Everyone knows Duke is in dire need of offensive linemen in the Class of 2006 and one local player who is receiving interest from the Blue Devils is Baton Rouge-Scotlandville Magnet tackle Daverin Geralds.
Geralds emerged as one of the state's top offensive linemen in this class last season when he missed nearly six weeks of his junior campaign but still managed to earn First Team All-District and All-Metro honors. He graded out at over 90 percent in the games he did play in and quickly earned a reputation as a dominant run blocker.
"His run blocking is his biggest asset," said Scotlandville head coach Terry Washington. "I've seen him pancake quite a few guys over the years. He has good power in his legs and it just a tremendous blocker. When he locks on to you it is over."
Washington credited much of Geralds' success to his relentless work ethic and the support system he gets at home.
"The guy has a great work ethic," Washington said. "One of his biggest assets is his family. A lot of kids don't have a supportive cast but he has a great one. They instilled a fabulous work ethic in him with everything he does."
Geralds attended LSU's Junior Day over the weekend and Washington said he measured in at 6-foot-3 and 285-pounds.
LSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher recruit's the Baton Rouge area and he has been in on Geralds since late last season.
"Jimbo is in love with him," Washington said. "He said they wanted to get a jump start on him last season. I've had some talks with some of the coaches at LSU and they said they are very interested. They said they want to sign five offensive linemen and he is one of them."
Washington said he gets calls on a daily basis from coaches wanting to know more about his star player. Some of the schools he rattled off the top of his head included Duke, Stanford, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ole Miss and USC.
Out of that list there are two schools that rank ahead of the others but one is the clear leader at this point.
"Right now I'd say Tennessee and LSU are my favorites," said Geralds, who is already academically qualified. "Those were my first two choices before I ever knew I would get recruited like this. But LSU would be my first choice because of its location. It's close to home and I want my mom to be able to see me play."
Sonny's Take: Although Geralds plays tackle at the prep level his future is at guard. He is better suited to play inside because of his size, but more importantly, because of his ability to pave the way for ball carriers. The kid is very strong with a 350-pound bench and he has good explosion off the line.