"I was playing defensive line and during the spring and summer, I began playing the offensive line," Josh Dworaczyk said. "The first game came around, and I tried to play the whole game. It was a little bit too much, so I played defensive line (full time) and came in on the offensive line on third and fourth downs and goal line situations. That worked out really well. We made it to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1962, and I had a lot of independent accomplishments this year also."
Catholic-NI finished the year 9-4 against Independence in a 28-16 game that saw the Panthers' six game winning streak come to an end when they allowed Independence to score 21 points in the first quarter.
Dworaczyk was a big part of the Panthers' season with 99 tackles, 28 of them for a loss of 188 yards, and 11 sacks added up to another loss of 58 yards. His size helped him block two extra point attempts on special teams.
The defensive end was rewarded for his effort and named All-Distrct MVP and selected to the All-State team this season. With a successful season other schools generally come calling.
"Schools that offered me still send me letters every now and then. No pressure or asking me things. Just around the holidays. Wishes for me and my family, things like that. Other than that everything is LSU," Dworaczyk stated.
"After I committed to LSU, a few other colleges contacted me, but I told them thanks. I really enjoyed the recruiting process with them, but I'm solid on LSU. I don't want anything to try to pull me from the decision that I made. There is no other place that I'd rather be. Then everything slowed down."
We asked Dworaczyk about filling out his frame and where he thinks he will play when he reaches Death Valley.
"I went to camp as an offensive lineman," he said. "That's what they are recruiting me as. When I sign, I will sign as an offensive lineman. My situation is that I'm going to graduate at 17. My birthday isn't until September, so I will go through the summer still 17 years old. I'm a young player and still developing my body. They talk about my frame, my footwork and athletic ability. It's definitely something that they are looking into as far as me being an offensive tackle with my size. I did have an excellent season this year on the defensive line. The honors I received this year were for that play. I know they have a lot of great guys coming in on defensive line, but as far as what they are recruiting me for, offensive line is what I'm going there to play, but no telling two or three years from now. It just depends on where my body is."
No question the young man has devotion to the Tigers. He expalins his loyalty to LSU.
"I was born in Missouri City (Texas), but I only lived there the first year of my life," Dworaczyk said. "My parents moved to Louisiana--I've lived here since then. My dad grew up in Louisiana. I actually live in the same house that he grew up in. He was always an LSU fan, and it was always a dream of his to go and walk-on and play at LSU during high school. Something he didn't get a chance to do."
"I always followed them. Just being from Louisiana, LSU was always the school you look up to. I actually had never been to a LSU game in my life until this year. A lot of people in my family and town are really diehard LSU fans. My mom didn't grow up in Lousiana. She grew up in Texas. I think that is what made the decision so great. It wasn't that we had any connection to LSU at all. I made the decision just because it was the place where I wanted to be."
Dworaczyk attended his first LSU game this fall when LSU opened the season at home against Louisiana-Lafayette with a 45-3 thumping. He hasn't missed a home game since.
The Tiger commitment is tentatively scheduled to take his official visit to LSU January 18.
"LSU is the only place I'm going on an official. It's the place I want to be," he said.
Tigers' defensive back coach Doug Mallory is Dworaczyk's recruiting coach.