July 6, 2020

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LA High School Football

Diamond in the Rough: Logan Brown

Logan Brown is an offensive lineman from Jena High School in Jena, La. The 2021 recruit stands at 6’3 and weighs in at 240 pounds. Brown has incredible instincts and the ability to get to the next level in blocking schemes. Playing mostly along the interior line in 2019, Brown made was a difference maker for the Fighting Giants, having several impact blocks that were able to spring his ball carrier for big plays. When Brown meets defenders at the point of attack one of two things are on the menu; they are driven three to five yards down field or they are pancaked, side of eggs optional. Brown has a 480 pound squat, 255 pound clean, and 250 pound bench. He currently has a 3.6 GPA with a 20 ACT

CHECK OUT HIS FILM HERE

When did you start playing football?

I started playing when I was in seventh grade, I was about 12 or 13. I played for Jena middle school.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

It was just straight football.

Are you playing any other sports now?

No sir, I am too scared of getting an injury for football.

Were you always an offensive lineman, or did you play any other positions growing up?

I actually played defensive line all through junior high and I changed to offensive line my ninth grade year. My coach just saw something I guess. He thought I would make a better offensive lineman than a defensive I guess.

What were some of your goals that you set for yourself last season?

My first one was be the best lineman I could be in every aspect. Second, was to up my game. Like on a play, I wanted to have a really big down field block for a touchdown. That was pretty much it, just the drive to go get it.

Speaking of drive, what motivates you the most?

My teammates, for sure. There is something about being up there at six o’clock in the morning with them boys. There is no other feeling like it. I feel like I owe it to them.

Who would you say some of your biggest influences are?

Probably my parents, my coaches, and my close friends. My parents have always been with me, and behind me every step. My coaches, they’ve been with me taking their time, extra time to be with you when they don’t need to. And, my close friends, helping me make the right decisions. Like if I need to make a tough decision I’ll ask them about it, they’ll help me out a little bit.

Who would you say your favorite NFL player is?

Zack Martin, he’s just the best guard to ever do it. If you watch him, every little thing he does is right.

Do you think attitude is a factor in winning?

Absolutely, a bad attitude will do nothing but bleed off into the team and keep spreading. At the end of the day you will have nothing but an unsuccessful football team, I don’t care how much talent you have.

On a scale of 1-10, what would be your ideal game day performance number?

Eight or nine. I mean you have to have confidence in yourself regardless. Everybody is going to miss a block here and there, being consistent is key.

At the end of this year, what would you want your coaches and teammates to say about you?

That I was driven, and how hard I worked. Just remember how hard I wanted it for other people as well, and not just for me.

Since there hasn’t been any real summer camps, and spring football has gone to the wayside due to the quarantine. What have you been doing to keep yourself in football shape?

There’s been a gym open here in my town, and I’ve stayed in there every second that I could. I started running more too, and we started our summer workouts on the eighth of June. Before that gym opened though, I had a couple dumbbells in my house, and I just did what I could. Reviewed a bunch of film, looked at what I need to work on, and tried to make the best of it.

What do you love about the game of football?

It’s not just football, it’s each new offense that teaches you that it’s going to hurt sometime, and you’re going to have to fight through the pain to get the prize on Friday night. It teaches you things that you need to know other than football.

Discovering Kenner Discovery

Anyone that knows me knows how much I love my job. I love getting out and trying to help kids get seen so they can pursue their dreams of one day running out of a college tunnel and playing the game they love. Over the years that I have been doing this, I have been able to meet some amazing people from all over Louisiana and Texas. One such person I have meet is Head Coach P.J. Sprunk; Head ball coach at Kenner Discovery in New Orleans. Coach Sprunk played his college ball at Louisiana College in Pineville, La. The one thing I like about him is that he always is putting his kids first. He is always reaching out to try and help them get into college.

Coach Sprunk runs a very disciplined program at Kenner Discovery and has created an atmosphere of success in a very short while. You may have or not heard of Kenner Discovery. They just finished their very first season as a program in 2019. Going 6 and 4 in their first season and only missing the playoffs by a margin of a point. Kenner was the ONLY football program in Louisiana that missed on making the playoffs in 2019 with a winning record.

With the culture of success Coach Sprunk has built in a very short time at Kenner Discovery, I see only positive growth for this young program. Last season he had a couple young men acheive college offers and will be attending and playing college ball this fall. He had one of his players from last season play in the 2019 Louisiana Gridiron Football All-Star Bowl Game.

Coach Sprunk told me that they have a great roster with a several guys that could play college football. Be on the lookout for these following players for the 2020 season: JR OLB Zander Milton, SR RB Oscar Casco Jr., SR RB Matthew Geraci, SR ATH Aaron Crim, JR TE Chad Woodson, SR DB Drake Johnson, SO DT Deshawn Clark All-District last season as a Freshman), SO OL Dashawn Clark, JR OL Brian Lacey, SO WR Labyron Martin, SR OL Muhammad Abbas, and SO DE Angel Rivera.

Diamond in the Rough: Owen Smith

Owen Smith is a defensive lineman from Ascension Catholic High School in Donaldsonville, La. The 6’4 255 pound class of 2021 recruit has an incredible first step. Getting into the pads of offensive linemen before they get out of their stance in many instances. Not only does Smith have elite speed, but he uses his strength and power to split double teams to sack quarterbacks and ball carriers in the backfield alike. As a junior Smith recorded over 90 tackles. Owen tells me he has a 250 pound bench, 380 pound squat, and 375 pound deadlift. He is currently carrying a 3.5 GPA.

CHECK OUT HIS FILM HERE

When did you start playing football?

I started playing football when I was about five or six years old. I started playing pee-wee football for the Bayou Lafourche Raiders, and I stayed with that program for probably over eight years. It’s been tackle football since then.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Yes sir. I played all sports growing up. Basketball to swimming to baseball. This past year, I’ve played sports in high school other than football as well. I’m still playing basketball, and baseball. I’m doing track too. I’m throwing the discus and shotput and javelin. Just really field events.

Growing up did you play any other positions or was it strictly defensive line?

Growing up I played all around, wherever the coaches put me. I was always eager to play football, and I was usually bigger than everyone else.

Looking back at this past season, what were some of your goals?

Make it to the Louisiana Super Dome. As a team, not really as far as myself, I really tried to help hold the team together. I wanted us to go as far as we could.

Who would you say some of your biggest influences are?

Some of my biggest influences from last year are probably Nick Hilliard, who went on to play at Princeton University. He taught me it doesn’t matter how big you are, no matter how strong you are. If you strive you will succeed. He was also one of the smartest kids at our school, academically. Another big influences is probably my sister, she plays at Sam Houston State for volleyball. Me and my family have always been around sports and we’re always really competitive.

What would you say motivates you the most?

My mom and my family. They’ve done so much for me, I really just want to get my college paid for and get a good education. I just want to make my family proud.

Do you believe attitude is a factor in winning?

Yes, very much. It’s a mindset that can be transferred to the body. Like a physical mindset almost.

Who is your favorite NFL player?

I would have to say probably Drew Brees, because he has a positive attitude no matter what the game is. He has a strong character, and he respects the game, and he is well rounded.

At the end of this coming season, what would you want your coaches and teammates to say about you?

I’m a player with a good head on my shoulders, and that I have the drive to go play at the next level. I helped the program all I could and made it better. I am committed to the game.

On a scale of 1-10 what would your ideal game day performance number be?

It all depends on the atmosphere of the game. I feel I perform better with higher competition. But I would say a 10. I strive and I keep a heavy mindset on the game, just to perfect myself.

If you weren’t playing football, what sport do you think you would be playing?

Probably basketball, honestly, because it’s a team sport everyone is needed at that position. Everyone is needed to work as a unit, kind of like football.

What are some of your goals for this upcoming season?

Yes, I want to lead the team in sacks, and tackles. I want to lead the division in tackles also.

Diamond in the Rough: Kyle Wickersham

Kyle Wickersham is a junior quarterback for Archbishop Rummel, in Metairie, LA. The 6’3 225lbs gunslinger has led his team, the Raiders, to an impressive 12-0 season. If the name Wickersham sounds familiar, that might be because of his father Jeff, the third all-time career passer at LSU. Kyle looks to be following in the footsteps of his father, going 118 of 198 for 1,379 yards and 16 touchdowns with just six interceptions and completing nearly 60 percent of his passes on the year. The big bodied junior also added four more touchdowns on the ground this season.   

When did you start playing football?

I started playing when I was about five years old, at the playground by my house. My dad would always bring me outside to throw the football around, and we would have neighborhood games. I really just grew up around football my entire life.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Yes sir, I played lacrosse, I played basketball, I played baseball, and volley ball. I found that playing so many sports, in the long run, is going to help you with the sport you are going to end up playing in the long run, and in the future. If you are a well-rounded athlete, it helps you at every sport.

So being from the Metairie area is lacrosse a new thing for you?

Yes sir, so a coach came into my school, I went to Christian Brothers School in New Orleans, and he brought lacrosse to the school and he asked me to come play. I was like ‘yeah, I’ll try it out’, it was kind of a new thing in New Orleans, and everyone was trying it out. I only played for that one year, then it got to be too much and began to interfere with baseball and basketball. That was my sixth grade year.

What do you love about football?

I love the brotherhood with all your teammates. It’s like you’re with your family every single day. I love how every single week is preparing for one game. It’s not just game after game, you really have to put your whole heart into that game plan in order to win. There is nothing better than being on the field, having 15,000 people in the stands watching you, and you’re just out there with your brothers to win the game.

Coming into the season, what were some of the goals you set for yourself?

I set a goal of not hurting my team with anything I do. Not turning the ball over a lot, being very precise in my reads, and just win games. That was my main goal, our whole entire team’s goal is to win State. So as long as we’re winning games, I feel like I am doing my job, and the team feels like they’re doing their job.

So far it seems like you’re living up to those goals.

Yes sir, so far.

What style of play do you think best describes you?

I would say, a Field General. I am very careful with my reads, I don’t make many mistakes, when it comes to throwing interceptions, or turning the ball over. We have the best defense in the country, there is no reason for me to try to force anything. I can go through my reads, I make the right reads, and I would say that is how my game is.

Who do you think are some of your biggest influences?

Well, my dad is definitely my biggest influence. He has been coaching me ever since I picked up a football. That is how he raised me, he taught me ‘you’re the quarterback, and you gotta take all the blame, with all the honor.’ I realized after the season, you get all the blame if stuff goes wrong, and you get all the praise if stuff goes right. So he has been my biggest role model.

Speaking a little bit of quarterback, have you always played that position, or did you play any other positions growing up?

No sir, this is my first year ever playing quarterback. I was always a middle linebacker or running back. They always wanted me to run the ball, those previous places I have been, we really didn’t throw the ball. So they always wanted me to play running back, and mostly linebacker.

Do you feel attitude is a factor in winning?

Yes sir, I think it’s 100% attitude. You take one play off and you can easily lose a game in one play. I think you have to have the mindset of every single play is just as important as the last play of the game. I think you have to have a mindset of any team can come out and beat you, don’t ever come out and get too cocky, or too complacent. You just have to go out and keep working hard.

What do you think is a strength in your game play?

I think a strength is, don’t let anything rattle me. I think I’m pretty confident when it comes to taking hits. I’m tough when it comes to getting through bad things that might happen during the game. I’m able to kind of bury my head and push through it. That’s also all credit to my teammates, they never get on me for anything, if I make a mistake, they are always encouraging me. That is just the type of team that we are, that is why we are so successful.

Being this is your first year at quarterback, what do you think is one thing you have excelled at on the field?

One thing I think I have excelled at throughout the games is just getting comfortable. Really staying comfortable in the pocket, you know seeing that the first read is not there and just trying to take off. Now I am going through my reads, and making the right read. That is something that I have been able to excel throughout the year with. That is the coaching that we have here (at Rummel) as well. They have really helped me with that this season, with that aspect.

Over this season, do you think that the speed of the game has slowed down for you?

Oh yes, 100 percent! The first game I went out there, against St. Paul’s, it wasn’t even a game, it was just a jamboree. It felt like bullets were flying, and going in against St. Aug. who is a very fast team, bringing the blitz. I felt like I was sitting back there for four seconds each play, just because of how much confidence I have gotten this season, how many plays I have gotten. The first time going back to quarterback, everything moves faster than practice. So it was just getting used to the game speed.

So a little fun question I like to ask everyone, what is your go to song in the locker room?

The one song I have to listen to before a game is probably ‘Handsome and Wealthy’ by Migos. Gotta listen to it.

Diamond in the Rough: Lutrell Pruitt Jr.

Lutrell Pruitt is a class of 2021 recruit from Southern Lab High School in Baton Rouge, La. The 5’8 185 pound running back was a bruiser for the Kittens last season. Pruitt rushed for over 1400 yards on a 150 carries last season finding the end zone 16 times in the process. His excellent vision, combined with an impressive ability to catch the ball out of the backfield made him a threat to take it the distance on screens against aggressive defensives. His speed and strength is what gave him the advantage in one-on-one matchups, as it often took more than one defender to tackle him.

CHECK OUT HIS FILM HERE.

When did you start playing football?

I started playing when I was six, I played for the Scotlandville Hornets in Baton Rouge.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Yes sir. I played soccer, basketball, baseball, and I ran track. I played tee ball first. I started that when I was like four or five. Then I moved into football and the other sports.

Did you always play running back or did you pay any other positions?

I played linebacker too. I played linebacker throughout little league, and then when I got to high school it was just straight running back.

Going back to last season, what were some of your goals?

I wanted to slim down a little bit and get faster. Also, help out my team and be a leader. That was basically it.

How did you accomplish those goals?

With the slimming down part, I started working out more. I would do work on my own after practice. As far as helping out my team, I was just doing what coach asked me to do, the best that I could.

You guys will be losing two very vocal leaders this year on defense with Jabar (Triplett) and Mike (Wicker) leaving, how are you going to fill that position?

Just lead by example, set the example for the young guys, doing what it takes.

Who would you say some of your biggest influences are?

Ty Davis, the running back before me. He taught me a lot. Things like drills, how to read holes, how to read defenses. He taught me a lot. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, just because we’re almost the same size. I look up to him and I like his highlights.

Who then, would you say your favorite NFL player is?

Probably Mark Ingram, because we have the same running style. He’s small but he can run people over.

On a scale of 1-10 what would your ideal game day performance number be?

Maybe seven or eight. I always try to play my best, but I always feel I could have done better. That’s why I say a seven or eight.

What motivates you the most?

My parents, working hard for me every day. So that me and my other siblings are straight. So I feel like I have to work to repay them.

Speaking of working hard, with no real camps this summer, what have you been doing to keep yourself in shape during the quarantine?

I have been going to a trainer, I was doing that the entire quarantine time. Then we started practice a few weeks ago, so I’ve been working out with the team. Then sometimes I’ll come home and work on the (speed) ladder. Do that to stay in shape.

At the end of this season, what would you want your coaches and teammates to say about you?

That I was a great vocal leader. I helped out, that I contributed to the team. That I set the example.

If you weren’t playing football, what sport do you think you would be playing?

Baseball, yes sir, definitely baseball.

Diamond in the Rough: Luke Alleman

Luke Alleman is quarterback from Thibodaux High School in Thibodaux, La. The 6’2 186 pound class of 2021 recruit has the ability to beat defenses with his arm and his feet. Moving in the pocket, Alleman constantly keeps his eyes down field, and when the pocket collapses has the ability to get outside the pocket and scramble for extra yardage or find an open receiver down field for a big play. Luke tells me he has a 235 pound bench, 385 pound squat, 205 pound clean, and a 355 pound dead lift. He is currently carrying a 3.0 GPA.

CHECK OUT HIS FILM HERE.

When did you start playing football?

I started playing when I was about six, they only allowed you to play seven and eight year olds back then. But, I have a twin brother, and my dad figured we were so tough that we could play with the older kids. So I ended up playing three years instead of two. I played bantam football for the Thibodaux Vikings.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Yes sir, I played baseball, football, and basketball up until my eighth grade year. Then up until my sophomore year I played just football, and baseball. Then I just concentrated on football year round to get schools to look at me.

Did you always play quarterback or did you play any other positions?

I played linebacker and safety growing up, but when I got to my eighth grade year my coach asked me if I wanted to try out for quarterback and I said yeah. I got to have the ball in my hands every play. I learned how to read defenses and growing up like that it felt natural so when I got to high school I stuck with it.

Going back to last season, what were some of your top goals?

I wanted to make it to the playoffs. My sophomore year we actually missed the playoffs. So my main goal was just making the playoffs, I knew we had a good receiving corps, I was just trying to win as many games as possible I guess. Just win every game and make it to the playoffs.

Who would you say some of your biggest influences are?

My dad, of course my dad is one of my biggest influences because I live with him. He wakes up every morning to go to work at six o’clock and works until five o’clock every day. He has taught me, and I’ve grown up with the mentality that there’s no excuses. You wake up and do what you have to do. He is probably one of the biggest influences in my life.

Who is your favorite NFL player?

Drew Brees, just from watching him with my dad, and the way he gets out of his stance. Even though he is a smaller guy, he plays with a big guy mentality. I like how he can make every throw and make every read. Yeah, definitely Brees is my favorite player.

What motivates you the most?

My dad, my dad motivates me the most. He wakes up every morning and does what he has to do to provide for me and my family. The fact that he wakes up every morning and does all that for me and my family, I just know I have to go play DI ball and make it to the NFL and give it back to him.

Going into this season, what are your expectations?

My expectations this season are very high. Going in all the guys know what they have to do, we’ve been going over it. We’ve had a lot of spring ball, I’ve had my offense together, going over plays, going over reads. Looking at coverages, sending out game film. So my guys should know what’s going on when we finally get out there. So, expectations are high, make it to the semi-final make it to the state championship that’s my expectations going into the season this year.

Speaking of spring ball, and not really having summer ball, what have you been doing to keep yourself in shape during quarantine?

I get up at 630 every morning and get our team lift in and field work. Then I have a trainer that I go do conditioning with around noon, and then at night I’ll get another lift in and I’ll get some throwing in at night. We have a lift day every two days, so on Mondays we have a lift day, then on Tuesdays it’s a position day, then a lift day and so on. So some days I’ll throw and some days I’ll lift.

On a scale of 1-10 what would be your ideal game day performance number?

I would say a 10. You’re trying to prepare the whole week to play the game, and they’re going to throw at you every blitz package, every coverage, man coverage, zone coverage. You try to be prepared as much as possible before you go into the game, so you can have something in the back of your mind to throw at them to go against what they throw at you. So you try to prepare for a 10 type game.

At the end of this year, what would you like your coaches and teammates to say about you?

I want them to say that I was the hardest working guy in the room. I want them to know when I walk on the field, that won’t give any excuses. That I was the guy that got it done.

Do you think attitude is a factor in winning?

Attitude affects a lot. Because, if you go into a game being timid or scared, or walk out of the locker room with doubt, of course you are going to lose the game. But if you go into the game knowing you prepared for this team, I know their tendencies. Your odds are going to be way better heading into that game.

If you weren’t playing football, what sport do you think you would be playing?

Probably baseball, I was a pretty good pitcher. I was throwing high eighties low nineties when I was pitching off the mound.  

Diamond in the Rough: Kendrell Williams

Kendrell Williams is a class of 2021 running back from Carencro High School in Lafayette, La. The 6’1 210 pound athlete quickly draws comparison to another running back from Louisiana, Leonard Fournette. As a junior Williams rushed for over 1900 yards and had more than 25 rushing touchdowns. The 2021 recruit is not only an accomplished running back, but also excels in track and field and holds several Louisiana state records in the 400, the 4×100, the 4×200, and the 4×400. Williams is an explosive player, and has been clocked with 4.5 forty speed. That speed coupled with his agility and elusiveness give him the ability to make defenders miss in a phone booth. Williams tells me he has a 455 pound squat, 315 pound bench, and 275 pound power clean. He currently has a 3.2 GPA and an 18 ACT.

CHECK OUT HIS FILM HERE.

When did you start playing football?

I was six playing flag football. When I was seven and eight I started playing with the nine and ten year olds. I was the hardest hitter on the team, because I used to play with my older brother Kordell Williams. He’s at McNeese now, and he was a hard hitter. I always wanted to hit hard like him, so I wanted to prove myself and play with the bigger boys and show everyone that I could be like Kordell. At the rec center everyone knew Kordell.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

I ran AAU track growing up. I think I started that around the same time I started playing flag football. But I also played recreation basketball too. But that’s really it, I didn’t do too much besides that. I stopped doing AAU track around 15 because that’s when I got more involved in high school football.

Do you still run track for your high school though?

Yes sir, I have a state championship in the 400 and two state championships in the 200. As soon as I stepped on campus we started winning championships.

Did you play any other positions other than running back?

When I played flag, I was running back, tight end, linebacker, safety, and corner. I played everywhere, I was usually the biggest and most athletic on the field. When coaches would pick their teams, they used to fuss over me.

Going back to last season, tell me some of the goals that you wanted to achieve.

Last season, I wanted to lead my team further than we got before. I wanted to have a good leadership personality, if we were losing by a touchdown or two I wanted to be that guy that lifted everyone up. Keeping everyone’s head on straight. Going back to my freshman year, every time we would get down by a touchdown everyone would just want to give up and quit. I don’t want to be that type of person, I know we are better than that. As long as we pick our heads up, we can be more hyped on the sidelines and celebrate and be able to win a game because we have that momentum. I feel like if we have that and having fans in their seats, and if we keep our yards up, we will succeed more.

Going back to motivating your team do you think attitude is a factor in winning?

Attitude is a known thing. Attitude is something that you are never going to lose in your life. You can’t win a game with a negative attitude. Good coaches, coach, good recruiters recruit. There is the good, the bad, and the ugly. The ugly is the attitude, the bad is the attitude, and the good is the attitude. That’s what a lot of recruiters look at the attitude. You could be the next Michael Vick, and with a bad attitude you’re not going anywhere.

Who are some of your biggest influences?

Honestly, the will to win, is one of my biggest influences. Then family is another big influence for me. Also, I do like the attraction. I like to get noticed. But I always put the will to win, and my family before getting noticed. As long as I have the will to win and my family behind me, everything else is going to come.

Who is your favorite NFL player?

I like Leonard Fournette, because a lot of people have compared me to him and I’m basically the same size as he was in high school. He came out of high school at around 215 and I’m right around there. I’m fast, and when I need to cut, I cut. He is also one of my biggest influences at the running back positions. That’s my dude, Leonard Fournette.

On a scale of 1-10 what would be your ideal game day performance number?

I would say if we’re winning the game, I think a 6. But if you were the outstanding player on the field, about an 8 or 9. But if you’re winning every game and you’re always the outstanding player of the game. I would have to give it a 10. Because if you are really winning like this and performing, then clearly you are one of the main parts of the program. Not just talented, but part of the attitude, and the discipline, that it takes to being a great athlete. So I would say a 10.

At the end of this year, what would you want your teammates and coaches to say about you?

First off I would want my coaches to say that I have the best attitude. The best positive attitude and positive influence on the team. I would want them to say that I was a great athlete. Of course I would like them to say that I helped them win a championship, but that can’t happen if I don’t have a positive attitude. Best workout, the best enthusiasm, I want them to say all that.

If you weren’t playing football what sport do you think you would be playing?

I think I would be running track or probably playing basketball. I think I would be a good basketball player if I focused on basketball how I focused on football.     

Diamond in the Rough: Jalen Thomas

Jalen Thomas is an outside linebacker from Pope John Paul High School in Slidell, La. At 6’1 245 pounds, the 2021 recruit has already flashed greatness on film. Taking on lead blockers and blowing them up in the backfield to make a play on the ball carrier for a negative stop. Lining up on the strong side or the weak side, Thomas seems unblockable at the point of attack. His ability to diagnose plays quickly, and his explosive get off, are what helped him earn the 2019 Class 2A DPOTY in Louisiana. Thomas tells me he has an impressive 520 pound squat, 315 pound bench press, and 525 pound dead lift.

CHECK OUT HIS FILM HERE.

When did you start playing football?

I started playing football at the age of six. You know my dad was a little hesitant about me playing that early. I used to throw the football around every day at that age and my mom was like ‘I think he’s ready’ and it really just started from there. That was for the SYFA, the Slidell Youth Football Association.

What do you love about football?

The main thing I love about football, is that it’s about to teach you about life. It’s something that can keep you from getting in trouble, as far as going with the wrong crowd. I love how we can all fight together and we’re able to have fun while playing a fun sport.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

So my first year of playing a different sport was my sixth grade summer. I played basketball in a church league. I’m not playing basketball anymore, but I do power lifting and won the 2A title last year for my weight class.

Did you always play linebacker or did you play any other positions?

So before linebacker, most of my life I kind of played defensive end. It wasn’t until I got to Pope my freshman year that I was able to show everybody all the positions I can play, like tight end, fullback, and even some defensive tackle.

Looking back at last season what were some of your goals?

My first goal was to try to help my team get to the playoffs. I wanted us to have a winning season, our school has been up and down as far as winning goes. I wanted us to end on a high note. My second goal was to get first team All-District for my position, I achieved that and I am quite happy about that. And my third goal was to get first team All-State, which I came up quite short. But, I am definitely going to try harder for this upcoming year.

So going into this season, have you set any personal goals for yourself?

Yes sir, I’ve already set goals for myself. One of those goals being one that I had for myself last year which was try to get first team All-State, and repeat All-District. I want to be able to become more of a quicker player. I think I can be quicker than what I show, and I want to be able to use my hands more.

Who would you say some of your biggest influences are?

Definitely my dad, my dad has been with me the whole way. Ever since I was a kid he’s been with me. He has taught me many things, not just in football but in life. Obviously, him being drafted by the Detroit Lions and he played there for a little while. Having somebody like him, who has made it to the top level really helps me out in the long run. He’s able to teach me things. Also, my mother, she has two degrees from college. She is always able to make sure I am ok, and I am really grateful for her.

Do you think attitude is a factor in winning?

Yes sir, 100 percent. A winning attitude and a winning mentality you really have to keep that. You have to have a winning mentality if you want to be successful not just in football, but in anything you do. I feel like that mentality and attitude goes a long way.

Who would you say your favorite NFL player is?

Aaron Donald. I like how he is able to use his hands and cause havoc. He can disrupt plays, he can beat you with finesse, he can beat you with his hands, and he can beat you with bull rush. His strength and everything. That’s something I like about him.  

Louisiana-Texas Gridiron Football

Since the start of Louisiana Gridiron Football; we have dedicated our time, resources, and energy into helping young football players get noticed by coaches at the next level. We work with players from all over the state including small towns and areas that are traditionally overlooked. To date LGF has helped over 2,500 players get college offers. LGF does this by publishing a monthly magazine featuring local high school and college players, providing camps to help train technique, hosting a Bowl Game to increase player exposure, and doing interviews with coaches and players. The goal is more young men getting to college and becoming successful members of the community. We firmly believe that one changed life can change a whole community. Check out the video below to learn a little more about what we do and hear testimonials from some players we have helped.

We just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all of our customers and supporters that have helped us over the past year and who continue to support us. We are in survival mode as most small businesses are during these unprecedented times. We need you now more than ever and we are so grateful for your support. In response to requests for another way to support LGF we have added this donation link below. We will continue to do our best to bring you the best of high school and college football while keeping our workers safe and healthy during the continuation of phase 2. Again, thank you all for your kindness, encouragement, your friendships, support, and your business.

Diamond in the Rough: Cejae Ceasar

Cejae Ceasar is a defensive back in the 2021 recruiting class. The 6’3 200 pound athlete plays for the Iowa High School Yellow Jackets in Iowa, La. Ceasar had an impressive junior season lining up at both safety and corner for the Yellow Jackets in 2019. The rangy prospect also served as a kick returner for his team, showing off his vision, agility and acceleration when he had the football in his hands. Cejae tells me he has a 275 pound bench, 405 pound squat, and 405 pound dead lift.

CHECK OUT HIS FILM HERE.

When did you start playing football?

I started playing flag football when I was about five. It was Ward 3 flag football. My mom was an athletic director at a recreation center for the sport. I played for the Steelers that was our team name.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

Yes sir, the first sport I played growing up was track. I started running track when I was three. Then I started playing flag, and got into basketball a little later.

Wait, you ran track when you were three?!?

Yes sir, I ran the 60, and the 100. I’m still running track today, and I still play basketball too.

Did you always play DB or did you play any other positions growing up as well?

My first position was quarterback when I started pee-wee around seven or eight. Then in middles school I started playing DB.

Going back to last season, what were your top three goals?

Last season, my top three goals were to get more wins, because the previous season we went 8-2. So it was my goal to get more wins and we were a very young team. Another one was to become All-District DB and All-District receiver. Because the year prior I felt like I did good, but I didn’t get put on any teams so I felt like I needed to work harder. I ended up being All-State DB and All-District receiver. The third goal was to make a name for myself.

Going into this year, what are some goals that you have set for yourself?

This year, I want us to try to make a run for the Dome. Another is be committed to a school before the season is over. And, since it’s my last year here, just have fun with my boys.

Who would you say are some of your biggest influences?

Biggest influences, God number one. I grew up in a church family, and my mom was very spiritual. That’s a big part of me. Number two is my parents, my mom and my dad. They have taught me a lot things. My mom coached me in track, my dad coached me in football and basketball. So they have both been big influences in my life. I look to my parents for a lot.

Who is your favorite NFL player?

Ed Reed. He is probably one of the smartest DBs ever. He wasn’t that big, he wasn’t that fast, but he was a ball hawk. He had great instincts. Currently though, I think it might be Jamal Adams. Just because he is so explosive.

On a scale of 1-10 what is your ideal game day performance number?

I strive for 10 every time I come out. I’m not looking to play bad, so I guess a 10 every single game.

What have you been doing to keep yourself in football shape during the pandemic?

Recently, I went to Colorado for a month for training. I was training in high elevation because my mom lives up there. I was training with one of the Broncos trainers. I also did some speed training. Now we have high school work outs with skills, that’s like running routes and stuff like that.

What do you think is a strength in your game play?

Versatility. I feel like you can put me at any position on the field and I am going to compete at a high level.

What type of versatility are you bringing this season?

Major versatility! Currently I’m playing a weak safety outside linebacker hybrid. So my position at weak safety I kind of just move around the field. Then going to in the box to outside the box for outside linebacker. And for offense I play receiver and running back.

What are your expectations for this upcoming season and the near future?

Help my team go undefeated, and try to strive for All-American, and get more carries.

At the end of this season, what would you like your teammates and coaches to say about you?

That I am a hard worker, a natural leader. That I try to build my teammates up, no matter who it is, from the water boy to the quarterback. I don’t care who they are. That I am very coachable, and that I am just a humble guy.   

Diamond in the Rough: Andrew Jones

Andrew Jones is a linebacker from Ehret High School in Marrero, La. The recent Memphis recruit stands at 6’1 and weighs in at just over 200 pounds. The 2021 recruit has an incredible first step and a nose for the ball, having 137 tackles and 42 TFLs in 2019. Jones wants to continue that trend upward in 2020. Jones has a 480 pound squat, a 225 pound bench, and 275 clean. He tells me he’s been clocked at a lighting quick 4.48 forty as well.

CHECK OUT HIS FILM HERE.

What age did you start playing football?

I was about four years old, I played for Woodmere rec.

Did you always play linebacker or did you play any other positions growing up?

I played center, and running back, and defensive end. I really didn’t start playing linebacker until high school.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

I played baseball, I pretty much played every position I could growing up playing baseball. I’m still playing baseball, and I pitch and play catcher.

Thinking back to last year, what were some major goals that you wanted to accomplish

Become the No. 1 linebacker in the country, help lead my team to the championship, and get at least one scholarship offer.

With your recent commitment, I know you accomplished at least one of those goals. What are you doing to achieve those other goals?

I just have to push myself harder. I’ve always kept in my mind that I am always the best at what I do. I’ve got to speak it into existence, that’s what I’ve got to do.

Who would you say are some of your biggest influences?

Ray Lewis, Sean Taylor, and my mom.

Ok, give me the break down, why Ray Lewis, why Sean Taylor, and why your mom?

Ray Lewis was the guy that made me really want to start playing football. My mom, because she was always putting us before herself. We never really struggled because of her. She struggled in making sure everybody else was good. I just want to make sure I can give back to her. I want to make sure that her hard work isn’t taken for granted. And Sean Taylor, he was just a big hitter, every day! That brought the different energy and hype for me to play football. The big hits, the interceptions, the touchdowns, and the crowd noise. It’s just a different type of feeling.

This next question I think I know the answer to, who would you say your favorite NFL player is?

Ray Lewis, without a doubt.

Going back to Sean Taylor, and getting hyped before a game. What do you think motivates you the most?

Really, all the big hits and the tackles and the emotions during football helps me a lot. To control my anger and channel my anger. Instead of expressing it outside I can express it on a football field, and it’s easier to vent. Rather than spazzing out all over the place and having a bad game, I can handle my business on the field, and have a positive outcome from me, channeling my anger out there.

On a scale of 1-10 what would your ideal performance number be on game day?

A nine, I say that because I know that I can play to a higher level. I can make tackles sideline to sideline. I can make big plays when big plays are needed. But, everyone’s work can always improve, nobody is perfect. If I were perfect, I don’t think I would be in high school right now. In my head, I feel like I do a great job on game day. I feel like I’m a 10 on game day, but there is always room for improvement. I know if I sit back and go watch film on any of my games and I made at least one mistake, that’s not perfect. I know I made a lot of mistakes, I can’t say I am a 10 on game day, because mistakes are going to happen. It’s a football game.

At the end of this year, what would you want your coaches and teammates to say about you?

That I was a leader, no, a great leader. That I was a hard worker, a great teammate, and quick learner. Pretty much all positives and no negatives.

Jonesboro Hodge Is Looking Forward to Big Things in 2020

Jonesboro Hodge is located about 20 miles south of Ruston and is surrounded by paper mills and rich farmland. The Tigers have been known for their football greats in the past and have a few guys this season that may step up to the challenge.

The Tigers are coming off a 3-8 season, but are looking to rebound this year. Coach Blankenship told me that his guys have been getting back into football shape these past two weeks since reopening practices. He said that on Mondays he has his linemen doing Yoga with a Yoga instructor. The rest of his guys are working on getting faster and getting better at their techniques. Coach Blankenship also hired in this past off-season Charles Scott to be his offensive coordinator. Charles Scott, as you may recall, was a 2008 All-SEC Running Back and 2007 National Champion while at LSU.

Keep an eye on these Tigers this season as they may become the next wave of Tiger greats. SO RB LaJavion Nichols with his elite speed, cut ability, and power. JR RB Brantrel Thompson has great speed and explosion. JR QB Tydre Malone is dual threat and can burn you with his speed or his arm. SR WR Cornelius Boston may not have the elite size, but he makes up for it with his speed and hands. SR MLB Connor Webb has the size and strength to make punishing blows. The hard working SR OL Chase Bryant. SR WR Davion McGuire and JR WR Justin Calahan both look to make a huge impact on this season.

The Tigers are loaded with talent from their Junior and Sophomore classes so look for a huge improvement this season and next as his younger guys get more experience.

Diamond in the Rough: Dylan Gibbs

Dylan Gibbs is a class of 2021 recruit that plays for Destrehan High School in Destrehan, La. The 6’ 220 pound linebacker was a nightmare for quarterbacks last season, playing both inside linebacker and outside linebacker rushing off the edge. Gibbs has a quick first step off the ball, and excellent read and react skills. His acceleration has allowed him to block several kick after attempts and field goals as well. Dylan has a 465 pound squat, 325 pound clean and 315 pound bench press. He currently has a 4.0 GPA and a 23 ACT.

CHECK OUT HIS FILM HERE

When did you start playing football?

I started really when I was five year old, my parents got me involved as soon as possible. I just had a natural attraction to the game ever since. I played in the Destrehan Booster Club league every year, and looked forward to it every single year.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

 I played just about every sport there was. I played soccer, baseball, basketball I kept myself pretty occupied. We always believed that sports is a pretty good thing for you. So, year round I was involved in something.

Now, was football your first love, or did you play something before football?

Football was absolutely my first love! That and baseball, then football really took over once I really got to middle school. It became my passion.

Are you still playing baseball, and basketball?

No, I’ve dropped those and I’ve started doing track and I wrestle. I’m on the wrestling team, and I wrestle in the 220 pound weight class, and I throw the discus for track. It was my first year wrestling, I didn’t win a lot, but I had fun and I learned a lot.

Did you always play linebacker or did you play any other positions?

I played running back and linebacker. I think linebacker became my main position once I got to middle school.

What were your top three goals of last season?

I wanted to make a name for myself, I missed my sophomore season due to a torn labrum. So, I wanted to show that I belonged out there. I wanted to be a leader, lead in the locker room, and lead by example. Finally strive for perfection, even though it cannot be achieved. I know I had a lot to make up if I wanted to continue onto the next level. So I worked pretty hard at being as perfect as I possibly could.

Did you achieve all those goals?

I’d like to say to some degree I did. I’m not satisfied, obviously. I’d like to think I created a name for myself, I definitely emerged as a leader on my team. I’m still striving for that perfection thing though.

Who would you say some of your biggest influences are?

Oh it’s got to be my parents, they definitely keep me motivated. They let me know that if I want it, I can go get it, and if I put in the work, the rewards will come. It is just a matter of putting in the work, the harder I work, the more success will come.

Who would you say your favorite NFL player is?

It’s got to be Luke Kuechly. I love the way he prepares, his style of play. It’s something I try and mimic. He is easily one of my favorite guys to watch. I love watching his highlights, it was sad when he retired. I really enjoy him.

What would you say is a strength in your game play?

My intensity, my game planning and preparation and I think that helps a lot. Because, I can recognize what play is going to be run out of that formation and I can get to that spot before they do. So I would like to say my film study, my intensity, and my aggression they all work together.

If you weren’t playing football, what sport do you think you would be playing?

Probably something in like wrestling or fighting sport. I really like watching UFC, and wrestling is pretty fun, so something like that. I’d definitely get involved in baseball or something like that as well.

Going back to striving for perfection, what is your ideal game day performance number on a scale of 1-10?

You have to say 10, right? You have to go out there and know that you put it all on the line. It’s impossible to be perfect, but that’s what I strive for every single game. I try to go out there, no excuses or anything. I try to do everything right. I led my team right in all areas. Yeah, it’s got to be a ten.

At the end of this year, what would you want your coaches and teammates to say about you?

That this guy was a great leader. That he was a great role model that he was a great guy to mimic. That this guy was just a really good role model.

Rosepine Eagles Back At Work

Traveling across the state finding “Diamonds In The Rough” means that sometimes I get to go home. Rosepine, La is that place for me. There is noting like the taste of home at Hickory Hut Smokehouse or Catfish Hut. I like to tell people that the population of my hometown is 600 and that includes the Churchman’s 500 head of cattle. In reality though, Rosepine is full of hardworking people that are up before the dawn and don’t get in until after sunset.

Rosepine is not known for being a football powerhouse. In fact the first time the school ever made the playoffs was the year after I graduated from there in 2001. One of the things Coach Ducote has to deal with as a coach there is, believe it or not but it isn’t the drugs, it is the guys wanting to go to work early. They quite the team so they can start their careers. Afterall, only a few of the guys have ever gone and played college football from there. That dose not mean there are not good football players there. When I played at Rosepine, we had three of the largest linemen in the state of Louisiana at the time, Josh Hoffman, David Brister, and Clay Jeans. Those three guys would maul opposing teams.

Today the Rosepine Eagles have new faces. Coach Brad Ducote is now the head coach and has lead the Eagles to the playoffs for the past three seasons. This year he says they should be really strong. The Eagles are lead on the offence by JR QB Ethan Frey (already committed to LSU for Baseball). SO WR Isiah Stinson has exceptional speed and could play at the collegiate level. SO RB Grant Ducote rushed last seaon for 1,400 plus yards as a freshman. SO WR Bryant Merriwether has good hands, good speed, and could become a special player over the next three years. The JR TE Cole Donahue, I saw him play last year against Oberlin, I think he can be something special as well. On defense, there is SR CB Braden Nolen, SR DB Caden Stephens (leader on the defense), and SR MLB David Schlittenhard.

The Eagles look to bounce back from a 5-6 season from a year ago. I will be at two of their games this season, their Homecoming game and when they travel to North Louisiana and play Jonesbroro Hodge. The Eagles are poised to do big things this year.

St Edmund Blue Jays Getting To Work

I traveled to Eunice, La yesterday to meet with head coach of the St Edmund Blue Jays. He told me his guys are excited to be back practicing as a unit and are excited to get the work in. We spoke to SO RB Taylor Daire, SR TE Easten Coleman, and SR WR Nick Fontenot as featured in the following video:

Check out these players I saw at St Edmund as well: SR ATH Clay Miller, JR DT Connor Diaz, and SO RB Kieran Davis (Max Preps Freshman All-American).

Under last seasons leadership of head coach James Shriver, the Blue jays went 6-4 with a playoff birth on the road to Southern Lab. This season coach Shriver wants to continue to build his team and guide them to even bigger and better things. I look forward to the 2020 season and watch the Blue Jays in action.