Capturing out of state talent is never as easy as keeping players close to home, but in previous years, Les Miles has fared well when it comes to reeling in players from around the country.
One Class of 2011 prospect Miles would like to one day have securing the secondary for the Tigers is Miami (Fla.) Monsignor Pace product Jabari Gorman.
Last season, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound four-star prospect made his presence known on both sides of the ball.
On offense, Gorman carried the ball for over 300 yards with another 700 yards receiving. On defense, he was just as potent recording 80 tackles and four interceptions - two in which he took to the house. Those numbers have granted Scout.com’s No. 13 cornerback over two dozen offers with more likely on the way.
“I have close to 30 offers,” Gorman admitted. “It feels good, but at the same time, having all of this attention takes its toll on you. You just have to enjoy the process. I was surprised with all of these offers, but then again I wasn’t because I know I’ve put in a lot of work to be successful. I had my parents and coaches pushing me, and now it’s time just to embrace everything.”
Part of Gorman’s embrace with his current success is making his way out to college campuses for visits and networking with the college coaches recruiting him.
“I just got back from Ohio State,” Gorman said. “I had a good time there. I also visited Miami and UCF unofficially. I actually had a good time on all of my visits. Every school wants me there and every school wants a good player. I just have to take my time with it all and decide what the best place is for me.”
According to Gorman, there is another out of state school that has caught his attention and he credits the school’s tradition, along with the recruiting efforts of Billy Gonzales, Ron Cooper and Les Miles for sparking that interest.
“I haven’t been to LSU yet, but I plan on it,” he stated. “That is one of the schools I’d like to keep my eye on. I haven’t done too much research on LSU yet, but I’ll know more when I visit there this summer. Me and the LSU coaches haven’t really formed a close relationship yet, but I can tell it’s getting there.”
Gorman admitted he would like to play close to home, but it’s teams such as LSU, that could be the exception.
“I like LSU a lot because of their tempo,” he said. “They play really fast and with me being a defensive back, I want things to be fast. I’m looking for an up tempo team and that’s what I’m interested in.
“They are recruiting me as a defensive back and as a special teams guy. I consider myself an athlete, and I could play it all. Some schools are recruiting me as a receiver, and I could see myself playing there as well.”
Being that Gorman is so confident in his abilities as a player, he is not as concerned about the position he will be asked to play at the next level. There are more attributes he is looking for in a school outside of the position.
“All schools have different facilities, and some are better than others,” Gorman informed. “But that’s not going to be a major factor for me. Playing time is going to make me happy, because if I’m not playing, then I’m not going to be happy at a school.”
Gorman informed Tigersportsdigest.com that it is not that he is scared of the competition; he just does not want to wait to be able to leave his mark on the game.
“I’m going to be looking at how many defensive backs a school is bringing in, and how many are already on the roster,” he stated. “It would be better to be competing against three guys rather than six or nine. Three would be no issue for me. I feel like if there are six or nine defensive backs on the roster, then I’m really not needed. And if I’m not needed, then there is no reason for me to be there.”
Gorman, a competitor in every sense of the word, does not want to be just another member on team; he wants to be an integral part of whatever program he chooses.
“I’m not the type of player than wants to sign with a team because they are in the hunt for the national title,” Gorman concluded. “If I’m going to be on a team that’s in the hunt for the national title, I want to be a part of it on the field and not watching from the sidelines. I want people to see me. I want to be that person making the plays. I’m a competitor, and I want to compete. The crowd is not cheering for you on the sideline.”
Note: Gorman hopes to camp at Miami, LSU, and Alabama this summer.