Tuesday, July 16, 2024

College football: Demons announce addition of six Division I transfers

by Russell Hedges
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By Jason Pugh, Northwestern State Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations

NATCHITOCHES – The Northwestern State football team’s roster makeover has been ongoing since first-year head coach Blaine McCorkle arrived in late November.

It has hit a different gear this summer as the Demons announced the addition of six Division I transfers Friday.

A trio of defensive linemen – Atravon Bossier of Texas Southern, UL Lafayette’s Cam George and Stetson’s Tyler Lewis – are joined by offensive lineman Caleb Billiot (Louisiana Tech) and wide receivers John Barr (ULM) and Kody Finley (Southeastern), helping the Demons build depth at a variety of positions.

“I am really excited to add these six young mento our program,” McCorkle said. “They all fit some very specific positional needs. It is no secret that our numbers were low in the spring on both sides of the line of scrimmage and adding four older big bodies, combined with high school guys coming in, will put our numbers about where they need to be on both the offensive and defensive lines. The addition of two long, tall wide receivers was also a need. We feel good about our receiving core as a whole, but we did need to add some size, and John and Kody both fit that mold. All of these guys will have a chance to make an impact on the field, but all are also the type of men we need to help continue building a strong culture in the locker room. They all six are high achieving students in the classroom and are of great character, and we are proud to welcome them to our NSU football family.”

Bossier, a 6-foot-3, 280-pound Lafayette native, comes to Northwestern State following three seasons at Texas Southern. A three-year letterman for the Tigers, Bossier appeared in 16 games, recording 29 tackles in his career. His most productive season came in 2022 when he collected 21 tackles (1.5 for loss). 

His Texas Southern career followed a 49-5 career at Acadiana High School where Bossier helped the Wreckin’ Rams win a pair of state championships, including the 2020 state crown at NSU’s Turpin Stadium. A second-team all-district pick, Bossier was teammates at Acadiana with George.

George, a 6-2, 245-pounder, spent three seasons at his hometown university. He had a tackle and a quarterback hurry in the 2023 season.

A two-year letterman at Acadiana, George was the No. 65 overall prospect in Louisiana according to 247Sports.com after earning LHSAA Class 5A Defensive MVP honors as a senior, helping the Wreckin’ Rams defend their state championship.

As a senior, George recorded 12 sacks and had 22 in his high school career. In his junior season, George collected 53 tackles (17 for loss), 10 quarterback hurries and three fumble recoveries for the state champions.

Lewis rounds out the new additions in the defensive trenches.

Lewis (6-1, 295) spent four seasons at Stetson, enjoying the best season of his career in 2023 when he tallied 28 tackles (1 for loss) and a half sack. He set a single-game, career-high with seven tackles against Valparaiso on Nov. 4, 2023. Lewis was a three-time Pioneer Football League Academic Honor Roll awardee and was named honorable mention All-PFL in 2022, recording 22 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Offensively, the Demons added Billiot (6-2, 295) from state rival Louisiana Tech.

Billiot spent three seasons at Louisiana Tech and was a two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll. A Houma native, Billiot played his high school ball at Terrebonne High School where he graduated with a 3.98 GPA.

Joining Billiot in the Demons’ offensive additions are Barr, who comes to Natchitoches from ULM after one season, and Finley, an intraconference transfer.

Prior to college, Barr – a 6-3, 191-pound receiver – enjoyed a standout career at Sterlington High School near Monroe. In his final three seasons with the Panthers, Barr caught 57 passes for 1,516 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Barr earned Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 3A All-State honors as a senior, catching 19 passes for 340 yards and seven touchdowns. A year earlier, Barr was an honorable mention all-state selection after catching 25 passes for 890 yards and 12 touchdowns for a Sterlington team that went undefeated and captured the state championship.

Finley is another tall receiver, standing 6-5. He spent two seasons at Southeastern, appearing in two games.

Prior to college, Finley played high school football at Ponchatoula where he hauled in 112 receptions for 1,685 yards and 16 career touchdowns while holding down a 3.5 grade point average.

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