Lamar University head football coach Ray Woodard announced at Wednesday’s National Signing Day press conference that 20 student-athletes, including two with ties to Southeast Texas, have committed to play for the Cardinals this fall.

“We signed 20 players today, and we’re getting pretty close to being full-force for the first time,” Woodard said. “Like a lot of coaches, we’re very excited about our class. This was just a ‘best player available’-type class because we’re to that point now, and that’s the way we’ll be from now on. We wanted to just get a little bit of everything, so we don’t have big holes in any class. Our assistant coaches did a great job over the entire recruiting process, and I’m excited about this group.”

Beaumont Central High School quarterback Robert Mitchell and defensive end Koby Couronwill stay close to home in continuing their playing careers.

Couron was named to the Associated Press Class 4A all-state second-team after registering 86 tackles and 14 sacks during senior campaign. Mitchell was named co-Offensive Player of the Year in District 20-4A.

First-team Class 5A all-state selection Kade Harrington of Kingwood High School and honorable mention all-state selection Emmitt Raleigh of Spring Westfield High School are both expected to add punch at the running back position.

Also adding talent on the offensive side of the ball are fullback Cole Carleton of Elkhorn South (Neb.) High School, tight end Sam Keeter from Woodrow Wilson High, Longview High running back Tory White and quarterback Judge Wolfe of Palmer High School.

Lamar also looked to bolster its offensive front with the additions of linemen Hunter Conn (Whitehouse High School), John Craven (Klein Collins High School/Navy Prep), Kevin Greif (Klein Oak High School) and junior college transfer Tramon Shead (Cayuga High School/Kilgore Junior College).

Defensively, Woodard and his staff inked linemen Ramondo Stewart of Newton High School and Omar Tebo of Liberty High School.

Lamar also added linebackers Kade Burman of Livingston High, Richard Gipson of John Tyler High School and Zach Stuart from Knoxville West (Tenn.) High School. The defensive secondary will see the additions of Colby Campbell of Whitehouse High School and Lloyd Julian of Episcopal High in Houston.

All-state kicker Juan Carranco of Dayton High School also signed with the Cardinals. Carranco is second all-time in Texas high school history with 42 career field goals and has a career-long make from 52 yards.