UM In Heated Battle For DL

The University of Miami coaches have been actively recruiting the state of Louisiana this year and one of the major targets right now appears to be New Orleans (Kennedy) standout defensive end Dion Gales.

At 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, Gales is coming off a solid senior season. In the 10-game season, Gales finished with 65 tackles and 16 quarterback sacks despite drawing constant double and triple teams.

Gales, who played both end and tackle this past season, said it doesn't matter what position he plays at the next level.

"I ain't really worried about it," he said. "I'll play no matter what. Whatever gets me on the field. I'm an athlete. If those other cats think they're better than me, I wanna see what they got because I know what I got."

Gales, who's on the starting varsity basketball and baseball teams as well, is re-taking the SAT on Dec. 13. Many top programs will be anxiously awaiting those results, as Gales is one of the state's top overall prospects.

"Every coach that's came through here the last two weeks has given me a full scholarship," he said. "None of that half or partial (stuff). They want me."

Gales has been busy meeting with college coaches, both at school and at his home.

"The Miami coach, CJ, he came to the school and met with me," he said. "Mississippi came, Mississippi State came, West Virginia, those guys have been in my home just hollerin at me."

The talented defensive lineman has three January visits lined up and is close to setting up a fourth.

"I'm taking all my trips in January," he said. "I got Miami (Jan. 16), Michigan State, and Ole Miss for sure and then I'm gonna visit either West Virginia or Illinois. Then I'll be able to make my decision."

Gales said he's also very interested in LSU but won't need to take a visit there.

"I've been there for camps, junior days, senior days, everything," he said. "It's like, I've been to LSU so many times that there isn't anything else I need to see. They got it going on there, they're doing their thing."

Despite his strong interest in the hometown Tigers, they're facing uphill battle against the Hurricanes.

"LSU's straight and everything but Miami's on top right now," he said. "That's the way it's been. Miami's for real. They have been showing strong interest in me the whole year."

Gales talked about why he's so interested in UM at this point in the recruiting process.

"Man, that's Miami," he said. "I've always enjoyed watching them on TV and stuff. Look at how many guys they send to the pros. If you got a chance to play there, why not? I know Derron Thomas and he's trying to go down there. They have some guys from up here on the team. I think I would fit in but I guess I'll see for myself when I go there for my trip next month. That's probably when I'll know for sure where I'm gonna go but I really like Miami right now."

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