Brandon Phelps didn’t grow up playing at West Monroe or Breaux Bridge, or even anywhere near Louisiana for that matter. When it comes to local connections, the Demascus High two-way standout considers the Maryland Terrapins his favorite team.
Far from the Bayou State, Phelps is going through his recruitment with a crop of northeastern schools as early frontrunners.
While the 2009 calendar year was quiet when it came to recruiting, the contact between Phelps and coaches has come non-stop over the past two months. In February, Penn State was the first school to extend a scholarship offer. Over 15 schools followed, including the likes of Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Iowa, Nebraska, LSU, and Virginia, the school his father Gary played for in the late 80's and that his mother graduated from as well.
The Tigers, who offered just last week, might be the latest team to join the picture, but the interest level on Phelps’ part has been present.
“LSU has been in contact for a long time with sending mail and stuff, so I followed them on television a lot,” he said. “The SEC is the real deal, and LSU is one of the best schools out there. The scholarship meant a whole lot, and I consider it one of my biggest. I could see myself at a place like LSU.”
The LSU staff came across tapes of Phelps, who plays both cornerback and wide receiver, and decided to extend an offer for the defensive side of the ball. After sending the overture to DHS, Phelps dialed Baton Rouge and heard more from the Tiger staff.
“[Defensive backs] Coach [Ron] Cooper talked with me on the phone, and he said the entire staff really likes me,” he said. “He let me know that I had a place in their class, and he wants me to fly down for camp. I went ahead and let him know I would be there. It is the soonest I can make it, anyhow.”
While Phelps hasn’t gone public about the order of his leaders, he admitted that his latest offer has the LSU program fresh on his mind.
“I am just ready to get down there and visit,” he said. “I want to check out a couple of campuses, then I might commit before my season starts. Whenever I feel comfortable, the decision will be made.
“On my visit to LSU, I am going to be looking hard at what the campus is like and I am going to be trying to get to know all of the coaches,” he added. “That visit will let me know where they stand, for sure.”
Phelps, who reports a 3.6 GPA, runs a 4.5 40-yard dash. He said he logged 25 receptions last season with six going for touchdowns and he also intercepted two passes on the other side of the ball.