Football: Northeastern inks nine recruits for 2007

By Chris Estrada

The Huskies replenished their ranks last week with the signing of nine recruits to National Letters of Intent. Two tailbacks, two offensive linemen, two safeties, two wide receivers and a linebacker will join the 2007 Northeastern football squad.

Head coach Rocky Hager and his staff combed the New England and mid-Atlantic areas, netting five locals. They also snagged a trio of talent from the Atlanta area, which has spawned several past Huskies like outgoing senior Lamar Gay (Moreland, Ga.) and current ones like sophomore cornerback Cord Parks (Decatur, Ga.). A mid-Atlantic representative from Laurel, Md., rounds out the recruits.

“I think we have filled our needs very nicely,” Hager said. “We needed to enhance team speed, and we have done that … now we have to coach them up and bring them along.”

In addition to Hager’s priority of boosting team speed, he and his crew also had to shore up a secondary depleted by the loss of four seniors – cornerbacks Louvans Charlot, Richard Orah and Cedric Garner and safety Gay. Hager said the recruits and some of the younger players may thus get pushed into game-day roles earlier than expected and said he hopes the greenhorns on his team will learn fast.

“Our game’s become somewhat of a cerebral game and learning plans and schemes on the defensive side, they will need to be understood very quickly,” he said. “No matter how talented the body is, the mind can get confused … we’ll have to bring them along in a very wise manner.”

The local recruits have garnered some impressive accolades. Bedford wide receiver Woody Carter and Derry, N.H. offensive lineman Jason Lane each grabbed All-State honors in their high school careers. Wayland tailback Tony Torres helped power the Warriors to their first Dual County League championship last year and was a two-time DCL all-star.

Mansfield’s offensive lineman Greg Martell helped notch three Hockomock League titles and a 2004 state championship for his squad, while Fitchburg’s John Griffin made the most of his lone varsity season for Oakmont Regional, scoring a school-record 25 touchdowns as a tailback last season.

As for the rest, Demetrius Biggs of Marietta, Ga. played on both sides of the ball as a wide receiver and in the secondary, all while garnering offensive and defensive All-City honors.

Chad Parham of Fairburn, Ga. will jump to outside linebacker for Northeastern after making the Georgia All-State second team as a defensive end and tight end his senior year. T.J. Jackson of Newnan, Ga. was named to both All-Region squads in 2006 on offense (as a wide receiver) and defense (as a defensive back), and Darryl Jones of Laurel, Md. made the All-Conference team in 2006 as a safety. Jones was also dubbed the “hardest hitter” on his St. John’s College High team.

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