Pensacola LB closes deal with LSU

Linebacker Willie Demps of Pensacola, Fla., told Tiger Rag that he would put off his commitment to a school until after meeting with LSU coach Nick Saban today. Saban was due in the Demps home and 7:30 p.m., and the standout from Washington High School planned to give his verbal pledge to the Tigers at that time.

LSU made a scholarship offer to Demps (6-1, 225) on Sunday night after he returned from his visit to Baton Rouge, Demps told Tiger Rag. On Monday, he made up his mind to pick the Tigers over Tulane, Troy State and Kent State.

"The best opportunity is there for me, and I want to be able to play against the best," Demps said. "I really like all of the players and coaches there. I feel like I will be a good fit for them."

A 3.0 student, Demps says the quality of education played a large part in his decision. While acknowledging that Tulane has a strong scholastic reputation, he said LSU has many positives to offer on the academics side.

"I really looked at all the alumni LSU has and the job opportunities out there," said Demps. "It's going to look good to have 'LSU' on my degree, although Tulane is a very good school, too. I really liked LSU's academic facilities."

Wide receiver Bennie Brazell hosted Demps during his weekend stay at LSU. Along with a tour of the campus and its athletic facilities, Demps got to meet a number of Tiger players and the coaching staff.

"I really like the culture and the people down there," he said. "The living quarters for athletes and Tiger Stadium are really nice."

In his senior year at Washington, Demps recorded in excess of 130 tackles with seven forced fumbles, one interception and one sack. He was selected to represent his home state in the annual Florida-Georgia all-star game in December.

His junior season included 93 tackles and two interceptions – one returned 27 yards for a touchdown.

As far as being an LSU commitment from Pensacola, Demps says he has encountered a strong base of Tiger fans in the Florida panhandle. He becomes the first prospect from Pensacola to commit to LSU since offensive tackle Louis Williams in 1996. 

Demps is the 22nd commitment for LSU's 2002 recruiting class. The class will be finalized when players sent in their signed national letters of intent on Feb. 6.

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