A pair of Oklahoma Coaches Association all-state offensive linemen were among 48 players listed as signing with Northeastern A&M on Wednesday.
“We’re extremely excited,” said first-year Golden Norse head coach Donnie Bigby, who said NEO will have signed 55 total.
The group of signees includes 28 counties and 37 school, Bigby said.
“We go as far northwest as Ringwood, southwest to Lawton and Ardmore, as far southeast as Vian and Miami up here in the northeast corner,” he said. “We hit Oklahoma City and Tulsa hard.”
Among the offensive line signees with the Norse were all-staters Blake Bennett of Vian and Blain Gerhart of Owasso.
Other offensive linemen signed were Morris Thompson and Steven Wilson of Tulsa Central, T.J. Jones of Coweta, Cody Case of Tulsa East Central, Logan Jones of Blackwell, Jacob Reed of Ardmore, O’Paul Mitchell of Oklahoma City Douglass, Tevin Dixon of Midwest City and Jay Davis of Tishomingo.
Also signing with the Norsemen was all-stater John Hathaway of Ringwood. He’s listed as an athlete, meaning he’s capable of playing any number of positions.
Miami’s Grant Longcrier, James Pickens and Caleb Thyer signed on Wednesday, as did five players from Tulsa East Central — which lost to the Wardogs in the first round of the 5A playoffs: Case, fullback Dlonde Profit, running back Reno Conchitias, defensive back Kadeem McNac and wide receiver Derrick Hinson.
Profit had 57 yards on 15 carries and two PAT kicks in the Cards’ 35-28 loss to Miami.
East Central is coached by former Golden Norse assistant Travis Hill.
Also signing with NEO was tight end Tyrel Fielden of District 5A-3 rival Skiatook.
“Our philosophy is recruit as close to 50 as you can,” Bigby said. “You will lose five before they arrive, putting you at 45. You will lose five because they won’t believe Coach Bigby that you’ve got to get an education. That leaves you with 40. You would like every year to have 40 red-shirt freshmen or sophomores. That’s why you recruit that number.”
Bigby said the five out-of-state players as allowed by the Southwest Junior College Football Conference likely will be defensive players.
“Right now, we’ve only got 15 defensive players on campus, period,” he said.
Bigby is using connections with area schools to try to land blue chippers.
“Stacey (assistant coach Stacey Satterwhite) has connections at OSU as I do with Mack Butler as director of football operations and Stacey with Coach (Mike) Gundy,” Bigby said. “At Kansas, coach Bill Miller coached Stacey at OSU. At Kansas State, Vic Koennig and I played linebacker in high school together. At Arkansas, you have former NEO quarterback Garrick McGee.”
Bigby said he and OU assistant Jackie Shipp played against each other in high school and remain close friends. Also on the Sooner staff is former NEO assistant Chris Wilson.
“We have a lot of connections who will help us with those out-of-state players,” Bigby said.
Miami — Grant Longcrier, ATH; James Pickens, WR; Caleb Thyer, DL
Vinita — Adam Ramsey, LB; Durwan Roberts, DB
Tulsa Central — Morris Thompson, OL; Alvin Everett, RB; Steven Wilson, OL
Coweta — T.J. Jones, OL
Beggs — Skylar Johnson, WR; Ryan Russel, DB
Broken Arrow — Shar-ron Pinkey, WR
Vian — Blake Bennett, OL
Sapulpa — Jesse Triplett, DL
Owasso — John Goodlett, WR; Blain Gerhart, OL
Skiatook — Tyrel Fielden, TE
Tulsa East Central — Dlonde Profit, FB; Reno Conchitias, RB; Cody Case, OL; Kadeem McNac, DB; Derrick Hinson, WR
Catoosa — Kenneth Hobbs, LB
Union — Garrett Fugett, DL
NOAH — Malachi Blankenship, QB
Blackwell — Logan Jones, OL; Joey George, DL
Guthrie — Stanton Stevens, DL
Del City — Jeffery Richards, DB
Ardmore — Cecel McCarrol, WR; Jacob Reed, OL
Lawton Mac Arthur — Jarrod Purser, WR
Oklahoma City Crooked Oak — Antonio Thomas, RB; Jeremy Richmond, RB
Oklahoma City Douglass — Rayvon Johnson, DL; O’Paul Mitchell, OL; Kevin Coulter, WR
Oklahoma City Northwest Classen — James Billbury, DB; Devon Fuller, WR
Star Spencer — Money Davis, LB; Montrel Robinson, DL
Kingfisher — Nathan Grabow, DB
Midwest City — Tevin Dixon, OL
Tishomingo — Jay Davis, OL
Putnam City — Jazrome Coulter, LB
Enid — Matthew Cotton, DB