Cooley pleased with signing day at DSU
by Andy Collier
Feb 06, 2014 | 2832 views | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Delta State head football coach Todd Cooley couldn’t have been more pleased on National Signing Day Wednesday.

The Statesmen signed 26 players out of high school with an average ACT score of 21 and two fall transfers Wednesday. DSU also has 12 mid-year transfers, which brings the total number of signees to 40.

“I’m very excited about this class,” Cooley said. “This was the first time that we’ve been here as a staff that we’ve had a full year to recruit. We don’t talk about recruiting as much as we talk about selecting. We try to look for fits for Delta State University. Our staff worked tirelessly and did an unbelievable job to find 28 new players that signed — 26 are high school young men with an average ACT score of 21. That’s what I’m very excited about. You win with smart football players and high character football players.”

One aspect that has been the focus of Cooley during recruiting is getting the best possible players in Mississippi. Out of the 40 new players coming to DSU, 23 are instate. Cleveland High School linebacker Dillon Norwood, and Bayou Academy quarterback Tyler Kitchings signed their names to play at DSU Wednesday. In December, former Cleveland High School and Mississippi Delta Community College standout Eddie McCadney signed with DSU to play running back.

The rest of the Mississippi players that signed on Wednesday were Aaron Cockroft (6’0”, 270, OL, Kosciusko High School), Keith Crawford (6’5”, 280, OL, Pascagoula High School), Tyler Daniels (6’1, 260, OL, Oak Grove High School), Ladarrell Hunt (5’8”, 180, WR, Itawamba CC), Tripp Janssen (5’11”, 265, OL, Starkville Academy), Zack McCraw (5’11”, 160, WR, Madison Ridgeland Academy), Dan Gill (6’2”, 200, LB, Parklane Academy), Kyesun Jackson (6’3”, 250, DE, Kosciusko High School), Hunter Pitcher (6’2”, 230, DE, North Delta), Latrevius Shaw (6’2”, 180, DB, Lafayette High School) and Cody Mills, 5’9”, 180, kicker/punter, Oxford High School).

The mid-season transfers that signed from Mississippi previously were Randall Boyd (6’1”, 255, DE, Itawamba CC), Lawerence Hopkins (5’11”, 200, DB, Jones CC), Mark Moore (5’11”, 170, K, Pearl River CC), DQ Reynolds (6’1”, 350, NG, Itawamba CC), Ledarion Robinson (6’0”, 205, DB, Hinds CC), Michael Ross (6’0’, 308, NG, Hinds CC), Jonathan Steube (6’4”, 335, OL, Gulf Coast CC), Cedric Tillman (5’10”, 190, DB, Grenada High School, University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and Jay Yates (6’1”, 265, TE, Mississippi Gulf Coast CC).

“When you can get a young man from this home state and he puts that logo on his helmet, it means a lot more to him,” Cooley said. “You’ve always got to recruit home first and locally first and that’s what we did. We’ve tried to build those relationships here within the state. We’ve got a tremendous university, and those young men know about our university.”

The out-of-state players that signed on Wednesday were Tayvon Benjamin (6’2”, 180, DB, Marrietta, Ga.), Chandler Ector (5’10”, 200, LB, Ellenwood, Ga.), Juwan Hackett (6’2”, 235, DE, Northport, Ala.), Miguel Harris (5’10”, 170, DB, West Jefferson High School, Harvery, La.), Cazavion Joiner (5’11”, 300, NG, Marrion, La.), Chris Jones (6’5”, 220, DE, Columbia High School, Decatur, Ga.), Matt Nguyen (5'10, 170, DB, Boca Raton, Fla.), Shawn Sanks (6’1”, 280, NG,Foley, Ala.), Ronnie Smith (6’0”, 200, LB, Farmerville La.), Mose Countryman (6’5”, 280, OL, Charleston Southern University, Jacksonville, Fla.), Sean Eaton (6’6”, 235, TE, Homewood, Ala.), Tyler Jackson (6’3”, 270, OL, Mobile, Ala.) and Roderick Mingo (6’4”, 280, Mobile, Ala.).

The mid-season out-of-state transfers are John Knox (6’3”, 215, Statesboro, Ga., University of Georgia) and Rod Davis (6’3”, 180, WR, Northwestern State University, Many, La.).