The annual Northwestern State signing day luncheon was held Feb. 7, and three new coaches from two different Demon sports revealed their signees, wowing the crowd with their strong rosters.
New co-head soccer coaches Jess and Anna Jobe took the stage and got the event underway. The soccer team brought in a 10-member group in the Jobes’ first signing class.
[Read: Jobe pair to lead NSU Soccer]
“These players have strong backgrounds with their clubs, and their experience leads us to believe that they’ll fit in well here and come in and compete,” Jess Jobe said. “We’re excited to get them here early so they can get acclimated and hit the ground running this August.”
The Jobes emphasized signing players with immediate impact, and the roster includes athletes from Florida, Louisiana, Texas and international students from Canada.
“They’ll make up nearly a third of our roster, so they’ll play a big part,” Jess Jobe said. “This group has a chance to write a really cool story being our first recruiting class, to be our first four-year group.”
New football head coach Brad Laird took the stage next, prepared to deliver on the “#SpeedDemon” hype he and his coaching staff have promoted since taking the positions.
As they debuted 25 new recruits, they showed off highlight reels of multiple players sprinting past competitors. Many are considered for state championship sprinting honors or are considered contenders for top honors this spring.
“We see this group as 25-strong,” Laird said. “You look at these 25 and see length, see speed, and you see athleticism. We were able to do that across the board, offensively and defensively.
“We looked at needs for this football team as we began this process and we were able to answer those needs.”
NSU added 11 offensive players: three linemen, three receivers, two quarterbacks, two running backs and a tight end. On the defensive end, they added six defensive backs, five linebackers and three defensive linemen.
“They said they wanted me on the field come September,” said Coby McGee, wide receiver signee from Bossier City’s Airline High School. “Honestly that’s how I see it. I just know I have to put the work in for good things to come out.”
When meeting with family and prospects, Laird commented on a consistent theme of community present in Natchitoches and at NSU.
“They realize first and foremost it’s about the academics and eventually walking across that stage at commencement with a diploma, and second it’s about being productive on the field,” Laird said.
“It felt like home,” McGee said. “It felt like I could be trusted with them, and they had the best interest and heart for me.”
Laird talked about another component important in bringing in the impressive new recruits:
“Competition,” Laird said. “We talk about it as a staff, bringing in guys to compete, and we’ve done that with this class.
“Whether you’re a senior or a freshman, competition will bring out the best in all of us, and we’re bringing in guys to compete to get out on the field and win championships.”
“I have a chance to fight for a position – someone who can make a difference in the game,” McGee said. “My work ethic, my talent and understanding of the game should separate me.”