Friday’s sports briefs

Falcons sign ex-SLU cornerback Alford

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The Atlanta Falcons have signed cornerback Robert Alford, a second-round pick from Southeastern Louisiana.

Alford was the second of two cornerbacks selected by the Falcons in the draft. First-round pick Desmond Trufant remains unsigned.

Alford had 10 interceptions and started 31 games at Southeastern. He also returned punts and kickoffs in 2012, taking advantage of his 4.39 speed in the 40-yard dash. He impressed the Falcons with his performance against major college players in the Senior Bowl.

The only other remaining unsigned pick from the Falcons’ draft is quarterback Sean Renfree, a seventh-round selection from Duke.

LSU’s Dobson to coach for Team USA

OKLAHOMA CITY — LSU assistant softball coach Howard Dobson will be an assistant with the USA Softball Women’s National Team this summer for the second straight year.

Earlier this week, Dobson was a part of the three-day selection camp in Oklahoma City, where 32 players competed for 18 spots on the roster which was released Friday.

The team will compete in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico over the next two months as it tries to defend its 2012 gold medal at the World Cup of Softball VIII from July 11-14 in Oklahoma City.

Following the World Cup, Team USA will travel to the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International Championship in Surrey, British Columbia, from July 16-22.

NW State adds two football transfers

NATCHITOCHES — Northwestern State football coach Jay Thomas announced the addition of two transfers for the 2013 season.

Defensive back Jemarcus Johnson of Baylor and running back Garrett Atzenweiler of Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College will join the Demons next season.

Johnson, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound sophomore, played nine games at Baylor last year after a sparkling prep career at Lago Vista (Texas) High School, where he was rated the nation’s No. 62 safety prospect by and 66th by

Atzenweiler (6-0, 225) had 144 rushes for 853 yards and four TDs at Coffeyville.He was named Coffeyville’s “Most Outstanding Freshman” two seasons ago and won the “Hall of Fame Award” both years in the program.

NW State to set for 4 TV appearances

NATCHITOCHES — The Northwestern State football team will make at least four TV appearances this fall, two for home games along with the Southland Conference opener at Nicholls State and the annual league rivalry game at McNeese State.

The conference announced its largest-ever TV slate, with 19 games on three outlets: the Southland Conference Television Network (eight games), ESPN3 (six games), and Comcast SportsNet Houston (five games).

The Southland Network will televise the Demons’ Oct. 12 game at Nicholls, along with a Nov. 9 home game against Lamar.

The Nov. 2 home game against Central Arkansas will kick off at 7 p.m. and will be on ESPN3, as will the Nov. 16 visit to

The season-ending Northwestern State-Stephen F. Austin game on Nov. 23 could be a wild-card selection for the Southland Network, as it has been several times in recent years, including last season.

Compiled from news
releases and The AP.