Two at the top

After playing in only four games as a sophomore at Washington Marion in Lake Charles, La., Risean Broussard is finally starting to feel at home. The 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive tackle had to transfer to nearby LaGrange at the beginning of his junior year to get that feeling, but now he's ready to put the past in the rearview mirror.

Broussard exploded onto the scene as a sophomore when he logged 33 tackles and five sacks in four games for the Chargin’ Indians. A fractured ankle ended that campaign early and after having to sit out all of his junior season due to LHSAA transfer rules, Broussard is ready to get back on the field and make up for lost time.

 

Despite only playing in four games since his freshman season, college coaches are fully aware of Broussard’s skills and have rewarded him with some early verbal offers.

 

“I’ve picked up Tennessee, Oklahoma, Alabama and Oregon,” Broussard said of his verbal offers. “The interest is coming from most of the D-I (FBS) schools, but LSU is probably on me the most out of all the schools right now, then I’m hearing a good bit from Ole Miss, Auburn, Mississippi State and Texas A&M too.”

 

With only a minimal amount of film that Broussard has to show coaches it is a wonder that he has picked up the early offers he has. One way he has helped his stock has been his showing at combines, and he will strut his stuff again this weekend when he makes an appearance at Scout.com’s combine in New Orleans.

 

“They all ask for more film, but they say they can tell that I’m still in shape and dedicated to football by what I’m doing at combines,” Broussard said. “The four games that they saw from my sophomore season, I guess they liked it. I’m just going to use this weekend as another way to show them that I’m still on my game.”

 

College coaches can’t attend combines where testing is conducted, but Broussard will be able to show them what he can do in person when LaGrange hits the practice field in a few weeks for the start of spring practice.

 

“They’ll see someone who is raw after missing two years, but I feel like with a little more technique I have a lot of potential,” said Broussard. “I combine brute strength with speed, and when you put the two together they can be tough to stop.”

 

Brute strength is one of the best ways to describe Broussard’s game and one look at the weight he throws around in workouts supports that. It’s not often a young man heading into his senior season lays claim to a 450-pound bench, 535-pound squat, and a 300-pound clean.

 

LSU is one of the many schools that will send a representative to Lake Charles during the spring evaluation period, and Broussard expects to see new defensive line coach Brick Haley in the stands. While that will be LSU’s first opportunity to evaluate Broussard, the mammoth defender has already had a chance to evaluate LSU when he made an appearance at junior day on Jan. 31.

 

“I talked to the defensive coordinator, coach (John) Chavis, at junior day and he let me know that they were interested in me, but needed to see more of me,” said Broussard.

 

Junior day was Broussard’s first opportunity to get a first-hand account of what LSU had to offer, and it’s safe to say that he came away impressed.

 

“They had real nice facilities and you could see why they have such a good program,” Broussard explained. “We looked at the academic center and that’s something me and my parents want to look at more when we go back for the spring game.”

 

Broussard said that his recruitment has moved along at a quicker pace than he anticipated with all of the hurdles that he’s encountered the last two years.

 

The early offers have been a pleasant surprise, and one school that has offered is sitting at the top of his list.

 

“Tennessee is my favorite right now out of the ones that offered,” said Broussard, who is being recruited by defensive line coach Ed Orgeron. “I like how their defense has played in the past, and what the new coaches have said about what they’re going to do. They talk a lot about taking care of you academic-wise.

 

“I like OU, Alabama and Oregon too, but I don’t know as much about them as I do about Tennessee. They send me stuff, but I haven’t gotten as much contact from the coaches as I have had with Tennessee.”

 

While Broussard has the Volunteers at the top out of the four schools that have offered, it becomes a different picture when he combines all of the schools that are recruiting him.

 

“If I put everybody in there then LSU is my favorite,” he said. “They get my first pick if they offer because they’re my hometown school. When I went there for junior day I loved the way they talked about academics and how they train you for football. My parents are big LSU fans too, and I know they’d like to see things work out with them.”


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