LB or DE for Catholic star

Louisiana has a few prospects for 2004 that could be excellent players at a couple of positions on the defensive side of the ball.<br><br> One of them hails from a high school that is only a few minutes away from the LSU campus at nearby Catholic of Baton Rouge in linebacker Jonathan Alvarado (6-3, 220, 4.7).

"He's a great linebacker because he is always where the ball is," said longtime Catholic coach Dale Weiner. "We can line him up anywhere and he is always on the ball. My gut feeling is he will end up at outside linebacker or as a rush defensive end. He has the frame to add some weight so he could end up on the line."

Alvarado is an excellent student with a 3.8 grade point average but he is just as good on the gridiron. He earned first team All-District as a junior and finished as his team's second leading tackler even though he usually lined up on the strong side of the line.

"He's been a two-year starter for us and that is difficult to do," Weiner told Tiger Rag. "He is highly intelligent and he picks up on stuff quickly. Because of his athleticism he can play inside or outside after he leaves here. Next year he will even play some tight end for us."

Schools from all over the country have taken notice of his abilities in the classroom and on the field but a few prominent programs are frequently mentioned when his college destination comes up in conversation.

"I know he is very much interested in LSU," Weiner said. "Schools with strong academic interests like Notre Dame and Stanford will also be in the mix. He is going to get a lot of attention from all of the major schools."

Catholic has sent many players to major Division-I schools in the past but as far as linebackers are concerned, Alvarado may be the best to come out of Weiner's program.

"We haven't had many like him," Weiner said. "I would say physically, he is the most imposing linebacker we've ever had. He has as good of physical dimensions as anyone we've ever had at that position."

Sonny's View: Alvarado and West Monroe linebacker Luke Sanders will both be heavily recruited and LSU appears to be in great shape with both of them. Sanders has a more dominant physical presence but Alvarado could be ahead in regards to technique. It will be interesting to see if they stay at linebacker or whether they make the move to defensive end.

Tiger Blitz Top Stories