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March 21, 2005

The eyes have it

BATON ROUGE, La. - Everybody in Louisiana already knew about Al Woods. So when he came walking through the door at the Rivals.com Junior Day this past Saturday at Louisiana State University, you could hear the whispers and see the fingers pointing.

Woods, all 6-foot-3 and 329 pounds of him, definitely looked like a major Division I prospect. Yet he wasn't the only impressive looking player there, as there were quite a few other players that passed the proverbial eyeball test that is so vital to college coaches.

Lafayette (La.) Acadiana inside linebacker Jacob Cutrera was one of those that impressive physically. The 6-foot-4, 224.5-pound inside linebacker is getting early interest from LSU, Auburn, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Alabama.

"I'm an intense and aggressive player," Cutrera, who is already qualified with a 3.6 grade-point average and an 18 on the ACT, said.

There were also several sets of teammates that together will drive opposing coaches crazy, and it was impossible to separate one set over the other because they're all talented on the field and they pass the eyeball test.

Baton Rouge (La.) Redemptorist defensive end Jonathan Hollins measured in at 6-foot-2 and 226.5 pounds.

Hollins already has an early scholarship offer from Ole Miss and is also getting interest from Georgia, LSU, Clemson and Miami. He earned first-team all-state, all-metro, all-district and was named his district most valuable player as a junior.

He was joined by teammate Toren Dixon, a safety and receiver, that measured in at an impressive looking 6-foot-2 and 184 pounds. Dixon is getting early interest from New Mexico State, LSU, Texas Tech, Florida, Ohio State and Mississippi State.

Lafayette (La.) Northside was also well represented by defensive tackle Jarrod Shaw and running back Keiland Williams.

Shaw measured in at a whopping 6-foot-5 and 340 pounds. Williams tipped the scales at a very well built 6-foot and 211.5 pounds.

Shaw is getting heavy interest from LSU, Auburn, Oklahoma, Florida, Ole Miss and Tennessee. Williams, who was an all-state pick in 2004, is being actively recruited by LSU, Ole Miss, Auburn, Oklahoma and Texas.

"I have good speed, great footwork and I can also line up at receiver and go out and make the catch," Williams said. "That's the biggest thing that makes me valuable."

Baton Rouge Tara teammates Jarius Wright and Brian Duncan were also impressive. Wright, a 6-foot , 220-pound running back, is getting early looks from Auburn, LSU, Central Florida and Texas A&M. Duncan, who was one of the most personable kids at the event, is a 6-foot-1 , 228-pound inside linebacker that resembles a head-hunter on film. Duncan listed LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Miami and Auburn as his top early teams.

One of the most intriguing players at the event was Alexandria, La., running back Chris Brown. Brown, who measured in at 5-foot-10 and 192 pounds, was absolutely being raved about by one of his coaches while the event was going on.

His coach claimed that Brown was an even bigger and better Division I prospect than Nic Harris, a four-star Rivals100 prospect that signed this past recruiting season with Oklahoma. Brown, an all-state and all-district selection as both a junior and a sophomore, is already getting heavy attention from Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Florida, Oklahoma and USC.

"I don't want to go too far from home," Brown said. "But it's all going to come down to whoever has the best program and the best fit for me."

Keep your eye out on Brown, and here are a few others that are sure to interest college coaches in the spring evaluation period.

-Mandeville (La.) Fontainebleau offensive guard Cameron Zipp measured in at 6-foot-2 and 297 pounds. He is getting early attention from Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Southern Miss, Texas and Tulane.

-Two big guys also looked ready to step on the field now. Reserve (La.) East St. John offensive tackle Jamarr Thompson measured in at 6-foot-6 and 312.5 pounds. He is considered one of the top linemen in the state, and he looked the part.

New Orleans Brother Martin tight star Mark Snyder measured in at 6-foot-7 and 270.5 pounds. He plays tight end in high school, but it's easy to see with a frame like his he has a future at tackle. LSU, Michigan, Georgia, Auburn, Oklahoma and Ole Miss are already involved.


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