Vandebilt Catholic (Houma, La.) cornerback Daren Kitchen isn’t an unknown around the LSU football facilities, having camped in Baton Rouge on more than one occasion, including two weekend workouts in the past two months.
“I was at the Nike (Football Training) Camp in April, and then I came back up there for the first LSU camp a couple of weeks ago,” Kitchen said. “There weren’t tons of prospects at that camp, but the coaching staff worked me out a good bit. I felt like they liked me.”
Defensive backs coach Ron Cooper has been selective with his approach to recruiting Louisiana for cornerbacks from the 2011 class, offering only a handful of out-of-state prospects after deciding to take the wait-and-see approach with the local flavor.
While the first camp of the summer might have been light on defensive backs, the July session should be a different story. Kitchen, Newman’s Odell Beckham, East St. John’s Floyd Raven and Acadiana’s Bakari Hollier are all scheduled to be in attendance.
“Coach Cooper asked me to come back for that camp because he wanted to see me alongside the other top guys from around Louisiana,” Kitchen said. “Hopefully I’ll get to line up against some big-time receivers and shut them down. I need to be able to prove I can play against big players.
“I’m going there hoping to get closer to an offer, because LSU’s the home state team and it would be a big scholarship to have.”
“Right now I have to go with the offers I have, and I’m liking Memphis and Nebraska a lot,” he said. “I talk with coach (Larry) Porter from Memphis a lot, and he told me their program is going to be on the come-up. I could be a part of something like that, and I would play early, too.”
“I feel like all of them are close,” said Kitchen of the possibility of an overture. “Ole Miss just got my game film, and the coaches were impressed. They said that they hadn’t heard much about me before this month.
“I also went and camped at Mississippi State last week, and their coaches have been talking with me since then. They are still recruiting some other cornerbacks, but they told me to stay patient for just a little longer.”
While Kitchen had entertained the idea of shutting down his process early, the new plan is to wait the school season out and take visits.
“I was moving things fast, but I’m starting to look at more schools now and I want to be able to get out and see what everyone has to offer,” he said.
Outside of LSU’s camp, Kitchen will keep busy this July with workouts at the Top Gun and Badger 7-on-7 camps.
“We have a Louisiana team set up for the 7-on-7, and it’s probably better than the team we brought up to Tuscaloosa last month,” Kitchen said. “Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham, Devin Boutte, D’haquille Williams, Floyd Raven and Daniel Taylor are just a couple names.
“We should represent Louisiana well.”