So when Denzel Devall closed out his junior campaign with 88 tackles, five sacks, three fumbles caused, two fumbles recovered, and an interception, the Tigers knew that they couldn’t rest on the 6-foot-2, 240-pounder for long.
Sooner than later, offers would roll in.
First came LSU.
“I got that offer when I came down for their Boys from the Boot Junior Day,” Devall said. “I walked in the door and coach (Les) Miles offered me right there. That’s when he let me know that I could call him up and commit whenever I wanted.”
Scout.com tabs Devall as the No. 23 defensive end in the country, and while Devall played the majority of his junior year with his hand on the ground, the idea of moving positions when he gets to the next level is not out of the question.
During a conversation with LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis, Devall said that the Tigers staff projects him at multiple positions.
“(Chavis) said I was going to be a middle linebacker that directs the defense,” explained Devall after his January visit. “He said I never give up on a play and I’m a sideline to sideline player.
“It doesn’t matter to me one way or another. I am used to defensive end, but I can learn to play in the middle.”
The spring evaluation period began last Friday, giving college coaches their first chance to reach out to 2012 prospects via the phone lines.
Needless to say, one of LSU’s first calls was to Bastrop.
“I heard from (offensive line) coach (Greg) Stud on Saturday,” Devall said. “He recruits this area and is always hitting me up to see how I’m doing. We had a really good conversation. We talked about getting down there and seeing LSU again. He just wants me to be around everyone so that I can get that feel for things.
“Coach Brick (Haley) is also still recruiting me. I like him as a defensive line coach because he seems to be about business. He’s excited about me coming down, too.”
Stuck in the middle of track season, Devall plans to trip to Baton Rouge at the end of next month.
“I haven’t got a lot of time in track season because we have District this Thursday, the Regional competition next week, and then State after that,” he said. “I am supposed to come at the end of May. They are going to have a Bayou Picnic where the top prospects and their families will go to campus.
“I’m looking forward to it. It should be like the first Junior Day, but I’m a little closer to a decision now, so I’ll be paying close attention to everything.”
What other teams are still in the race for the four-star prospect’s services?
“Texas A&M is definitely up there, and so is Arkansas,” Devall said. “Arkansas called me on Friday morning and basically woke me up for school. That showed me that they are serious.
“With Texas A&M, we talk a lot because we just have that great relationship. It goes back to Junior Day in February. I really enjoyed myself over there, so I started talking to them more after that.”
Following his Baton Rouge visit in late May, Devall plans on making a string of camps before settling in on a decision.
“I want to decide before my senior year starts, and it will probably come not too long after my junior year ends,” he said. “I will go to camp at LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas, because that’s what we do every year. I spend one day at each place. I will also go see Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
“I don’t know about official visits in the fall. Basically I am looking at deciding before that. Once the summer hits, it’s fair game.”