ULM fans unschooled in the particulars of Texas Southern football might be surprised at the familiar names on the roster.
TSU has three LSU transfers on the team, including former West Monroe star linebacker Shomari Clemons. The Tigers also picked up ex-LSU wide receiver Ricky Dixon and offensive lineman Ernest McCoy over the off season.
Former Grambling State head coach Melvin Spears has returned as an assistant for Johnnie Cole. Spears is listed as running backs coach.
Defensive lineman Rolando Melancon, who signed with Tennessee before transferring to Louisiana Tech, is also on the TSU roster. Tech dismissed Melancon, a Lutcher product, from its football team in February.
Texas Southern visits ULM Saturday. Kickoff at Malone Stadium is 6 p.m.Clemons made his Texas Southern debut on Saturday with 12 tackles in a 17-7 loss to Prairie View.
A blue chipper at West Monroe, Clemons was never able to gain his footing at LSU after a promising prep career. Recruited as a safety, Clemons earned all-state honors as a senior at West Monroe and helped lead the Rebels to the Class 5A state championship in 2005. ULM punter Scott Love was a teammate that season.
Originally signed by the Tigers in 2006, Clemons failed to qualify academically. He signed again the following year and joined the team as part of the 2007 freshman class. In March 2008, Clemons was arrested on misdemeanor charges of shoving a police officer and disturbing the peace. He was suspended from the team before the 2008 spring game. All charges were later dismissed.
He appeared in six games as a redshirt freshman at LSU in 2008 and made four assisted tackles. Clemons made one tackle while playing for the White team in the April 18 spring game.