After six years of playing football together, two Jourdanton standouts are officially going to continue their careers together at the next level.
On Wednesday, Feb. 10, Jourdanton seniors Cole Andrus and Jarel Lilly signed their National Letters of Intent to play football at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin.
“This is exciting. I’ve dreamed of this since I was a little kid,” Lilly said. “Now I get to play at the next level with one of my closest friends.”
TLU is an up-and-coming program in the Division III ranks of the NCAA. In 2017, the program was 6-4. Last year, the program was 8-2 and one win shy of reaching the DIII playoffs.
Potentially being a part of history in Seguin was a motivating factor for the quarterback-receiver duo.
“I’m really looking forward to that,” Lilly added. “I hope I can be a piece that they need [to make the playoffs].”
Head Coach and Athletic Director, and Cole’s father, Darrell Andrus has seen the two grow up together since he took the job at his alma mater in 2014. He isn’t the least bit surprised that Jourdanton’s most prolific passing duo is keeping the band together.
“I think it’s a unique situation when you have two kids who are close friends and played a lot of football together in the high school ranks that get to continue that at the college rank,” Andrus said. “It’s something that, from a personal standpoint, I’ll be really excited about to be able to go watch them continue throwing the ball around and catching it. Jarel’s basically been like another kid at our house. … We view him and his family as our family.”
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, DIII schools are playing a spring season this year. The Andrus family got to watch TLU’s season opener with Howard Payne. TLU would go on to beat Howard Payne on a two-point conversion.
Coach Andrus feels the two can help take TLU to new heights.
“I’m obviously very biased, but I think TLU just got two phenomenal football players that are gonna be program kids,” he said. “They play hard. They do right on and off the field. I expect them to have 4.0 GPAs. They’re gonna be good contributors to a program that’s on the up-and-up.”
TLU is a member of the American Southwest Conference with nine other schools, including East Texas Baptist University, Mary Hardin-Baylor and Southwestern University.