Travin Dural makes a strong case as the state’s top wide
receiver for the Class of 2012, meaning that the Breaux Bridge standout was
going to draw attention from schools across the country.
The first team to offer: Alabama.
Soon after, the LSU coaches made their move.
Within two weeks, Dural was ready for his move – the final
one in his recruiting process.
“I called up LSU and committed this morning,” Dural said.
“The coaches went wild. They said that it was the best morning they have had in
a while. It’s just an amazing feeling.”
The morning was made better by Lamar Louis, a close friend
of Dural’s who also grew up in the Breaux Bridge area. Moments before Dural
dialed Les Miles, Louis was on the line with the LSU headman giving his pledge
to the Tigers.
“That’s how we planned it,” said Dural of the back-to-back
commitments, which came within minutes of each other. “We wanted to do this
together. We are staying home to represent the state and keep LSU at the top.”
Though Dural visited Tuscaloosa and said he was
intrigued with what the Tide had to offer, the rising senior said his final
decision didn’t take much wavering.
“I have always wanted to go to LSU, so people coming up to
me and asking me about Alabama and other SEC schools was always funny,” Dural
said. “People around here want you to stay home, and that’s what I wanted. I
knew it was time to just go ahead and commit, because there wasn’t any school
that would mean more to me.”
Dural visited the LSU campus over the weekend, able to take
in a scrimmage in Tiger Stadium as well as conversations with all of the staff.
“I had a great time on the visit, and it just made me
realize that LSU was where I wanted to be all along,” Dural said. “I was
sitting in Tiger Stadium and I looked around and realized that I was living my
dream. I had always worked hard at football to get to where I could play in
college and be at LSU.
“So why wait? Sitting there in the stands thinking about
that made me go ahead and do it. It felt great to get it off my chest. Now I
don’t have to deal with any of that pressure my senior year.”
Dural also pointed to the increased contact with the LSU
staff as one of the factors that expedited his decision making process.
“At first I was talking a lot with coach Brick (Haley), but
over time I started to get to know the rest of the staff, and that made me feel
much more comfortable,” he said. “When they offered two Fridays ago I really
started hitting up coach Frank (Wilson) more, and we have a really good
relationship. Then I got to know coach (Billy) Gonzales, my position coach. He
seems like a good coach. I watched him a lot in the scrimmage and he was very
intense. The players say he gets a lot out of them.
“After that I started talking with coach Miles here and
there, then I decided to call him up today and commit. He said that it made
them all really happy and that they were excited about what I bring to the
Dural – plus Louis – make eight commitments to the 2012
class, all but one – Avery Johnson, the younger brother of Patrick Peterson – coming
from inside the state of Louisiana.
“They tell me I am part of the Breaux Bridge pipeline,” said
Dural, whose commitment comes two months after the Tigers signed his teammate
Quentin Thomas. “I know all these guys want to represent for Louisiana and the
people that grew up watching us on Friday nights and pulling for us.”
Given the short ride from Breaux Bridge to Baton Rouge, the
commitment was welcomed news to the Dural family.
“My mom is really, really happy,” he laughed. “She has
always liked LSU and wanted me to be there. After she got on the first visit it
was over for her. My grandmother loves LSU too, and my dad happens to be a big
fan. They couldn’t have been more excited to hear that I wanted to go ahead and
commit. Now they can always come see me play.”
The early three-star prospect compares his game to a current
Tiger, former Bastrop standout and the nation’s top receiver: Rueben Randle.
“I have seen his videos, and then last weekend at the
scrimmage I watched how he played and thought that I could do a lot of the same
things,” said the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder.
“I feel my strengths are the way I can
get up over the defender to get the ball and the way I can run away from
defenders. I run good routes too, and I think my height and the way I catch the
ball with my hands makes me a good prospect for the next level.”
Dural joins Johnson, an early four-star prospect, as the
first two wide receiver commitments to LSU’s 2012 class.