December 4, 2011

North Pike trio to visit Tech in January

SUMMIT, Miss. -- Louisiana Tech had much success with its defense this season. Specifically in its front four and secondary. Tech is looking at one high school for three players that fit that bill perfectly - North Pike High School.

The star of the North Pike defense is AJ Jefferson but hardly overshadows his tag-team partner and fellow defensive end, Vernon Butler.

Jefferson and Butler both hold offers from their in-state SEC schools, Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Many would expect both to sign with one of those two. With Houston Nutt out at Ole Miss and the possibility of Dan Mullen on his way out, Tech may be able to swoop in a pick up both of these players.

Along with the in-state coaching turmoil, Jefferson and Butler want to play football with their teammate and friend, Tra'vez Taylor. The only schools that have offered all three players are Tech and Louisiana-Lafayette. Two of those three players say they favor Tech.

"Tech is my favorite," said Taylor. "I watched them play Ole Miss, I was excited about that game. I was going for LA Tech all the way."

"Last week I decided Tech was my favorite," said Butler after a visit his recruiter and the recruiter for all three Jeff Koonz made a visit to Summit, Miss.

The coaching move at Ole Miss moved Tech into the top spot for Butler as well as Koonz impression he made on Butler's parents. Butler's parents are not the only ones who Koonz impressed either.

"Because of coaching move at Ole Miss I have Tech on top," said Butler. "I love the coaches at Tech, especially coach [Stan] Eggen and coach [Jeff] Koonz. Coach Eggen he's a good coach and he's always fired up same as coach Koonz."

"Yes [it the coaching turmoil matters] because the relationships are with the coaches and they might not be there next year," said Jefferson. "Coach Koonz is my recruiter he talked about tech and how they haven't been there long and their plans for me when he visited last Monday night. He talked to my parents to get to know each other. He made a good first impression on my parents. They talked about him a long time after he left."

All three players will visit Tech the same weekend on officials visits in January on January 7-9. All of them talked about how excited they were to visit.

"[I am] really excited," said Jefferson. "I told Coach Koonz I'm just ready to get on campus and check things out."

I am fired up about visiting Tech," said Taylor.

The trio say they talk about playing together at the next level often.

"I'd love to go to the next level with them," said Taylor. "Pretty much every day we talk about playing together."

"[Jefferson and Taylor] all like it too," said Butler. "We have good chemistry on the field and we have a good friendship."

"We talk about it a lot and pretty much [playing at the same school] is what we want to do," said Jefferson.

Jefferson is a speed rush defensive end as he said he ran a 4.65 40 at Mississippi State in the summer. Statistically, Jefferson amassed 15 sacks and about 125 tackles.

Butler is a strong physical end that uses his strength to his advantage.

Taylor says he is a physical cornerback who likes to come up and hit.

Jefferson is currently a three-star rated prospect in the latest ratings while Butler is a two-star and Taylor is unrated.

None of the three indicated a decision would be soon.

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