Doucet keeping options open

There was some debate over the No. 1 college prospect in Louisiana for the Class of 2004: Evangel's John David Booty or St. Martinville's Early Doucet.<br><br>The controversy ended a when Booty opted to graduate early and enroll at USC with the 2003 signing class, and Doucet now stands out as one of the biggest playmakers in the country.

The honors Doucet received following his junior season are indicative of his skills on the field.

After rushing for more than 1,200 yards and throwing for another 600, Doucet received first team All-State, All-District and All-Acadiana recognition. A repeat selection on all of those teams is likely in his senior campaign, along with a shot at the state's top honor, Louisiana Mr. Football.

"I was just blessed with some god-given abilities, and I use all of the training my coach put me through," Doucet told Tiger Rag. "He has been working with me since I was a freshman and his training is what enabled me to be the player I am today. On offense, I feel like I am the best player on the field and no one can stop me. I just have a confident attitude."

St. Martinville coach Carroll Delahoussaye is responsible for bringing Doucet along through his high school career. He said may never get another player that possesses all of Doucet's ability and potential all wrapped up in one young man.

"He's got power, speed and agility," said Delahoussaye. "He can run over you. He can outrun you and he can make you miss. That is a hell of a combination."

The talk in south Louisiana is that Doucet is the next Michael Vick. Doucet checked in at 6-foot-1 and a half, 208 pounds at LSU's last junior day, and he runs a consistent 4.5-forty yard dash, with an occasional clocking at 4.4.

Doucet said he does not even worry about the comparisons to Vick because he is worried about making a household name for himself.

"The colleges that I'm looking at signed top quarterbacks," Doucet said. "I'm not saying I can't compete with those guys but when I get to college it is going to be just like when I was a freshman at St. Martinville. I came in as a quarterback but they had people in front of me.

"I told Coach (Delahoussaye) I needed to be on the field, so whatever position would allow me to get on the field then that was what I would play. I think that will be my frame of mind when I get to college."

Doucet is uncertain about his college destination at this point, but he has already qualified academically with a 3.2 grade point average and an 18 on the ACT. One thing, for is that he has his pick since all of his favorites have offered a scholarship.

"I've got offers from LSU, Miami, USC, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, Nebraska, Colorado, and a bunch of others," he said. "Me and Coach talked about trying to cut the list down to five by the start of the season, so that's the plan."

Doucet said there are a lot of rumors going around about him being close to giving Nick Saban a commitment, but he said there was not any truth to that gossip. In fact, Doucet said he does not even have a leader heading into the summer.

Everybody is equal right now," he said. "There is no favorite right now. I'm just trying to get through my junior year in high school and concentrate on putting our team together.

"I've got a lot of young teammates and they are going to need me as much as possible. I don't want any distractions right now with all of this."

When Doucet trims his list to five schools in August, the only one that will definitely make the final five is LSU. Other than that, he said everyone else has a chance.

"The last couple of years I was able to attend some of the games in Baton Rouge and this past season I got to get real close to some of the coaches," he said. "I kind of feel like me and some of the coaches are starting to build a bond together. I know some of the players from my area like Devery Henderson and Korey Hebert, so when I go there I kind of feel like at home. I feel comfortable there. LSU will be in the top five."

Growing up an hour away from the Capitol City, Doucet has watched Nick Saban re-establish LSU as an Southeastern Conference contender.

"When coach Saban was the new coach, I had heard about him but I had never met him," said Doucet. "Then I finally got to meet him and he was a really nice person. He will tell you the truth. He's not going to beat around the bush and that is what I like about him."

Something else Doucet likes about the Tigers' head coach is his ability to bring in the nation's best players from all over. Not counting Saban's first year when he had to hit the recruiting trail with a late start in December, the Tigers finished with a consensus top five class in 2001 and the No. 1 rated class in the country last year. Sandwiched in between those two classes was another one that finished in the top 20, so the talent is on hand in Baton Rouge.

"That is good because all of those big schools, when they had championship teams, they didn't have just one great class," said Doucet. "They signed the top players every year so they could build. You have to load up with everybody as much as you can so you can be good for years to come. That is a good deal with LSU because they're getting the best players from around the country so they can hopefully make a run at a national championship."

That run might be easier if the Tigers' quarterbacks can throw to Doucet, who some project as a wide receiver in college.


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