Any college football recruiter will tell you right off the bat that there is no tougher position to recognize talent at than cornerback. Let’s be honest, when will a cornerback’s performance be highlighted on a film? College coaches may even spend days contemplating which player on their team would fit best at cornerback.
The skill of a cornerback has become so specific in the ever-changing world of college football. Albert Louis-Jean of Brockton, Mass. is an exceptional athlete who may very well posses the skills necessary to become a premier corner at the collegiate level.
The Brockton Boxers are consistently a team favored to win the Big Three Conference title in Massachusetts nearly every year. Last year was no different, as Louis-Jean and other stars spearheaded an attempt at recapturing championship glory. After beginning the 2009 season extremely well (5-0), the Boxers hit a rut at the end of the season and lost three of their last four games.
Despite missing the playoffs, Louis-Jean still received a great amount of interest from Division One colleges around the nation. “Obviously I did well enough to get some attention, but I could’ve done better both individually and with my team,” he said.
On the first day where it is permissible for college programs to offer 2011 recruits, Albert received a call from Boston College. Trying desperately not to let home-grown talent abscond from the bay state, coach Frank Spaziani offered a scholarship to Albert.
Albert made it clear to me that it is still early in the process; he does not have a favorite school quite yet. The decision has not paid off yet for coach Spaziani, but it seems that the Eagles are in the lead for Louis-Jean’s services.
A few weeks later, Miami follow suit with an offer the corner back as well. When a national powerhouse like Miami offers a recruit, lesser programs tend to imitate their actions. Soon enough, Louis-Jean was receiving offers from schools like Connecticut and Alabama.
With interest coming from so many prestigious college football programs, it would be easy for Albert to get lost in the hype and possibly see a downturn in school grades. Staying true to form, though, Albert has maintained a B-average all year, good enough for a spot on the honor roll as well.
With the stresses of high school and the recruitment for his football services becoming a constant every day, Albert went on a much deserved vacation (of sorts). He was able to travel down to San Antonio, where he participated in the Army All-American junior combine.
This combine pitted the best juniors across the nation against each other in rigorous drills. While this may not be a vacation to some, Albert loved the competition. “It was great going down to San Antonio because it gave me a chance to play with and against the cream of the crop from coast to coast,” he said.
Getting back to his college recruitment, even Louis-Jean admitted that it would be extremely tough to narrow down his college choices. “It’s going to be hard because all the schools I’m looking at during this point in time are all great schools," he said. "It’s just going to come down to what school I like the most.”
I later asked Albert about what exactly he is looking for in a school. He is savvy enough to know that the appearance of the school during a visit is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his criteria for selecting one lucky program. He said, “Every school has good academics, so I don’t even have to worry about that. I am trying to look for a good relationship with my position coach and also looking to see how many players have gone to the NFL from the school.”
While these points are still very important to him, Albert stressed that program stability is a monumental point in his selection procedure. “I am looking for a school with a coach that’s going to be there my whole career or at least for my first two years so I can get settled in," he said.
With such great success during his first three years in high school, winning has become second nature to Albert. Heading into his senior year, Louis-Jean would like to keep a winning tradition sustained. “It’s plain and simple," he stated. "If the team isn’t good, I don’t really want to play there.”
A cornerback with height like Albert’s comes around once every blue moon. A skill set to match his stature makes this Boxer even more intriguing, as well as arguably the best recruit to come out of Massachusetts this season.
That sort of hype and addicting intrigue has defensive coaches salivating with pure delight. With a player who models the likes of Darrelle Revis and Champ Bailey, the sky is the limit for Albert Louis-Jean.