Recruiting: Is Rouse A Realistic Possibility?

Tallahassee Lincoln wide receiver prospect Fred Rouse is seriously interested in four of the top programs in America: Alabama, Florida State, Miami and Texas. In this interview, however, we explore just how much of a player the Horns are considered to be by Rouse as we inch closer to Signing Day, '05.

"Right now, I'm looking at Alabama, Texas, Florida State and Miami," Fred Rouse told after his five-catch performance in Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Rouse told us on Saturday that his remaining official visit agenda was still up in the air, but that it looked unlikely that he would make it to Austin early this week. Essentially, the No. 1 wideout in the country told us Texas is going head-to-head with Miami for the Jan. 21 official visit date.

"I’m going to call (Texas WR) Coach Bobby Kennedy and if he wants me to come down Monday or Tuesday then that’s what I’m going to do," said the 6-3, 185-pounder. "But Texas was trying to get me to come down the 21st (of January), the same weekend Miami wants me to come down. Whoever can offer me the most exciting weekend, will get me on the 21st."

So what is it about UT that has Rouse looking so hard at the Orange and White, go so far as to name the Horns his leader just a short week ago?

"Texas needs a go-to receiver," Rouse explained. "They have some good receivers there already, but they don’t have a play-making receiver, or a Randy Moss-type of receiver like me, at least that’s what they (media) say about me."

And the Perrilloux to Texas, plus Rouse, equals package deal talk?

"Well, for me, I’m looking for a triggerman, someone who can get the ball to me. And, he’s the best quarterback out there. I’m probably going to follow him. I’m not going to follow him if he signs with just anybody, but if he goes some place where I think I can make an early impact, then I’ll probably go with him."

Also, many folks believe that Tallahassee, Florida kids all wind up as a 'Nole, or at least somewhere in the state of Florida. But Rouse explains why that kind of thought process isn’t necessarily something you should bank on with him.

"A lot of people think that any Florida kid out here wants to stay here and sign with a Florida school, but right now FSU is going through a lot of adversity and so is Miami," Rouse said. "So I’m looking at those things too."

But what about his father wanting him to go to FSU and his mother wanting him to go to Miami?

"My dad wants me to go to FSU and he’s pushing me hard to go there," Rouse revealed. "But, that doesn’t mean anything. And my mom is trying to get me to go to Texas now, not Miami."

For the record, Fred lives with mom, not dad, and appears to be more interested, at least in my opinion, with pleasing mom when it comes to making his ultimate college decision.

So, it appears UT is in fact a legitimate contender for the 5-star receiver’s John Hancock. And perhaps the leaders.

Coming up, an interview/story with Ketronda Jackson, Fred Rouse’s mother.

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