Trailblazers continue college pipeline, Grand Lake OL signs with Ragin’ Cajuns

Lake Charles College Prep, a year after sending its first crop of football players to Division I schools, topped that class of four with six players signing Wednesday, the opening day of the early signing period.

Grand Lake also made history with its first signee, offensive lineman Bryant Williams, who inked with UL-Lafayette.

McNeese landed a pair of Blazers in defensive back Joe Ward and offensive lineman Jalyn Easton. Defensive back Kevin Thomas signed with Grambling, receivers Keshlon Jackson and Braylen Walker chose Louisiana Tech and Rice, respectively.

Offensive lineman Reginald Burks signed with Lamar but will delay his ceremony until the late signing period in February so that family members can attend.

Star running back TreVonte Citizen is also expected to wait until February to sign after de-committing from LSU.

Jackson and Walker are the fifth Prep receivers to sign, following Glynn Johnson, Jaylen Joseph and Solomon Lewis last year. Lewis also signed with Tech.

“I liked the atmosphere there the most,” Jackson said. “It really feels like home.”

Walker said it was a dream come true.

“Everything I have dreamed of and worked for has finally come true and I thank everyone that was by my side,” Walker said. “I liked the way Rice carries themselves as a program, they are family-oriented.”

Ward said there were many benefits to staying home at McNeese.

“The culture there is great and I’ll be able to be around my family,” he said. “At Prep, I was able to improve my technique, get bigger and faster, improve my confidence and mental approach.”

Easton drew plaudits from Prep head coach Erick Franklin for improving over the course of his career.

“I’m going to try to be the best,” he said. “They made me feel like part of the family.”

Thomas picked up an offer from new Grambling head coach Hue Jackson over the weekend. His journey started with an unwanted switch from receiver to defense.

“I had always played receiver, but coach sat me down and told me if I took the move to defensive back seriously, I could be a college player,” Thomas said. “After that, I never looked back. From the first game on defense, I loved the energy and hitting people.”

The physical part of the game has always brought joy to Williams, who played on both sides of the line at Grand Lake but projects to play offense in college. He said he was pleased the Cajuns chose Michael Desormeaux to replace Billy Napier as head coach.

“There were some doubts about going there, but when they hired Desormeaux it was a no-brainer,” Williams said. “He’s just such an amazing coach and has a lot of experience at UL-L. He’s a great guy.”

Williams said it was overwhelming to sign his letter of intent.

“It’s a dream come true, I’ve been dreaming of this ever since I was a kid, and it couldn’t have been done without my family, friends and Grand Lake.”

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