Southern University Lab School (Baton Rouge, La.) stars Kardell Thomas and Tyrion Davis received their All-American Bowl jersey Thursday at his school as part of the All-American Bowl Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance.
“It’s been a dream since I was watching the game for the first time when I was in that 5-9 age range,” Thomas told USA TODAY. “It means everything when you work and pray for it. To do that, it’s the best thing ever.”
Thomas, a 6-foot-3, 356-pound offensive guard, is among the nation’s best, most powerful offensive linemen. The nation’s top-ranked offensive guard and No. 4 overall recruit in the state of Louisiana, he’s made a habit of absurd pancake blocks against overmatched opponents and has committed to LSU. He is a firm Tigers commit.
“A lot of people don’t know, but I committed to Les Miles,” Thomas said. “But (LSU coach Ed Orgeron) Coach O was my main recruiter, even though coach Miles offered me. Even when Coach Miles got fired, I stayed because Coach O stood up for me when I was an eighth grader. It’s right in my backyard, my city appreciates me so I’m going to go try and win a national championship for them.”
Like Thomas, Davis is an LSU commit, though albeit from a very different position. Davis is ranked as one of the nation’s top prep running backs, ranked No. 8 among backs and No. 11 overall in the state of Louisiana.
Still, like Thomas, Davis was convinced that playing for his hometown Tigers was the right decision for him.
“I’ve been living as a Tigers fan since I was at least 12, 13 years old. I grew up to be a Tiger fan and I knew that was where I wanted to go,” Davis said. “When I was little, even before football. When I got the offer, there’s something in your heart that is just different from other offers. That’s what I had always worked for and asked God for. It doesn’t get no better than LSU.”
Until both arrive on campus at LSU, all eyes will remain on Southern Lab’s most explosive players, both in Louisiana competition and on a national stage. They are trying to avenge the vacating of state titles that they earned as freshmen and sophomores in their senior season, and Davis said they are driven to do so, despite the departure of some teammates they had known since middle school.
As for their academic futures, the offensive dynamic duo has fairly untraditional tastes and potential plans for LSU.
“I really love Greek mythology, so I read books and watch shows and movies about it,” Thomas said. “I’m probably going to take classes like that (classics) when I go to LSU.”
And prepare for Tyrion Davis the journalist:
“I love reading, honestly,” Davis said. “That’s my favorite thing to do. When I grow up I want to major in journalism or business, but I love reading and writing.”
The All-American Bowl is scheduled for Jan. 5 in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and will be televised live on NBC at 1 p.m. EST.