Larry Dibbles of Lancaster, Texas is regarded as the top defensive end recruit in Texas and quite possibly the best in the nation. A fantastic athlete, Dibbles is this years Tommie Harris, a young man that can come in at a very difficult position and start as a true freshman. He has been offered by more than 50 schools nationwide and is trying to give each school a chance, however it's very apparent he is beginning to line up his favorites. I had a chance recently to talk with Dibbles to get his thoughts on the recruiting process at this point.
JH: You live in Lancaster, Texas, is that a small town in Texas?
LD: You can consider Lancaster a small town. Everyone pretty much knows everyone, but it is a nice size community. We don't have any big problems or anything like that. It's just a nice small town.
JH: How do you feel when you hear people call you the best defensive lineman in the country, or one of the best?
LD: That is a good feeling and that is the type of feeling that every high school players wants to hear. That is a great climax to a high school career. I feel that it makes me work harder to prove that I belong on top.
Everybody is shooting at me and they want to prove the rankings wrong. I continue to have good work habits so that I can develop my skills, which will allow me to perform on a high level in college.
JH: Being the focus of attention from an offense shouldn't be anything new for you. You had such a good junior year, didn't teams double team you last year?
LD: Definitely, in fact it came to the point last year where teams wouldn't run my way. It was so obvious that they were ducking me that it was pitiful. All I could do was run down plays from behind and yet I still managed to make plays.
JH: Do you ever look across the line of scrimmage and challenge the manhood of the offense that won't challenge you?
LD: No sir, I don't take much during a game. That is just a sign of respect that they are giving me. I don't have a problem when they don't even look my way. I just play as hard as I can and like I said, I am still make plays.
JH: As your season gets underway how big are you?
LD: I am 6'4, 275 pounds and I ran a 4.58 forty at the
OU summer camp.
JH: I was at that camp and your performance was amazing?
LD: Thank you, I worked very hard and tried to develop my forty speed before that camp. The forty speed is very important in football and it is something that I am always trying to develop. I must have accomplished that to run that kind of time at OU.
JH: Are you a better defensive tackle or defensive end prospect?
LD: I think I am definitely a better defensive end prospect. I could probably play defensive tackle and I could probably dominate there, but I am inexperienced at that position so I would have to lean towards the defensive end position.
JH: Don't you think you will grow to 300 pounds once you get to college and get on a great weight program, and get to use that training table everyday? Or will you try to keep you weight around 270?
LD: I am pretty sure I will play in college at 270 or 280. I probably won't reach the 300-pound mark.
JH: How many recruiting offers do you have at this time.
LD: I have around 65 to 70 scholarship offers and it seems I get one or two more every week. I know I receive mail from that many schools every week. I have about 50 press guides from various schools.
JH: You are talking to so many different coaches and schools, have you narrowed your choices down at all?
LD: At this point I am still trying to talk to every coach that calls. I haven't reached a decision on a top five at this time, but I do believe that I have a top three. They have to be the schools that I have visited thus far.
JH: Who are the three schools?
LD: This is in no particular order. My top three right now are OU, Notre Dame and Texas. I have visited all three schools unofficially thus far.
JH: What are you thoughts on Oklahoma?
LD: Oklahoma is a great school. Norman seems to be a great college town and everyone seems to be pulling for the Sooners. It's hard to say no and overlook the defending national champions. That certainly gives them a lot power right now.
JH: How do you see yourself fitting into Oklahoma's defense?
LD: I definitely feel I fit into Oklahoma's style of defense. They swarm to the ball and don't mind letting their pass rushers get to the quarterback on every play. They don't tie up their down lineman by giving them responsibility of sitting at the line of scrimmage and waiting to stop the run. OU plays a good, aggressive defense and I could see myself fitting right in.
JH: What about Texas?
LD: I am from Texas so it is hard not to look at UT. Mack Brown seems to be a good coach and a nice guy. I feel like I could go in and play immediately on the D-line. At Texas, I feel I could fit right in, because of the style of play that they have. I like their defensive scheme and they always attack as well.
JH: What about Notre Dame?
LD: I feel Notre Dame will be in the mix for national championships the next few years. I feel like with me they may be able to compete harder on that fight. They have excellent academic programs and a very prestigious degree, which is hard to overlook. My academics are something that I am seriously taking into consideration.
JH: What are the variables in your recruiting search?
LD: My factors go a little bit deeper than just the size of the stadium or just football. I have my priorities straight as far as what I am looking for. I am looking for a strong academic program, a strong athletic program and I want a school with a strong alumni association. Once I graduate I want a strong alumni group so that it won't be so difficult getting a job. I also want to fit in at the place. I want to have a comfortable environment. Of course every football player wants to play for a players coach, a coach who understands where he is coming from, because he has been in his position before. I am definitely looking for a player's coach. I am looking for visibility. Every player wants to play on television.
JH: Who are some of the other schools that you will try to look at before you make your decision?
LD: I will probably look at Florida State, Miami, LSU, Purdue, Texas A&M and some other major programs that I feel I can fit in at and make a difference immediately.
Recruiting: Giant Texas DL likes Oklahoma
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