Southeastern Louisiana University came away with a package deal from Destrehan on the early signing day Wednesday while the Southern University Jaguars found another River Parish quarterback.
Defensive back Dontrell Smith and linebacker Alex Huszar will remain teammates as the Destrehan duo both selected to attend SLU.
“It makes it more comfortable, going there with a person I know and I played with for four years,” said Smith.
“I’m glad he’s coming with me. He’s a good friend of mine. We will have that chemistry. I’m real excited,” Huszar said of Smith.
The Lions showed an early interest in Smith, who in turn decided to sign early.
“They were the first team that offered me and they showed the love and I felt the vibe from back then,” said Smith.
For Huszar, the comfort with SLU goes beyond playing with a high school teammate.
“My mom is a Southeastern alum. I just really like Hammond. I’m from Hammond,” said Huszar.
Like Smith and Huszar, Destrehan quarterback J.R. Blood said he felt a special connection in choosing Southern.
“They have a great atmosphere and a great culture. Everything feels just like home. It’s an hour away. It’s convenient for me,” said Blood.
Blood had been a verbal commitment to Stephen F. Austin. The SFA program went through a season of turmoil when head coach Clint Conque resigned prior to the start of the season and the Lumberjacks were led by interim coach Jeff Byrd. Byrd was not retained and SFA recently hired Colby Carthel, a former Texas A&M-Commerce coach.
“The coaching change really didn’t change much. I have been reevaluating some things and the coaching change just added to that,” said Blood.
The Jaguars have had recent success with quarterbacks from the River Parishes, including Dray Joseph and Austin Howard, both of whom played high school football at West St. John.
“Austin Howard and Dray Joseph. Those guys inspired me to be great,” said Blood.