By Tony Altobelli
Killeen Daily Herald
TEMPLE The fish tank is getting downright full.
The CenTex Barracudas of the Intense Football League announced the signings of four more players on Tuesday at Fuddruckers at the Temple Mall, bringing even more speed, size and diversity to the program.
Added to the team were Dawon Gentry, Quentin Lankford, Ken Jones and Olan Coleman and, according to coach Jon Lyles, this foursome brings a number of various skills to the squad.
"They're all fast, they play smart and they will all be a tremendous asset to our program," Lyles said. "We're really looking forward to seeing what these players can do for us."
A graduate of Denison High School, the 6-foot, 200-pound Gentry attended Texas A&M, where he ranked among the best in the Big 12 Conference in punt return yards.
"He's a big, physical type of cornerback and that's my type of player," Lyles said of Gentry. "He's a great character player that will be great representative for the community."
Following his time at A&M, Gentry transferred to Abilene Christian, where he averaged over 20 yards per punt return. He was a first-team, all-conference selection in 2003 and 2004 and was selected to the Whataburger Cactus Bowl All-Star Game in 2005.
Lankford is a prime example that great athletes come in all packages.
Standing just 5-8 and weighing 160 pounds, Lankford made a name for himself at the open tryouts in January and caught the eye of Lyles, who will use him as a wide receiver and cornerback.
"I hadn't recruited him and I had no idea what he could do, but he made a believer out of me," Lyles said. "He competed until the very end and he was making play after play out there."
Lankford graduated from Groveton High School before moving on to Howard Payne University for one year (2000-01) and McMurry University from 2001-04. At McMurry, he was a three-year letterman in basketball, a national qualifier in the pole vault (16 feet, 3 inches) and was the winner of the John Riddlehoover Fighting Heard Award for the football team.
"I think it's an advantage of mine for people to doubt what I can do," Lankford said. "I feel that my aggressiveness and my ability to get open are my strengths. I'm excited. I can't wait to get started."
Jones (6-1, 255) brings some size and speed to the Barracuda linebacking corps.
after earning all-conference and all-American honors at Navarro Junior College from 2001-03, Jones transferred to Tarleton State University, where he earned all-conference and all-region honors as a junior and all-conference and all-American honors as a senior.
"With his size, he runs well and brings some diversity to our defense," Lyles said. "He'll be used both as a lineman and linebacker on defense and will be a great addition as a fullback to our offense. He's got good hands and he'll be the guy we need to get that big yard or two."
Coleman was a two-time all-conference standout at Tyler Junior College before transferring to Tarleton State, where he was a second-team, all-conference selection as a junior and he impressed Lyles at the open tryout with his tremendous speed.
"Usually, clock guy lie about their times, but when he tried out, I had him at 4.3 (in the 40-yard dash) and another guy had him at 4.4, so he's the real deal," Lyles said. "I love fast guys in a passing system."
The Barracudas will host an invitation only tryout on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. at Belton High School and everyone is welcome to attend. Opening night is April 22 at 7:05 p.m. against the Laredo Lobos at the Bell County Expo Center.
For more information on the Barracudas, call (254) 939-3941.
Contact Tony Altobelli at firstname.lastname@example.org