PROFILE: Will Blackwell

LSU always picks up several early commitments and this year many had hoped that West Monroe defensive lineman Will Blackwell would be one of them.

At 6-4, 285 pounds and with 4.9 speed, Blackwell is the top rated defensive tackle prospect in the Bayou State and one of the best in the country according to's early Top 100.

As a junior, Blackwell had an impressive campaign as he was a first team all-state selection after totaling 80 tackles, eight sacks, 10 tackles for a loss and 16 quarterback hurries.

In addition to holding an offer from the Tigers, the North Louisiana standout has also picked up tenders from Ole Miss, Auburn and Mississippi State. Many more offers will be coming his way throughout the recruiting process and two schools that could be joining the mix soon are Texas and Notre Dame.

Blackwell made several unofficial visits to LSU games during the 2005 season and was in Baton Rouge again this past weekend for junior day.

Combine all of those trips with all of the success LSU has enjoyed in recruiting West Monroe over the years and many considered Blackwell a shoe-in to wear the purple and gold. LSU is one of the early favorites but he is going to keep all of his options open and consider every offer he receives.

"I don't want to say hey I want to go here or I want to go there and then look back and say I wish I would have taken some visits," he said. "But, LSU is definitely one of my top schools. Right now, out all of the schools that have offered nobody is ahead of anyone else."

As for the pipeline of players from West Monroe who have played their college football at LSU, Blackwell said he looks at that as a plus but he also does not want to look at it through purple and gold glasses.

"In some sense it helps but in another sense it makes you want to get away and do something different," he said. "There have been a lot of guys from here who played at LSU and haven't been able to play in the pro's but then there have been two or three who made it. I just really need to make sure there is nothing better out there before I make my decision."

In the past, many of West Monroe's players have gotten their decisions out of the way prior to the start of their senior campaign but as of now Blackwell has different plans.

"We're going to play it out a little and I'm going to take all five of my visits and then decide in January," he said. "My grandpa has prepared me for the recruiting process and I think I will be able to handle without it interfering with our season. I've never been anywhere else so I want to see what else is out there."

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