The Wade Hampton Generals had another strong season and defensively one of their biggest prospects 2012 DT/DE Nikeem Ladson was also one of their best. The 6'3 275 pound prospect impressed many during his senior season and was rewarded for his efforts by being selected to the SCADA North-South All Star Game. Before leaving for the beach we spoke to Ladson about his senior season, thoughts about the North-South game, and recruitment.
Last year we saw the potential in Ladson and he took some advice and went on a mission to slim down to build his stamina and speed. The hard work paid off and Ladson was a different player a year later and he concurred that he put together a strong senior season.
"This year I had 101 tackles, 6 sacks, and 5 fumble recoveries. Yeah I was satisfied with the way I played my senior year. I couldn't have played any better."
Being a standout as a junior many teams focused their attention on Ladson and he was still able to post the aforementioned stats. One team in particular stood out to him as the best he faced this year.
"I had to deal with a lot of holding this year. One guy in particular #57 from York was probably the toughest individual I faced all season. Other than that it was a breeze."
We asked Ladson what was his initial reaction after finding out he'd made the North-South all-star game in Myrtle Beach.
"I felt real good because it made me feel like I didn't do all the hard work I put in this off season for nothing."
Ladson said his primary goals for the all-star game are to work hard, have fun, and make enough plays to help him draw more offers with some good highlights.
We've touted the Wade Hampton standout as one of the hidden gems in the 2012 class and in fact he's taken it personal that he's been overlooked by a lot of schools until late.
"Yes I felt like I've been overlooked, I have worked hard and I stopped cheating my body. Last season I played at 315 pounds and now I'm playing at 275 so that should show that I'm dedicated to the game in more ways than one."
"I felt that I improved the most on my pass rushing skills and my technique since the end of my junior season."
Right now Ladson has offers from North Carolina Central and South Carolina State. SC State came by a little over a week ago and verbally offered Ladson.
There was a rumor going around that Ladson was going to be part of a "combo deal" along with 2012 running back Blake Hayes who had to sit out this season with a torn ACL. That isn't the case and both prospects made it clear that although it would be fun to play together in college they will be seeking schools that will be the best fit for their own futures.
Ladson talked about where things stand with his recruitment with so many schools coming by in recent weeks to check in on him.
"I would like to visit the schools and meet with the coaches first. There's a lot that goes into committing such as academics, location, and other things that I will be looking at closely."
Stay tuned to SCPrepNation.com as we'll have his senior season highlights tomorrow courtesy of our friends at Elite Highlight Tapes.