WKU lands first 2013 commitment after Junior Day visits

Jordan Wells

One of the recruiting focuses for Head Coach Willie Taggart has been hitting the recruiting trails hard for top in-state recruits.

Four of the 13 signees in WKU’s 2012 recruiting class hail from Kentucky, not including several high-profile transfers from the Louisville area to the program.

“We said from day one that we’re gonna recruit the state and we’re gonna recruit it for big-time players.” Taggart said on National Signing Day Feb. 1.

The same statement is already ringing true for WKU’s 2013 recruiting class.

LaBront Scott, a junior defensive end from Mayfield High School, announced his verbal commitment to WKU after he enjoyed his visit on Junior Day.

The 6-foot-2, 228 pound junior is the Toppers’ first commitment from the Class of 2013.

“It feels great, it’s a big relief to have found my home so early in the recruiting process.” he said.

Scott chose WKU over interest from Kentucky, Louisville, Vanderbilt, Murray State, and Ball State.

“I really liked the atmosphere,” he said.  “The coaches really embraced us.”

Wide receiver Derius Jones and linebacker Demontre Boyd, both of Louisville Central High School, are two other in-state athletes that said they enjoyed their visits.

Jones said he and Boyd are both interested in WKU after their high school teammate, senior running back Anthony ‘Ace’ Wales, signed with WKU over Louisville on National Signing Day.

“Ace is like a big brother to us,” Jones said. “We met the coaches when they came to Central to visit him. They were real cool.”

Kyle Labroi, a running back from Louisville Seneca High School, also said he’s interested in the Toppers.

A transfer from John Swett High School in Crockett (Calif.,) Labroi said he really likes the way WKU runs its program.

“The vibe here is real cool,” he said. “I like how everybody football wise is real close, and that I know some people that already go here.”

As his senior year approaches, Labroi said his ultimate goal is to finish first-team all-state as a running back, and lead his high school team to a deep postseason run.

He said along with WKU, he’s looking at Kentucky, Missouri, Louisville, Oregon State, Illinois, and Washington State. He hasn’t scheduled any visits to those schools yet.

The Toppers may be hitting the Louisville pipeline hard for recruits, but it doesn’t mean they’ve quit looking out-of-state.

Jordan Jackson, a junior outside linebacker from Decatur Central High School (Ind.,) called his WKU Junior Day visit “amazing.”

“I loved the coaching staff, the facilities, everything.” he said.

The 6-foot-1 210 pound junior’s said along with WKU, his current top schools includes Wisconsin, Nebraska, Indiana, Northwestern, Toledo, Northern Illinois, Ball State and Massachusetts.

“I talked a lot to the WKU Defensive Coordinator (Lance Guidry) and the linebackers coach (Raymond Woodie),” Jackson said. “They seemed really down to earth.”

Jackson said he’s got several other visits lined up, including Ball State on Feb 28., Toledo on March 17., Northwestern on April 7., and Pittsburgh the second week of April.

Pearson’s grades improving

Grades were thought to be a concern when Seneca defensive tackle Tyrone Pearson, the No. 36 defensive tackle in the country according to Rivals, inked with WKU on National Signing Day.

Pearson isn’t currently eligible, but said he’s “working hard” towards it.

The NCAA uses a sliding scale that combines GPA and SAT/ACT scores to determine academic eligibility.

Previously, Pearson had told the Herald he needed a 20 on his ACT to earn eligibility.  After bringing his grades up, Pearson said he now needs an 18 on the standardized test.

Rivals ranks Pearson as WKU’s highest rated recruit in its Class of 2012.