On the heels of a turnaround season in which the Southern Arkansas football team posted an 8-3 record and appeared in the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl, the Muleriders have received 29 National Letters of Intent to play at Southern Arkansas starting in the 2013 football season.
Of those 29 signees, 22 will come from high school ranks, while seven enter the Mulerider football program as mid-term transfers.
Nine of the high school signees are from the state of Arkansas with the remaining coming from Louisiana (2) and Texas (11). Of the mid-term transfers, three hail from the state of Florida with California, New Jersey, and Texas also being represented in the class.
"I'm very excited about the 2013 Recruiting class of the Southern Arkansas Muleriders," said head football coach Bill Keopple. "We had specific needs that we were trying to address and we were able to fill those needs in a big way."
"We went after some of the best prospects in our region and were able to land most of the prospects we went after", noted Keopple. "The interest we have received from prospects has been tremendous. Our reputation in Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana is very strong with the high school coaches right now, and we have coaches directing quality players to us like never before.
"The 2012 season was a turning point for our program, and the recruiting class of 2013 is very strong as a result," remarked Keopple. "The future is very bright, and I'm very proud of the efforts of our coaching staff, and the entire Mulerider family in developing this recruiting class."
"Signing day isn't the end of our recruiting efforts," added Keopple. "We still have several prospects that we will add to this class along with a very strong group of returners; including 23 seniors and 13 scholarship players that we redshirted last year."
Dillan Bever (Camden, Ark. - Camden Fairview HS)
Bever, a twin brother of fellow SAU signee Zack Bever, was the anchor of the offensive line at Camden Fairview HS (Camden, Ark.) as he played center for the Cardinals. He helped lead his team to the 2012 5A Arkansas State Football Championship. This past season, Bever was also named an All-Arkansas Preps Second-Team offensive lineman as well as a 5A Arkansas All-State offensive lineman. Other schools that Bever was considering were Henderson State, Ouachita Baptist, and Harding.
Zack Bever (Camden, Ark. - Camden Fairview HS)
Bever, a twin brother of fellow SAU signee Dillan Bever, was a dominant force on the offensive line at Camden Fairview HS (Camden, Ark.). He helped lead his team to the 2012 5A Arkansas State Football Championship. Individually, Bever was named a 5A Arkansas All-State offensive lineman in 2012. Bever was also considering Henderson State University
Marque Burris (El Dorado, Ark. - El Dorado HS)
Burris, a member of back-to-back state championship teams at El Dorado HS (El Dorado, Ark.), was the 2011 6A Offensive Player of the Year for the state of Arkansas. That year as a junior, Burris rushed for 2,221 yards and scored 27 touchdowns. In his senior season, Burris rushed for 1,035 yards with 24 touchdowns en route to being named an All-State and All-Area running back. Other schools Burris was considering were Henderson State, Ouachita Baptist, and Harding.
Jeremy Crayton (Piscataway, N.J. - Central Connecticut State University)
Crayton will transfer into the Mulerider football program after playing two seasons at Division I FCS-member, Central Connecticut State University (New Brittan, Conn.). Prior to attending CCSU, Crayton was a 2-star recruit according to Rivals.com. As a freshman in 2010 at CCSU, Crayton started the final four games and totaled 34 tackles, three pass breakups, three interceptions, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. His sophomore season (2011), Crayton notched 34 tackles, four pass breakups, and two interceptions.
Allan Dixon (Pasadena, Calif. - Pasadena Junior College)
Dixon will transfer into the Mulerider Football program after playing at Pasadena Junior College (Pasadena, Calif.). In his time at PJC, Dixon was an All-Conference First-Team selection after recording 47 tackles (7.5 for loss), 12 sacks, nine quarterback hurries, and three forced fumbles.
Colby Geissen (Danbury, Texas - Danbury HS)
Defensive Tackle/Offensive Lineman
Geissen was named All-District First-Team as a defensive tackle at Danbury HS (Danbury, Texas) in 2012. Other schools he was considering were Angelo State and West Texas A&M.
TeSean Green (Nashville, Ark. - Nashville HS)
Green earned All-Conference First-Team honors in 2011 and 2012 while at Nashville HS (Nashville, Ark.). An all-around athlete at Nashville HS, Green totaled 631 yards receiving with eight touchdowns, 252 yards on the ground with seven touchdowns, and 46 tackles (four tackles for loss). Green also notched three sacks and one interception.
Marcus Harper (Bossier City, La. - Parkway HS)
An All-District First-Team honoree, Harper rushed for five touchdowns on 34 carries. A two-way player at Parkway HS (Bossier City, La.), Harper totaled 69 tackles (19 for loss) with six passes defended, four sacks, three fumble recoveries, one interception, and one safety.
Brandon Hobdy (Garland, Texas - Bakersfield Junior College)
Hobdy transfers into the Mulerider football program after spending two seasons at Bakersfield Junior College (Bakersfield, Calif.). While at BJC, Hobdy was a two-time All-Conference wide receiver. For his career at BJC, Hobdy totaled 101 catches for 1,248 yards and 18 touchdowns. Hobdy leaves BJC as the school's All-Time leading wide receiver.
Connor James (Rison, Ark. - Rison HS)
James was the anchor for the offensive line at Rison HS (Rison, Ark.). A 2012 All-Conference recipient, James was also named to 2012 All-Southeast Arkansas First Team as an offensive lineman. Other schools that James was considering were, Ouachita Baptist, Central Arkansas, Louisiana-Monroe, and Arkansas State.
Corey Jenkins (Newton, Texas - Newton HS)
Jenkins, the 2012 Defensive MVP for his district, earned All-State Second-Team honors for the state of Texas in 2012 after he registered 160 tackles (22 for loss). Jenkins also piled up nine sacks, three fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble.
Daniel Lee (Le Marque, Texas - Le Marque HS)
Lee was named to the All-District First-Team his senior season at Le Marque HS (Le Marque, Texas). That year, Lee totaled 717 yards receiving on 26 catches. Nearly half of Lee's receptions in 2012 went for scores as he reached the endzone 12 times.
Donald Lollis (Prescott, Ark. - Prescott HS)
Lollis was a two-way player at Prescott HS (Prescott, Ark.) spending time as a linebacker and a wide receiver. In his time as a linebacker, Lollis totaled 220 tackles (14 for loss), forced eight fumbles, and recorded seven interceptions and seven sacks. As a wide receiver, Lollis hauled in 157 receptions for 2,351 yards and 22 touchdowns. Lollis is also a two-time All-Conference First-Team selection and was a 2012 Defensive Player of the Year candidate while also earning All-State honors in 2012.
Kiano Lucas (Tatum, Texas - Tatum HS)
In his senior season, Lucas was named his district's Defensive MVP while also garnering All-State Honorable Mention recognition. In that season, Lucas totaled 126 tackles (four for loss) with a pair of forced fumbles and one interception.
Colby Mahon (Coppell, Texas - Coppell HS)
Mahon is a two-time All-District First-Team quarterback from Coppell HS (Coppell, Texas). He also earned All-State recognition following his junior season. In his last two seasons at Coppell, Mahon threw for 5,504 yard with 60 touchdowns.
Dylan Nowak (Pearland, Texas - Kilgore Junior College)
Nowak transfers into the Mulerider football program after spending time at Kilgore Junior College (Kilgore, Texas). While at KJC, Nowak spent time as a kicker and a punter. As a punter, Nowak averages 37.7 yards per punt and pinned two punts inside the 20-yard line. He had a long punt of 67 yards as well.
Michael Nunnery (Bossier City, La. - Airline HS)
A two-time All-District honoree at Airline HS (Bossier City, La.), Nunnery ended his high school career with 801 yards on the ground, 500 yards through the air, and scored 19 total touchdowns (two coming on kick returns).
Chris Paul (Texarkana, Texas - Liberty Eylau HS)
Offensive Lineman/Defensive Lineman
A two-time All-North East Texas and All-District First-Team offensive lineman, Paul was named his team's captain and lineman of the year during his time at Liberty Eylau HS (Texarkana, Texas).
Malachi Pointer (Dumas, Ark. - Dumas HS)
Pointer, a three-year starter at Dumas HS (Dumas, Ark.), is a two-time All-Conference performer. He also earned All-Region and All-State honors as well.
Tyree Reese (Bryant, Ark. - Bryant HS)
Reese was an All-Conference First-Team linebacker while at Bryant HS (Bryant, Ark.).
Austin Shoemake (Frisco, Texas - Centennial HS)
Shoemake is a two-time APSE 4A All-State Second-Team kicker from Centennial HS (Frisco, Texas). Between his junior and senior years, Shoemake was 123-of-128 in PAT's and was 25-of-35 on field goals. His longest field goal was good from 51-yards out. Ranked as the No. 45 kicker in the country by Chris Sailer, Shoemaker had 75% of his kickoffs result in touchbacks.
Keanu Soto (Miami, Fla. - Dakota Junior College at Bottineau)
Soto will transfer into the Mulerider football program after spending two seasons at Dakota Junior College (Bottineau, N.D.). In his final season at DJC, Soto earned All-Conference honors after recording 57 tackles, six pass breakups, four forced fumbles, and three interceptions.
James Thurston (Fort Lauderdale, Fla. - Yuba Community College)
Thurston transfers in to the Mulerider football program after earning JUCO All-American plaudits at Yuba Community College (Marysville, Calif.). Thurston also earned All-State and All-Conference honors at YCC. As a sophomore, Thurston recorded 57 tackles, 13 pass breakups, and eight interceptions. In his freshman campaign, Thurston broke up 12 passes and picked off seven passes while forcing two fumbles.
Garrett Turnbull (Frisco, Texas - Liberty HS)
Turnbull will become a Mulerider after considering offers from Angelo State and West Texas A&M. In his senior season, Turnbull was an All-State honoree. Playing both sides of the ball at Liberty HS (Frisco, Texas), Turnbull was also named an All-District performer on offense and defense in his senior season.
Zikerious Ware (Clewiston, Fla. - Antelope Valley Junior College)
Ware transfers into the Mulerider football program after spending time at Antelope Valley Junior College (Lancaster, Calif.). While at AVJC, Ware was an All-State and All-Conference First-Team selection as a wide receiver. A dynamic athlete, Ware proved to be a game-change on special teams as he returned four kickoffs and three punts for touchdowns. As a receiver, Ware caught 49 passes for 669 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Jonathan Weisheit (Frisco, Texas - Wakeland HS)
Weisheit is a two-time All-District Second-Team selection from Wakeland HS (Frisco, Texas). While at Wakeland HS, Weisheit had 91 receptions for 1,075 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also returned 29 kickoffs, totaling 616 yards with one touchdown. Other schools Weisheit was considering were Harding and Ouachita Baptist.
Dalton Wilkes (Frisco, Texas - Liberty HS)
Wilkes is an All-District offensive lineman from Liberty HS (Frisco, Texas). In his final season at Liberty HS, Wilkes was named the team's offensive lineman of the week five out of 10 weeks. Other schools Wilkes was considering were Southeastern Oklahoma and Incarnate Word.
Deion Williams (Jefferson, Texas - Jefferson HS)
Williams is a two-time All-District First-Team selection as a running back. In his final two seasons at Jefferson HS (Jefferson, Texas), Williams rushed for 3,306 yards on 358 carries for an average of 9.2 yards per carry. Williams also totaled 50 touchdowns on the ground.
Aaron Wynn (Camden, Ark. - Camden Fairview HS)
Wynn was tabbed as the 2012 5A Defensive Player of the Year for the state of Arkansas. Wynn was also named a 2012 All-State player at the linebacker position. As a senior, Wynn led Camden Fairview HS (Camden, Ark.) in total tackles with 184 (91 solo). He also registered 25 tackles for loss. Other schools that Wynn was considering were Ouachita Baptist and Arkansas Tech.
Sports Information Director
Southern Arkansas University
P.O. Box 9420
Magnolia, AR 71754
Cell Phone: 501-442-2930