LSU coaches love versatile Odom

One look at the linebackers LSU has picked up commitments from for 2006 and it is easy to see that this coaching staff covets speed over size.

The Tigers have four pledges from guys in the 6-foot-1 range and who can run like safeties.

That gives the coaches a lot of options once they get them on campus and another player that fits that mold and is high on the Tigers' list is Jackson (Miss.) Callaway product Derrick Odom.

Odom, a 6-2, 205-pounder with 4.6 speed, had a tremendous senior campaign during the regular season and is gearing up for a run at a state championship.

The four-star linebacker has registered 110 tackles and 8 sacks, forced 9 fumbles and picked off a pass. If that's not impressive enough, he's also logged 20 catches from his tight end spot with five going for touchdowns.

Odom has a visit set up for LSU the weekend of Jan. 21 but it will not mark his first visit to Baton Rouge. He went to one of Miles' camps this past summer and put on a show for the coaches.

They knew he was an impressive linebacker from the film they saw on him from his junior year but they had no idea he had that much athleticism.

"They worked me out mostly at safety and they were impressed," Odom told Tiger Rag. "They mostly talk about linebacker now but they also think I can play strong safety. They think I'm a physical safety that can run."

Along with LSU, Odom has a long list of suitors to choose from but he has whittled that list down to the schools he will visit officially.

"I'm going to visit LSU in January and I'm also going to Ole Miss, Alabama, Tennessee and Southern Miss," he said.

Odom said he knows LSU has several players just like him who are already committed but that does not affect his interest level at all.

"I have a high interest in LSU," he said. "They are well rounded with everything I am looking for. They have great athletics, great academics and a warm atmosphere."

Odom has not been able to take in any of the Tigers' home games this year but he is scheduled to take an unofficial trip to Tuscaloosa this weekend for the big SEC West showdown between LSU and Alabama.

While he may not have had a chance to watch LSU in person this year he said he has watched several of the Tigers' games on the tube. He wanted to see if new defensive coordinator Bo Pellini's scheme would be a good fit for his talent and he gives the scheme a big thumbs up.

"I like the way their linebackers move around a lot," Odom said. "They let them use their speed to make plays and that is what I am all about."

Odom said he likes what he sees in LSU but he is not ready to name the Tigers his leader. He said all five schools are even and his official visits will determine his future.

"After I take my visits I am going to sit down and analyze everything," he said. "Whichever place I feel the best about is where I am going to go."

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