National signing day is usually an all-day affair. For Henderson State head coach Scott Maxfield and his staff, the day wasn't so long as they received all of the expected national letters of intent by 11 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Henderson received 36 national letters of intent in addition to eight mid-term transfers for a total to 44 new recruits for 2013.
"The coaching staff did a fantastic job of recruiting some of the most talented players we have ever signed," said Maxfield. "There were several weekends we had more than 50 recruits on campus. With our success in recent years, more and more players want to be Reddies."
Headlining the list of transfers is John Michael McGee of Texarkana, Texas. The 6-4, 270-pound offensive tackle signed with Oklahoma University in 2012 despite having offers from Michigan, Notre Dame and Alabama, among others. McGee left Oklahoma prior to the start of his freshman year and attended Texarkana College before deciding he wanted to return to playing football.
In 2011, McGee was U.S. Army All-American coming out of Texas High School. He was rated the No. 12 guard in the country according to ESPN. McGee was also a four-star recruit by 247sports.com, a four-star recruit by Scout.com, a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and was rated as the No. 6 offensive guard in the country by Rivals.com.
Skyler Hix of Glen Rose, Ark., will join McGee on the offensive front. The 6-3, 285-pound product of Glen Rose High School is a two-time Class 3A All-State selection. A two-time First-Team All-Conference pick, Hix was named Conference Lineman of the Year in 2012 helping lead the Beavers to a 13-2 record and an appearance in the Class 3A Arkansas State Championship game.
A.J. Smith is very familiar with Henderson State and is following his grandfather's footsteps. Smith is the grandson of legendary Hall of Honor Reddie running back Joe Smith who played at Henderson from 1974 to 1977.
A 6-5, 215-pound quarterback/receiver, Smith is one of the top athletes that Maxfield's staff recruited. The product of Port Neches (Texas) High School finished 2012 with a 68 percent completion rate. Smith totaled 2,187 yards passing including 14 touchdown tosses. Smith also collected 402 yards rushing, scoring seven times. The versatile athlete also saw action as a receiver.
A.J. Tucker was recruited by several Division I schools including the University of Arkansas. The 6-3, 190-pound receiver from Little Rock is a Rivals.com 2-star rated player and is one of the Top 24 players in Arkansas according to Rivals.com. Tucker played at Little Rock Central High School where he earned All-State honors as a receiver in 2011 and was an All-State pick in 2012 as a safety. Tucker totaled 23 catches for 520 yards and two touchdowns in 2012.
Also joining the Reddie receivers is Akee Johnson of Little Rock. Johnson (5-9, 170-pounds) played at Little Rock McClellan where he was a two-time All-State selection. In 2012, Johnson played in five games and rushed 53 times for 415 yards and 5 touchdowns. He also caught 15 passes for 250 yards and seven scores. Defensively, Johnson had three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. In 2011 Johnson averaged over 300 all -purpose yards per game and scored 22 touchdowns.
A pair of products from North Little Rock High School will join the Reddies this fall.
Gary Vines is a 6-0, 180-pound safety who was an All-State pick in 2012 after leading his team in tackles with 107 stops while also having five Interceptions. A three-year starter for the Wildcats, Vines was selected Little Rock Metro All-Area Defensive Player of the Year.
Rodney Bryson was also a First-Team All-State and All-Conference selection at North Little Rock. The 5-10, 170-pound athlete turned in a time of 4.35 in the 40-yard dash. Bryson helped lead the Wildcats to a 7A-East Conference title and a semi-final appearance in the Class 7A State Championships.
Other in-state signees include Derius Holt (6-3, 190, Safety) from Arkadelphia High School; Forrest Johnson (5-10, 170, wide receiver) from Rogers-Heritage; Peyton Squires (6-1, 208, linebacker) from Springdale Har-Ber; and Derrick Muldrow (6-2, 290, defensive tackle) and E.J. Stewart (6-4, 190, safety) from Mineral Springs.
Mid-term transfers from Arkansas include Justin Carpenter and Chris Flowers.
Carpenter (6-4, 295, offensive tackle) transfers from the University of Central Arkansas. He was a three-year starter at Lonoke High School where he was the team captain. Carpenter was selected to the 2011 Hooten's Super Sonic Team and was a Hooten's/Farm Bureau Player of the Year finalist. A two-time Class 2-4A All-Conference selection, he helped guide Lonoke to the 2009 Class 4A State Championship Game.
Flowers (6-4, 275, defensive tackle) transfers to Henderson State from Clark Atlanta University. He also spent two seasons at Arkansas Baptist Community College. Flowers prepped at Little Rock Hall High School where he received All-District Honorable Mention honors.
"I couldn't be more pleased with this year's signees," said Maxfield. "I truly feel that we have some outstanding talent coming in that will help us get to the next level and compete for a National Championship."
Blake Biggs: LB, 6-0, 205 (Yukon, Okla./Yukon HS) Highlights
Biggs attended Yukon High School where he was chosen as a team captain. An all-conference linebacker, Biggs was also selected as an all-district running back. As a senior, Biggs was selected Player of the Game six times. Defensively he recorded 164 tackles, 9 forced fumbles, 3 recovered fumbles, 7 deflections, 3 sacks and 18 hurries. On offense, Biggs totaled 11 receptions including one touchdown catch and rushed for 234 rushing yards scoring six touchdowns.
Hank Brodnax: OT, 6-2, 270 (Crowley, Texas/Crowley HS) Highlights
A two-time all-district selection at Crowley High School, Brodnax lettered three years helping lead the Eagles to a 10-2 record overall and an undefeated 7-0 record in district play.
Rodney Bryson: Ath, 5-10, 170 (N. Little Rock, Ark./N. Little Rock HS) Highlights
Bryson was a First-Team All-State and All-Conference selection at North Little Rock High School. Bryson turned in a time of 4.35 in the 40-yard dash. He helped lead the Wildcats to a 7A-East Conference title and a semi-final appearance in the Class 7A State Championships.
Jaquan Cole: RB, 5-8, 180 (Duncanville, Texas/Duncanville HS) Highlights
Cole was an all-district selection at Duncanville High School. Cole rushed for 536 yards and eight touchdowns last year. He also had 291 yards passing.
Ricky Cortes: LB, 6-0, 218 (Winston, Ore./Siskiyous JC) Highlights
Cortes transfers form Siskiyous Community College where he helped lead his team to a 10-1 record overall and a Mid-Empire Conference Championship. A First-Team All-Mid-Empire Conference selection last year, Cortes was second on the team in tackles with 74 stops including 54 solo tackles, 6 sacks, and 12.5 tackles for lost yardage. As a senior at Douglas High School he was a First-Team All-Conference pick after having 119 tackles. The Trojans finished with an 11-3 record his senior season and advanced to the Class 4A Oregon State Championship.
Sam Ford: CB, 5-9, 170 (DeRidder, La./DeRidder HS) Highlights
Ford earned All-State Honorable Mention honors at DeRidder High School. He was also a First-Team All-District pick and a member of the All Southwest Louisiana Team.
Darren Franklin: DT, 6-3, 300 (Rusk, Texas/Rusk HS) Highlights
Franklin attended Rusk High School where he was a First-Team All-District defensive tackle. He ended his senior season with 54 total tackles. Franklin also received offers from UT-San Antonio, Arkansas Tech and Houston Baptist.
Marc Gonzalez: OT, 6-3, 275 (Alhambra, Calif./East LA CC) Highlights
Gonzalez is a two-time First-Team All-Conference pick from East LA CC. He was vote Most Valuable Lineman while having 19 knockdown blocks in 2012.
Devon Hayward: S, 6-0, 180 (LaMarque, Texas/LaMarque HS) Highlights
Hayward was a unanimous First-Team All-District 24-3A selection at LaMarque High School. Devon received a two star rating by Rivals. He ended his senior year with 94 tackles, 14 tackles for lost yardage, 3 interceptions, 10 pass break-ups, and 2 fumble recoveries. He also had punt returns of 72 and 59 yards for touchdowns.
Skyler Hix: OT, 6-3, 285 (Glen Rose, Ark./Glen Rose HS) Highlights
Hix is a two-time Class 3A All-State offensive lineman from Glen Rose High School. A two-time First-Team All-Conference pick, Hix was named Conference Lineman of the Year in 2012 helping lead the Beavers to a 13-2 record and an appearance in the Class 3A Arkansas State Championship game.
Derius Holt: S, 6-3, 190, (Arkadelphia, Ark./Arkadelphia HS) Highlights
Forrest Johnson: WR, 5-10, 170 (Rogers, Ark./Rogers-Heritage HS) Highlights
A First-Team Class 7A All-State and 7A West All-District selection at Rogers Heritage High School, Johnson totaled 71 catches for 1,402 yards and 19 touchdowns his senior season.
Akee Johnson: WR, 5-9, 170 (Little Rock, Ark./LR-McClellan HS) Highlights
Johnson prepped at Little Rock-McClellan High School where he was a two-time All-State selection. In 2012, Johnson played in five games and rushed 53 times for 415 yards and 5 touchdowns. He also caught 15 passes for 250 yards and seven scores. Defensively, Johnson had three interceptions including one returned for a touchdown. In 2011 Johnson averaged over 300 all -purpose yards per game and scored 22 touchdowns.
Sam Johnson: DE, 6-4, 230 (Sapulpa, Okla./Sapulpa HS) Highlights
Johnson is an All-State defensive end from Sapulpa (Oklahoma) High School. Selected as the team captain, Johnson was the Class 6A Iron Man of the Year last season. In 2012 he compiled 54 Tackles, 21 tackles for lost yardage and 6 sacks. He also had seven touchdown catches.
D'Shuan Jones: DT, 6-3, 275 (Lebanon, Tenn./Lebanon HS) Highlights
Jones is a three-year letterman from Lebanon High School where he was chosen as the 2012 District 9 Defensive Lineman of the Year. Jones totaled 67 tackles, 15 tackles for lost yardage and 5 sacks.
Charles Korn: OT, 6-4, 290 (San Antonio, Texas/Churchill HS) Highlights
Korn played at Churchill High School in San Antonio, Texas where he earned First-Team All-District and All-Area honors. He also was an Academic All-State selection.
John Laubacher: OG, 6-5, 325 (Dallas, Texas/Lake Dallas HS) Highlights
Laubacher is a three-year letterman at Lake Dallas High School where he started 36 consecutive games. He earned Second-Team All-District honors in 2012.
Dedrick Linton: RB, 5-10, 190 (Montgomery, Texas/Montgomery HS) Highlights
Linton prepped at Montgomery High School where he had 148 carries for 1,126 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. Linton received Second-Team All-District 18-4A honors after averaging 114 yards per game and 6.93 yards per carry.
Jahvey Mark: WR, 5-11, 180 (LaPorte, Texas/LaPorte HS) Highlights
An All-District 21-5A selection, Mark finished the 2012 season with 20 catches for 545 yards and 7 touchdowns. The product of LaPorte High School averaged 27 yards per catch which led the district.
Marquis Mitchell: CB, 6-0, 175 (Baytown, Texas/Sterling HS) Highlights
Mitchell comes to Henderson State from Sterling High School where he was a First-Team All-District pick. The corner back had 11 pass breakups, 2 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries and 2 touchdowns in 2012.
Aaron Moss: LB, 6-3, 205 (Dallas, Texas/J.J. Pierce HS) Highlights
Moss totaled 90 tackles last season at J.J. Pierce High School. The linebacker collected 38 unassisted tackles and had 4 tackles for lost yardage. An All-District selection, he earned Defensive Player of the Week honors three times in 2012.
Derrick Muldrow: DT, 6-2, 290 (Mineral Springs, Ark./Mineral Springs HS) Highlights
Muldrow is one of the top defensive linemen in the state of Arkansas. A First-Team All-State pick, he was selected as the Class 7-2A Lineman of the Year. Muldrow also earned Southwest Arkansas Defensive Player of the Year and was a member of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette All-Arkansas Team. He has been selected to play in the 2013 Arkansas High School All-Star Game.
David Overstreet: LB, 6-1, 190 (Rusk, Texas/Rusk HS) Highlights
Overstreet is an All-District tailback and linebacker from Rusk High School in Texas. He has recorded a dead-lift weight amount of 600 pounds and turned in a time of 50.46 in the 400 meters. Overstreet turned down offers from Louisiana-Monroe and Central Arkansas.
Drake Pechous: LS, 6-1, 220 (Houston, Texas/Clear Brook HS) Highlights
Pechous was the team captain and a three year starter as deep snapper and center at Clear Brook (Texas) High School. He was a unanimous First-Team All-District 24-5A selection in 2012 and was also selected to the Class 5A All-Region III Team.
Brandon Quinterro: DT, 6-3, 224 (Austin, Texas/Lake Travis HS) Highlights
Quinterro was a First-Team All-District defensive tackle at Lake Travis High School. He recorded 78 total tackles and had 9 sacks in 2012.
Houston Ray: K, 6-0, 175 (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic) Highlights
Ray was a two-time Ray Guy Prokicker.com All-American and Prokicker National Kicking Championships High School Division Winner in 2011-2012. Ray was a 2012 Pre-Season All-American selection by Ray Guy Prokicker.com. He is a Second-Team All-State selection, the All-Big 8 Punter of the Year, and Special Teams Player of the Year,
Blake Reeve: QB, 6-3, 205 (Cuero, Texas/Cuero HS) Highlights
Reeve was a unanimous First-Team All-District quarterback and linebacker at Cuero High School. He also earned honorable mention all-area honors. Reeve completed 62 percent of his passes in 2012, completing 144 passes for 1,672 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also collected four rushing touchdowns. Reeve was selected as team captain and earned honorable mention academic All-State honors.
Aaron Robinson: S, 6-1, 190 (Pasadena, Texas/Pasadena Memorial) Highlights
Aaron Robinson totaled 43 tackles, 1 interception, 8 pass break ups, and a fumble recovery in 2012 at Pasadena Memorial High School. Aaron helped lead his team to the Class 5A Texas State playoffs.
Calum Rodriguez: DE, 6-3, 205 (Mansfield, Texas/Mansfield HS) Highlights
Rodriguez was selected First-Team All-District and is also an Academic All-District selection. In 2012 he recorded 76 tackles, 13 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
A.J. Smith: QB/WR, 6-5, 215 (Port Neches, Texas/Port Neches Grove) Highlights
A.J. Smith finished 2012 with a 68% completion rate. As a quarterback, Smith totaled 2,187 yards passing including 14 touchdown tosses. Smith also collected 402 yards rushing, scoring seven times. The versatile athlete also spent time as a receiver. He was named the High School Player of the Week in the state of Texas in week four of the season.
Peyton Squires: LB, 6-1, 208 (Springdale, Ark./Springdale Har-Ber) Highlights
A member of the Super Sonic Class 7A Team, Squires earned Class 7A All-State honors, as well as All-Northwest Arkansas. Selected to the Arkansas High School All Star Team, Squires totaled 103 tackles with 5 sacks, 12 tackles for losses and 3 forced fumbles in 2012.
E.J. Stewart: S, 6-4, 190 (Mineral Springs, Ark./Mineral Springs HS) Highlights
Stewart prepped at Mineral Springs High School where he was a First-Team All-District safety.
Michael Trotter: Ath, 6-1, 175 (Klein, Texas/Klein Oak HS) Highlights
A versatile player, Trotter threw for over 1,200 yards and rushed for over 700 yards while scoring 14 touchdowns at Klein Oak High School. Trotter was selected as Player of the Week in the greater Houston area once and received all-district honors.
A.J. Tucker: WR, 6-3, 190 (Little Rock, Ark./LR-Central HS) Highlights
Tucker is a Rivals 2 Star rated player and is one of Rivals' Top 24 players in Arkansas. He earned All-State honors as a receiver in 2011 and was an All-State pick in 2012 as a safety. He totaled 23 catches for 520 yards and two touchdowns in 2012.
Gary Vines: S, 6-0, 180 (N. Little Rock, Ark./N. Little Rock HS) Highlights
A 2012 All-State pick from North Little Rock High School, Vines led his team in tackles with 107 while also having five Interceptions. A three year starter, he was selected Little Rock Metro All-Area Defensive Player of the Year.
Justin Walter: CB, 5-10, 165 (Crosby, Texas/Crosby HS) Highlights
Walter played both corner back and wide receiver at Crosby (Texas) High School where he was a District 19-4A First-Team Selection. Walter had 46 catches for 824 yards and 8 touchdowns last fall and totaled 20 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, and 3 interceptions. He also earned Second-Team All-State honors.
Justin Carpenter: OT 6-4, 295 (Lonoke, Ark./Univ. Central Arkansas)
Carpenter transfers from the University of Central Arkansas. He was a three year starter at Lonoke High School where he was the team captain. Carpenter was selected to the 2011 Hooten's Super Sonic Team and was a Hooten's/Farm Bureau Player of the Year finalist. A two-time Class 2-4A All-Conference selection, he helped guide Lonoke to the 2009 Class 4A State Championship Game.
Chris Flowers: DT, 6-4, 275 (Little Rock, Ark./Clark Atlanta Univ.) Highlights
Flowers transfers to Henderson State from Clark Atlanta University. He also spent two seasons at Arkansas Baptist Community College. Flowers prepped at Little Rock Hall High School where he received All-District Honorable Mention honors.
Hunter Hale: DE, 6-2, 250 (Austin, Texas/Midwestern State)
Hale comes to Henderson State after spending the last two seasons playing at Midwestern State. The native of Austin, Texas played his high school football at Stephen F. Austin High School where he was a two year starter at defensive end. He earned All-District 25-5A honorable mention honors after making 83 tackles including four sacks and four forced fumbles as a senior in 2009. His father, Hueland, played four seasons with the NFL's Los Angeles Rams and spent three years with the USFL's Los Angeles Express.
Frederick Haynes: DE, 6-4, 230 (District Heights, Md./Erie CC) Highlights
Haynes played in six games as a freshman at Erie Community College. He totaled 10 tackles, 2 sacks and 3 tackles for lost yardage. A three-year letterman at Potomac High School, Haynes was a two-time all-conference selection.
Chris Lee: S, 6-2, 185 (Oceanside, Calif./Palomar CC) Highlights
Lee transfers from Palomar Community College where he chalked up with 42 tackles including 25 solo stops. He also intercepted a pass on the goal-line and returned it out 27 yards vs. Fullerton. He ended the year with three pass break-ups, a quarterback hurry, a forced fumble and a blocked kick. Lee began his high school career at Oceanside High School before transferring to El Camino high School.
Perry Martin: DT, 6-3, 290 (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica CC) Highlights
John McGee: OT, 6-4, 270 (Texarkana, Texas/Oklahoma Univ.) Highlights
In 2011, McGee was the No. 12 guard in the country coming out of Texarkana, Texas, according to ESPN. McGee signed with Oklahoma in 2012 despite having offers from Michigan, Notre Dame and Alabama, among others. He left Oklahoma in August of 2012 and attended Texarkana College. McGee was U.S. Army All-American coming out of Texas High School. He was also a four-star recruit by 247sports.com, four-star recruit by Scout.com, a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and was No. 6 offensive guard in the country by Rivals.com.
Alec Schmitt: LB, 6-2, 210 (Dodge City, Kan./Dodge City CC) Highlights
Schmitt spent last season at Dodge City Community College. He prepped at Dodge City High School where he had 57 solo tackles, 69 assisted stops and 9.5 sacks for the Demons.