Creating A Webb Of Excitement

This talented Central Alabama player has colleges looking at him as both a football and basketball player.

Montgomery, Ala.--One of the top all-around athletes in Alabama for the Class of 2004 is also one of the most unknown.

Speedy Lardarius Webb from Beauregard High, located just south of Opelika, has been a standout performer in football, basketball, and track since his freshman season. Despite little attention from most heading into his senior season, it hasn't kept colleges from around the south from giving him a look and most like what they see.

Lardarius Webb has good man to man coverage skills on the football field.

Small at just under 5-10 and 150 pounds, Webb has been dominant for the Hornets on the field of play the last year of competition utilizing his 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash. As a quarterback he rushed for over 800 yards and passed for an additional 800 yards while also playing defensive back.

On the basketball court he averaged 17 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals during the regular season and improved that to 18.5 points in the playoffs as the Hornets lost in the 4A State Championship game to Livingston.

Last but not least, he recorded the top distance in his classification in both the long jump at 22 feet, 1 1/2 inches and triple jump at 44 feet, 8 1/2 inches.

All that adds up to an athlete who will likely end up competing in some sport on the Division I level next season.

"I'm not even thinking right now about what I'm going to do," Webb tells Inside The Auburn Tigers when asked about his college plans. "I'm just going to let it come down and then I'll make my decision what I want to do, either basketball or football. I love both of them though.

"I don't have many schools after me in basketball right now, I don't know why, it's probably my height. Louisville is interested a little bit, but that's probably because they like me in football a lot. I've heard from Arkansas, Southern Miss, Auburn and Alabama. That's about all right now."

Even though his basketball future is more uncertain than football right now, Webb set out to dispel any bad thoughts about his size when he competed in the Alabama Sports Festival's North-South basketball game last Thursday in Montgomery. Teamed with future Auburn basketball player Frank Tolbert from Red Level, Webb scored six points and played outstanding defense. The South team played its best ball when Webb was in the lineup, but fell late to a larger and talented North squad. Despite the loss, Webb says the experience was everything he could have hoped for in Montgomery.

Webb is shown during game action at the basketball all-star game at the AUM arena.

"I had a lot of fun all week," Webb says. "Everything we did was fun. I met a lot of new people from a lot of new schools. I challenged myself to see how good I am playing against everyone else's stars and if I can do good in this level maybe I can go to the next level and play. I did well for myself, but with my own team I probably would have had more playing time and could have gotten into it a little bit more. When I got in there I did well.

"Frank Tolbert and the rest of the team, I love them. They've turned into brothers in three days. They are so friendly, they're not bad people. They'll talk to you and they won't tell you anything bad. It has been a good experience as a whole."

Having success both on the football field and basketball court, Webb will have to make a decision on which direction he will choose. He says that most of the colleges have told him he will need to play football for at least one season before giving basketball a try. While that's not the perfect solution, he notes that he'll do anything he can to make it on the next level.

Right now his focus is on returning to Beauregard for his senior season in search of the ever-elusive state championship. With veterans returning on both sides of the ball in football, the Hornets look like a strong contender to make it to Birmingham for the Super Six next season. If that happens you can bet Webb will be a big reason why.

"I want to get me one of those rings," Webb says pointing to his finger. "I really want a ring. We were this close to having one this year, but it slipped away somehow. We lost everybody in basketball, I'm the only starter we have coming back. In football, I'm ready, we're ready."

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