Redemptorist wide receiver Denzeil Warner is a player who is beginning to emerge as a big name in recruiting circles. By all accounts, Warner impressed the crowd at the recent Nike Training Camp in Baton Rouge, distinguishing himself as one of the top receivers at the invitation-only event.
"I was excited to get invited to the camp," said Warner (5-foot-11, 190-pounds). I was hoping to get invited last year, but I wasn't at that talent level yet. I think I probably took it more serious than some other players this year. It was all about business for me and it paid off."
Redemptorist, which has one of the best football programs in the state in any classification, started spring practice earlier this week, and the Wolves are on a mission after getting upset in the 3A quarterfinals last year by Catholic New Iberia.
"We started Monday and we're getting back into stride," Warner said. "We're installing some new things. We're going to go to more of a base-I formation look and get away from running the spread all of the time. We'll be using a lot of play action out of the I. Last year, we relied on the spread because we had quarterback Deuce Coon.
"In the quarterfinals, we got a little too comfortable. We didn't take them lightly, but we got too comfortable. We scored the first points in that game. Actually, I got the first touchdown, but then we didn't make the necessary plays down the stretch. We've had a good offseason though. Our coach (Guy Mistretta) says that we're the strongest team that has come through Redemptorist in the past 10 years."
Warner is receiving interest from a number of schools, including LSU, Miami, Houston, Texas Tech, Alabama, Arkansas State, UCLA, and Tulsa, and he says that he has a definite top three in mind.
"Miami, Houston, and LSU are my top three schools," he said. "Miami has a family atmosphere. They say that it's 'all about the U' and that's true. It's a tight-knit community.
"LSU is an elite school with good coaches. It's home, it's in my backyard. I already had a relationship with (wide receivers coach) Billy Gonzales because I went to Florida's camp last year. He put me on the recruiting list over here. Houston was the first school to recruit me. They signed Capitol quarterback Terrance Broadway, who has been a friend of mine since the third grade."