Going into spring drills, Belle Chasse (La.) junior Quadry Antoine was concentrating on one of his many tasks as a safety. Already known for his big hits in the secondary, the 5-foot-11 and 215-pound Antoine wanted to improve his cover skills and become an all-around defensive back.
He did just that and in the meantime, he caught the eye of several college recruiters.
"Spring is going good and I am just staying with it," said Antoine, who had 67 tackles last year, including nine tackles for loss, two sacks and three fumbles forced. "I knew my cover skills were my weakness last year. So I stayed after every practice with our defensive backs' coach. He has helped me work on my cover skills and telling me where I need to improve.
"At first this spring, I was a little nervous with all the college coaches watching. But after sitting down with my coach, he told me to just be myself. He told me to show them I am a big-hitting safety that can cover, too. I think my improvements this spring opened up a lot of folks' minds and led to some new offers."
Before spring practiced opened, Antoine held offers from Pittsburgh, Southern Miss, North Texas, Memphis, Florida International, Arkansas State and Western Kentucky. But over the past week or so, Antoine added a pair of BCS offers, including his first SEC offer.
"Minnesota offered me last Thursday," said Antoine. "After they watched me practice that day, they called me that night and offered me. Before that and on the night of Mother's Day, Mississippi State offered me. Coach Dan Mullen had his one call he could make and he called me to offer me. That offer was kinda surprising and it was great to get. I thought they were just waiting to see me at summer camp because of what Coach (Greg) Knox was telling me.
"So it was surprising and exciting to get that Mississippi State offers. They were already one of my top schools before they offered so that was a good thing."
And Antoine noted a couple more BCS programs have shown interest this spring.
"LSU came by the school last Wednesday," said Antoine. "They said they had sincere interest and wanted to watch me this fall. Then Missouri called me last week, too. Like LSU, they said they had sincere interest in me and were coming to see me this week."
With his recruitment now reaching new levels, Antoine said he is in no rush to make a decision. He said he wants to study these schools a bit closer and is likely going to decide sometime during his senior season.
"I haven't really sat down to look at all of these schools," said Antoine. "I am not just looking at just the big schools but all of the schools that have offered me. I don't have any favorites but I would say my eyes are on schools like Pittsburgh, Mississippi State and Minnesota. I would say by the eighth or ninth game of this year or by the playoffs that I will make my decision. If not then, well, I will just take my official visits and make my mind up after those visits.
"Most of the schools are recruiting me as a strong safety. Mississippi State said they would use me as a rover safety or a weakside linebacker and said I had the body frame to play that position. I just look at whatever can get me on the field then I will play that position."