Downs still hearing from Dawgs?

Center Earl Ross Downs led Bastrop to an 11-2 record and a berth in the Class 4A quarterfinals this season. Is Louisiana Tech still in the running for his services?

"I just returned from a visit to Arkansas and we drove through and saw Central Arkansas on the way back home," said Bastrop center Earl Ross Downs. "I've been getting a lot of invites to schools, but Louisiana Tech told me that they're done recruiting the O-line. Tech has a bunch of JUCO linemen already committed.

The schools that are recruiting me the hardest include Tulsa, both Northwestern of the Big 10 and Northwestern State, ULL, and some of the other state schools."

Downs has already received multiple scholarship offers, but his coach (Brad Bradshaw) prefers that his players not publicly reveal which programs have offered.

"I'm not sure about favorites yet," Downs said. "I'm going to sit down with my parents and talk about things, and then I'll probably wait and make my decision on National Signing Day."

The 6-foot-3, 288-pounder is surprised that he hasn't piqued the interest of nearby school ULM.

"I haven't even gotten a letter from them," he said. "Not even a questionnaire."

What was Downs' reaction to his senior year?

"The season ended in a bad way," he said of the Rams' four-overtime loss to O.P. Walker in the quarterfinals. "But they showed up, we didn't, and that's what happens when you do that. We blocked well in the middle, but we also gave up seven sacks on the edge."

Downs faced a few of the best defensive tackles in the nation, including five-star LSU commit Anthony Johnson (O.P. Walker), three-star Arkansas commit DeMarcus Hodge (Neville), and three-star Chuck Hunter (West Monroe), who was named the Class 5A Defensive MVP.

"We beat West Monroe in the preseason scrimmage and that was a positive highlight," Downs remarked. "People were so hyped up about West Monroe and we won.

I think we, as a team, exceeded expectations. I was the new guy (after transferring from Ouachita Christian), but I felt like I'd been playing here forever."

With Downs leading the charge, Bastrop put 630 points on the scoreboard this year, including 62 vs. West Ouachita and 64 in the first-round of the playoffs vs. Alexandria Senior High.


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