Ishmael Wilson (Dallas/Bishop Dunne) wasn’t happy to leave Baton Rouge last weekend without an offer from LSU, but that slight hasn’t hurt the Tigers’ chances of landing one of the state’s top junior offensive linemen.
“My favorite school is LSU, hands down,” he said.
Wilson attended LSU’s junior day last weekend and was confident he’d get his offer. But coach Les Miles had yet to see any film of Wilson’s junior season, and he wouldn’t offer until he spent time breaking down the tape.
“I was kind of mad Les hadn’t looked at my film yet,” Wilson said, “but, you know, they had the last bowl game so I’m pretty sure they’re behind every college in looking at my film.”
The setback hasn’t stopped LSU coaches from devoting serious attention to Wilson.
Bishop Dunne coach Michael Johnson got a call from Tigers coaches yesterday and said they reiterated their belief that Wilson is one of the two or three best offensive linemen in the country.
“They’re all really excited about him becoming a Tiger,” Johnson said.
Where does Texas fit into all of this? Wilson was expected to attend Sunday’s junior day, but he recently decided to push that back and attend the second one on Feb. 25.
Wilson changed his plans in order to make sure his mother could attend when he visits Austin.
“It probably works out for the best, because I’ll get to watch them practice on the 25th,” Wilson said. “That’s the type of stuff I need to see.”
Wilson wasn’t much of a Longhorns fan when he was growing up – he paid more attention to LSU, actually – but he said that doesn’t matter now that he’s trying to find the school that offers the best fit.
He does like that Texas signed one of his Bishop Dunne teammates, defensive tackle Alex Norman, for its 2012 recruiting class. What would happen if Mack Brown sits him down and makes an offer later this month? His coach thinks Wilson will have to think hard about it.
“You never know, when you get in from of coach Mack, what’s going to happen,” Johnson said. “It’s hard to say no to coach Mack. But his intentions are probably not to commit.”
Wilson has lined up junior day trips to Texas A&M next weekend and to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in March. He’s also interested in Baylor, TCU and Mississippi State.
While Wilson is enjoying all the attention those schools are giving him, he’s keeping his options open until their offers start pouring in.
“It’s fun, and it’s not really stressful,” he said. “I’m still young, so I still think about what offers I want, not what offers I can get.”
The 6-foot-5, 275-pound junior has, in the opinion of his coach, all the traits you look for in an impact college lineman.
“He has great feet, he’s tough, he’s physical, he has great feet for his size, he fights at the point of attack and he plays with mean attitude,” Johnson said. “And he loves to play offensive line. He loves to play the game and play physical. You don’t see a lot of guys like that.”