Where Does Claude Stand?

Miami (Fla.) Edison offensive lineman Jacky Claude has been enjoying the break from college coaches in recent days. "I'm just chillin, enjoying the holidays," Claude said. "It's giving me some more time to think about my future. I really hope everything works out man."

Claude leaves Sunday for California, where he'll compete in the Cali-Florida all-star game.

"I'm going out there to show those guys that they don't play football in California like they do here," he said. "Football in Florida is different. Football in Dade County is different. All-Star games aren't real coordinated sometimes but you're gonna see who the best are."

The talented lineman reflected back on his senior season, a year in which Claude said ended early.

"Way back when you were watching our practice in August in the rain, we were all telling you that Edison's going all the way," he said. "It just didn't happen. Naples was too strong on defense. I waited a long time for that ring but it just wasn't our year. We thought since all of us (Claude and over a half dozen other Division 1 teammates) were seniors it might happen, but it's over now."

Speaking of Naples, Claude talked about a player on their defense that still sticks out in his mind.

"No. 90 (junior Spencer Adkins) was really good," he said. "After the first couple plays, I was like 'damn boy, you're good. Keep bringing it' and then he was like 'I'm gonna, all night long'. Usually some guys are tough to start out against because of their style but I usually adjust. He kept going all night. He was really strong, really fast, and really smart. And he kept coming at me. I played against some good cats the last few years but none of them were like him. He's only about 6-1 but he has to be one of the best players in the whole nation."

When Claude returns home from his trip to California, he'll resume his recruiting trips. He went to N.C. State earlier this month.

"N.C. State was tight," he said. "They showed me a lot of love there. They're trying really hard to get me. They got a lot of guys from down here on the team so it won't be hard to fit in. We're all going to South Florida on the 9th, then I'm going to Auburn, Florida State, and Rutgers after that. I'll probably decide in February."

The talented lineman said he's still been in contact with the UM coaches.

"I went by the school the other day (last Saturday)," he said. "They had a lot of recruits there. I talked to Kehoe and Coach Johnson. They were talking to me about my test scores. I just need to bring them up and I'll be straight. I only got a 13 but I just took it to take it. I'm studying now so I should be straight on the next one."

Unfortunately, because of his visit schedule it's unclear whether he'll be able to take the January test.

"I know they have one in early February," he said. "I need to figure it out because UM wants me to bring my scores up."

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