By: USA TODAY High School Sports | October 17, 2016
In about 15 months, K’Lavon Chaisson has gone from never having played in a varsity football game to Under Armour All-American.
Now ranked as the No. 5 defensive end in the nation by ESPN and with nearly 25 reported college offers, Chaisson received his honorary jersey Monday when the Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance came to high school, North Shore in Houston.
“I was extremely surprised (at how well he’s done),” he said. “I was missing for a couple of years after playing in (youth football). No one expected me to get this far and to where I am now.
“The coaches told me athletic ability can get you a scholarship, but it’s so much more than athleticism. When you get to the next level, guys are going to be bigger, faster and as mobile as you are.”
And Chaisson has become much more.
“The biggest difference has been more knowledge,” he said. “I’m getting better and better with the more I learn. I’m sucking it all in, taking it step by step. You can never learn enough.”
As a junior, Chaisson led Texas with 15.5 sacks, had 50 tackles, including 13 for loss, and forced three fumbles. One of those fumbles was on the final play of the 6A state title game that North Shore won. He also had a sack and blocked a field goal in that game.
His first scholarship offer came from LSU when he went to the Tigers’ camp with two teammates in the spring of 2015. Now he is deeply immersed in recruiting. He plans to announce on National Signing Day in February.
“I’m still in the blur, taking it all in,” he said. “I’m still looking at schools and not trying to rush anything right now.”
He is considering LSU, Texas, Oklahoma and Houston among others and attended the Red River showdown.
Given his journey, Chaisson said he was thrilled that so many people could take in the Selection Tour event Monday.
“It was cool,” he said. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience so you just enjoy it. Everybody that’s been involved with the football process of getting me to where I am now was there — coaches, family, teammates, players from the teams I used to play when I was younger.”
His path also has fueled his approach.
“My dream on the football field is to have everyone to know that I gave it everything I had,” he said. “I am not a player to just go on through the motions of playing one level to the next. I give 200% on every action I do on the field.”