Louisville offers star Lakeland athlete

Louisville has enjoyed recruiting success in the Lakeland, Florida area in recent years. The Cardinals, who recently offered 2010 Lakeland star Jared Haggins, appear to be hitting the talent-rich area again this year.

Two years ago, the Cardinals landed running back Bilal Powell from Lakeland (FL) Lake Gibson. This year, Louisville signed Powell's cousin, Lake Gibson safety Champ Lee. Now, the Cardinals are trying to keep their Lakeland pipeline flowing north with Lakeland standout athlete Jared Haggins.

Haggins, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound athlete, played quarterback for Lakeland last season, leading the Dreadnaughts to a 14-1 record and a 5-A state championship game appearance before losing to St. Thomas Aquinas. As a junior, Haggins threw for 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns, while rushing for more than 400 yards.

Now, Haggins has several BCS programs lining up to make scholarship offers, including Louisville. While most schools are recruiting him as a wide receiver or defensive back, the Cardinals appear interested in Haggins' quarterback potential.

"I have offers right now from Louisville, Florida State, Florida, Tennessee, Auburn, and FIU," Haggins told Scout.com analyst Mike Bakas. "Louisville and Auburn want me as a quarterback but the other ones are talking about playing receiver. It doesn't matter to me. I just want to get the opportunity wherever I go."

Though it's still early in the recruiting process, one school might have an inside track in Haggins recruitment.

"Florida State's defensive line coach (Odell Haggins) is my uncle," he said. "Because of that, I've always sort of watched and followed them. But right now, I'm open to anyone. I don't really have a leader or anything right now. I've got to see what all's out there."

Haggins reportedly holds a 2.5 GPA in the classroom.

"He's a tremendous athlete with all kinds of potential," Lakeland coach Bill Castle said. "He's a great leader for us and a good kid. He's one of those athletes that can be a quarterback, a receiver or a defensive back. He's just an athlete."

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