Roberts signs 24, the Lions’ class of 2012 unveiled in bash

First-year head football coach Ron Roberts unveiled all, but one of the incoming players, including mid-year signees Roosevelt Morrisset, Theo Alexander, John Murphy and Tiray Dove for the Lions in the 2012 season during the Lions Athletic Association’s (LAA) Signing Bash. The Lions followed the bash announcing the 24th signee in Kevin Harmon a junior college transfer and Southfield, Mich. native.

 In attendance at the unveiling were Southeastern President John L. Crain and Athletics Director Bart Bellairs. After several introductions, including Roberts’ new coaching staff,  Roberts gave a small speech.

“There’s a lot of things that go into winning,” said Roberts. “One of the main things is recruiting.”

Roberts also credited several faculty members for helping in the recruiting process. He also talked about the work of his own coaching staff throughout the offseason. The microphone was then turned over to each member of his coaching staff, starting with the new defensive coordinator Pete Golding, a Hammond native.

After the introductions, boosters and LAA members settled in to watch a slideshow of each recruit.  Looking to replace seniors Simmie Yarborough, Brandon Collins and Kory Theodore, Roberts found three wide receivers from across the nation to contribute.

Morrisset, a 6-foot-6 inch, 205 pound transfer from Northland Community and Technical College in Minn. was rated as the No. 24 junior college wide receiver by after catching 50 passes for 707 yards and ten touchdowns as a sophomore last year.

To go along with Morrisset at the wide receiver position, Roberts inked Travon Travis, a product of Gulfport High School in Gulfport, Miss. and  Garden City Community College transfer Jerry Anderson, who originally committed to Memphis out of high school.

“Some of the areas that we felt needed immediate attention, we went the junior college route,” Roberts said. “We added some receivers who will bring some maturity for a young corps. We brought in some guys who have game experience underneath their belt, and they will create that competition in fall camp.”

Roberts also found seven defensive backs, headed by ASA (N.Y.) College teammates and mid-year signees Tiray Dove and Theo Alexander. Dove, who originally committed to Florida Atlantic University out of high school, totaled 18 tackles and an interception. Alexander recorded 41 tackles for the Avengers in 2011.

Six offensive linemen were signed, including 6-foot-8 inch Riverside Community College standout John O’Brien. Along with O’Brien, high school products Taylor Romero, Joe Graves and Brent Wagner and junior college transfers Joe Graves, John Murphy and Jeremy Polk will also wear the green and gold of Southeastern this year.

In order to replace graduating seniors Sean Gremillion and Avery Crooks at the linebacker spots, Roberts signed three high school seniors, two of which are locals. Juwaan Rogers, of Amite High School, and Dereck Robinson, of Covington High School, will comprise the linebacker corps along with Caleb Young, of North Shore High School in Houston, Texas.

The Lions lost 12 seniors in total, including defensive tackle Devin Boutwell and offensive lineman Josh Penton, to go along with Theodore, Collins, Yarborough, Crooks and Gremillion.

“I’m real excited about the kids that we’ve signed,” Roberts said. “I think this could be a great signing class when it’s all said and done.”