LAFAYETTE – Already one of the best recruiting classes in the history of Louisiana Football, head coach Billy Napier has announced the addition of seven student-athletes who have signed to play for the Ragin’ Cajuns in 2019.
Louisiana’s 2019 class remains the best in the Sun Belt Conference and ranks 72nd nationally, while it is the eighth-best class put together by a Group of Five program. Early signee Kendall Wilkerson also helped the classes ranking after he was named a four-star player by the national recruiting organization.
Louisiana was masterful in composing the class, which now consists of student-athletes from seven different states, with 17 coming from the state of Louisiana. Seven position groups are represented in the class, with an emphasis on both lines and the defensive backfield.
Below is a breakdown of the exciting signing class, with members from the early signing period (*) and the February 6 signing day (**):
Tyler Brown** | OL | 6’2.5 | 303 | Madison, Mississippi | St. Joseph Catholic HS
Another talented offensive line product … Participated in the Mississippi Bernard Blackwell North vs. South Game … Named to the 2A All-District Team in Mississippi … Recognized as the 2018 All Capital Team Offensive Lineman … He was named the VTO Elite Birmingham MVP, as well as a VTO All-American Top 5 Offensive Lineman … Chose Louisiana over offers from Tulane and Southern Miss.
Quintlan Cobb* | DT | 6’4.5 | 314 | Kaplan, Louisiana | Kaplan HS
Will play defensive line for the Ragin’ Cajuns, but made appearances at tight end and running back for Kaplan … Helped his team get to the Class 3A semifinals during his senior season … Chose Louisiana over offers from and Tulane, among others.
Chandler Fields* | QB | 5’11 | 185 | Metairie, Louisiana | Archbishop Rummel HS
One of the top quarterback prospects in the state of Louisiana … The 47th ranked player in Louisiana and the No. 31 pro-style QB in the nation … 247 Sports Composite three-star recruit … Helped his team to a 9-3 record as a senior … As a junior, he completed 179 passes for 2,359 yards and 30 touchdowns … Had offers from Memphis, Nicholls State and Jackson State.
La’Kamion Franklin** | OLB | 6’1 | 213 | Monroe, Louisiana | Neville HS
A dominant outside linebacker prospect … As a senior, he recorded 78 tackles, 42 of which were solo … He also tallied 11 sacks, 25 TFL, 14 hurries, three PBU and one fumble recovery … For his efforts, he garnered First Team All-District, All-Parish and All-State honors … He was also a First Team LCA and LSWA selection … Named defensive MVP.
A.J. Gillie** | OL | 6’2.5 | 310 | Natchitoches, Louisiana | Natchitoches Central HS
One of three offensive linemen to sign on Wednesday, Feb. 6 … He made an appearance in the state’s first-ever LGF Bowl … After a strong senior season, was named to the Louisiana District 2-5A First Team … Chose Louisiana over a scholarship offer from Army.
Andrew Gleason** | OLB | 6’2.5 | 243 | West Monroe, Louisiana | West Monroe HS
A standout, in-state prospect at outside linebacker … After a dominant 2018, he was named First Team All-State, the Northeast Louisiana MVP and the District 2-5A Defensive MVP … He also was recognized by The News Star as its Player of the Year … During his senior season, he tallied 87 tackles along with 12.5 sacks, 14 TFL and 15 quarterback hurries … Helped guide his team to the 2018 state title game … Chose Louisiana over offers from TCU and ULM.
Tyler Guidry* | OLB | 6’1.75 | 222 | Baton Rouge, Louisiana | Southern Lab
The second-highest rated player of the class according to the 247 Sports Composite, where he is rated a three-star recruit … 80th ranked outside linebacker in the country according to 247 Sports … Helped his team to a 12-2 overall record, including a 5-0 record in district play … Was dominant his senior season with 68 tackles, 12 sacks and a pick six … Chose Louisiana over offers from multiple FBS programs, including South Alabama, SMU, WKU, South Alabama, ULM, Southern Miss, Rice, Tulane and Arkansas State.
Jax Harrington* | OL | 6’3.5 | 305 | Erath, Louisiana | Erath HS
A top offensive line prospect from the state of Louisiana, Harrington will add quality depth to the Ragin’ Cajuns’ front five … The 84th rated prospect out of the state in the class … A three-time All-District player … He was a high school teammate of current Louisiana running back, Elijah Mitchell … Threw shot put in high school … Had offers to play at multiple programs, including Baylor, Kansas, Louisiana Tech, ULM and Tulane.
Shomari Hayes* | DT | 6’1.75 | 294 | Phoenix, Arizona | Mountain Pointe HS
A highly decorated defensive tackle out of Arizona…Ranked No. 72 prospect by 247 Sports for defensive tackles in the state of Arizona … Selected to play in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl … Team USA National Team/National Bowl invitee as a junior and senior … In three seasons as a varsity player at Mountain Pointe, recorded 192 tackles and 16 TFL…Finished his career with 10 sacks, with 6.5 coming during his senior season … He was named First Team All-Region and All-Conference as a junior and senior … He also garnered Phoenix and Tempe All-City recognition in his final two seasons … A State Farm All-Region honoree … He was named team MVP his senior season … Also competed in track and field, throwing shot put … Also offered by UNLV.
Jaden Henderson* | S | 5’11.5 | 193 | New Orleans, Louisiana | McDonogh 35
Helped his team to the state playoffs before falling in the first round … Composite three-star according to 247 Sports…Ranked the 55th-best player in the state … Considered offers from Indiana, ULM, Louisiana Tech, Troy, Toledo, Texas State, and South Alabama.
Bobby Holmes* | CB | 5’9.75 | 165 | Dallas, Texas | South Oak Cliff HS
A highly regarded cornerback from the state of Texas … In his three-year varsity career at South Oak Cliff, he compiled 159 total tackles and six TFL … Finished his career with two picks and two fumble recoveries … Earned First Team All-District honors as a junior … The 132nd-rated cornerback prospect in the nation … Received offers from Michigan State, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, North Texas, Utah State and WKU.
Dalvin Hutchinson* | DT | 6’0.5 | 317 | West Monroe, Louisiana | West Monroe HS
An All-State performer at the 5A level as a junior who finished that season with 57 tackles and eight TFL … Helped his team to a top seed in the playoffs … Led a defense that posted four shutouts in four playoff games … During his senior season, he recorded 67 tackles, eight TFL, four sacks and recovered a fumble … A three-star recruit according to 247Sports … Ranked the 65th-best prospect in Louisiana and the 96th-best tackle in the country … Held offers from SMU, ULM, Memphis and New Mexico State.
Neal Johnson* | TE | 6’3.5 | 223 | Mesquite, Texas | West Mesquite HS
Expected to play tight end for the Ragin’ Cajuns after playing quarterback during his senior year of high school … As a senior, threw for over 1,600 yards and accounted for 18 touchdowns … Over the course of his sophomore and junior seasons, he hauled in 16 passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns … Ranked 90th among tight ends in the class nationally … Had offers from ULM, Georgia State, WKU, Wyoming and Tulane.
Peter LeBlanc* | WR | 6’2.25 | 182 | New Iberia, Louisiana | Catholic-New Iberia HS
Versatile three-sport athlete out of New Iberia … The 50th-best prospect out of Louisiana and a top-150 player in his position as ranked by247 Sports … Finished his career as a two-time First Team All-District receiver … As a senior, carried the ball 44 times for 668 yards and nine touchdowns, while hauling in 22 receptions for 617 yards and eight scores … Caught 36 passes for 793 yards and 10 touchdowns during his junior season en route to earning All-Acadiana Second Team honors … Helped his team to its first state title that season … Served as his high school’s punter … Chose Louisiana over an offer from Louisiana Tech.
Brandon Legendre* | WR | 5’9 | 181 | Thibodaux, Louisiana | E.D. White Catholic HS
One of the most sought after recruits in the class, fielding offers from programs such as Notre Dame, West Virginia, TCU and Kentucky, Arizona State, Vanderbilt and Utah … Ranked the No. 29 recruit in the state of Louisiana and the 63rd-best athlete nationally by 247 Sports, where he is also listed as a three-star recruit … Played multiple positions in high school, including quarterback and kick returner … He ran for over 1,000 yards in both his junior and senior seasons … He was a LSWA Class 4A All-State First Team selection and the Offensive MVP on The Courier/Daily Comet’s All-Region football team as a junior … Accounted for 27 touchdowns as a junior while playing quarterback, while adding an additional four scores on kick returns … Over the last two season, he has accounted for 66 touchdowns.
Jai’ave Magalei** | QB | 6’2.5 | 234 | Tacoma, Washington | Mount San Antonio College
A talented quarterback who is joining Louisiana from the JUCO ranks … In his lone season at Mt. San Antonio College, he led the team to a 9-2 overall record and a 4-1 mark in conference play … During that span, he completed 63.6 percent of his passes, throwing for 1,811 yards and 19 touchdowns … As a senior at Lakes High School (Tacoma, Wash.), he threw for 2,725 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Amir McDaniel* | CB | 5’8.75 | 167 | Pensacola, Florida | West Florida Tech
Had an impressive junior season with West Florida, leading his team to the state semifinals for the first time in program history…He finished the season with seven interceptions and 68 tackles … His efforts earned him 5A First Team All-State recognition … The 297th rated player out of Florida … Also received offers from Troy, South Alabama, Georgia Southern, Southern Miss and Middle Tennessee.
Clifton McDowell* | QB | 6’2.5 | 200 | Spring, Texas | Spring HS
A highly regarded dual threat quarterback out of high school…Rated the 34th-best dual-threat quarterback in the 2019 class…247 Sportsthree-star recruit…Accounted for 37 touchdowns during his senior season, passing for 1,820 yards and 18 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,330 yards and 19 touchdowns…He was named the 16-6A District MVP after his stellar senior year…Totaled 31 touchdowns (19 passing, 12 rushing) and 2,160 yards (1,310 passing, 850 rushing) as a junior en route to First Team All-District honors…Received offers from ULM, Texas Southern, Texas State and Georgetown.
Ja-Quane Nelson** | DL | 6’3 | 280 | High Point, North Carolina | Hutchinson CC
A JUCO defensive line product who adds depth at that position to the class … He appeared in eight games for Hutchinson Community College … In those eight appearances, he made seven tackles (four unassisted, three assisted) … He also notched 2.5 TFL and a block … Began his career at ECU, but did not see any action … He was rated a three-star recruit and the No. 49 prospect in North Carolina out of high school according to 247 Sports … Selected to all-conference and all-region (second-team) squads in high school … As a senior captain in high school, he recorded 36 tackles (19 solo), nine sacks and three fumble recoveries … Saw an equal amount of success during his junior year in high school, when he was credited with 33 sacks, 11 TFL and eight sacks to compliment two forced fumbles and a touchdown … Became a varsity starter during his sophomore season of high school and went on to tally 18 tackles, 4 TFL and a sack … Chose Louisiana over offers from Houston, Louisiana Tech and Army.
Logan Newell* | OL | 6’4.5 | 281 | Monroe, Louisiana | Neville HS
Another strong in-state offensive line target, he is the second offensive line commit in the 2019 class…Recruited by former Neville lineman and current Louisiana offensive coordinator Rob Sale…The No. 51 rated offensive tackle in Louisiana and 103rd nationally…Received offers from ULM, Texas State, McNeese, Nicholls State, Northwestern State and Southern.
Grant Paulette** | K | 6’0.5 | 173 | Hebron, Texas | Hebron HS
The lone kicker in the Ragin’ Cajuns 2019 class … A standout from Texas, he earned District 5-6A honors as both a kicker and as a punter … In his last two seasons, he was responsible for 142 points … Went 52-for-54 on extra points and 9-for-12 on field goals … At Louisiana’s football camp, he was named the “Last Camper Standing” after converting on a 57-yard attempt … Held offers from Ole Miss and Arkansas.
Brian Smith, Jr.* | WR | 6’3.5 | 201 | Lake Charles, Louisiana | Glendale C.C. | Barbe HS
A talented wide receiver returning to Louisiana from the junior college ranks…Ranked a three-star JUCO commit by 247 Sports…The No. 20 ranked wide receiver out of Louisiana…He was a two-time First Team All-Conference performer…As a sophomore, he completed 33 passes for 485 yards and five touchdowns…During his freshman season in Glendale, he hauled in 21 passes for 343 yards and two touchdowns.
Nathan Thomas* | OL | 6’4.75 | 258 | Chalmette, Louisiana | Chalmette HS
The third offensive lineman in the 2019 winter class…During his junior season, the tackle assisted an offense that scored 368 points and produced 2,381 yards on the ground…Helped his team post a 6-4 record and make it to the 5A state playoffs…He also held offers from Grambling, McNeese and Northwestern State.
O’Cyrus Torrence* | OL | 6’5 | 313 | Greensburg, Louisiana | St. Helena Central HS
The biggest of Louisiana’s offensive line signees at 325 pounds…Ranked No. 69 at his position in the state of Louisiana and 158thnationally…Claimed First Team All-State 2A honors during his junior season…Paved the way for an offense that led the team to an 8-2 regular season record and a trip to the 2A state quarterfinals…He was a two-time First Team All-District honoree…Held offers from Georgia, Louisiana Tech, ULM, South Alabama and Middle Tennessee.
Kendall Wilkerson* | DE | 6’4.25 | 275 | Kentwood, Louisiana | Kentwood HS
A top prep in-state standout who joins the class at the 35th-best player in the state and the 69th-best defensive end in the nation…He was a member of a Kentwood squad that won two state titles…As a senior, recorded 95 tackles, 10 sacks and eight TFL in 14 games played…He was an All-State performer as a junior…Also had offers from Wisconsin, Kansas, UCF, Southeastern Louisiana and Tulane.
***Courtesy Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics