The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

February 6, 2013

7 Cardinals announce college football plans

Seven senior Webb City football players. Seven different colleges.

The Cardinals, in essence, scattered on Wednesday — mainly throughout the region — as a signing ceremony was held before family, friends and coaches.

Said Webb City head coach John Roderique: “This is a great day for the parents and kids as well as the coaches. There was a lot of pressure on the kids throughout the whole process. This is a good time for the players to get that weight off their shoulders.

“Sports is a vehicle through which our athletes can receive a college education,” Roderique said. “We may have an additional one or two players sign. I’m just not sure.”

Alphabetically, players, college, parents, projected early position and major in college:

• Nate Brown, 6-foot-4, 185, Missouri S&T, Gayle and Jeff, OLB/S, architectural engineering;

• Alex Easley, 5-10, 165, Northwest Missouri State University, Amanda and Amos, K, physical therapy;

• Phoenix Johnson, 5-9, 185, Missouri State University, Wendy and Cat, RB, undecided;

• John Roderique, 6-5, 200, Sam Houston State University, Heather and John, QB, business;

• Kohl Slaughter, 6-3, 215, University of Arkansas, Debbie Hall, H-B, pre-med;

• Jose Speer, 6-4, 220, Pittsburg State University, Meysa and Brian, DE, physical education;

• Logan Williams, 6-3, 190, Missouri Western State University, Darla and Elijah, S, nursing.

NOTES: Slaughter, as a preferred walk-on for the Razorbacks, hasn’t signed a national letter of intent. He’ll sign required documents in a couple of weeks. ... Speer, the future Gorilla, noted his MIAA rivals soon will include Easley and Williams. ... Johnson will be joining older brother Maddy, a slotback, with MSU. “He (Maddy) influenced my decision quite a bit,” Phoenix said. ... Huntsville, Texas, home of NCAA Division 1-AA Sam Houston State, is several hours from Pittsburg State (where many predicted QB Roderique would land). Coach Roderique played at PSU as did the Sam Houston State head coach Willie Fritz. “It was just the best fit,” John Roderique, the QB, said. He especially liked the coaches and the Bearkats’ tradition (second to North Dakota State in the last two FCS title games). Added Cardinal coach Roderique: “I first became acquainted with coach Fritz while coaching in college.” The younger Roderique wouldn’t be overlooked with former Missouri Southern head coach Bart Tatum the offensive line coach at Sam Houston State. Plus, Doug Ruse, the Bearkats’ offensive coordinator, previously had recruited Webb City players.

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