2006: Jai Eugene

The 6-0, 175-pound <b>Jai Eugene</b> from Destrahan, Louisiana, plays quarterback in high school but is getting recruited as defensive back on an elite national level. UCLA is on his list of favorites...

Destrehan (LA.) High is the home of NFL All-Pro safety Ed Reed, so it's no surprise that they continue to crank out elite prospects. UCLA recruited Destrahan's Daryl Richard two years ago, and they are in on defensive tackle Chaz Washington this year.

Another Destrehan player is one of the top prospects in the nation, athlete Jai Eugene (6-0, 175), and one look at his list of favorite schools reflects that.

"I've got offers from almost all of the SEC, Nebraska, Florida State, Florida, Miami, Texas, Texas Tech, Michigan State, Michigan, Illinois, Oregon, UCLA and Georgia Tech," said Eugene.

From the long list of offers, Eugene has a solid group of schools he is favoring right now. "My favorites are Tennessee, LSU, UCLA, Miami, Florida, Notre Dame and probably Florida State," said Eugene. "It's going to be a tough decision because I have so many great schools."

Eugene is being recruited to UCLA by recruiting coordinator Eric Bieniemy. "Coach Bieniemy is real cool. I like him a lot. I'm going to go to the Adidas Camp at UCLA (April 30th), because I really want to see the school," said Eugene.

Eugene will also be attending a Nike Camp this spring, though he hasn't decided between the one at Ole Miss or the one at Texas.

While there is strong pressure to stay in-state, Eugene said the one thing that favors LSU is family. He said, "I have a baby, so if I were to go to LSU, that would be a big reason why."

Though he plays quarterback for Destrehan, Eugene is being recruited as a cornerback primarily. "Some schools like me as a receiver, but I'll probably be a corner in college."

During his junior year, he had 30 tackles and 8 interceptions, plus a pair of sacks as a defensive back. On offense, he threw for 1,165 yards and rushed for 735 yards.

He and teammate Chaz Washington have talked about playing in college together, and he has sought the advice of Reed and Richard. "Me and Chaz talk about it," Eugene said. "But if the school isn't a good fit, we both know we have to make the best decision for us. Ed Reed tells me that it's a long process so to really feel good about it. I talked to Daryl Richard this weekend and he filled me in on it, too."

With Eugene such a highly regarded prospect, don't expect an imminent commitment. "I'll decide on Signing Day. Maybe at the U.S. Army All-American game, but I'm going to take all of my trips," said Eugene.

Academically, he maintains a 2.7 GPA and received a 17 on his ACT, which is the minimum accepted by NCAA standards, though he plans to take it again.


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