When Ryan Antoine took over as West Saint Mary head coach a few years ago, the south Louisiana school suddenly became a must-stop for college recruiters assigned to the state.
West Saint Mary produced three FBS signees in February: LSU offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins, SMU wide receiver Daijuan Stewart and Houston DB/RB Jontrey Tillman (a longtime Stanford commit before a late switch).
The Wolfpack's current roster includes senior Trevell Dixon, a three-star projected safety who is primarily known on the prep level as a big-play dual-threat QB, and junior defensive lineman Dwaylan Spain. The latter, listed at 6-0, 240, has been dominant at both DT and DE for West Saint Mary, which is under the tutelage of a new coach after Antoine accepted the head coaching position at 5A Westgate.
Dixon was Nebraska's first 2014 pledge, although he reconsidered and re-opened his recruitment after Corey Raymond departed as Cornhuskers DBs coach for the same job at LSU.
Arizona State and TCU are two programs that appeal to Dixon; Nebraska is still under consideration, as well, and while the Huskers obviously lost traction with Dixon for a span, head coach Bo Pelini probably made up ground by hiring Louisiana native Terry Joseph (away from Tennessee) as Raymond's replacement.
With that in mind, Spain expects to keep the streak of Wolfpack college signees alive when it's his turn to sign a letter of intent.
"I have a good first step with good hands on my pass rush," said Spain, who mentioned Houston, Memphis, Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech and the in-state Ragin' Cajuns in Lafayette as early schools of interest.
"I play end and tackle, but I'm not the end type as much as tackle. My stats (through half the season) are 25 tackles with six sacks and 11 tackles for loss. I have a goal of 10 sacks -- then I want to get more -- and I want to make all-district."
West Saint Mary made the playoffs in Antoine's final year at the helm, but the winless (0-8) Wolfpack are going through a rebuilding process in 2012.
Regardless, a warrior like Spain - truly devoted to the game - can quickly find a bright spot.
"Trevell Dixon is such a playmaker," he said. "He makes so many plays for us, even if he has no blocking."
Dixon is pictured below at a team workout.