Randle (6-3, 195, 4.5) is not only Louisiana’s top ranked prospect for 2009 and at the top of every LSU fan’s wish list, but he is also one of the top overall prospects in America, checking in at No. 17 in the Scout 300.
After putting up big numbers at receiver as a junior with 55 catches for 1,058 yards and 11 touchdowns, Randle made the unselfish move to quarterback for his senior campaign with the hopes of leading Bastrop to another undefeated season.
Randle’s quest fell short as Bastrop fell, 35-34, to Bell Chasse in the Class 4A semifinals. The season may have ended on a sour note, but the standout performer did his part as he amassed 3,144 total yards of offense and accounted for 32 touchdowns on the ground and through the air.
On the year, Randle completed 156 of 260 passes for 2,461 yards and 20 touchdowns. He added another 683 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns on 101 scampers.
What he was able to accomplish at his new position only enhanced his stock in the eyes of college coaches.
Randle’s offer list is too long to mention, but the official visit list is much easier to recall and also more relevant with signing day only 10 days away.
Randle visited Oklahoma back on Nov. 22 and he took his second official visit to Alabama on Jan. 17.
This past weekend, the five-star wide out was in Baton Rouge for his official visit to LSU that got started on Friday after he spent Thursday in the Capitol City on an unofficial trip.
“It went real good,” Randle said of his visit. “We spent a lot of time down there and the weekend went real well.”
Randle was accompanied to Baton Rouge by his mother, father and older brother. Thursday night was spent where the family enjoyed some dining at a local restaurant and then the festivities kicked off early on Friday.
Randle, who is considering majoring in Business Management or Political Science, went and toured the Louisiana State Capitol with his family on Friday.
Aside from dining together, however, Randle said he didn’t spend much time with his family over the weekend because while they toured the academic and athletic facilities, he wanted to do something he’s never had much time to do on the previous five unofficial visits he’s taken to LSU since February’s junior day.
“I’ve been there so much to where this trip was more about me hanging around the players,” said Randle, who was hosted by LSU running back Charles Scott and quarterback Russell Shepard. “I wanted to see how everybody was because on my other trips I never really had a chance to do that because I was always with the coaches.”
Randle said he enjoyed the time he spent with Scott, Shepard and the rest of the Tigers, and it answered one big question that he still had in regards to the home state school.
“I got along with everybody and they treated all of us real good,” Randle said. “I was looking for that comfort level and that was really what the whole trip was about.”
That comfort level that he alluded to is just one of the positives that he sees with LSU.
“I feel real comfortable down there with all of the players and everything,” said Randle. “I know there’s an opportunity to go in and play and all my family and close friends can come watch me. Being a Louisiana kid and playing for the home school is another positive.”
Randle has already had his in-home visit with LSU head coach Les Miles and he’s had multiple opportunities to meet with wide receivers coach D.J. McCarthy and offensive coordinator Gary Crowton to go over the playbook and how he fits into LSU’s plan for the future.
He admits that he didn’t spend as much time with the coaches as he had in the past, but the time spent over the course of the weekend reinforced what he already felt.
“All of them are great guys,” Randle said. “I think I’d be able to develop under them and they’d give me the opportunity I’d need. They seem like good guys off the field too and that’s just as important to me.”
While Randle spent a good portion of the weekend with current Tigers and recruits who were also visiting including Trent Richardson, Craig Loston and Chris Davenport to name a few, his family did spend quite a bit of time getting to see the family side of LSU football.
“A lot of the wives hung out with us the whole time and coach Miles’ wife made a real big impression on my mom,” said Randle’s brother, Deatrick Mitchell. “The thing that coach Miles harped on when we left was how we already fit into that family atmosphere, and we felt that we fit in, like it was home. The last thing he said was hurry and get back home because we already view you guys as family.”
Randle’s family that accompanied him on this visit was also on hand when the standout receiver made an unofficial visit to LSU for the Alabama game back on Nov. 8.
Unofficial visits are not as structured as official visits are so this recent trip gave the Randle family a more vivid picture of life outside of football.
“I think this visit was totally different from the Alabama visit and with them (parents) being able to go around and meet with advisors and academic professors made a big difference,” Mitchell said.
“They had seen the facilities before but they had people that pointed out some of the stuff like the Cox Academic Center and like the SAMS Program where if a player needs tutoring or has a meeting they can get a text or email sent out to the player, the advisor and the tutor. That made a real good impression on them because academics are always No. 1.”
With his third official visit in the books, Randle must now decide if he will take one final trip that is scheduled this weekend to Auburn.
“I hadn’t decided on that yet,” he said. “If I don’t go there then I’ll be staying home this weekend.”
By staying home, Randle all but eliminates any other possible trips as he said he is down to LSU, Auburn, Oklahoma and Alabama, in no particular order.
“Those are the ones I’m still looking at,” he said. “Probably sometime this weekend or early next week me and my family is going to sit down and talk. Everything’s pretty much still even right now because there’s nothing wrong with any of the schools.”
When he does sit down at the round table with those who will assist him with his decision including his parents and a couple of others he values input from, Randle said that he will look at several factors including playing time, academics and the comfort level that he feels with each of his finalists.
One thing that had not been a factor throughout the process was the school’s proximity to his home in Bastrop. While he will not base his entire decision on that alone, he does admit that he has been thinking of that a little more of late.
“I think about it more than I did before so me and my family have to sit down and talk about it,” he said.
These next 10 days are sure to be filled with much anxiety for Randle and his loved ones as assistant coaches will be traveling to Bastrop this week making their final sales pitch before the dead period kicks in at 12:01 next Monday morning.
LSU fans will feel the anxiety as well as they sit and wait anxiously for the state’s No. 1 recruit to make his decision.
There is very little that Randle can do to ease their anxiety level, short of a commitment. However, he did wrap up his weekend and close on one note.
“Yes sir,” Randle said when asked if he considered the weekend a success. “What I was looking for I found as far as being comfortable and having fun down there.”