LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -“Everybody today is trying to find the best football players and the best student-athletes," Sterlin Gilbert said. "Kids that fit their profile academically, athletically and socially and we are no different.”
That’s exactly what first-year head coach, Sterlin Gilbert believes he’s getting with his first McNeese signing class, the best. When recruiting for the upcoming season, Gilbert’s coaching staff looked for well-rounded athletes.
“Size, length, speed. Guys that have played multiple sports," Gilbert added. "Guys that fit from a schematic standpoint on both sides of the ball. When you go back and review these kids you see that they fit that need on the defensive side and they fit it on the offensive side.”
So, why would McNeese want dual-sport athletes, when their only job from here on out is to play football?
“We got guys from Power lifting, we got track guys, we got baseball guys and we even got a swimmer," Gilbert said. "What we wanted and what we are looking for with those duel-sport athletes is a kid that’s competing from August all the way until May. The other thing is that we know that when a student-athlete is doing that, not only is he competing which is important, but we know he’s being held academically so he’s eligible.”
Gilbert will welcome 18, including two SWLA prep athletes in Sulphur’s Jake LaFleur
“Jakes going to fit in that long-range length," Gilbert said. "He can run sideline to sideline. He’s got great football genes and we’re excited about Jake, he’s a great kid.”
And Anthony Johnson from LaGrange
“Really excited about Anthony," said Gilbert. "Such a dynamic guy with the ball in his hands. Can play multiple positions on offense and defense. Can also return the ball well. Very excited about Anthony, he’s the future.”
While there are some unknowns surrounding the 2019 season, Gilbert made it clear that there’s one thing that is certain.
“The energy and excitement we have right now is “La Familia” and that’s what it’s all about. Being a family and us growing as one," Gilbert added.
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