PROFILE 2003: Raw talent at Rayne

Every top athlete suiting up for the Rayne High School football team will probably be measured against Josh Reed - the All-American wide receiver who won the Biletnikoff Award last season at LSU. While a couple of the top players for Rayne in 2002 will have their work cut out for them to match Reed's achievements, the staff there still feels they have some raw talent to work with.

Rayne defensive coordinator Johnny Trangmar had high praise for defensive back Willie Bias, a player he thinks will steadily draw increased attention from colleges with a strong senior year.


As a junior, Bias (6-2 195) recorded 43 total tackles, 5 pass deflections, 4 interceptions and 7 "kamikazes" (sacrifice of a defensive statistic to aid another player in getting one). He played corner as a junior but is under consideration for a move to free safety. Bias is currently enjoying a strong season with the Rayne basketball team.


"I don't know if he's I-A in the SEC yet," said Trangmar. "It all depends on if he gets everything together. He has potential because of his size and work ethic, and right now I'd project him at I-AA, like McNeese or Northwestern. He may be ready for a small I-A like Tech or ULM, but I don't know for sure yet."


Another athlete with college aspirations at Rayne is offensive tackle Jacques Richard who, at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, is too small to remain at the offensive tackle position he currently plays. In order to attract the attention of recruiters and become a bigger impact player in high school, Richard is currently considering cross-training at another position.  


"He played right tackle last year and kept telling me he wanted to play fullback," said Trangmar. "He said, ‘If I get a chance to go to college, I'm not tall enough to play on the offensive line. The only chance to go to a place like LSU or Tulane is to be a fullback.'"


Trangmar's advice to Richard was to get his 40-yard time down below five seconds for starters. As of last week, he was clocked at 4.96 and 4.97 seconds.


Richard has also been hard at work in the weight room, recording maximum lifts of  245 in the bench, 500 in the squat and a dead lift in excess of 500.


"He reminds me a lot of (former LSU fullback Tommy) Banks," Trangar said. "He understands that he's going to get the ball maybe four times a game, and block for the tailback the rest of the time. He's a good kid. I hope somebody picks him up."


Richard has already proven his versatility for Rayne, having played defensive end as a junior and ended up with over 80 tackles.


Both Bias and Richard are projected to be TOPS qualifiers, according to Trangmar.

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