class in general!
Lee’s Overall Thoughts on Northwestern State’s Signing Class:
“Looking at Northwestern State’s signing class, it is a lot similar to Nicholls State’s signing class. In fact, I believe this is the second best in-state college signing class in the Southland Conference to only Nicholls State. I also believe that this is the best Louisiana native group that Northwestern State has signed in several years. Coach Brad Laird has done a great job with the program and you can tell in his experiences at both Ruston High School and Northwestern State, respectively, that he has a great ability to find diamond in the rough players. I have seen all of these Louisiana signees play and I couldn’t agree more with these pickups.”
Lee’s Top Five Talented High School Signees In Northwestern State’s Class (In No Particular Order):
QB Zachary Clement
Lafayette Christian Academy
Bio: Don’t let the 6-0, 195 pound frame fool you. QB Zachary Clement, from Lafayette Christian Academy, is one of the top quarterbacks in the entire state. The four year letterman was the top signal caller for that long period of time under Head Coach Trev Faulk. As a freshman, Clement made his mark by throwing for 1,084 yards and nine touchdowns while adding 975 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground in eight games at quarterback. The next season as a sophomore, Clement proved what he could do in a full season throwing for 1,754 yards and 27 touchdowns while rushing for, 1,569 yards and 19 more scores. His junior year may have been shortened due to injury after throwing for 973 yards and 13 scores while adding 686 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in just seven games, but however, he helped put the Knights in position to win their first state championship in program history. His senior year proved to be the best for last as Clement threw for 2,055 yards and 36 touchdowns while rushing for 637 yards and 11 touchdowns. That season resulted in another state championship, but this time, Clement was there to lead the team earning state championship MVP honors. Over his storied prep career, Clement accounted for 5,866 passing yards, 85 passing touchdowns, 3,867 rushing yards, and 49 rushing touchdowns. The accomplished quarterback won two state championships and was named 1st Team All-District three times as well as being named 1st Team All-State as a senior. If that was not enough, Clement played three other sports including baseball, basketball, and track and field as well as maintaining a 3.78 GPA in school. The student athlete chose the Demons over Southeastern and Nicholls State.
Lee’s Scouting Report: “Zachary Clement is the best signee in this year’s class for Northwestern State. He is a SEC caliber quarterback. If he was 6-1, he would have 100 DI offers and I am not exaggerating. He is a phenomenal leader, competitor, and has the great intangibles as well. He has a great arm, feet in the pocket, accuracy, etc. He has the best upside for a Northwestern State quarterback since Craig Nall (Alexandria High School/Green Bay Packers). Zachary has a chance to be a program changer for Northwestern State and can really take this team to the next level. He could have gone DI or to other I-AA programs, but he chose Brad Laird and Northwestern State. For the Demon fans who have not seen him play, they are in for a treat.”
CB Kunta Hester Jr.
John Ehret High School
Bio: Even though John Ehret High School’s dominant defense was known for its front seven, Kunta Hester Jr. proved that it was a complete defense. As a senior, Hester helped the defense post three shutouts as well as hold four other opponents to seven points or less. His finest moment came in the playoffs this year in a victory against Haughton High School in which he was responsible for two interceptions. For Hester, his football talent runs in the family as his uncle Larry Foster was a former NFL receiver for the Detroit Lions and the Arizona Cardinals so he has what it takes to bring his talent after his college playing days are over.
Lee’s Scouting Report: “At 6-0, 180 pounds, CB Kunta Hester is one of the best defensive backs in Louisiana. Hester is gifted, long, and makes plays on the ball. He also runs a legit 4.5/40 and will be a big time player at Northwestern State.”
ATH Aubrey Scott
North DeSoto High School
Bio: North DeSoto High School has been known for its great running backs starting with Delmonte Hall (Southeastern) and now, it has produced another talented runner in Aubrey Scott. However, Scott is not just a running back, but he has played multiple positions over his prep career. As a four year letterman, Scott was named 1st Team All-District three times, All-Area, All-State, and was also on the front cover of our North Louisiana preview magazine edition before the start of the season. Scott will go down as one of the most accomplished athletes to play for the Griffins as he accounted for 4,769 total yards and 42 touchdowns in only three years. The three star athlete has received offers from ULL, Stephen F. Austin, New Mexico State, and Texas State as well as even receiving recruiting interest from the Florida Gators before signing with Northwestern State in the end.
Lee’s Scouting Report: “Aubrey Scott is a very talented and versatile player. He could play running back, wide receiver, or cornerback. Aubrey could also return kicks and punts as well. He could be a great third down back as a freshman for Northwestern State and could be a big time special teams guy as a returner as well.”
According to Brecheen, the other two talented high school signees in Northwestern State’s class are WR Robbie Williams (6-4, 200) from Chapel Hill High School in Tyler, Texas, and DT Ja’Bralen Yarber (6-1, 280) from John Tyler High School, which is also in Tyler, Texas.
Robbie Williams was a four year letterman during his high school career and showed off his versatility as well as his athletic ability. In his senior year, Williams accounted for 12 total touchdowns with eight coming as a receiver, two as a rusher, one as a punt returner, and even one as a passer. Williams also totaled 515 receiving yards, 40 tackles, one interception, one blocked field goal, and also served as the team’s punter and kicker. To add even more versatility as an athlete, Williams also lettered in baseball, soccer, and track and field.
Ja’Bralen Yarber was a three year starter for his high school and was an All-District selection all three of those years. As a senior, Yarber had 69 tackles, 26 for a loss, six forced fumbles and an interception. He also produced a safety in a 22-10 win against Lancaster High School earlier this season. As a junior, Yarber totaled 25 tackles in six games and added one sack. He even produced 22 pancake blocks in 10 games as a sophomore offensive lineman showing that he could play either side of the football.
Lee’s Other Key High School Signees To Keep An Eye On:
K/P Scotty Roblow
C.E. Byrd High School
Bio: The Northwestern State Demons got another diamond in a rough player in Scotty Roblow from C.E. Byrd High School. Roblow is another player in this signing class that can play a big role on special teams this time as both a kicker and a punter. During his playing days with the Yellow Jackets, he was named All-District as a kicker and punter twice as well as being named All-State his senior year. Roblow, who was on the front cover of the North Louisiana magazine preview edition, was 9 of 12 on field goal attempts and was 60 of 62 on extra point attempts while averaging over 40 yards per punt in two seasons. Along with being one of the state’s best kicker/punters, Roblow was also a standout soccer player at Byrd.
Lee’s Scouting Report: “Roblow is about 6-5, 170 pounds. Once he fills out, he will probably kick at about 200 pounds in about a year. He has a strong leg and could either kick or punt. He’s a sleeper for the I-AA level and was a great pickup by the Demons.”
DT Jaquez Jackson
Ouachita Parish High School
Bio: Jaquez Jackson had two good seasons for the Ouachita Parish Lions. As a junior, Jackson had 60 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, eight sacks, a blocked punt, and even scored a touchdown. As a senior, Jackson followed his breakout junior season with 73 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and seven sacks. Jackson was also a two sport letterman participating in track and field events. Before signing with Northwestern State, Jackson had other offers from McNeese State, ULM, Arkansas Monticello, and Kansas State.
Lee’s Scouting Report: “Jaquez Jackson is very quick for his size and is tough to block along with his big frame. He is a young and upcoming player with already the effort and toughness to go along with his skills.”
OLB/DE Chandler Moncrief
Sterlington High School/West Monroe High School
Bio: Chandler Moncrief started his high school career at Sterlington High School and had a pretty good prep career there winning a state championship as a sophomore and also totaled 194 career tackles, 113 solo, eight sacks, one interception, and one forced fumble before transferring to West Monroe High School his senior year. In his only season as a Rebel, Moncrief was a part of a dominant defense. In fact, the defense was the first in school history to record shutouts in its first four playoff games. Moncrief also lettered in basketball and track and field during his prep career. The cousin of current Jacksonville Jaguars WR Donte Moncrief looks to continue his football career after his college playing days are over.
Lee’s Scouting Report: “Chandler Moncrief started his career as a fullback at Sterlington High School and when he transferred to West Monroe High School, he transitioned to play linebacker. At 6-0, 245 pounds, Moncrief can run a 4.6/40. He can either play linebacker or even defensive end once he arrives at Northwestern State.”
DE Johnathan Daigle
Welsh High School
Bio: Like Chandler Moncrief, Johnathan Daigle played on both sides of the football during his time at Welsh High School and was a tackling machine for a winning program while doing so. As a four year letterman, All-District, All-Parish, and All-Southwest selection, Daigle made 365 tackles, 14 sacks, and 10 forced fumbles. Daigle was one of the team’s best players under John Richardson as he helped lead the team to a Class 2A state championship victory as a junior and a Class 2A state championship runner up finish as a senior. Daigle is the epitome of a student athlete graduating with a 3.9 GPA. After his football career is over, Daigle plans on being a physical therapist.
Lee’s Scouting Report: “Johnathan Daigle was one of Welsh’s best players during their great two year run. He is a very strong, active, and tough player that can make an impact on Northwestern State’s team.”
Lee’s Top College Transfer (Includes Both DI and Junior College Transfers)
“The Northwestern State Demons picked up a big time transfer in DT Darius Whitfield (6-3, 275). Coming out of high school, Whitfield was one of the biggest prospects in the country at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile, Alabama. Whitfield received offers from LSU, Florida, Florida State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Missouri, Arizona State, Louisville and was also being recruited by Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Miami, Wake Forest, and Minnesota in 2015 before signing with South Carolina. At South Carolina, he redshirted and then transferred to play at Southwest Mississippi Community College for his redshirt freshman season. Then, soon after, he transferred to South Alabama for his sophomore year. Now after transferring to Northwestern State from South Alabama, he is eligible to play for two seasons and brings immediate depth up front defensively for the Demons.”
Lee’s Sleeper of the Class (Includes Both High School Signees and College Transfers):
“TE David Fitzwater (6-4, 245) is a player that I know really well as I did his highlight tapes when he was playing his prep football at Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana. He signed with Tulsa and is actually a rare DI transfer considering that he did letter at Tulsa and was playing a lot of football. It was just getting closer to home that made David transfer to Northwestern State. This kid is a pro prospect and is an instant impact guy once he arrives on campus. It is hard to find 6-4, 250 pound blocking tight ends in the Southland Conference, and the Demons found one.”
*(Make sure to visit our website tomorrow when we recap the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns’ 2019 recruiting class!)
Hey football fans. Like our recruiting interviews, stories, and other content on our website? Click on our website daily to view articles on recruits, coaches, and so much more at our website: http://lafootballmagazine.com/. Also, we have exciting news that for the second straight year, we will have our North and South LA issues and both are now out! Both issues will continue to cover all the Louisiana colleges as well as all the high schools in state, but there will be 16 pages that will focus on North Louisiana as well as South Louisiana. For more information, please check the following link to where you can find the magazine in a store near you. Also, below are the two covers as well as where you can order both magazines on our website.
North Cover: South Cover:
North Link: http://lafootballmagazine.com/product/la-football-magazine-2018-annual-preview-north-edition/
South Link: http://lafootballmagazine.com/product/la-football-magazine-2018-annual-preview-south-edition/