In the end, the lure of being able to stay close to home helped the nation’s top prep running back make the most important decision of his life.
Destrehan running back John Emery signed with LSU on as one of three River Parish Players to sign with Football Bowl Subdivision teams Wednesday.
“I was committed to Georgia at first but after I evaluated everything, I thought it was the right move,” Emery said. “Going through this season, I just thought that I would have better connections staying home. It closer to home and it was the right situation. They have great coaches. It’s a connection I had with the LSU coaches.
“Don’t get me wrong, Georgia has a great staff and is a great program but I just felt like staying home would be better.”
Emery had been a Georgia verbal commitment for months, but once his decision was made to attend LSU, the Destrehan running back said he was eager to sign with the Tigers.
“I feel like I made the right choice and this is it. Why wait? If I already had committed and knew where I was going, why wait?” Emery said.
Emery’s Destrehan teammate, Quinton Torbor, had a different approach when making his decision to sign with another SEC school in Mississippi State.
The Destrehan receiver decided early on the Bulldogs and stuck with the school throughout the recruiting process.
“I got interested in Mississippi State about once my sophomore season was over with because I started seeing Mississippi State. They were winning and things like that and it looked like a good school,” said Torbor.
Unlike Emery, the idea of going to school out of state appealed to Torbor.
“For the people in Louisiana, Mississippi State is right next to Louisiana for everybody who couldn’t go where they wanted in Louisiana, Mississippi State is the place. Mississippi State was the place for me because I wanted to get out of the state,” said Torbor.
The Destrehan receiver said the team-building approach of Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead appealed to him.
“He wants family first, he wants good players, and he wants a smart person, third. All those things come together to make a good team,” said Torbor.
Torbor was originally recruited by the staff of Dan Mullen. Mullen left Mississippi State for Florida a year ago, but if nothing else, the changing change helped solidify the receiver’s decision to become a Bulldog.
“The coaching change made me more interested in them with them getting Coach Moorhead because they were getting away from straight-up run football. They have more of that Penn State offense stuff – run-pass option – stuff that we do have Destrehan, which makes me more comfortable,” Torbor said.
Meanwhile, Destrehan’s rival, Hahnville, had a big signing of its own on Wednesday when receiver Jha’Quan Jackson inked with Tulane.
Like Emery, Jackson had originally committed to another school. Jackson had been a verbal commitment to Southern Methodist before he, too, chose to play at a school closer to home.
“Tulane recruited me the whole time,” said Jackson. “They never dropped me after I had committed to SMU. The love they showed to me, that they really wanted me and how they would use me at different positions (was appealing).”