Kilgore College head football coach Willie Gooden added a new class of Rangers on Wednesday, dubbed National Signing Day because it is when many seniors sign their national letters of intent.
It’s actually the second NSD of the calendar now, because there’s one in December. But the Rangers made an impact this week, netting another impressive class.
“Feel like we got everything we needed,” Gooden told the News Herald on Thursday, “and filled all the voids.”
What makes things different this year, though, is that the Rangers actually haven’t played a 2020 season. That season was postponed until this spring: the Rangers, and all of NJCAA football, will play a season this spring, beginning in late March. The recruits that just signed on Wednesday are obviously still in high school, and won’t suit up for their college teams until this fall.
That’s for a later date, though. For now, let’s look at KC’s incoming class of freshman. Through a bit of a painstaking process, the News Herald did research on each of the signees, only coming up short on a couple. Here’s what’s coming to campus this fall.
On Wednesday, KC signed 28 players, including Kilgore High School’s Kaden Kenney, a linebacker/ defensive end.
In alphabetical order, here is the 2021 KC signing class.
- Jahade Adams, defensive back, Chapel Hill (Tyler). 6-foot-1, 165. A defensive leader for an opportunistic Chapel Hill defense. Had 37 total tackles, 28 solo, in 12 games in 2020, along with two tackles for loss and an interception and eight passes defended. He caused two fumbles. He also was the Bulldogs’ return man. He had 14 kickoff returns for an average of 23 yards a return and a touchdown, and had four punt returns for an average of 31 yards.
- Leon Bell, offensive/defensive lineman, Dickinson High School. 6-5, 285. A standout along an offensive line that helped the Gators produce 252 rushing yards a game, average, and also a 1,000-yard passing season for his quarterback.
- Aldyn Bradley, wide receiver, Spring High School. 6-2, 190. Had 49 catches for 666 yards, averaged 13.6 yards a catch and had six touchdowns in his senior year at Spring, who went 9-1 in 2020. But he also in the last two seasons as a quarterback rushed for 1,037 yards, averaged 11.4 yards a carry and 145 a game, and had 17 rushing touchdowns. He completed 56-of-86 passes for 750 yards, seven touchdowns and an interception.
- Derek Burns Jr., defensive end, Richardson High School. 6-6, 230. In nine games as a senior, had 63 total tackles, six sacks, 10 quarterback hurries, a fumble recovery, a caused fumble, and 18 tackles for loss.
- Joseph Cadette, defensive end, Fort Bend Travis High School. 6-3, 240. Played on both sides of the ball. As a defender, had 10 quarterback hurries, two sacks, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble, along with and five tackles for loss in a COVID-shortened seven games.
- Jack Calhoun, wide receiver, The Woodlands. 5-9, 175.
- Donerio Davenport, running back, Mansfield High. 5-11, 190. In his senior season, Davenport rushed for 876 yards and 12 touchdowns on 151 carries, an average of about 5.8 yards per carry. In his two-year career at Mansfield, Davenoport had 1,594 yards and 21 touchdowns on 275 carries.
- Jeron “Micah” Dudley, defensive lineman, Henderson. 6-2, 260.
- Jeremiah Frazier, offensive lineman, Pike Road High School (Ala.) 6-2, 280. Jeremiah played defensive tackle, as well, for a team that went 11-1 in his senior season, but it looks like KC is signing him for his offensive line play. The Patriots averaged 201 rushing yards a game in 2020.
- Diego Gonzalez, kicker, Silsbee High. 6-0, 180. In a three-year varsity career, Gonzalez had 152 kickoffs. He averaged 44.8 yards a kickoff. As a senior, Gonzalez was 35-of-37 in extra points, and 4-of-6 in field goal attempts, a long of 37 yards. As a junior, he was 48-of-51 in extra point kicks, 7-of-9 in field goals, a long of 48, and as a sophomore, he went 9-of-10 in extra points, and hit the only field goal he kicked that season.
- Jarmorin Griffin, offensive lineman, North Caddo High (Vivian, La.). 6-2, 310 pounds. Offensive line anchor for a team that rolled up 3,119 total yards in a nine-game season in 2020.
- Luke Grden, Friendswood, 5-11, 175. Grden (spelled correctly) ran the 40-yard dash in 5.12 seconds, the shuttle drill in 4.47, and has a vertical jump of 26.90 inches. In his senior season, Grden completed 64-of-101 passes for 943 yards, 13 touchdowns and three interceptions.
- Nahamani Harris, defensive back, San Antonio Cornerstone Christian. 6-2, 175. Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds, the shuttle in 4.28, and has a 33-inch vertical jump.
- Kadarion Johnson, defensive tackle, Fort Bend Hightower. 6-1, 290. Shortened to a five-game season in 2020, and obviously a 10-game season in 2019. In all 15 games played, had 41 total tackles, nine for loss, and five sacks.
- Kaden Kenney, linebacker/ defensive end, Kilgore. 6-0, 224. Finished a 10-4 season for coach Mike Wood’s Bulldogs with 71 tackles, 32 solo, five for loss, two sacks and 23 hurries.
- Trayvon Kennedy, athlete, Hughes Springs, Daingerfield. 6-4, 230. Played both running back and linebacker in high school at Hughes Springs and then moved to Daingerfield, but was ruled ineligible for the 2020 season. Rushed for over 1,800 yards at Hughes Springs before moving to Daingerfield.
- Kolby King, kicker, Summer Creek High. 6-3, 170. Handled both kicking and punting duties in high school.
- Cameron Moore, defensive back, Fort Worth Travis. 6-2, 190. In an eight-game season in 2020, Moore had 39 total tackles, three caused fumbles and a fumble recovery. In the 2019 season, he had four interceptions, two fumble recoveries, three caused fumbles, and 60 total tackles.
- Nehemiah Noel, wide receiver, Galveston Ball High. 6-2, 170. In a four-year career at Galveston Ball, Noel had 68 catches for 1,433 yards, averaged 21.1 yards a catch, and 15 touchdowns, eight of those in his senior season.
- Vincent Peters, offensive lineman, Linden-Kildare. 6-2, 290. Played a lot of defensive line, as well, in high school.
- Kendric Rhymes, athlete, Houston Heights. 5-11, 190. Played in a few spots for Heights. Rushed for 645 yards and 12 touchdowns on 70 carries in 2020, and caught 34 passes for 403 yards and six more touchdowns. As a kickoff return man, had six returns in 2020 for 171 yards, averaging about 28.5 yards a return.
- Ricky Smallwood, offensive lineman, Lakeview Centennial. 6-4, 320. A big tackle that should help KC open plenty of holes in a defensive front. Only played six games in his senior season, thanks to COVID.
- Edwin Smith, wide receiver, Cypress Ranch High. 6-5, 185. In 10 games in 2020, he caught 19 passes for 423 yards, averaged 22.3 yards a catch, and had seven touchdowns.
- Tyler Trantham, linebacker, Conroe. 6-3, 195. Only played in three games in 2020, and in those, finished with 18 total tackles, an interception.
- Lamont Vaz, offensive lineman, Fort Bend Marshall. 6-5, 295. Cornerstone of a FB Marshall O-line that helped his team average 400 yards of offense and over 50 points a game in the 2019 season. Went 12-1 in senior season in 2020, and averaged a ridiculous 54 points a game.
- Jalen Walthall, wide receiver, Manvel. 6-2, 175. Caught 38 passes for 896 yards, 12 touchdowns and averaged 23 yards a catch as a senior in 2020. In a three-year high school career, in 25 games, he caught 75 passes for 1,675 yards, averaged 22 yards a catch and had 25 touchdowns – a touchdown a game.
- Terry Webb, defensive tackle, Galveston Ball. 6-3, 260. 55 total tackles, 22 solo, two pass break-ups, two interceptions, one for a touchdown, three forced fumbles, three tackles for loss in 2020.
- Ken’Daylon Wilson, athlete, Hempstead. 5-9, 160.