Skinner gets second shot at college football
Patterson High School alum and Tulane signee Deondre Skinner called it “a long, long, long trip” to get to his signing day and play football at Tulane.
The former high school prep standout, who originally signed with Houston last year, certainly faced challenges during the past year.
About two months after he signed last year, Skinner, 19 at the time, was arrested on a charge of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile in April 2013 for having consensual sex with a 14-year-old on five different occasions in 2013, according to an affidavit in 16th Judicial District Court.
Shortly after, the University of Houston rescinded their scholarship offer.
In court, the 16th Judicial District Attorney’s office only charged him with misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile, which he pleaded guilty to in June and was given a six-month suspended jail sentence but he was placed on supervised probation for two years and was required to pay a fine and court and other costs, according to court documents.
“I know things happened in the past and stuff, but I just stayed with it,” Skinner said Wednesday about his dream to play football.
Fortunately, his options were not lost, either, as Patterson coach Tommy Minton said Tulane was with him the entire time, while other state schools such as ULL and Louisiana Tech and the University of Louisiana at Monroe came in later.
Minton said that if Houston wouldn’t have “bailed on him,” perhaps he would have signed with them Wednesday.
Still, he said he was proud of Skinner.
“I’m proud of him,” Minton said. “He’s had a lot of adversity thrown his way in the past year and he’s fought through it. He had a goal. He wanted to go to college. He wanted to be a college football player and he’s fought through that. I also take my hat off to Tulane for sticking with him and staying the course when a lot of other schools bailed on him and they’re going to end up getting a good football player and a good kid out of that.”
During his year away from football, Skinner said he prepared himself for college football and also got a job.
“I just kept trying and kept trying, and now I’m where I’m at right now: I have another chance to go play college football in 2014,” he said.
Skinner said during his year away from the gridiron, it made him more eager to play, having to watch it on TV.
“I was supposed to be right there,” he said.
Now, though, he is, and he said during his time off, Tulane running backs/tight end coach Dave Johnson told him they are glad to have and if he does well as a freshman, he can play.
Tulane signed four tight ends in its class Wednesday.
“It’s a position of need for them. … So he (is) going to have an opportunity to play early if he can learn the offense,” Minton said.
Minton said Skinner is enrolled part-time at Tulane at the moment and will join the team in the summer.
Skinner said the vibe at Tulane is a great one and he is ready to play in the school’s new facility on campus, Yulman Stadium, which is under construction.
“I’m ready to just go compete, do what I got to do and make a name for myself,” he said. “That’s all.”