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Monday, March 25, 2013
Ardoin may be this year's late bloomer

By Gary Laney

In recruiting, there's always that guy that emerges that the typical recruiting follower might have known little about.

For LSU, a year ago it was Kevin Spears, the basketball player-turned-wide receiver who signed with the Tigers after a huge senior season at New Orleans Holy Cross High School.

This year? The candidate might be tight end Kendall Ardoin (Ville Platte, La./Ville Platte) who might the late bloomer.

Kendall Ardoin
Kendall Ardoin has given up basketball to concentrate on his football career.
Like Spears, the 6-foot-5 Ardoin is a basketball star whose exposure in the football circuit has been limited by his commitment to the hardwood. But unlike Spears, who was a relative neophyte to football when he blew up on the recruiting circuit with a 1,000-yard senior season, Ardoin is no stranger to football.

"I've been playing since I was seven, eight years old," Ardoin explained. "But I've also been playing AAU basketball during the spring."

That changed this year. Ardoin has realized that football is his future, so instead of extending his hoops season into the summer, he's taken to the football circuit. On Sunday, he participated in the NUC 5-star camp in the Baton Rouge, La., suburb of Zachary and impressed with his length and ball skills.

On Thursday, he'll attend LSU's second spring scrimmage, hoping to pick up his first offer. He's also getting interest from state schools and has drawn interest from Mississppi State. He credits the new interest to his new offseason focus.

"It's definitely helping to concentrate on football," he said. "Before my sophomore year, I didn't work out much, I'd just do the things that came natural. As I grew up, I decided to start working a lot more and get my weight up. Especially not being in basketball during the summer, it lets you keep a lot of the weight you would lose if you were running up and down the court."

Ardoin has a slender build, but has the frame to easily carry much more, although his skills point toward being a pass-catching tight end.

LSU seems to be going in that direction. Both 2013 recruit DeSean Smith and 2014 commit Jacory Washington have exceptional balls skills at the position. Ardoin could be the next hybrid prospect at the position to come out of the state.