Blanchard commits to USA; Tom pledges to Southern Miss

Advocate staff photo by LIBBY ISENHOWER -- Denham Springs' Kaleb Blanchard (6) breaks away from Catholic High's Brendon Walsh (5) for the Yellow Jackets' second touchdown of the second half Friday night at Olympia Stadium.
Advocate staff photo by LIBBY ISENHOWER -- Denham Springs' Kaleb Blanchard (6) breaks away from Catholic High's Brendon Walsh (5) for the Yellow Jackets' second touchdown of the second half Friday night at Olympia Stadium.

Denham Springs High running back Kaleb Blanchard and Catholic High offensive lineman Cameron Tom have committed to out-of-state BCS colleges.

Blanchard, who committed to South Alabama, and Tom, now a Southern Mississippi commitment, are among the most recent group of Baton Rouge area football players making college choice.

Blanchard originally committed to Arkansas last summer and then decommitted last month after the Razorbacks changed coaches. An All-Metro selection, Blanchard’s commitment was confirmed by DSHS coach Dru Nettles.

Tom said he also had offers from Louisiana Tech and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He said he visited Tech.

“I really liked hanging out with the coaches and players and really liked the campus,” Tom said. “I was really comfortable there. The coaches told me if I’m ready to play, I will. We’ll see what happens.”

Colonels net five

Five players from Baton Rouge area schools are among the commitments for Nicholls State. Dutchtown High and St. Michael the Archangel each have two Colonels commitments.

Kicker-punter Tyler Sarrazin and offensive lineman Brian Hernandez are the Dutchtown players committed to Nicholls. Both were Class 5A-4A All-Metro selections. Sarrazin also earned 5A all-state honors.

Running back-defensive back C.J. Okpalobi and offensive lineman Blake Hartman are St. Michael’s Nicholls commits. Okpalobi also had offers from Northwestern State, Grambling and Arkansas-based Henderson State, according to St. Michael coach Eric Held.

St. James linebacker Seth Keller is an Nicholls commitment. SJHS coach Dwain Jenkins said Keller will sign with Nicholls at 8 a.m. Wednesday in the school’s library.

Four Panthers commit

Four McKinley High football players are committed to a wide variety of schools, head coach Robert Signater said.

Two Panthers, defensive back Dave White (Arkansas-Pine Bluff) and defensive tackle Shawn Tolbert (Texas Southern), committed to SWAC schools.

The other MHS commitments, defensive back Delwyn Rodney and linebacker Alvin Vaughn, committed to Mississippi-based Belhaven.

Randolph picks baseball

Parkview Baptist running back Hezekiah Randolph also made his college choice, but instead of picking football, the All-Metro and Class 3A all-state running back has decided to play college baseball.

Randolph committed to the University of New Orleans for baseball earlier this week, according to PBS coach Kenny Guillot.

Gage gauging interest

Zachary High receiver-kick return specialist Donald Gage will have an in-home visit with Nebraska later this week, according to ZHS coach Neil Weiner.

Gage committed to Houston last spring. Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, an ex-LSU assistant, will be part of that visit.

QBs making visits

Quarterbacks Brett Courville, of Central, and Jay Christophe, of Brusly, are still making official visits.

Christophe, the 3A all-state MVP, has visited Howard and Texas Southern in recent weeks and plans to visit Arkansas-Pine Bluff and one other school this week.

Courville, the 5A-4A Metro Offensive MVP, visited Arkansas-Monticello and will visit Missouri Southern this weekend.

FCA signees

Two Family Christian Academy athletes, baseball player Ben Chauvin and softball player Megan Smith, will sign with junior colleges in a 9:45 a.m. Thursday at the school’s athletic department.

Chauvin, last year’s Class C MVP baseball MVP and an All-Metro choice, will sign with LSU-Eunice. Smith, an All-Metro and Class C all-state selection, will sign with Baton Rouge Community College, according to FCA Athletic Director Rick Smith.

Roberts signs

St. Amant High softball player Brooke Roberts signed with Mississippi-based Pearl River Community College last Friday. Roberts signing ceremony was held in the school library.