Top Mississippi JUCO DE Talks Recruiting

Pearl River Community College defensive end Brian Coulter is very likely the top defensive player in the Mississippi junior college ranks. And with close to 20 scholarship offers already on the table, college coaches appear to confirm that assumption.

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While Brian's always had the talent to be one of the most highly recruited defensive ends in the nation, grades put a halt to his recruitment coming out of Baker High School in Baker, Louisiana, at least as far as four-year colleges were concerned.

"LSU was recruiting me out of high school, but by me not having the grades, they backed off. They wanted me to go to Dodge City (CC) in Kansas, but I didn't want to go that far," said Brian, who led the city of Baton Rouge in sacks his 10th and 12th grade years. "Louisiana-Monroe came after me after they heard that I wasn't going to LSU, but they wanted to prop me. But I wanted to play my first year. I was about to go to Southwest (MS) Community College because they were the first (junior college) to come after me. Then Itawamba came. After Itawamba, Hinds came after me. Pearl River was the last school to come after me. I took the visit down here and liked the coaching staff, so I decided to sign with them. And it has turned out great."

That last sentence is probably an understatement. During his initial year at PRCC he earned 2nd Team Mississippi Junior College All-State honors. Since then, colleges throughout the nation have offered him scholarships in droves. When asked how many offers he has, Brian rattled off the names of schools from one coast to the other.

"Alabama has offered me ... Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Louisiana Tech, LSU, Louisville, Memphis, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Tennessee, University of (Louisiana) Lafayette, Mississippi State, Arkansas, TCU, Oregon State and Oklahoma State."

Of those offers, seven schools are currently at the top of his list.

"I have seven favorites. I am looking at Tennessee and Florida State because they are coming after me the hardest," said Brian. "Florida State is on top. Tennessee would be number 2. Florida's number 3. LSU is number 4. Auburn is number 5. South Carolina is number 6 and Louisville is number 7."

He talked about the advantages each school has.

Florida State - "Playing for Florida State has always been a dream of mine. To finally be recruited by them, I am really excited about it. When (FSU defensive coordinator) Mickey Andrews came to our school and watched me at practice, I about killed myself trying to impress him on the practice field."

Tennessee - "I like them because of their coaching staff. I have always liked them. I tell this to all the coaching staffs. I want to go to a school where I have (tutors) who will help me in the classroom because I'm not really strong in certain academic areas. Tennessee's coaches said they have that."

Florida - "I tell people it doesn't matter if I'm number 1 or number 2 on the depth chart. I just want to play. I can do that at Florida."

LSU - "My people would love for me to go there. And they have a winning tradition. And it would be close to home."

Auburn - "I like their defense. They have always been known for having pretty good defensive ends."

South Carolina - "I feel that South Carolina is a young team. And they competed well against talented teams. I feel they will be the team to beat in the SEC in the future with (head coach Steve) Spurrier bringing in so much talent."

Louisville - "Louisville plays hard. I watched the (NFL) draft this year and they had a pretty good defensive end who went in the draft. I don't really know much about them other than what I watched on tv."

While each school has things he likes, he has certain criteria that has to be met when it's all said and done.

"Winning tradition is something I'm looking at. I will also look at the overall team attitude," noted Brian. "And also the strength and conditioning coach. I will look to see how many people they have sent to the NFL who play my position. I am looking at the coaches contract. If they only have one year on their contract, I won't be interested in them."

Brian mentioned earlier that Florida State is his dream school. Since he has an offer from him I asked him what is keeping him from committing?

"I want to commit now, but I want to go there to see how things look. It's been a dream to play for them, and I'm happy to be on their recruiting list, but I also realize that they might not be the school for me to go to," said Brian. "They are supposed to fly me down there in September for a really big game. I really have a feeling once I go down there I am probably going to commit to them."

Will Florida State meet the criteria that Brian is looking for when he officially visits them or will another school ultimately win this talented defensive end's signature? Continue visiting to read the latest.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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