“Before the scholarship offer came we didn’t even know LSU was really after Norkeithus,” said Eric Otis, Norkeithus’ uncle and mentor in the recruitment process. “It turned out they had been sending a bunch of mail, but it had gone to the school and never gotten to us. When they offered, they found my address and sent some stuff that showed how interested they were.
“I called coach [Sherman] Morris, and from there I was able to talk with coach [John] Chavis,” he added. “He encouraged us right away to get down and see the campus.”
Over a month later, contact from Chavis has picked up.
“I talked with coach Chavis earlier today,” the elder Otis said. “He talks about the history of the school and how LSU is able to compete at the highest level right now. He also talked about the program’s system of graduating their players in three and a half years, which is attractive to me.”
During the spring evaluation period the head of the LSU defense has planned a visit to the East Coast, where one of his stops will be at Ashbrook High.
“Coach Chavis said he would come over the school in about two weeks,” Otis said. “I am not sure if he will run into Norkeithus, but he wants to check in on his counselor and coaches.”
With 12 offers on the table, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Otis will allow his process to play out through his senior season. During the summer months and again in the fall, visits will be the focus of the family.
“As a school counselor I have time off in the summer, so we will get to a lot of places then,” Eric said. “Whether we make it to LSU then or not, I don’t know. I can say that we will definitely get to Baton Rouge at some point, but it might have to be on an official visit. We will definitely make a trip.”
With overtures from the likes of Clemson and South Carolina, will leaving the East Coast be a decision made without hesitation?
“I know that [Norkeithus] is trying to keep an open mind,” Eric said. “He doesn’t know where he fits, so he doesn’t want to rule anyone out. He will take a few officials, maybe not all five, and then begin to narrow it down.”
Otis wrapped up his junior campaign with 109 tackles, including 21 for losses, 10 sacks and four forced fumbles.