Recruits plentiful at Alabama-LSU game

Dozens of high school prospects were on hand to see the Alabama-LSU game last Saturday at Tiger Stadium.<br><br>While the Tigers failed to deliver a win, the LSU crowd came through with a very convincing performance that may swing the decision of a few of the athletes considering the Bayou Bengals.

The high profile Southeastern Conference showdown drew two prospects from California: Los Angeles wide receiver Mark Bradford (Nov. 15 update) and Chino defensive tackle Sedric Ellis.


Ellis (6-2, 260) is a fully qualified athlete who also plays fullback for the Chino Senior offense. He was primarily a blocking back as a junior but has gotten a few carries this season.


"Still not enough," he told, laughing. "I had 12 tackles on defense last week and I think I have close to 60 now with five sacks."


Following his trip to LSU, Ellis said he has plans to visit Oklahoma, Oregon, Southern California and UCLA. Miami was among his favorites but he has not heard from the Hurricanes recently.


"I like the two schools out here," he said. "But the two I like most are probably Oregon and Oklahoma because they're winning the most. It's all about winning to me."


But even with the two California visitors on campus, the recruit drawing the most attention was Mobile, Ala., quarterback JaMarcus Russell. The 6-foot-5 athlete led his Williamson High team to a 31-3 win at Benjamin Russell the night before with a 20-of-27 passing performance for 268 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.


Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, LSU, Georgia and Notre Dame are the main schools vying for Russell, one of the nation's top quarterback prospects.


Mississippi's top defensive line prospect, Sean Merrill of D'Iberville, came from the coast for the game. A week earlier, he told Tiger Rag he had backed off his commitment to Ole Miss and was giving strongest consideration to LSU.


Another defensive lineman who backed off his commitment to another school was also in attendance. It has been a few years since Brian West first pledged to Texas A&M and then bypassed College Station in order to play baseball with the Chicago White Sox organization.


Tiger Rag has learned that West has been in regular contact with the LSU coaching staff and has shown an interest in resuming his football career with the Tigers.


East St. John defensive standouts Vegas Franklin and Kirston Pittman were at the game on an unofficial basis. The night before, their Wildcats had fallen in the first round of the playoffs to Acadiana and LSU commitment Alley Broussard, who was also on the sidelines at Tiger Stadium.


Franklin and Pittman have not yet made plans to come to LSU on an official visit.


One player who was at LSU on an official visit was Tenaha, Texas, linebacker Darius Ingram (6-3, 220). rates Ingram as the nation's No. 32 linebacker prospect and notes offers from Arkansas, Oklahoma and TCU.


Marcus Howard, considered the 76th best high school player at linebacker, made the trip from Hanahan, S.C., to Baton Rouge. At 6-2, 205 with 4.4 speed, he is likely to get a hard look at the secondary in college. LSU was not among the schools he had listed within the last month, but the Tigers have evidently made the push to contend with Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.


Kempner, Texas, linebacker Brandon Debose (6-0, 220) also traveled from out of state to for the game with his teammate, defensive back Jonathan Denman.


As far as the prospects hailing from closer to campus, Baton Rouge was represented by Woodlawn wide receiver Chijuan Mack and Tara's John Vigers. Both are former Christian Life athletes who transferred into the public school system and met last Friday in the first round of the playoffs.


Vigers was on the end of a 56-yard fake punt touchdown play that propelled Tara to a 40-35 win over Woodlawn. The Trojans trailed 28-7 at halftime before mounting a massive comeback. Mack scored on two passing touchdowns from Billy Farris in the first half.


Both players could end up on Division I recruiting radar as signing day nears.


Other capital area players on hand were defensive tackles Glen Davis of University (Jr.) and Glenn Dorsey of East Ascension (Jr.), St. Martinville athlete Early Doucet (Jr.), Catholic running back Tasmin Knockum, and Christian Life wide receiver/defensive back Erik Taylor.


In addition to Broussard, other LSU commitments in attendance included offensive lineman Will Arnold of Centreville, Miss., tight end Keith Allegers of Leesville and Breaux Bridge defensive back Jonathan Zenon.


Linebacker Tim Williams, the younger half-brother of Domanick Davis, accompanied teammate Zenon and is still expected to get a scholarship offer from LSU pending the improvement of his academic standing.

Wide receiver Anthony Perine of Lucedale, Miss., was in attendance at the Alabama-LSU game. The 5-11, 165-pound product of George County High School is considered one of the best receivers in the state and has verbally committed to Southern Miss.

Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU, Florida and Auburn were recruiting him, but his offer status from these schools is unknown.

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