Tahj Brown and Davon Wright have been accomplishing every goal they've set for themselves since they were youngsters at Donaldsonville.
Tahj Brown and Davon Wright have been accomplishing every goal they’ve set for themselves since they were youngsters at Donaldsonville.
They wanted to help the football program turn the corner. They did.
They wanted to play college football, and after Wednesday night, they will.
Both Brown and Wright were joined by family, teammates, coaches and friends at the high school cafeteria to use the early signing period to ink their letters of intent. Brown signed with Houston, and Wright signed with Tulane.
Recently, the Tiger football program has had a great run of guys signing to play at the next level. It was not that long ago when Stephen Sullivan was signing with LSU and Tahj’s older brother, Tyler was signing with Southern.
"I love these celebrations,” Donaldsonville head coach Brian Richardson said. “They're getting common here at Donaldsonville. They're starting to become a habit, and that's a good thing. Not only are we celebrating these two men, we're celebrating the Donaldsonville community and their parents."
Both players made their commitments over the summer and stuck with their teams ever since.
Brown emerged as one of the parish’s top linebackers during his sophomore season, and he never looked back.
He was both first-team all-district and All-Parish in his final two years at Donaldsonville.
Though injuries cut into his senior year, he finished his junior campaign with 120 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions.
Brown received his first scholarship offer from Jackson State at the end of his sophomore season, and the offers have rolled in ever since.
In all, he received more than 30. Some of the schools that offered him included Mississippi State, Kansas State, N.C. State, Memphis and Wake Forrest.
The 6-foot-2, 256-pounder is expected to transition to defensive end at Houston. He is ranked by 247sports.com as the 52nd-ranked prospect in Louisiana.
Wright has been the anchor of both the Donaldsonville offensive and defensive lines for the past couple of years. In that time, he’s been a first-team selection on both the all-district and All-Parish teams.
He received offers from places like Colorado State, UL-Monroe, Southern and Jackson State, but he decided that Tulane was the right place for him.
Wright is also a top track athlete. He won the 3A state title in the shot put his sophomore season, and last year, he was state runner-up.
The 6-foot-2, 282-pounder is ranked by 247sports as the No. 76 prospect in the state. He is expected to play defensive tackle with the Green Wave.
Both Wright and Brown have been instrumental in helping turn the Tigers into winners in 2017.
Their senior leadership sparked a Donaldsonville resurgence that saw them go from 4-6 to 7-3 this past season. The seven victories were the most for the Tigers since 2010, when they won eight.
Donaldsonville went on to win their first playoff game since 2014.
"These guys came in as freshmen and said that they wanted to change the culture at Donaldsonville High School,” Richardson said. “They wanted to make them a winning team, and they did everything they said they wanted to do. They didn't miss a day of practice. They didn't miss a day of anything. This is their reward right here. They're reaping the benefits right now."
However, it’s not just on the football field where Brown and Wright have excelled.
In the aftermath of the Great Flood of 2016, they were there to help clear out the flooded homes of Richardson and the family home of assistant coach Garrett Maum.
"Houston and Tulane, they're getting more than good ball players,” Maum said. “My family's house was under five feet of water. These were the first two guys I called, and there were no questions. It was 'Yes, sir. Let's go get it done.' Houston and Tulane are getting good ball players, but they're also getting good men."