It was a day of dynamic duos in the River Parishes for National Signing Day on Wednesday.
Several colleges inked a pair of high school teammates to scholarships on another bountiful day for college football recruits in the River Parish.
A twosome which will be off to college together are Hahnville linebacker Amontae Jernigan and tight end Noah Zeringue, who are headed to Arkansas-Monticello, a Division II school.
“That’s my brother over there, Noah Zeringue. We’ve been together four years and I will spend the next four years with him,” said Jernigan.
“That just helped me make my decision,” Zeringue said of having Jernigan as a college teammate. “I’m really grateful to have somebody going up there with me, going to a new place.”
Arkansas-Monticello coaches, Jernigan said, continued to have faith in him throughout the recruiting process.
“They saw something in me that other coaches didn’t. They saw potential in me that I could be a player at this next level and that I was just built to play on this level and I will be able to do big things to get my legacy out at Arkansas-Monticello,” said Jernigan.
Arkansas-Monticello has a Louisiana connection. Boll Weevils coach Hud Jackson is the son of former Nicholls and McNeese coach, Sonny Jackson. The younger Jackson grew up in Thibodaux and played college football at McNeese.
“He did a little convincing. He was like a car salesman up there trying to sell it to you. I just really like the program and what they are doing. They are doing a few renovations right now,” Zeringue said of Jackson.
Jernigan and Zeringue were among nine football players on hand for a joint Hahnville-Destrehan signing ceremony. The two were joined by teammates Andrew Robison and Jalen Singleton as Wednesday signees.
Jha’Quan Jackson, a Hahnville wide receiver who signed with Tulane on the early signing day last December was on hand. Also returning after signing during the early signing period were Destrehan quarterback J.R. Blood, who signed with Southern University and receiver Quinton Torbor, a Mississippi State signee. Another early signee, running back John Emery of LSU, was not in attendance.
Destrehan its own duo in linebacker Alex Huszar and defensive back Dontrell Smith, both of whom signed during the early period with Southeastern Louisiana.
Singleton is headed to Harding College.
“My official visit, they treated me like I was already family. The atmosphere was great. The players, they didn’t know who I was, but they made a bond with me,” said Singleton.
The defensive end said he hopes to add an already formidable Harding defense.
“They run a 4-2 and a 4-2-5. That’s a perfect scheme for me. I fit in well. I will be all over the field. I’ll be able to move across, left side, right side, wherever they want me to play. They were in the top three in their conference in defense and I’m ready to bring it up to No. 1,” said Singleton.
Two other players who will be staying together are Lutcher defensive end Jamal Thomas and Bulldogs receiver Adrian Butler.
“It will be fun with me and Adrian being together. It will be like being at Lutcher all over again,” said Thomas.
“It will be great because me and Jamal have a great relationship. The coaches let us have a dorm together,” Butler said.
As usual, Nicholls came away with multiple River Parish players on signing day. Along with Robison, the Hahnville quarterback, the Colonels inked East St. John defensive back Jarius Monroe.
The recruiting process was nothing new to Monroe. His brother, Darion, played defensive back at Tulane, while his cousin, Ahmai Martin, recently concluded his career as a Nicholls defensive back.
“Being that my brother already went through it, it was kind of easier because I know what the right and wrong decisions were,” said Monroe. “My brother, to have all those big scholarship offers – Texas A&M and commit and then decommit and go to Tulane, it just humbled me and made me understand that it’s not where you go, but how you play where you go.
“My cousin, Ahmani Martin, who also went to Nicholls, he is graduating this year. I won’t get a chance to play with him but just to go on and follow in his footsteps and try to be better that that, it just gives me something to push for.”
Nicholls also added lineman Alex Beier of Lutcher and defensive back Bryce Authement of St. Charles Catholic.
Beier has a connection of a different sort at Nicholls. His father, Paul, played basketball for the Colonels from 1988-1992.
“It feels good to go on and continue the tradition by going to Nicholls,” said Beier.
Both of Authement’s parents attended Nicholls. The St. Charles defensive back said he likely could see action anywhere from the defensive secondary to special teams, even as a deep snapper.
Authement is among a number of recent River Parish players who have headed to Nicholls, a team that has been in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs the last two years.
“I went to one of their games this year and you definitely could see a whole different atmosphere. You could see a team that wanted to win. Without a doubt, I wanted to be a part of that,” said Authement.
Although they played at different high schools, two River Parish players will become teammates in college. St. Charles tight end Jacob Ganote and Riverside Academy running back Louis Cheneau are headed to Louisiana College.
Louisiana College has had recent success recruiting in the River Parishes. Robert McDonald of St. Charles and Travon Long of Lutcher both were members of the Wildcats in 2018. Former Hahnville quarterback Easton Melancon was a four-year starter at Louisiana College and threw for more than 10,000 yards.
“The guys from the River Parishes are some of the most hard-nosed football players. I’m glad to be a part of it, going to college, especially a place like Louisiana College. It was like a big family – much like it is over here (at St. Charles) – which is what I love about it,” said Ganote.
Cheneau said he also picked up on the friend vibe of Louisiana College.
“In the previous week when I went up there, it was really a surreal feeling. Coming from Riverside, a school not too big, not too small, I fit right in into the offensive program. The coaches feel like family,” said Cheneau.
Cheneau’s Riverside teammate, receiver Kash Foley, said he felt the tug of Grambling’s legacy.
“When I went up for my official visit, it felt like home. They have so much history behind it like Coach Eddie Robinson,” said Foley.
Rounding out Wednesday’s signees was East St. John tight end Hoxie Brown, who is headed to Highland Community College in Kansas.
The persistence of the Highland coach staff, Brown said, was his big attraction.
“At one point, it felt like I wasn’t going to get anything so they stayed like family to me. They came back like four times to the school and it just felt good. It felt like this is where I’m supposed to be,” said Brown.