The school is located on Tiger Drive, there is a sign that reads "Welcome to Tiger Country" and everything in sight is purple and gold. Thibodaux is small town that is passionate and loves their Tiger football. Even former LSU and current NFL offensive lineman, Alan Faneca, calls Thibodaux home.
In the past, Thibodaux High was known for their 1991 AAAAA State Championship under current head coach Denis Lorio and the home of former LSU and Detroit Lions offensive guard Eric Andolsek, who was tragically killed at his home in Thibodaux in June 1992.
Today, the high school with an enrollment sitting around 1,600 is being talked about because of one of the top junior football prospects in the country, Trovon Reed. Reed is a 5-11.5, 175-pound sleek, quick and explosive receiver prospect that has emerged as one of the top prospects in the country.
Thibodaux head coach Dennis Lorio has seen many talented prospects over the years in Louisiana coaching at the high school level and on staff at LSU. Lorio, who is in his second stint at the 5A school after leading the Tigers to their lone state title in 1991, says Reed is as good a player as he has coached.
"Well, this is my 35th year and I've had three years at LSU and Trovon is a terrific talent and very humble kid," Lorio said. "Everybody likes to compare players to others they know a little about and when I first saw him I said he reminded me of a thin Early Doucet. He has those kinds of skills. When I thought a little bit more, the guy he really reminds me of the most is Eddie Kennison because he's got that electric quickness where the first one or two guys he normally evades. Then he's got acceleration. I still think he'll get a little bigger physically," Lorio added.
Words spoken from a veteran coach is quite the high praise for the Lafourche Parish star. Like most high school athletes, Reed competes in a number of sports at the varsity level. Currently averaging 14 points and nearly six assists for a 23-4 state ranked basketball team with track season to follow, Reed has yet to work a true offseason on just strength and conditioning.
Coach Lorio sees Reed's physical development coming at the next level.
"I think when he gets to a one sport situation, he'll develop more. He's got some special skills that you don't teach and needs only to get stronger," Lorio said.
While some programs are looking at Reed as a possible cornerback at the next level, Reed is one of those kids that is an offensive player with an offensive mindset. Coach Lorio leaves no doubt which position his star pupil will play in the future.
"There is no doubt he's a receiver at the next level. Several schools also feel like he can play defensive back, but he's an offensive player. He has the speed and acceleration everybody wants. I think he ran a 4.38 at one of the combines last year," Lorio said.
While Reed was good as a sophomore, it was his junior season that caught everyone's attention. Reed played a little of everything for the Tigers in 2008 helping lead Thibodaux to the 7-AAAAA district title and a 10-1 season. While the darting, explosive runner didn't end the season healthy and with the desired state championship, he was proud of the team for how they prepared for the season.
"We put in all of the work in the summer and it paid off during the season," Reed said. "Everybody was hungry to win this year. I got injured when we were playing Terrebonne the last regular season game for the district championship. I fell wrong and somebody fell on top of me and bruised my shoulder. I couldn't throw anymore, so I played running back and receiver in the playoffs," Reed said.
Reed's determination on the football field and in every athletic arena is in large part due to his desire to make his mother happy.
"My mom just got rid of cancer, so she isn't all the way here right now. I'm doing everything for her. When she was down, I was down. She said no matter what happens to her to continue my dreams and that's what I'm trying to do," Reed said.
With offers from the likes of LSU, Texas, Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Oregon and California, and with heavy interest from USC and Florida, the recruiting process can become overwhelming. Reed is taking a simple approach and is looking for one key thing every time he sets foot on a college campus.
"I'm looking for people that are going to be with you no matter what the situation is. If you get hurt, they aren't just going to lay you off to the side and forget about you. I just want love and for people to feel like my real family. If I go away from home, I don't want to get with people that aren't going to care for me. People I feel I can trust in case my mom isn't there for me is what I'm looking for," Reed said.
One person Reed has formed a tight bond with is Temple junior running back Lache Seastrunk. While rumors of them being related aren't true, Reed considers him family.
"Lache and I are like best friends. I've known Lache for a while now. We met at camps a while back. We got each other's phone numbers and we talk almost every day. It's like we are cousins," Reed said.
One thing is for certain, wherever one finds Reed in the spring and summer, he'll likely be standing next to Seastrunk. Expect the talented duo to travel to the same camps this spring and summer.
"I've got a few camps this summer. I'm going to the USC Rising Stars Camp in June. I'm going to try and make the Oregon and California camps. Hopefully the Florida camp and the LSU and Texas camps," Reed said.
While prying the top prospect away from LSU will be a tough chore at the end of the day, several programs are trying, including the Texas Longhorns.
"I like them (Texas). They are competitive. I don't like a team that won't compete or will lie down. Texas is the opposite of that and will compete. I like that," Reed said.