FOOTBALL

Parish products prepare for college football season

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Former Donaldsonville Tiger Stephen Sullivan is set for his sophomore campaign at LSU. Photo by LSUsports.net.

With each passing day, we’re a little closer to football.

The teams in Ascension are getting prepared for what should be another tremendously exciting and competitive high-school football season.

But they aren’t the only parish players chomping at the bit to get back on the field. Many of the area’s biggest football stars have moved on and are eager to compete under the Saturday night lights.

This season will be another in which Ascension Parish is well-represented in college football.

Out in the mountains of Colorado, East Ascension alum Kade Waguespack will be entering his sophomore season with the Air Force Academy.

The former all-district star for the Spartans is now a tight end for the Falcons.

Another East Ascension alum will be gearing up for his first season of college football. Defensive end Justin Harris is ready for his true freshman year with the Baylor Bears.

Harris originally committed to Central Florida, before de-committing and choosing Baylor on National Signing Day.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder was first-team all-district and Parish Defensive MVP in 2016. He will wear No. 98 for the Bears this season.

His massive teammate, Adrian Ealy is also ready to experience his true freshman season out of state.

Ealy was a highly-sought-after prospect coming out of East Ascension, but the 6-foot-6, 297-pound offensive lineman decided Oklahoma was the right place for him.

In 2017, the Sooners will have a new head coach for the first time in nearly 20 years, following the retirement of Bob Stoops during the offseason. He will be succeeded by two-year offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley.

Ealy was first-team all-district and All-Parish, and also an All-State selection in his only season playing at East Ascension. Prior to that, he was a standout at University.

Two other former Spartans will begin their freshmen seasons at Grambling.

Demontrey Jacobs will don No. 96 and play defensive end for the Tigers. Like Ealy and Harris, Jacobs is massive at 6-foot-6, 300 pounds.

Trevor Fleming will play his first season with Grambling as a long snapper.

Their former teammate, Kyran Irvin is all set for his sophomore season at Nicholls.

The former two-year starting quarterback for the Spartans transitioned to running back for the Colonels. The transition has gone well thus far.

In his true freshman year, Irvin played in 10 games and finished with 265 yards rushing and one touchdown. He ended the season with a 5.4 yards per carry average.

Irvin has three teammates at Nicholls that came from Ascension Parish. One of those teammates was also with him at East Ascension.

Devin Simoneaux will begin his junior season with the Colonels. Simoneaux appeared in all 11 Nicholls games last year and started in seven of those contests.

Dutchtown alum Hunter Austin is also at Nicholls. The offensive lineman will be a redshirt sophomore in 2017.

St. Amant’s Xavier Anderson is preparing for his redshirt freshman season for the Colonels. Anderson plays defensive end.

Another former Gator playing big-time college football in 2017 will be true freshman Briggs Bourgeois.

Bourgeois did everything for St. Amant last season. He was the starting kicker, their leading receiver and their top return man.

Although, he will be strictly playing kicker at Southern Miss. He will wear No. 40.

Bourgeois went 13-15 in field goals last year for St. Amant. His long was 51 yards.

He will be teammates with a former Ascension Catholic standout in Delmond Landry.

Landry is a 6-foot-3, 308-pound junior defensive end that signed with the Golden Eagles last year after playing two seasons at Southwest Mississippi Community College. In his last year there, he finished with 44 tackles and a sack.

From Donaldsonville, massive 6-foot-3, 340-pound defensive tackle Tyarise Stevenson is ready to go at Tulsa. Stevenson sat out last year as a true freshman in order to redshirt.

Tyler Brown is set for his sophomore season as a wideout at Southern. Brown was a quarterback at Donaldsonville.

His former teammate, Stephen Sullivan will be entering his sophomore season with LSU.

The 6-foot-6 wideout will be trying to earn himself playing time as the Tigers look to replace starters Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural.

Another former parish star that is competing for a starting job with the Tigers is Dutchtown’s Lloyd Cushenberry.

The 6-foot-4, 316-pound redshirt freshman looks like the frontrunner to take over as LSU’s starting right guard, following the transfer of Maea Teuhema.

Other former Griffins getting set for the college football season include Jared Sparks, Adam Sparks, Justin Reid and David Elias.

Elias is entering his senior season as a defensive tackle at UL-Monroe.

Jared Sparks sat out his true freshman season at Purdue in order to redshirt. This season, the quarterback/receiver will be under the leadership of new head coach Jeff Brohm—who comes from Western Kentucky.

His younger brother, Adam is all set for his true freshman campaign at Missouri. He was originally a Vanderbilt commit, before de-committing and signing with the Tigers back in February.

The heralded cornerback will wear No. 14 at Missouri.

Finally, Justin Reid will enter his junior season at Stanford.

The strong safety became a first-time starter last year and earned All-Pac 12 honorable mention as he totaled 57 tackles and seven pass breakups.

He enters 2017 on both the Badnarik Award (nation’s best defensive player) and Jim Thorpe Award (nation’s best defensive back) watch lists.