Who will be No. 1 in La. for 2008?

Will Randall Mackey be No. 1 for 2008?

Most major college prospects plan to use the summer to get bigger, stronger and faster.


Bastrop quarterback Randall Mackey would settle for taller.


LSU, Ole Miss, Louisiana Tech and Arkansas have all shown interest in the strong-armed, soft-spoken Mackey. So far, nobody has offered the 5-10, 180-pound junior.


"I want to go to Miami, the U, but I have to grow and get a little stronger," Mackey said.


If Mackey can duplicate last summer's three-inch growth spurt, the offers are sure to come.


Any question about the Port Sulphur evacuee's arm strength were quickly put to rest in his first start for the Rams. Mackey completed 10-of-18 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns in a 43-32 District 2-4A victory over Carroll.


Ironically, it was an incomplete pass that received the most attention. On the final play of the half, Mackey zipped a desperation pass 64 yards on a clothesline.


"Randall definitely has the arm," understated Bastrop head coach Brad Bradshaw.


Upon taking over as the starter, Mackey directed eight straight victories as the Rams capped a 14-0 season with their first state championship since 1927.


Despite playing on a full-time basis for only slightly over half the season, Mackey completed 111 of 198 passes for 1,961 yards while throwing 26 touchdowns against nine picks for a staggering touchdowns-to-interception ratio of nearly 3:1.


As the season progressed, Mackey developed into a more aggressive runner, picking up 282 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 66 carries. He rushed for a season-high 92 yards in guiding the Rams to a 33-26 come-from-behind victory over district rival Ouachita in the semifinals.


"I've always liked running the football," Mackey said.


Mackey culminated the season by earning MVP honors in the Nokia Sugar Bowl Prep Classic as the Rams posted a 41-12 victory over Breaux Bridge in the Class 4A state championship tilt.


It was the second state MVP honor for the Mackey household, as older brother Josh Mackey won the award in Port Sulphur's 24-18 victory over Sterlington in the 2002 Class 1A finals.


"Now I have to go one-up on Josh," Mackey smiled.


The scary element about Mackey is he should only get better with two years remaining. Actually, he is already showing signs of improvement.


"My foot work has gotten better and I've gotten stronger," Mackey said.


College recruiters have noticed more about Mackey than his height.


"Randall has really improved as far as his decision-making, reading defenses, fundamentals and mechanics," Bradshaw said. "The college coaches all talk about how much he's improved."


College coaches have found their way to Bastrop, a town of 13,000 located 25 miles of the Arkansas state line, in droves this spring. Besides Mackey, defensive tackles Kantravis Aubrey (who has committed to LSU) and LaMarcus Williams and wide receiver DeAngelo Benton have generated Division I interest.


With all of the hoopla surrounding the Rams' long-awaited state championship, Mackey was more than willing to trade in selling raffle tickets to raise money for the commemorative rings for throwing the football.


"I'm glad all that stuff is over with. I was just ready to get on the field again," said Mackey, following the Rams' final spring practice Wednesday afternoon.


Mackey, who obviously has the full grasp of the Rams' spread offense focused primarily on upgrading his individual skills during the spring.


"I've been comfortable with this offense since the Neville game," said Mackey, referring to his second start. "We have all of our running backs coming back and all of our receivers except Tommy (White) and Jeremy (Sylve)."


It should be exciting to see what Mackey can do for an encore in a full season. Mackey, however, is more concerned with the bottom line.


"I want to win two more state championships," Mackey said. "Everything else will take care of itself."


Especially if he grows three or four more inches.

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