Four Lions Added for 2019

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 08: (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

HAMMOND, La. – Four student-athletes will continue their academic and athletic endeavors as members of the Southeastern Louisiana football program, SLU head coach Frank Scelfo announced on the opening day of the 2019 spring semester on Wednesday.

The newest Lions are quarterback Cole Kelley (6-7, 260, Lafayette, Louisiana, Arkansas/Teurlings Catholic High School), wide receiver Anthony Spurlock (6-1, 160, New Orleans, Louisiana, Western Kentucky/Edna Karr HS), offensive lineman Jalen Bell (6-5, 350, Amory, Mississippi, Copiah-Lincoln Community College/Amory High School) and tight end Matt DeBlaiso (6-4, 235, Seaford, New York, Nassau Community College/MacArthur High School).

Kelley, Bell and DeBlaiso will have two years remaining, while Spurlock has four years left and all four newcomers will participate in spring practice. In total, Southeastern will have seven new faces on the roster at the start of spring drills, as Kelley, Spurlock, Bell and DeBlaiso join a trio of December signees in quarterback Mason Schucker, defensive lineman Jaeden Ridgeway and defensive lineman Josh Smith.

With the addition of Kelley, who played in 18 games and started six in his two seasons in Fayetteville, and Schucker, along with the return of 2018 starter Chason Virgil, who led the Southland with 3,034 passing yards, the Lions will have one of its deepest quarterback groups in recent memory.

“Cole is a talented player who brings SEC experience to our team,” Scelfo commented. “We want to create competition at every position. We have three good players with great leadership ability all competing to be our quarterback, which makes us better. It’s good to know that we have multiple options and competition and Cole, Mason and Chason are all quality people who are capable of leading our offense.”

Kelley’s addition enhances the Lions’ passing game in a number of ways, as Lorenzo Nunez, who split time between receiver and backup quarterback in 2018, can make the full-time switch to receiver to bolster SLU’s depth at that spot. The 2017 Southland Newcomer of the Year has proved to be a dynamic playmaker in the open field.

“Lorenzo came to us and volunteered to move full-time to wide receiver,” Scelfo said. “He’s showing his character by making a move that will be the most beneficial for our team, while also making the best choice for his personal future. Lorenzo has aspirations to continue playing beyond Southeastern and making the change to wide receiver gives him the best opportunity to do so.”

Spurlock will also bolster the receiving corps. The speedster redshirted in 2018 at Western Kentucky where he signed as a three-star recruit out of Edna Karr High School in New Orleans.

“Anthony will be an excellent addition and will give our passing game an added dimension,” Scelfo said. “He has the attributes to be a great leader for us off the field, while being able to take the top off the defense with his speed and length.”

Bell was named second team NJCAA All-American as a sophomore at Co-Lin, helping the Wolves to the MACJC playoffs. Bell will be looked upon to step in and have an immediate impact for the Lions.

“Jalen is a powerful, road grader to add to our offensive line,” Scelfo commented. “He’s got good size and length and comes off the ball extremely well. Jalen is versatile enough to play guard or tackle and we’re expecting him to come in and fill a role for us up front immediately.”

DeBlaiso, who caught 13 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown in 2018 at Nassau CC, will provide Southeastern with another big target at tight end. DeBlaiso will be able to team with senior Bransen Schwebel, who earned All-Southland and All-Louisiana honors as a junior.

“Matt provides us with needed depth at tight end,” Scelfo stated. “He has good hands, is very athletic and runs well with the ball after the catch. This spring will be very beneficial for him to put on a little more weight and get physically acclimated to this level. He can help us from a depth standpoint right away.”

Spring practice opens on March 12 and runs through the annual Spring Game, which is scheduled for April 13 at 2 p.m. Southeastern will host Jacksonville State on Aug. 31 at Strawberry Stadium to open the 2019 season.

2019 Southeastern Louisiana Football Midyear Additions

Jalen Bell – OL – 6-5 – 350 – Amory, Miss. – Copiah-Lincoln CC/Amory HS

Matt DeBlaiso – TE – 6-4 – 235 – Seaford, N.Y. – Nassau CC/MacArthur HS

Cole Kelley – QB – 6-7 – 260 – Lafayette, La. – Arkansas/Teurlings Catholic HS

Anthony Spurlock – WR – 6-1 – 160 – New Orleans, La. – Western Kentucky/Edna Karr HS

Jalen Bell – OL – 6-5 – 350 – Amory, Miss. – Copiah-Lincoln CC/Amory HS

Named second team NJCAA All-American as a sophomore at Co-Lin … Named 2018 MACJC Offensive Lineman MVP … Also earned All-MACJC and All-Region XXIII accolades for the Wolves … All-State performer as a senior at Amory High School … Names among the Clarion-Ledger’s top seniors and juniors in the state of Mississippi during his prep career.

Matt DeBlaiso – TE – 6-4 – 235 – Seaford, N.Y. – Nassau CC/MacArthur HS

Spent sophomore season at Nassau Community College, catching 13 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown … Started his collegiate career at SUNY-Cortland, where he saw limited time as a true freshman … Starred in baseball and football at MacArthur High School … Caught team-high 25 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns as a senior at MHS … Received the team’s Unsung Hero Award in final season.

Cole Kelley – QB – 6-7 – 260 – Lafayette, La. – Arkansas/Teurlings Catholic HS

Played in 18 games, making six starts at quarterback in two seasons with the Razorbacks … Threw for 1,483 yards and 13 touchdowns in Fayetteville, while also rushing for five touchdowns … The first freshman to start at quarterback for Arkansas since 2012 …  Started versus eventual national champion Alabama, No. 21 Auburn, Ole Miss and Coastal Carolina … Threw three touchdowns at Ole Miss, leading Razorbacks to a 38-37 victory and overcoming a 24-point deficit – the largest comeback in school history … Scored the game-winning touchdown in 39-38 win at Coastal Carolina for second fourth-quarter comeback in as many weeks … As a sophomore, threw two touchdowns versus Colorado State … Also rushed for scores versus Alabama, Texas A&M and North Texas … Rated a four-star recruit by ESPN out of Teurlings Catholic High School … Ranked No. 2 quarterback in the state of Louisiana by Scout … Multi-time All-State, All-District 5-4A and All-Acadiana performer threw for 6,183 yards and 55 touchdowns, while also rushing for 11 scores over his final two seasons at TCHS … Also averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Rebel basketball team as a junior.

Anthony Spurlock – WR – 6-1 – 160 – New Orleans, La. – Western Kentucky/Edna Karr HS

Spent redshirt season at Western Kentucky in 2018 … Three-star recruit out of Edna Karr HS … Helped Karr to back-to-back Class 4A state championships in his final two seasons … Earned All-District 9-4A honors as a senior.

Article courtesy of Southeastern Sports Information Department.

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