Jan. 6, 2006
By Tom Lemming, CSTV Recruiting Editor
CSTV recruiting expert Tom Lemming is out on the road on his NCSA tour that will take him to 46 states during which he will see more than 1,000 of the top high school football prospects in the country. Here is the second of his reports:
On the road, again, this time in Louisiana...
The first stop was Jonesboro Hodge. I stopped to see the site where Bonnie and Clyde were killed. There is a marker and a museum, too. I then traveled another half-hour to see Chris Lewis, a 6-4, 230-pound WR, tops in the state. He is a great talent who is missing grades as of now. He would be a national talent but may have to go to the prep school route. Anyone in the country would take him in a split-second.
Then I visited Baton Rouge, just on the outskirts of where Hurricane Katrina hit. This is an average to weak year for Baton Rouge. The two best players are Jason Peters, a 6-4, 250-pound DE from Baton Rouge Catholic, who shows good ball skills and Chad Jones, a DB from Southern Lab HS. The 6-2, 210-pound Jones' family was hit hard by the hurricane in New Orleans. He was uprooted and went to Baton Rauge, where other relatives lived. He originally played at St. Augustine. Jones is a big-time guy who should be nationally recruited.
Then it was on to Lafayette, another area that appears to be producing an average group. The top player is TE Mitch Joseph, a 6-5, 245-pounder from New Iberia Catholic. He has good hands and runs well. He will be heavily recruited. Another player is DB Kendrick Celestine from Mamou. The 6-2, 190-pounder has great grades and can run. The biggest player is from Eunice, a 6-8, 340-pound OT named Ryan Frank. He carries his weight well, moves his feet well and colleges his will love his size and overall athletic ability. He is the real deal and colleges will go after him.
The last stop was back to Texas in Beaumont. Another displaced player by the hurricane is Earl Thomas, who is from West Orange Stark, a few miles east of Beaumont. He is 5-10, 170. Thomas' home and town was leveled by the hurricane. His family is still living in a hotel. Thomas is a great kid. The next player was Jerrod Gooch, 6-5, 300 from Vidor, a couple miles north of Beaumont. Gooch is one of the top three linemen in the state.
I spent New Year's Eve in Crawley, La., and had a Cajun dinner with friends. I got up at 3 a.m. and headed to Beaumont for interviews a couple hours later. There is no rest for the wicked recruiting expert.
Our next stop will feature Houston, then Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, where I will be at the All-American football game and the Army All-American combine.
Tom Lemming is CSTV's football recruiting editor. He appears regularly on CSTV's Generation Next show, and maintains rankings and offers analysis on CSTV.com.