The high school football season may be long gone, but things are just starting to heat up around the country and state for senior prospects who will continue their careers in college.
In Webster Parish, two players stood out above the rest in 2015, Devin White from North Websters and L’Jarius Sneed from Minden.
White (6-foot, 255 lbs) has been highly coveted since his freshman year when the offers started rolling in. A rare blend of size and speed, many believe he could revolutionize the running back position. With offers from over 50 universities, White has narrowed his focus to five schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida State, LSU and Ole Miss.
White will announce where he’ll be attending school on Friday at a school-wide assembly in Springhill at 2 p.m.
The last and latest development in his pre-decision process came following a pair of run-ins with the law that drew national attention.
Despite that, White is set to pick an elite school, and that latest development? He will enroll early and be on campus of the school he chooses later this month, as a student.
“The only reason I’m doing that is because I feel I have too,” White said. “When I was doing in-home visits that was something all the schools were kind of preaching. I looked into it and my school and our guidance counselor made it happen.”
White said he and his family especially enjoyed their in-home visits with Arkansas head coach Bret Beilema, noting that his mother had not had a chance to spend much time with him previously. With that said, White said the race for his signature was a tight one.
“They all have a lot to offer,” White said. “Alabama probably has the strongest pitch. They always have two backs they rotate, and Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake will probably both be leaving. If I were to commit there, I feel I could come in and fight for the spot.”
For Sneed, the offer sheet is far less impressive, but the skills are undeniable.
The senior wide receiver was an unstoppable force out wide and in the slot this season, posing matchup problems for every team he faced on his way to 19 touchdowns and over 1,300 total yards.
Sneed currently boasts offers from LA Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, Arkansas State, Nicholls State, Grambling and Southern.
With his strong senior season in the books and his highlight tape making its’ way across the internet, more schools should come in as we draw closer to National Signing Day on Feb. 3.
“I have an official visit to Arkansas State on the Jan. 22,” Sneed said.
“Everything sounds good when the coaches are visiting in-home. It’s hard when they are all telling you the same thing, but it’s a nice experience”
Sneed said most schools want him on the defensive side of the ball, which suits the 6-1, 180-pound playmaker just fine.
Before making the switch to receiver to help his team this season, Sneed starred as an all-district safety in 2014, intercepting an area-high seven passes that season and adding two special teams touchdowns.
Sneed said he would like to announce his commitment on his birthday, Jan. 21, but with so much meat left on the bone, he’s weighing his options.
“My mind is telling to do it on my birthday,” Sneed said. “I might do that, but I might wait it out. I’m steady praying on this decision.”
While the decisions of both players will mark the beginning of a new chapter, their contributions to their teams and the mark they leave on their schools and Webster Parish as a whole can’t be overstated.
For a parish slim on top talent, White and Sneed electrified the area this season.
The two say the recruitment process has helped forge a friendship that they hope will last a lifetime.
“Me and Devin used to not get along at all,” Sneed said. “But then Devin invited me to play with him in a seven-on-seven tournament at IMG Academy.”
The trip proved to be a bonding experience and White raves about the abilities of his Webster Parish counterpart.
“He’s a great player and a late bloomer,” White said. “He’s a versatile playmaker. He can come down and hit on defense, but his receiver ability may be his best thing. He makes plays and does it all.”
High praise from someone who’s seen the nations top prospects.
Sneed heaped similar praise on White.
“He’s an animal,” Sneed said. “You can’t just hit him and take him down. He’s too big, But then when he gets in the open field he’s a jet.”
Wherever they end up, the duo has placed Webster Parish in the spotlight and perhaps paved the way for future prospects to garner more recognition.