RECRUITING UPDATE: Ronnie Feist
West St. John coach discusses star defender, 2012 LSU commit
If it seems like we just sped past the 2011 National Signing Day exit on the college football superhighway, it’s because we more or less did.
The second of February came and went, and, almost in a flash, 22 new Tigers got their stripes.
And considering it wasn’t a day that brought many surprises for LSU, keeping things on cruise control was no problem for Les Miles, Frank Wilson and the rest of the Tigers’ staff.
But the road to NCAA gridiron glory never ends and, as such, the engine that drives the purple and gold recruiting vehicle really just kept churning full-speed ahead.
The next stop: Class of 2012.
The recommended passengers to take along on that ride: Linebackers, and in bunches.
After signing only one ‘backer in the Class of 2011, Texas native Trevon Randle, LSU is keen to stock up on a position which is losing Kelvin Sheppard from its ranks and will see Ryan Baker and Stefoin Francois go after the ‘11 season.
Accordingly, the Tigers have put the hard press on a number of linebackers in-state. The result has been three verbal commitments from Louisiana LB’s, with two coming in the time since the books closed on the ‘11 NSD.
Thibodaux middle linebacker Trey Granier (6-1, 225) actually gave his pledge in November, but the most recent pair of defenders to commit to Miles and the Tigers are Woodlawn (Shreveport) product Torshiro Davis (6-3, 210) and West St. John’s Ronnie Feist (6-1, 210).
Feist committed after attending LSU’s Junior Day this past weekend, along with fellow Edgard native Dillon Gordon (a 6-5, 250-pound tight end from John Curtis).
On Tuesday night, I had the chance to speak with West St. John head coach Robert Valdez about his star pupil. The interview, conducted alongside my Tiger Rag Radio co-host Jeff Palermo, yielded great insight into Feist as a player and person while also shedding light into why he committed so early in the recruiting season.
The first thing Valdez shared with us, off the air, is that the linebacker’s last name is pronounced “feast.” From there, it’s mostly gridiron-related stuff.
Check out some of the best quotes from Valdez on Feist below. For your convenience, I’ve also included the audio link to the entire interview.
On Feist’s versatility
“Ronnie is one of those kids who could play anywhere from inside linebacker to rush end to weakside linebacker. He’s just so versatile because he’s so athletic and he’s so quick. He’s just a ball hog and makes plays.”
On his academic prowess
“He’s one of those guys who’s got the total package … He’s gonna be in-line to graduate early in December and enroll at LSU in January. Very, very bright gifted and talented young man.”
- Valdez added that Feist currently has a 3.7 GPA. Feist also scored a 21 on the ACT as a sophomore and is already taking dual-enrollment credit hours, according to the Rams’ head coach.
On Frank Wilson and what Feist and other high schoolers see in him
“Frank and I were teammates in junior high at Karr when it was just a junior high. Frank pretty much comes in and when the kids see him, they see the passion of our state.”
- There’s a lot more to the Wilson angle that Valdez shared, and I’d highly recommend you take a listen to that part of the interview. Great insight from a guy who’s known Wilson awhile.
On committing early
“We had Darzil Washington (a 6-3, 226-pound linebacker) sign with Texas A&M on Signing Day. And I think once Ronnie saw the agonizing aspect of recruiting - with a lot of things that go in play - Ronnie was blessed to experience one of our seniors go through that. When the opportunity presented itself (to commit to LSU), it was a no-brainer for him and his family. It’s hard to surpass what LSU has to offer, especially if you’re from here. I think he just looks comfortable and his focus right now is ‘Coach, I wanna get a state championship.’”
On the strength of Feist’s commitment
“I know that there’s gonna be some other people that want to test his commitment and his loyalty, but I think it’s solid. Solid as a rock. He’s firm, and I’m just pleased for him.”
CLICK HERE to listen to Tiger Rag Radio’s interview with Robert Valdez in its entirety.
Editor Ben Love reports on LSU football and men’s basketball for Tiger Rag. Reach him at email@example.com.