Indians receiver to play for NFL legend Ed McCaffrey in wide-open Big Sky Conference
Waxahachie senior Joseph Lankford will be taking his football-catching talents to the University of Northern Colorado next season and will be playing for a local NFL legend.
Lankford signed an NCAA Division I letter of intent with the Bears on Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA’s early college signing period for football. Recruiting Lankford was none other than UNC head coach Ed McCaffrey, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Denver Broncos, a three-time champion overall, and a 13-year NFL star.
McCaffrey was hired following the 2019 season, but last year was McCaffrey’s first season officially, as the school canceled football in 2020 because of COVID-19.
According to recruiting experts, Lankford is expected to be a flex athlete for the Big Sky Conference team and member of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.
Lankford is a multi-sport athlete who also plays significant minutes for the Runnin’ Indians basketball team. He announced his commitment to UNC on Wednesday morning after taking an official visit to the Greeley, Colo. campus.
The Indians were a run-first team last season, but when they did throw the ball, they used it to devastating effect. Lankford’s horn-beating 36-yard catch from quarterback Roderick Hartsfield Jr. at the end of the first half helped send the Tribe to a 30-21 home win over Mansfield Lake Ridge on Sept. 24, and Lankford virtually repeated the feat in a game at Cedar Hill on Oct. 8.
Lankford, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound tight end and receiver, finished the season with 19 catches for 308 yards and four touchdowns and led the Indians in yards per catch as WHS finished 6-5 and returned to the Class 6A Division II playoffs for the second year in a row. Lankford was voted the District 11-6A Utility Player of the Year by the coaches of the district.
Lankford will be joined in the Rocky Mountain State by two fellow football players from North Texas in this year’s class: wide receiver Xavier Brown of Cedar Hill and wide receiver Trevis Graham of Arlington, a Texas State transfer.
Playing in one of the strongest FCS conferences in the nation, Northern Colorado finished 3-8 overall this past season and 2-6 in Big Sky play. The Bears lost six of their last seven games.