In Part II of this series, we examine five Louisiana defenders in the '13 class who are still waiting for their first scholarship offer. Leading off is Scotlandville safety Dondre Dobbins, a 6-0, 200-pound punisher who sparked the Hornets to their best season in years last fall.
(Scotlandville) - In 2011, Dobbins and the Hornets posted an 8-3 mark and reached the 5A playoffs, turning around a program that had won only five games the previous two years combined. Dobbins' defensive unit, which includes standout tackle Tanzel Smart
, was especially miserly during the first few games of '11, surrendering a paltry 14 total points in victories over Redemptorist (60-0 final score), Parkview Baptist (29-6), Belaire (61-0) and Northeast (49-8).
Over the course of his sophomore and junior campaigns, Dobbins averaged 75 stops per season with a total of seven interceptions. He attended Junior Day at Texas A&M, and the newest school on his radar is Georgia. Yesterday, Dobbins said that he is "interested" in the Bulldogs, and that the Georgia staff sent him a letter after Dobbins forwarded his highlight tape to the school. On the first play of his highlight reel, Dobbins fields an overthrown pass near his team's end zone and returns the interception the distance (nearly 100 yards). Later on the tape, he picks off a bomb vs. Zachary High, a 5A playoff team and district rival, and then returns it for approximately 15 yards. Dobbins plays near the line of scrimmage at times and is positioned at normal safety depth on other snaps. His highlight footage is grainy and difficult to see, and that's probably slowed down his recruitment. Once college coaches get a look at him during the spring eval period, we're sure Dobbins will get his first offer and a few more. He certainly looked the part when we saw him at the U.S. Army Junior Combine in San Antonio. He's an athletic, well put-together prospect.
Larry Cage (Zachary) - A 6-foot-2 and 1/2 inch, 190-pound linebacker for the 5A Broncos, Cage led his team in tackles each of the past two years. Head coach Neil Weiner has used Cage at both inside and outside linebacker, although Cage might be most natural at the safety position due to his lanky build. As a sophomore, Cage won the "Trifecta" at the Baton Rouge National Underclassmen Combine, garnering Combine King, Overall MVP and Fastest Man honors. He reportedly clocked a 4.39 at Ole Miss football camp last summer. Cage (pictured below) didn't participate in this year's National Underclassmen Combine, as he was recovering from hernia surgery. A few weeks after the NUC, however, Cage was back at it, competing at the NIKE Football SPARQ Combine in Houston. At that event, Cage finished 39th out of 950 competitors (two spots higher than four-star LB Kendell Beckwith, who is the state's top-ranked player).
Jay Washington (St. Paul's) - St. Paul's has gone 20-0 over the course of the past two regular seasons, and Washington has been a big factor in the Wolves' success. Last year, he tied for fourth on the team with 42 tackles from his free safety position and tied for first with three interceptions, including a pick he returned 23 yards in St. Paul's surprisingly one-sided 38-7 rout of Edna Karr. Washington led the team last fall with nine passes broken up, and he had a phenomenal effort in the Wolves' 17-0 win over Salmen in a week six contest that was televised statewide. In that game, Washington preserved the shutout with an open-field tackle that prevented a touchdown. Salmen WR Chuck Baker, an LSU commit, caught seven passes although he wasn't able to break free for any long gains due to Washington's presence. As a sophomore, Washington -- who is in the 6-0 to 6-1 range at around 190 pounds -- was third on the team with 62 tackles and once again picked off three passes. He would love to follow in the footsteps of former teammate Mickey Johnson, who now plays for LSU. Teammate Ed Duplessis, a junior linebacker, has an offer from North Texas and Washington (pictured below) is getting a lot of interest from the Mean Green.
Sterling Doss (Salmen) - Doss quietly put together a great junior season for the Class 4A Spartans, earning honorable-mention all-state accolades after accounting for 136 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, six passes broken up, five and a half sacks, three forced fumbles, and an interception. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound inside linebacker played defensive line prior to last year. He was named LB MVP at the National Underclassmen Combine 5-Star Showcase last month in Baton Rouge. Doss has been invited to Louisiana Tech's Junior Day and is getting letters from Purdue, Mississippi State and Colorado. He says North Texas is also interested. Doss runs in the 4.65 range. Salmen went 7-5 last year and reached the second round of the playoffs before losing to powerful Breaux Bridge.
Richard Allen (John Curtis Christian) - Allen is a natural cornerback, although he spent much of last year at free safety for the Class 2A state champs. The 5-foot-9, 175-pounder collected 32 tackles and intercepted four passes, including a pick of Winnfield QB Alonzo Moore in the championship game. On that play, Allen soared into the air in the end zone to halt a potential Winnfield scoring opportunity. He ran a 4.38 at the New Orleans Under Armour Combine last year and competes in multiple track and field events for Curtis, which is the defending state champ in both indoor and outdoor track.