The recruiting process for Alfred Blue wasn’t expected to get going until a year from now because he was classified as a sophomore at Boutte (La.) Hahnville during the 2008 season.
Now, five months later, Blue is classified as a junior and he may be Louisiana’s top running back prospect for 2010.
Blue, a 6-foot-2, 200-pounder with 4.5 speed, is a year older than most of his classmates that he entered Hahnville with back in 2007. That makes him too old to play football in what should be his senior season in the 2010-11 academic year.
Blue admitted that he may have slacked on his academics growing up but he has turned a new leaf the last couple of years and is on pace to accomplish something that few are able to do.
“He’ll get his diploma and graduate next year,” Valdin said. “We can get you out in three years here and he was able to take enough classes and he busted his butt to do it. He’s still got to work hard but he’s on schedule to graduate next year.”
In addition to working hard in the classroom so that he can have the chance to play football at the next level, Blue had some solid numbers last season. He rushed for 603 yards on 87 carries – 6.9 avg. – and 10 touchdowns, and also added a pair of scores and 72 yards on seven receptions.
He split time with senior tailback Jai Steib and when it came time to select the all-district teams in District 6-5A it was Blue who found a spot on the first team while Steib earned second team recognition.
Blue’s stats from the 2008 campaign are not jaw-dropping by any means but college coaches are looking past the numbers as Texas A&M, Tulsa and Tulane have already offered, and Louisiana Tech is very close to doing so according to Hahnville head coach Lou Valdin.
Those aren’t the only schools expressing interest in the talented running back as LSU, Alabama and Ole Miss are also in the mix. Some say Blue’s stats don’t add up to that type of attention but he’s getting a pretty strong endorsement from the Tigers’ headman that is tipping the scales in his favor.
“By the time it’s all over he’s going to have offers from everybody that looks at him,” Valdin said. “He’s going to be the highest recruited guy we’ve had since LaRon was here. There’s some coaches I still talk to that didn’t realize he was in this class so everyone doesn’t know about him yet.”
LaRon would be former four-star safety LaRon Landry, who was the country’s 10th ranked safety when he came out of Hahnville in 2002 and eventually signed with LSU. He was a two-time All-American at LSU before he was selected sixth overall by the Washington Redskins in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Valdin isn’t ready to put Blue in that same category but he does think that he has the skills to be very successful at the college level.
“I think he’s a real good running back,” Valdin said. “He’s 6-2, 200 pounds and runs a 4.4 (40). He’s got good vision and hits the hole extremely hard. He’s got outstanding speed too.”
LSU hasn’t signed a player from Hahnville since Landry and as it stands the Tigers are still evaluating Blue. He hasn’t spoken to anyone at LSU personally but was scheduled to so on Thursday evening until a family emergency interrupted those plans.
“Coach [Larry] Porter came by last week to watch us practice and then I was supposed to call Thursday and talk to head coach Les Miles,” Blue said. “They had something going on where they wanted me to call where I can talk to all of the coaches but my grandma had to go to the hospital so I couldn’t make the call. I’m going to see when I can reschedule it.”
Blue said that Texas A&M is currently recruiting him the hardest and the Aggies are doing everything they can to land another Louisiana prospect to go along with the three current Aggie commitments from the Bayou State – Brandon Jackson, Gavin Stansbury and Ivan Robinson.
Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman was able to secure early pledges from three Louisiana guys but he may have to wait a little while longer on Blue.
“They’re trying to make me commit right now and they’re telling me they don’t have that many scholarships left, but I told them I’m not doing anything until later on,” he said.
“I went and visited and saw how they help you with your education, and I got to talk to the coaches but I really don’t know much about A&M.”
The fact that Blue doesn’t know much about Texas A&M is completely understandable considering that he doesn’t know much about the school that is only a little more than an hour away from home in LSU.
“I don’t really know a whole lo about LSU either,” he said. “I guess I don’t know much about any schools because all of this recruiting stuff kind of popped up before I was expecting it to. I need to start learning more about them and all of the schools now.”
Blue said that he plans to attend summer camps at LSU, Texas A&M and Alabama this summer to get a better look and feel for three schools that are at the top of his list.
While he doesn’t have a favorite school at this point, Blue does have one favorite when it comes to college football.
“My dream is to play in the SEC because it’s in the hardest conference,” he said. “I want to be the best and to do that I need to play against the best.”