Florida St. RB Coach Dave Johnson Talks About Getting The Seminoles Back To Prominence, His Relationship With Leonard Fournette & Tyran Mathieu, Recruiting Louisiana Kids
David Johnson was named Florida State’s running backs coach and recruiting coordinator back in January after leaving the University of Tennessee. Johnson, who has spent the last two seasons at Tennessee, gets a chance to reunite with Dave Norvell after being the wide receivers coach on his Memphis staff in 2016 and 2017.
Before Memphis, Johnson spent four seasons on the Tulane staff as the running backs & Tight Ends coach under head coach Curtis Johnson.
Johnson got his first college coaching job at Millsaps College (Division III) back in 2005 where he spent three seasons at.
But it was in 1998 when Johnson started his coaching journey as offensive coordinator at his alma mater John F. Kennedy High School. He then joined the staff as the receivers coach at O. Perry Walker High School with McNeese St. head coach Frank Wilson & UL Ragin’ Cajun RB coach Jabbar Juluke.
Johnson coached Craig Davis, a first round pick by the San Diego Chargers in the 2007 draft along with Mike Wallace, who was drafted in the third round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2009 draft.
In 2009, Johnson was hired at St. Augustine as head coach where he coached Tyran Mathieu & Leonard Fournette.
Johnson graduated from Nicholls St. & played receiver for the Colonels from 1991-1995. He was a two-time all-conference player his time there.
Coach Johnson did a zoom interview with G-Sportz about getting Florida St. back to prominence, his relationship with his former players Tyran Mathieu & Leonard Fournette, and so much more.
UL Ragin’ Cajuns RB Coach Jabbar Juluke Talks About His Coaching Journey, Impacting Young Men, & His End Game Before He Retires
New Orleans native Jabbar Juluke just finished his second season as Associate Head Coach/RBs Coach of the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns football staff.
Juluke was named the 2019 FootballScoop Running Backs Coach of the Year after leading Louisiana’s backs to the best rushing season in program history. His running back group broke school records in total rushing yards (3,604) and rushing touchdowns (42).
He had three running backs rush for over 800 yards led by Elijah Mitchell with 1,147 yards, Trey Ragas with 820 yards, & Raymond Calais with 886 yards along with getting drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 7th round.
Juluke has had stops at Louisiana Tech, LSU, & Texas Tech before arriving to Lafayette under head coach Billy Napier.
Before Juluke got into college, he was considered one of Louisiana’s top high school coaches during his time as head coach at Edna Karr High School. He compiled an 80-39 record that was capped by a perfect 14-0 mark and a Class 4A state title in 2012.
He also helped over 70 of his players earn college football scholarships during his head coaching career.
Coach Juluke did a zoom interview with G-Sportz about his coaching journey, impacting young men, & his end game before he retires.
When you think about some of the top tier receivers in the state for the 2021 class the names that come to mind are Brian Thomas, Chris Hilton, & Destyn Pazon. But Johnson is not far behind at all. He has good length and instincts to go with some tremendous hands. He has the ability to make a lot of difficult catches because of his strong hands, high level hand-eye coordination and ability to catch the ball through contact.
With the Booker T. Washington standout committing to Arizona, they land their third commitment from Louisiana in recent months. The other two were Holy Cross linebacker Kolbe Cage & De La Salle running back Montrell Johnson.
“I’m very excited about committing to Arizona & I feel real good about it,” Johnson said.
Arizona edged out Louisville, Mississippi St, Virginia, Missouri, Kansas, & a host of others.
The two sport athlete is coming off of an outstanding junior year on the gridiron. He finished the season with 836 yards receiving, 17 touchdowns (running & catching) & 1 interception that he returned back for a touchdown.
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The last two years Quency Wiggins has made his presence felt on the hardwood, but over the last few months he’s decided to bring his extreme athletic ability to the gridiron.
The 6-foot-5, 241 pound soon to be stud prospect has committed himself to football & has plans to make his mark this upcoming season.
“I haven’t played football since my 8th grade year,” Wiggins said. “My sole focus was basketball coming into high school. But I’m ready to show what I can do on the football field & give myself more options.”
Wiggins has a 77-inch wingspan & many of his football coaches feel that he’s not even done growing. Personal trainer & owner of Camp Moula Ernest Harvey expressed that you don’t see kids walking around like this everyday.
“He reminds me of Myles Garrett,” Harvey said. “Once he learns the technique part of playing defensive end he will be one of the best prospects in the country. He moves so well for his size & he’s only going to get better with time.”
It doesn’t take an expert to state the obvious, but I think it’s safe to say Wiggins will be a top ranked prospect probably as soon as next year.
On Thursday, 2021 running back TyShaun Hester committed to Nicholls St via twitter. The Colonels offered Hester February 19 & have been pushing for his commitment since then.
“The fact that Nicholls offered me after injuring my foot which ended my season meant a lot to me,” Hester said. “They really showed me that they believe in me. Coach Sammy(Joseph) & Coach Russ(Gisclair) check up on me all the time. I like the fact that when we talk it’s not just about football. That let me know that that’s the kind of program I want to be apart of.
“With Nicholls being only 20 minutes from my house, that was big for me because my family can come see me play all the time. And with the new facilities they’re building over there, I think it’s an exciting time to be a Colonel.”
The 5-foot-10, 176 pound running back had a lot of other schools keeping tabs on him & probably would have received more offers had it not been for the coronavirus taking away spring football. A healthy Hester is expected to have a big senior year & it’s no doubt Nicholls St will have to fight off other schools before signing day when it’s all said & done.
“I know other schools probably wanted to see me in person during the Spring before they offered me,” Hester said. “I think it played out like this for a reason. I’m just happy I get to go do something I love on the next level & get a free education at the same time.”
Hester was off to a hell of a junior year before he injured his foot the fifth game of the season. He had a total of 8 touchdowns (rushing & kick return) to go with over 900 all-all purpose yards.
“I was devastated that my junior year got cut short,” Hester said. “All I kept thinking about is I wanted to be out there to help my team. Now that I’m 100% healthy again I’ve been working out almost everyday. I’m anxious for the season to come so I can help Ellender get back on the map & also prove to the Nicholls staff that they didn’t make a mistake on me.”
Ellender new head football coach Jesse Turner was also a former Ellender & Nicholls St standout running back. Now it seems that Hester is falling right into his head coach’s footsteps.
“Coach Jesse has been there for me since day one,”Hester said. “He is a big reason why I’m in this position. It feels good to carry on the legacy that my head coach laid out when he was here at Ellender & when he played at Nicholls. It’s really crazy when you think about it, but I’m excited to continue to make him proud.”
Hester expressed that committing to Nicholls is not just about him, but it’s about bringing more exposure to the Ellender program.
“We stay with good athletes at Ellender,” Hester said. “My freshman year when Davontavean Martin signed with Washington St that really motivated me. My sophomore year we had two sign with Southern, McNeese St, & this past year Houston.
“I just want to continue the pipeline over here. And we have some really good young athletes coming up behind me. O’Ryan(James) already has offers from Virginia & Mississippi St. And he is only in the 10th grade so I think we’re going to continue pushing good athletes out over here. I’m just happy to be apart of that.”
The 4-star receiver out of Edna Karr High School displayed why he is regarded as one of the receivers in the country at the Under Armour Showcase camp this past weekend. He was clocked at a 4.52 Laser-2-Laser which was by far the fastest at the camp. Also, he was clocked at a 4.32 back in January at the All-American Bowl Combine in San Antonio. There were no one-on-ones at the camp, but Pazon was still able to show his ability to get in & out of his breaks really well along with natural catching ability.
247Sports beat writer Shea Dixon said Pazon reminds him of LSU standout Jamarr Chase coming out of high school & that his body looks college ready right now.
The 6-foot-1, 193-pound prospect received his invite to the Under Armour All-American game after the camp & on Wednesday via twitter he announced that he is committed to playing in the game.
"I've been working extremely hard the last two years to get to the position I'm at," Pazon said. "My mindset was to come out here & show that I'm worthy of being an All-American. It's a blessing to receive the invite, but I'm still not done proving myself. During the quarantine I've been working out consistently almost everyday getting stronger & faster. I feel like if I continue working hard like I've been doing I'll be unstoppable this upcoming season."
Click below to see Pazon's camp footage at the Under Armour Showcase Camp
The 6-foot-1, 295-pound Lafayette Christian prospect was definitely one of the headliners at the Under Armour Camp this past Sunday. A kid of West's size will always raise questions on how good can he move at his current playing weight. But, I think it's safe to say he showed he can move pretty well along with having a high motor throughout his drill work. It shouldn't surprise people at all if West ends up in the top tier of the 2022 class in Louisiana by his senior year.
"I know schools wanted to see me in person so they can see how I move at my current weight," West said. "I'm currently working on getting my weight down so I can improve my speed. I think I did well in all of the drills today, but I'm still looking to improve everyday by being consistent working out & eating right."
West is ranked No. 20 overall in Louisiana for 2022 according to 247Sports & holds offers from Colorado, Tulane, McNeese St, & Austin Peay.
Click below to see West in drill work at the Under Armour Showcase Camp
Written by Kyle Valdez
Since graduating from Morgan City High in 2017, basketball standout Makye Richard’s hoops career has taken him across the country. Originally signing with Baton Rouge Community College, then transferring to Northern New Mexico, Richard found a home this past season at Xavier New Orleans after a year in which he averaged 11 points, 6.8 boards, and 3.1 assists. Despite all the challenges he has faced, he is facing a far more difficult challenge than basketball or school.
He, along with three other young men from St. Mary Parish, has teamed up to start a non-profit organization to mentor the youth and unite the community of Morgan City through the “Roots of Brotherhood.”
“We wanted to make a change in our youth and show them that they have mentors and big brothers that they can turn to in time of need. Our main focus is to let them know that someone is here for them and someone is going to be for them their entire way.”
A truly unique combination of men, Richard is joined by Taaj Daniels, Kenan Jones, and Clifton Escort III. All four come from an athletic background, but each provides different aspects that may contribute to the success of this organization. Jones is a former state champion track and field athlete and four-star receiver out of Berwick High, eventually going on to compete for LSU the past two years in both sports.
Escort graduated from Morgan City High in 2016 and formerly played football for LSU. Daniels graduated from Morgan City in 2018 and is currently at LSU majoring in Pre-med. Richard is currently entering his senior year school at Xavier studying business management.
The origins of the organization have been in place for years.
“Growing up, every time someone asked me ‘what are you going to school for?’ I always said I wanted to give back to my community. I want to start training facilities. I want to have youth programs for the kids.” Richard said. “I can’t take all the credit for starting this group. I only had the idea. Taaj, Kenan, and Clifton all brought me in and wanted to start this group and asked for my help. They had a base foundation, and everything came together.”
The group held its first-ever event at the Siracusaville Recreation Center in Morgan City this past Saturday. Scheduled was a meet-and-greet session with games and food for all. Although the turnout was slightly less than expected, the effort was put in and progress was made. Dominating most of the time, was a panel-type discussion about the potential improvements for the Roots of Brotherhood.
At this point in time, just weeks after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, change is wanted. Certain parts of St. Mary Parish have bad reputations when it comes to the inclusion and treatment of those of different cultural backgrounds. All four men expressed it was time for a change in their community, and that they are willing to contribute to be the solution.
“George Floyd’s death has sparked a revolution worldwide. Now we know what we need to do, so we’re going to come back into our area and help as best we can to make that change happen,” said Jones.
When asked about why this was an appropriate time to start this organization, Richard responded, “Right now, I feel it is most important. This is the best time to do it because these people are seeing all this is going on. And wondering ‘who’s here for us?’ And now is the perfect time for me to show up and help my community in a great way.”
Other topics discussed were the importance of being a student before an athlete. Although three of the four mentors in this group went on to play college ball, they all have different experiences that may help teach the younger generation.
Escort mentioned his time at LSU and one of his major passions in art (which ultimately factored into his departure from the football team). Daniels, who plans on going to medical school and is described as “someone that [Richard] always looked up to because he was always so well-educated and had the driving force that motivated people”, had more to say.
“We’re more than just athletes. We also want to teach them that there is more to life than sports. No matter what you play, the ball is going to stop eventually. You can’t do it for the rest of your life.”
While Richard enters his senior year of college, he has gotten better and better throughout the past three years. Similarly, how he inspires the local youth through his performance on the basketball hardwood, hopefully, he can get them to believe in his positive endeavors off the court.
“Our short-term goals are to get people to believe in what we are doing. We have four good guys, and we want everyone to believe in what we’re doing and how we are doing it. We want to build a foundation of our group and build success in the future. Later, down the line, we hope to give out college scholarship funds and grow.”
Richard requested for anyone looking to donate, volunteer, or has any interest, contact him at 985-956-0321.
The 4-star defensive tackle out of Edna Karr High School was definitely one of the best defensive lineman at the camp along with Ascension Catholic DE J'Mond Tapp, Warren Easton DT Shone Washington, & Lafayette Christian DT Fitzgerald West
Hill displayed supreme athleticism during drill work & was the talk of the camp among many of the coaches. At 6-foot-2, 272 pounds, Hill was very fluid & light on his feet for a kid his size showing why he's ranked No. 9 overall in the country at his position according to the 247Sports composite rankings
"I think my basketball background plays a big part into why I have such good feet & why I move so well," Hill said. "I use to think I was mainly a basketball player coming into high school, but I figured out real quick that basketball can really help me with football. I just wanted to come out & show that over this quarantine I haven't been sitting around being lazy. My D-Line coach Norman Randall sends me workouts everyday to do & he facetimes me to hold me accountable on completing them. That's why I was able to come out here in this heat & do these drills at a high level today."
Hill holds offers from LSU, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi St, Miami, Michigan St, Virginia, Texas, & a host of others.
Click below to see Hill in drill work at the Under Armour Showcase Camp
The West St. John standout LB/DE weighed in Sunday for the Under Armour Showcase Camp at 222 pounds & standing at 6 feet 1/2. Edwards was by far the best in individuals out of all the linebackers at the camp along with showing that he was in tip top shape compared to the other prospects in attendance.
"I just wanted to come out here & show that I could move really good at these linebacker drills," Edwards said. "I had my hand in the dirt the last two seasons so a lot of schools question can I really play linebacker. With not having Spring football, schools couldn't come out & evaluate me in person so coming to a camp like this could show them that I'm versatile."
The 3-star prospect has played defensive end his first two years, but many top tier college programs envision him as a linebacker on the next level. Edwards definitely showed at the camp that he can play the linebacker position at an elite level, preferably middle linebacker in my opinion.
Mississippi St, Michigan St, Houston, Memphis, & Colorado are some big schools that have offered him thus far. He's ranked number 17 overall in the state according to 247Sports, but I think he'll finish in the top 5 before it's all said & done.
Click below to see Edwards in drill work at the Under Armour Showcase Camp
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