Update: Local SBJ stars on the college stage

By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine

There’s always that one player who gets away from a Division I in-state school.

One of those is senior defensive tackle Elijah Chatman, who currently plays for SMU, and in high school starred for Evangel Christian.

Elijah is on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list, the Outland Trophy watch list, and the Lombardi Award watch list as one of the top linemen in all of college football.

Chatman is 6-0, 291 pounds of muscle with 4.8 speed in the 40. He’s one of the best players in the country at his position. His junior year he had 40 tackles, 20 solo, 10 tackles for loss, 2 1/2 sacks and two fumble recoveries for SMU. A three-year starter, he played in 11 games as a freshman.

It just goes to show that you never judge all players the same because he was 6-0 coming out of high school and all the big schools said he was too short.

Now he has a chance to go in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft in 2023.

Former high school head coach and current Centenary College head football coach Byron Dawson says Chatman is one of the strongest he ever coached.

“Elijah was a disruptive force on the line of scrimmage for us in high school,” said Dawson. “Extremely smart and intelligent, straight-A student at Evangel Christian, All-Academic AAC now. He was the strongest player I ever coached on any level. He did 225 pounds – an Evangel record – 35 times the summer before his junior year in high school.”

I saw him play in high school and remember his being a running back and defensive end/linebacker for his team.

I watched him play in 2021 for SMU, and he looks like a bigger version of a Devin White for his position.

Another player doing well is ULM walk-on and junior quarterback Garrett Hable from Benton.

Hable is the second-team quarterback right now for ULM and had a 46-yard pass completion as a backup against the University of Texas; he also played some snaps against Alabama this past weekend.

Hable is 5-8, 196 pounds, and a “shout out” to him and his family for not giving up on the dream of playing Division I football.

Wide receiver Detraveon Brown from Northwood is a talented sophomore wide receiver for North Texas in Denton.

Brown played a lot as a freshman in 2021, lettering in 11 games with 3 starts. He will miss all of 2022 with a torn ACL he suffered before the season. Hopefully he can get back in the swing of things soon as a 6-1, 180-pound 4.45 playmaker for the program.

HOT OFF THE PRESS, QUICKLY ON YOUR SCREEN:  For previews of every Louisiana high school and college football team, info on the state’s top senior prospects, and more, you can order the 2022 Louisiana Football Magazine at LaFootballMagazine.com – offering North Louisiana and South Louisiana editions, printed or digital. Magazines are ready for shipping now. 

Contact Lee at lbrecheen@aol.com