12 mid-year transfers sign football NLIs

Add offensive lineman Donovan Wheaton and defensive end Tremaine Whitley to the list of Navarro sophomores who signed national letters of intent with four-year programs.

That bumps the number on Navarro’s mid-year transfer list to 12.

Wheaton became the second Bulldog to select Prairie View A&M, while Whitley reportedly signed with Northwestern State, La.

Ten had signed LOIs by Friday, Dec. 18

Three signed with Troy University and two inked with Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) and also Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA).

After the signing window opened Wednesday, Dec. 16, other individuals signed with The University of North Carolina, UTSA and Prairie View A&M.

The first five to sign Wednesday included NJCAA honorable mention All-American center Brandon Niccum, first-team all-conference running back Josh Cleveland and linebacker J.B. Copeland, honorable mention defensive back Brayleon Thorns, as well as offensive lineman Stefan Beard.

Niccum, a 6-4, 285-pounder from Justin Northwest High School, fulfilled his verbal commitment by signing a letter with Troy University.  Niccum was a key member of an offensive line that allowed Navarro to rank nationally in total offense and passing yardage.

Troy later also took two more Bulldogs — running backs Marcus Anderson and Devonte Williams.  Anderson, a 5-11, 220-pounder from Harker Heights, was an all-SWJCFC all-purpose back during the 2015 season.  Williams hails from Moody, Ala., about 160 miles from the Troy campus.

Southeastern Louisiana claimed Josh Cleveland, the 5-9, 185-pounder from Del Valle who lead the team in all-purpose yardage (1331) and rushing (171-1065-12).  Joining Cleveland at the Hammond, La., school will be Brayleon Thorns, a 5-11, 185-pound defensive back from South Garland, who was the team’s fifth-leading tacklers (88) with two interceptions, two forced fumbles and eight break-ups.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the SFA Lumberjacks picked up running back Kijana Amous and cornerback Aaron Foy.

Amous rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns during his two seasons at NC before injury last season.  He rushed for more than 3,700 yards and scored 51 touchdowns during his prep career at Mansfield Legacy High School.

Foy, a Kilgore native who earned second team all-conference honors, had 38 tackles and eight pass breakups. Playing receiver in high school, Foy was a member of the 2013 Kilgore team that went 14-1 on the year and advanced to the 3A state championship game.

J.B. Copeland, the 6-3, 225-pound linebacker from Southlake Carroll, signed with the University of North Carolina on the Wednesday following an official visit to Chapel Hill. Copeland, who transferred from New Mexico, totaled 116 tackles with 5 sacks during Navarro’s 2015 season.

Stefan Beard, a Baylor signee out of high school, became one of seven junior college players to sign with Coach Larry Coker’s University of Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners.

And Cypress Springs defensive back Terrance Jackson signed with Prairie View A&M.

Several other sophomore members of Cody Crill’s 7-4 Bulldogs are expected to announce and sign this week.