Three finalists

Plano East Senior High running back Toben Opurum (6-2, 225, 4.5) is regarded as one of the best fullbacks in the 2009 class. With colleges pulling from all sides, the three-star prospect prepared to take his college visits midway through his senior year, and had his options narrowed to LSU, Florida, Purdue, Kansas, Arkansas, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M.

Yet with the season coming to a close, things on Opurum's front have changed once again.


"I have my list cut down, and I am ready to announce my college decision by this weekend," Opurum said."


What schools made the No. 4 ranked fullback’s final list?


"I have things down to Notre Dame, Purdue and Kansas," Opurum said. "Those are the three schools that I really feel comfortable with on all fronts, and with that said I think I am ready to go ahead and end things."


While the Tigers stuck in it with Opurum until the end, head coach Les Miles maintained that the Plano-native's offer to join the 2009 class was one that would line him up at fullback for the Tigers.


And, in the end, the chance to continue to carry the ball in college was too great to pass up.


"I just want to be able to get the ball as a team's running back, and I was not going to get to do that at LSU," Opurum said. "I have always liked LSU and said that I would commit if they wanted me for running back, but things didn't play out like that."


Moving forward, Opurum has taken his officials and feels confident that the school's remaining allow him not to go wrong with any choice he makes.


"Purdue has been on me since the beginning," he said. "I have really liked that about them. I enjoyed my trip up to West Lafayette, and the players and coaches were all cool.


"Notre Dame is a school that had been on me, but then I was almost through with them, at least for a minute. But I went up there and really enjoyed the trip. The tradition is just so rich, the alumni are amazing and the education is top notch. I definitely liked what I saw."


With a decision looming soon after Christmas Day, the Lone Star State standout says that the visits allowed him to take in the real side of each of the universities, which helped pave the way for his decision.


"Basically, with the officials, I was able to catch a glimpse of the environment that I would be in for four or five years," Opurum said. "I went to practices and met the coaches and players and just witnessed how I would be able to mesh with each group at each school.


"I have seen the facilities everywhere and have a good feel for what each school is offering me, so it is about decision time."

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