LAFAYETTE, La. – Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Football head coach Billy Napier unveiled his first recruiting class on Wednesday, announcing that 16 individuals have signed a National Letter-of-Intent and will join the program for the 2018 season.
Napier's initial class is highlighted by nine products on the defensive side, a trio of offensive linemen and the program's third Australian punter since 2013. A total of 10 of Louisiana's signees hail from the Louisiana-Mississippi-Texas area.
The Ragin' Cajuns landed a former Power 5 standout in Ole Miss' Garrald McDowell, a Mississippi Mr. Football selection (Chris Smith, RB, Louisville, Miss.) and a Lafayette native (Kendall Johnson, Jr.) who will complete his collegiate career in his hometown.
Rhys Byrns | P | 6-0 | 190 | Melbourne, Australia | Padua College
Product of Prokick Australia, which has produced NFL punters and kickers and Ray Guy Award winners … Finished high school education at Catholic secondary school Padua in 2016 … Played Aussie rules football at the high school level ... Started focusing on becoming a college punter at age 18 … Multi-sport champion in Australian Rules Football, cricket, and basketball … Is the third Australian punter to join the program since 2013, joining Daniel Cadona and Steven Coutts … Toured the United States, including Louisiana, with Prokick last summer.
Percy Butler | CB | 6-0 | 172 | Plaquemine, La. | Plaquemine High School
Chosen to compete in the 2017 U.S. Army/Brees Dream Foundation Red Stick Bowl all-star game in Baton Rouge … Ranked 247Sports.com's No. 93 composite recruit in Louisiana … Named a second team all-state and 6-4A All-District selection at defensive back as a senior … Registered 91 tackles including 62 solo with three tackles-for-loss … Forced three fumbles and recovered two fumbles … Also posted eight pass break-ups … Saw time at receiver for Plaquemine … Helped guide the Green Devils to an 8-3 record last season … Also a member of the Plaquemine track team competing in the triple jump and long jump.
Jordan Cordova | ILB | 5-11 | 210 | Kinder, La. | Kinder High School
Produced multiple 100-plus-tackle seasons during prep career … Registered two tackles-for-loss in the Lake Charles-Lafayette I-10 Bowl all-star game … Helped Kinder reach Class 2A State Championship game three times, twice claiming the championship ... Repeat pick for the (Lake Charles) American Press' All-Southwest Louisiana team … Three-time Class 2A all-state honorable mention recipient … Son of Wayne Cordova, a McNeese State linebacker from 1996-99 and now the Cowboys' Buck safeties coach/football operations director … Ranked 247Sports' No. 84 composite recruit in Louisiana … Played multiple defensive and offensive positions during Class 2A state title-winning career at Kinder … Played both baseball and basketball at Kinder…Named first team all-district selection as a catcher during his junior season with the baseball team... Also earned first team all-district honors in basketball as a junior.
Kendall Johnson Jr. | CB | 6-0 | 193 | Lafayette, La. | St. Thomas More High School (Nevada)
Started 24 out of the 25 games in which he played as a sophomore and junior at Mountain West Conference-member Nevada … Mostly saw action at cornerback for the Wolf Pack … Started two games as a true freshman … Had one interception and 23 tackles as a freshman, 48 tackles as a sophomore and 31 tackles with a forced fumble as a junior … Was a member of two bowl teams, making trips to the 2014 New Orleans Bowl and the 2015 Arizona Bowl… Was a three-year letterman at St. Thomas More High School … Caught 60 passes for 1,100-plus yards and 14 touchdowns and had a combined eight interceptions as a junior and senior … Earned all-district honors his final two seasons with the Cougars … Named first team All-Acadiana and honorable mention All-State in his senior year … Also ran track at STM.
Luke Junkunc | OL | 6-3 | 256 | Houston, Texas | Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
Named a team captain in his senior year, Junkunc was a two-time unanimous District 19-6A selection. … Ranked No. 94 on VYPE magazine's final list of Top 100 recruits in the greater Houston area. … 247Sports' No. 184-rated offensive tackle in the country … Played for an 8-3 team as a senior. … Also was member of the track and field team as a discus thrower.
Johnny Lumpkin | TE | 6-5 | 265 | Atlanta, Ga. | Fredrick Douglass High School (Hutchinson CC)
Hauled in 11 catches for 146 yards – 13.3 yards per reception – and two touchdowns in nine games last season at Hutchinson CC … Ranked as high as No. 4 among 2017 season JUCO tight ends in the country by GridironRR.com … Redshirted in 2016 at Hutchinson … Also played defensive end in high school.
Chauncey Manac | DL | 6-3 | 252 | Homerville, Ga. | Clinch County High School (Garden City CC)
Posted 25 tackles including five sacks in seven games for Garden City CC … Also had a forced fumble … Spent one season at Georgia where he redshirted as an outside linebacker in 2016 while also being named the recipient of the James G. Minter and Michael J. Faherty Football Scholarship … Was a PrepStar Magazine four-star prospect and No. 54-ranked player nationally on Top 150 Dream Team … Rivals.com four-star prospect, No. 125 ranked player nationally, No. 9 weakside DE overall and No. 10 prospect in Georgia …. ESPN.com four-star prospect, ranked No. 115 player nationally, No. 17 DE overall, No. 59 player in the in the Southeast, No. 12 prospect in Georgia … 247sports.com four-star prospect, No. 114 overall player in the country, No. 10 weak side DE, No. 13 prospect in Georgia ... Scout four-star prospect, No. 151 overall prospect and No. 20 ranked DE nationally, No. 8 ranked DE in the South … Dawg Post No. 13 overall prospect and No. 2 DE in Georgia … 2015 Georgia Sports Writers Association Class 1A First Team All-State defense ... 2015 Atlanta Journal Constitution Class 1A All-State defense ... helped Clinch County to a 13-1 record and 2015 Class 1A state championship…. recorded 67 tackles, eight sacks and recovered three fumbles during senior season despite missing five games due to injury.
Lorenzo McCaskill | LB | 6-1 | 210 | Detroit, Mich. | Southfield High School (Holmes CC)
Ranked seventh nationally in the NJCAA in tackles with 106 for Holmes CC in 2017 … Tallied seven tackles-for-loss with four sacks and two forced fumbles … Ranked as the No. 2 outside linebacker in the state of Michigan and the No. 10 outside linebacker in the Midwest coming out of high school by 247Sports.com … Earned a spot on The Detroit News Dream Team after posting 141 tackles for Southfield A&T as a senior ... Helped Southfield A&T reach the Division 2 regional final … Notched 17 tackles-for-loss including nine sacks in 2016 … Nephew of ex-NBA All-Star Steve Smith.
Garrald McDowell | DL | 6-1, 270 | Covington, La. | Covington High School (Ole Miss)
Limited by a knee injury to six reserve-role games for Ole Miss last season … Had six tackles, including two for loss … After redshirting with the Rebels in 2014, saw action in nine games and had 11 tackles in 2015 … Also appeared in 11 games and had 16 tackles with a forced fumble as a reserve defensive end and special teams player in 2016 … Was an Under Armour All-American coming out of Covington, where he was ranked as the No. 111 recruit in the country – and No. 8 defensive tackle nationally – by ESPN.com … Named an All-State selection.
Max Mitchell | OL | 6-5 | 271 | Monroe, La. | Neville High School
A first-year starter last season, Mitchell was named to the All-District 2-4A first team at tackle as a senior … Played in the Louisiana High School Coaches Association I-20 Bowl East-West All-Star Game in Ruston … Helped guide Neville to the Class 4A State Championship game in 2015 … Also reached the Class 4A state championship game in 2016.
Kris Moncrief | ILB | 6-1 | 235 | Raleigh, Miss. | Raleigh High School
Ranked early last year by 247Sports as one of the top 18 prospects from Mississippi … Collected 28 tackles, including 3.0 for loss, over the last two seasons … Also rushed for 5,384 yards over three seasons including 216 carries for 1,726 yards and 21 touchdowns as a senior and 1,975 yards with 27 TDs as a junior … Named a Mississippi Association of Coaches' 2017 Class 3A All-State selection at fullback … Cousin of former Ole Miss and current Indianapolis Colts receiver Donte Moncrief.
Timaje Porter | DL | 6-1 | 350 | Grand Bay, Ala. | Theodore High School
Posted an impressive senior season in leading Theodore to the Class 7A playoffs … Finished with 65 tackles, including 20 for a loss, and posted seven sacks … Named a first team AL.com All-Coastal Alabama selection and a first team Class 7A All-State selection … Picked to play in the prestigious Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game … Rated the No. 12 recruit in Alabama by ESPN.com and was also ranked No. 31 senior prospect in Alabama according to the 247 composite rankings … National Honor Society member.
Andre "AJ" Riley | OLB | 6-2 | 195 | Plaquemine, La. | Plaquemine High School
Was a first-year defensive end starter in 2017 for Plaquemine High School … Awarded a spot in the U.S. Army/Brees Dream Foundation Red Stick Bowl all-star game … Generated 73 tackles, including 17 tackles-for-loss (15 sacks), with two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries last season … Standout in the classroom posting an ACT score of 25 with a 3.8 GPA … Given name is Andre Riley Jr., but prefers AJ … Also played as a receiver/tight end for Plaquemine … Was a member of the basketball and track teams at Plaquemine … Notched a time of 49.53 in the 400 meters.
Christopher Smith | RB | 5-10 | 186 | Nanih Waiya, Miss. | Nanih Waiya High School
Picked to play in the prestigious Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game held last month in Hattiesburg, Miss. … Named a second team (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger All-State pick as an "athlete" … Had 44 total tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries on defense in 2017 while also rushing for 1,172 yards and 23 touchdowns with 505 receiving yards and seven TD catches … Helped guide Nanih Waiya to a 15-1 season last year with the only loss of the year coming in the Class 1A state championship game … Named Mississippi's Class 1A Mr. Football by the Mississippi High School Activities Association and the Mississippi Association of Coaches after junior season … Also a member of the basketball team.
Asjlin Washington | DB | 6-0 | 177 | Houston, Texas | C.E. King High School
Was a defensive back standout for C.E. King High School … Also played receiver for the Panthers … Two-sport star serving as a member of the track team competing in the 400 meters and long-jump ... First team All-District 21-6A choice at corner back … also awarded first team all-district kick returner ... hauled in four interceptions, had three kickoff return touchdowns and averaged 38 yards per kickoff return and 15 yards per punt return ... also had one punt return for a touchdown … collected 36 tackles senior year ... 2017 Region 3 Qualifier in track.
Max Yarbrough | OL | 6-3 | 276 | Friendswood, Texas | Friendswood High School
Named a two-time unanimous first team all-district selection…Also earned first team All-Galveston County twice … Selected to VYPE Magazine's Houston Top 100 Players list … Participated in both the Nike Opening invitational and the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl.