On the radar

The Sunshine State has produced a plethora of linebackers for the 2009 class, with new prospects garnering national attention on a weekly basis. One of those prospects is Fort Walton Beach High's versatile running back/linebacker Matt Coffee (5-11, 215, 4.53), and the Tigers are keeping a close eye on the up and coming talent.

“Coach [Josh] Henson has come down and seen me practice,” Coffee said. “I have spoken with him a few times on the phone.”


As for where the defending National Champions stand with the Florida native, Coffee said that choosing LSU would almost be like coming come.


“For one, my mom’s side of the family is from Houma,” he said. “And I have always liked LSU, even growing up.”


If the name sounds familiar, it is because Coffee’s brother, Glen, is already a Southeastern Conference back for the Crimson Tide.


Though Alabama has not come after the younger Coffee yet, a number of schools have.


With offers from Illinois, N.C. State, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Marshall and Troy, Coffee said that the Wolfpack and Gamecocks have come after him the hardest, and that distance should play a factor in his final call.


“I definitely want to stay somewhere in the southeast,” Coffee said of his college decision. “I am not going to go all the way to Michigan just to play ball.”


As for when the decision will come, the versatile Coffee said that waiting it out is the answer, especially given that his junior season was cut short due to illness, only allowing him to play in the last five games for Fort Walton Beach.


“I am going to wait until after my senior season to commit,” Coffee said. “I just have a lot of time between now and then, so there is no need to rush it.”


Note: Coffee finished his sophomore season with 120 tackles and three sacks with two fumble recoveries. His junior season, cut short after only appearing in the last five games due to illness, saw him run the ball 74 times for 364 yards and four touchdowns. He also caught the ball nine times for 119 yards and a touchdown. On defense, Coffee finished with 55 total tackles and an interception.

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