Red Wolves Add Six Jucos

What the Arkansas State Red Wolves coaching staff wanted to accomplish on the first day of junior college signing period was simple. They looked to fill holes and meet needs. And looks like they hit the target.

The Red Wolves add two players to the offensive line, a spot where they lose two starters, two defensive back, where three seniors leave, and the defensive line, an area already depleted by attrition and will lose one more senior after this season.

The newcomers are: offensive linemen Joseph Bacchus of Itawamba (Miss.) Community College and Brandon Berg of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, defensive backs Cody Brown of Independence CC and Allen Sentimore of East?Mississippi CC), and defensive linemen Waylon Roberson of New Mexico Military and Jake Swalley of Highland (Kan.). All of the players will enroll in January and will have two years at Arkansas State.

The offensive and defensive lines were thin areas during the 2014 season. For most of the season the Red Wolves operated with seven players on the O-Line. The defensive line saw two true freshmen pressed into duty and Dexter Blackmon was the lone senior.

Roberson (6-foot-2, 340 pounds) gives the Red Wolves a force in the middle. He played high school ball at Midland (Texas) Lee and was second team All-Western States Football League last season. Swalley (6-2, 285) was honorable mention All-KJCCC pick and at one time was committed to Memphis and also received an offer from Illinois. He and Roberson both had blocked kicks this season.

Bacchus (6-5, 285) played high school ball at Southaven (Miss.) and was a 2-year starter at Itawamba, where he earned second team All-Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges as a sophomore. Berg (6-2, 275) started his career at NEO as a walk-on and became and earned first team all-conference honors this season. He is also a former rugby player.

Brown and Sentimore should help in an area that loses three senior starters. Brown (6-2, 200) was a two-time All-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference player. He ranked 20th in the nation in pass break-ups and his 32 solo stops ranked 20th in the conference. Sentimore (6-0, 180) helped lead East Mississippi Community College to a 12-0 record and NJCAA national championship and earned MACJC?All-State/North Division First Team recognition after recording a team-high seven interceptions that tied the fifth most in the nation. Additionally, the 6-0, 180-pound defensive back from Laurel, Miss., recorded 43 tackles (37 solo), one tackle for loss, one forced fumble and eight pass break-up.

While the current needs have been met, the Red Wolves will complete their class with high school players, who can sign in February.