March 5, 2008

West Monroe workhorse looking ahead

If you know anything about Louisiana high school football, you know that one of the juggernauts of the state year in and year out is West Monroe. If you know anything about West Monroe, you know that the 2007 season was powered in large part by the strong rushing performance of tailback Ladarius Abrams.

Don't be fooled by Abrams' numbers. He rushed for only 820 yards as a junior but his production came primarily in the early goings of games that would eventually turn into blowouts. Abrams added 19 touchdowns on the ground and over 200 yards receiving and his 820 yards came on only 100 carries.

Now Abrams is looking to the season ahead, as well as the recruiting season.

"I've been hearing from Mississippi State," Abrams said. "I'm going up there for Spring Practice I think March 25. I'm also hearing from Oklahoma, Louisiana Tech, ULM, Alabama and Arkansas."

The interest has come mainly through the mail but a few coaches have made contact.

"Right now I'm getting a lot of mail," he said. "I think (West Monroe Head Coach) Coach Shows said something about a recruiter from Arkansas coming down for Spring Practice and watching me."

The interest from programs such as Arkansas and Mississippi State has piqued the powerful back's interest but he also is a homebody.

"I think it'd be good to play in the SEC," he said. "If I really don't get a chance, I think I'll probably stay in state."

Abrams just finished his basketball season where he played point guard and averaged around 12 points and 5 assists per game. He played through much of the season with an ankle injury and his focus now is getting that injury healed. Beyond that, there's always work to be done on his football game.

"I'm working on getting quicker, working on my moves," he said. "In college you can't just run over everybody so I'm getting to work on my shiftiness this offseason."

Abrams is a blue-collar back in the backfield who runs with great power, great vision and as he rightly noted, "toughness". He will need all of those qualities as he tries to lead his team back from a disappointing second round playoff loss after an undefeated regular season.

"That's what we're working on, the whole senior class we got together and said we gotta win the State Championship. After two straight years of getting knocked out in the second round, we've gotta break this little curse."


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