Center prospect has an offer

The Nike Combine slated for May 3 at Texas A&M is expected to be a huge draw for some of the top college football prospects in the South.<br><br>Michael Parenton, one of Louisiana's top center prospects for 2004, tells Tiger Rag he plans on attending the camp.

Parenton, a 6-foot-3, 287-pounder from Thibodaux-E.D. White, was a unanimous first team All-State selection as a junior. He already has one scholarship offer from a Division-I program but expects more will soon come his way.

"I'm kind of open now because I really don't have a preference," Parenton told Tiger Rag. "Staying close to home or going away doesn't matter. Tulane has already offered and you have to take a good look at your first offer. I just want to play somewhere."

Parenton's favorites as of now are LSU, Tulane, Southern Miss, Texas, Florida, UCLA and Mississippi State, and those are the schools he hears from on a consistent basis. He went to LSU's Junior Day in March and was blown away by what he saw.

"When you go to junior day, you don't expect to see everything I saw," he said. "That new academic center is so nice and you realize why they were No. 1 in the country in recruiting last year.

"I went to other junior days and they asked if it was as good as it was at LSU. I told them it's not going to be, because there is a reason they were No. 1 in the country."

Parenton currently has a 400-pound bench press to his credit and his strength is one reason he has been such a dominant blocker at the high school level. However, his agility for someone his size sets him apart from most of his competition.

"Since we run the Wing-T I have to be a good run blocker," he said. "I can run down the linebackers and take them out of the play. We only throw ten times a game, but my pass blocking has come along well because of all the camps I've been to."

LSU tight ends coach Lance Thompson is recruiting Parenton and the two are building a good relationship early in the recruiting process.

"I get letters from LSU every day about practice and things like that," said Parenton. "Coach Thompson asked for some of my film and I brought it to him last week. He invited me to come to practice so I plan on going maybe this weekend."

Sonny's View: Parenton spoke very highly about LSU but he does not want to eliminate any options. Grades will not be a factor for him because he is a good student but his height may hold him back a little. It helps when you are as strong as he is so someone will get a good center on National Signing Day. In addition to the Nike Combine, he also plans on going to summer camps at LSU and Mississippi State.

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