Bastrop center is ready for action

After facing his teammates day-after-day in practice, Bastrop center Earl Ross Downs is looking forward to testing his ability against another squad. The Rams scrimmage defending 5A state champion West Monroe this week, and Downs hopes to have a good outing vs. highly-regarded DT Chuck Hunter. Get the latest details on Downs, who has multiple scholarship offers.

Earl Ross Downs profile

"We scrimmaged ourselves last Friday and the offense looked good," said Downs. "Once we get a solid five (interior linemen) in place, things will be even better.

"There's a couple of guys who are battling for starting spots. One of the starters was supposed to be a new transfer, but he hurt his knee and now that spot might be up for grabs. There's people fighting for a couple of spots."

Downs was pleased with his performance at the intrasquad scrimmage, but he realizes that he'll have to ratchet things up a notch vs. West Monroe and blue-chip defensive tackle Chuck Hunter.

"I did really well at our scrimmage, and I'm looking forward to going up against Chuck Hunter this week," Downs said. "It's on their field, at West Monroe."

Most schools are recruiting Downs (6-3, 290) as a center, but he has the ability to man any of the positions up front.

"There was some talk about me moving around," he said, "but now - with the addition of offensive coordinator Thomas Bachman - I'm 100% certain that I'll be staying at center.

"We run the old Evangel offense and, in that offense, the center makes the protection calls. It's a number system where I call for the linemen to slide over in protection and/or vertically retreat. Coach Bachman wants the ball snapped by the 23-second mark on the play clock, so I have to be quick with my calls."

Downs, who says that he'll begin scheduling official visits once the season begins, spoke highly of teammate DeAndre Sellers.

"He's very good," Downs said of the 6-foot-3 WR. "I didn't realize just how good he was until I saw him at the Northwestern State 7-on-7. He had five or six jump ball catches for touchdowns - where he just jumped over corners. He creates separation easily and doesn't drop anything."

Downs, who is hearing from several schools and has multiple scholarship offers, has mentioned Louisiana Tech as one of his favorites.

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