It’s become a spring rite of passage: Take the best high school players, let them travel around to various college campuses, hit up a few junior days, spring games, and maybe a camp or two, and the college commitments start flowing like curse words out Will Muschamp’s mouth. As much as we enjoy the drama of Signing Day in February, the truth is that most of the heavy lifting in recruiting comes in the spring and summer of a prospect’s junior year.
Well this year, along with simple recruiting news, I, Aaron Torres have come to one other startling realization: I am freakin’ old, man.
What do I mean?
Well let’s head down to the Bayou, where this weekend, not only did LSU hold its spring game, but also picked up a few high school commitments in the process. One was Michael Patterson of Winnfield (La.) Senior High School, a player who seems like the next great underrecruited defensive lineman at LSU. Patterson is listed at 6’4 and 232 lbs., and could take a very similar path to guys like Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery, who came to LSU under-the-radar, and turned into All-SEC type performers.
Then there was LSU’s second commitment, a fellow three-star Louisiana product named K.J. Malone. And if you’re wondering why I’m feeling so old this morning, it’s because “K.J.” actually stands for “Karl Jr.” No, that doesn’t make him a hamburger heir (get it, Carl’s Jr.?), but instead, the son of NBA legend Karl Malone. You know, the 14-time NBA All-Star, two-time MVP and Olympic Gold Medalist? That guy.
Either way, Karl Malone Jr. isn’t the first son of a prominent athlete to commit to a college football program, and if anything, the trend is getting to be a bit much for my comfort. The truth is, I can’t turn on my computer without finding out that the son of an athlete that I grew up watching, admiring and loving, is now old enough to competing as a high-level athlete himself. Just this spring I’ve already personally written about 2012 Arizona commit Trey Griffey (son of Ken Griffey Jr.), 2012 Stanford commit Barry Sanders Jr. (son of Barry Sanders) and 2013 uber-recruit Kelvin Taylor (son of Fred Taylor). And that doesn’t even include 2013 Notre Dame commit Corey Robinson (son of David), or Deion Sanders Jr., who will be heading to prep school this fall.
What’s next? Are we going to find out that Greg Maddux’s son is a four-star linebacker out of Georgia? That Mario Lemieux’s off-spring is a punter from Pittsburgh? That Randy Johnson sired college football’s next great safety? It’s insanity I tell ya!
Anyway, it appears as though LSU got a good one in Malone Jr. He is listed at 6’4, 300 lbs. and just finished up his junior year at Cedar Creek High School in Ruston, LA. According to a report from TigerSportDigest.com, Malone’s team ran the pistol, so you’d have to expect that he has pretty good footwork and agility too, two big components for any good offensive lineman.
Needless to say, it looks like LSU coach Les Miles and his staff may have secured another under the radar kid on the recruiting trail. That conversation though, is for another day.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some old basketball cards to look through, and NBA:Inside Stuff VHS tapes to watch.
Man am I getting old.
For all his insight, opinions and articles on sports, be sure to follow Aaron Torres on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.