Star Prospect Rouse Names Surprise Leader

One of the truly great characters among the class of 2005 five is's top rated prospect, wide receiver Fred Rouse from Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln High School. Rouse glows with confidence, backs it up on the football field and has an unbelievable and engaging personality.

And that's what he is looking for in a football team because Fred Rouse is the ultimate team player. He may have found that on his first official visit. Rouse, now in San Antonio, Texas for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, just left Alabama and was wowed by the Crimson Tide.

"Alabama is all about team unity and that's exactly what I am looking for," Rouse said. "The visit was amazing. I mean amazing. I went to the basketball game and they were chanting my name, they had posters with my name on them and I was screaming Roll Tide the entire weekend. They really rolled out the red carpet.

"Mike Shula is a great person. I don't know what it is about that guy but I love him. He's straight forward, honest and religious. He's just amazing.

"But most of all, Alabama has that team chemistry that I have never seen before. Not even at Florida State and I grew up at FSU. They love each other and I am a team guy and that's what I am looking for."

Most recruiting fans would be shocked if Rouse did not pick his home town Seminoles. After all he grew up a FSU fan, knows the team inside and out and feels very comfortable at Florida State. It is home to him. But at this time, Rouse named a top five in order and the ‘Noles were not sitting at the top.

"Right now I would say Texas is my top school, especially if (Ryan) Perrilloux goes there. I want to be the next Roy Williams and I want him to be my quarterback for the next three or four years. I can really see myself there, so we'll see."

"I would say that Alabama is number two, Florida State number three, Miami number four and Southern Cal number five. There were some rumors that I was looking at UCLA but they were just rumors."

Currently, Rouse is scheduled to visit Texas right after the U.S. Army All-American Bowl (1-17). Then he is scheduled to visit Miami (1-21) and Florida State (1-28).

"I may change up things because now I want to visit Southern Cal. So I may visit Florida State mid-week after Miami and then visit USC (1-28)."

The timetable for the Fred Rouse decision will be on February 2nd, National Signing Day. He will make his announcement on Fox Sports Net South's Countdown to Signing Day and sign his Letter of Intent from Atlanta, Georgia.

What will happen between now and then? Right now the Longhorns stand in the lead for the nation's top prospect with Alabama a close second. But don't discount the power of Florida State because the pressure is on for Mr. Rouse to stay home.

"The pressure is there for me to go to Florida State. But FSU might not be the best place for me. I have to do what is best for me. We'll see what happens."

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is played in San Antonio, Texas, at the Alamodome on Jan. 15, 2005, and broadcast nationally on NBC at 1 p.m. Eastern. is a sponsor, the official selection partner and exclusive on-line partner of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, as well as the associated U.S. Army Combine for underclassmen. The game features the top 78 football prospects in the country. East versus West.

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