Defensive Standout Still Has Tigers On Top

This Louisiana defender talks recruiting and how his senior season is progressing.

Mandeville, La.-–One of the top defensive linemen in the South says that Auburn is still the team to beat for his services as he prepares to put the finishing touches on a strong senior season for Fontainebleau High.

Big 6-5, 265 Rudy Odum has offers from some of the top colleges in the South, but says that Auburn is still his first choice at the moment.

"I'm hearing the most from Virginia Tech, Auburn, Oklahoma State, LSU, Ole Miss and South Carolina," Odum tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. With offers from all those schools it might be hard to narrow it down, but Odum says it hasn't been that difficult for him to do since visiting Auburn for a summer camp in July.

"Auburn is still my top (team) right now," Odum says. "I knew they were going to be real good. I like their coaching staff. Before the season even started I liked Auburn the best because of the coaching staff. I like Coach (Don) Dunn and Coach (Terry) Price, the defensive line coaches. When I was up there for a day I learned more than I did from the other camps where I was for two days. I just felt like they knew the game more than anybody I've ever met."

Odum has been to two LSU games this fall and also made a trip this past weekend to check out the Oklahoma State-Oklahoma game in Stillwater. Not the normal trip for most high school players, Odum says the experience was definitely worth the ride to the Midwest.

"It was fun and a real good game," Odum says. "The stadium was packed. Right now they hold 50,000, but they're closing the other side and by 2005 it will hold like 85,000. It's real nice up there."

This season Odum's team is 7-2 with a game left against St. Paul's before heading into the playoffs. Through nine games Odum leads the team in tackles with 67 and has eight sacks, 18 tackles for a loss, three caused fumbles, three fumble recoveries, one field goal block and one safety. Despite the overwhelming numbers Odum says that teams have been concentrating more on him this season and that has caused him to take his play to another level.

"I think I'm a lot better player (this year)," Odum says. "Last year I was pretty good, but this year I trained a lot and I'm faster and got bigger and stronger. I know the game better. I have watched a lot more film and have been studying the game.

"It's more difficult this year (because of the double teams), but it's weird because I have played better this year knowing I'm getting double and triple-teamed. Every other play I'm still getting through even though last year I wasn't getting a lot of attention and I was still wasn't doing as good. This year I'm doing a lot better than I did last year."

Odum plans to take his official visits to Auburn, South Carolina and Virginia Tech before making a decision, but says that's not a firm answer just yet. "I think I'm going to wait and take my visits," he says. "I'm not real sure, but I think I'm going to wait."

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