PROFILE 2003: Daniel Francis (ATH)

The Port Barre football program has become fixtures in the Class 2A football playoffs over the last decade, and the 2002 season should be no exception for the Red Devils. Head coach Donnie Perron has a trio of skill position players who will help the St. Landry Parish school continue its run, including one drawing interest from LSU.

A double-barreled running game has been the formula for success at Port Barre over the last couple of years, and the two main shells in the chamber are the Daniel Francis and Abdule Levier. Both ran for over 1,300 yards as juniors and combined for 42 rushing touchdowns.

 

Francis (5-11, 175), an all-state selection as an athlete and the District 6-2A Offensive Most Valuable Player, finished the 2001 season with 1,335 yards on 193 carries and 22 rushing touchdowns. He also had eight catches for 165 yards and two more scores. On special teams, he returned a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown.

 

According to Perron, Francis has aspirations of participating in more than one sport in college but is concentrating on football for the time being. His junior season with the Port Barre track and field team concluded with a second-place finish in the high jump and a fourth-place showing in the 100 meters at the Class 2A state championship meet.

 

Francis is also a member of the school's basketball team.

 

Levier (5-11, 185) had 197 carries as a junior for 1,359 yards and 20 touchdowns. As a receiver, he made four catches for 76 yards and one score. Like Francis, he also runs track at Port Barre.

 

Both players are also used on defense, with Francis seeing time in the defensive backfield and Abdule doubling as a linebacker.

 

Another prospect with Francis in the secondary is safety Marvin White. As a junior, White (6-3 185) recorded 42 solo tackles, 40 assists, five interceptions, five pass break-ups, two tackles behind the line and two forced fumbles. He also was named to the Class 2A all-state team and was the 6-2A Defensive MVP. Other honors included MVP status on the all-Acadiana area team

 

White was also utilized on returns, recording three touchdowns on ten punt returns and one on a kickoff.

 

Perron projects Francis as either running back or cornerback in college, while Abdule would either be a running back or a strong safety. White will be recruited as a free safety and possibly a wide receiver.

 

"We've been getting a lot of requests for tapes (on all three)," said Perron. "I just sent tape on Francis to LSU, Penn State, Nebraska. I sent tape on all three to Middle Tennessee State, to Tulane on Francis and Abdule."

 

As far as their individual academic standings, Francis and Levier have strong grade point averages and will take the ACT for the first time in April. White is working on both aspects of his qualifying status.

 

"LSU is most interested in Daniel," Perron noted. "They just got the tapes in last week so they're still evaluating them. I'm sure he'd be interested in going to LSU."

All three Red Devils plan to go to a session of summer camp at LSU, according to the coach.


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