Thursday, February 21, 2013
Introducing the class: Sebastian LaRue
By Sam Khan Jr.
"Introducing the class" is a series in which GigEmNation conducts a Q&A session with each of the incoming recruits in Texas A&M's 2013 class to give readers a closer look at each recruit individually. Today, we visit with Santa Monica (Calif.) High School receiver Sebastian LaRue.
LaRue was an ESPN 150 prospect, ranked No. 74 overall nationally and No. 9 amongst receiveres. The four-star prospect stands 5-foot-11, 185 pounds and was committed to USC before reopening his recruitment in early January. He committed to Texas A&M on Jan. 25, just days after his official visit.
As a senior, LaRue caught 51 passes for 868 yards and eight touchdowns while also rushing for 100 yards and a touchdown. He was an All-Ocean League first-team pick and an All-California Interscholastic Federation first-team pick by the Los Angeles Times. Here's our Q&A with LaRue:
ESPN 150 wide receiver Sebastian LaRue signed with Texas A&M after being committed to USC.
GigEmNation: What made you commit to Texas A&M?
Sebastian LaRue: "It felt right. There were so many signs pointing to it. I felt like it was a great place for me on and off the field. I just had too many signs around me pointing to it being the best place for me."
GEN: What has life been like since your commitment?
SL: "From a recruitment standpoint and dealing with the recruiting process, I loved it and enjoyed it. If I had to go through it again today, I would. It does become a headache at times but it's a little less of a headache now. Now it's just focusing on school and working out and getting ready for the next level."
GEN: You went through a decommitment from USC before eventually choosing A&M. How difficult was that part of the process?
SL: "It was 50 percent difficult but I think it was 50 percent not-so-difficult. It was difficult because I am from Southern California and USC is down the street from my house, things like that. I had a lot of people asking me why I wouldn't want to go to SC. I had to answer those questions, but the part that was easier for me was that once I made the decision, I was confident in my decision and it made it easier for me to answer the questions and I didn't have a problem saying why I didn't want to go and things like that. I just felt like it wasn't the best place for me. That's why I decided to go to Texas A&M."
GEN: Describe your first meeting with Kevin Sumlin. What was your first impression?
SL: "He's a really good person. Off the top, you can tell that he's going to be pretty much up front with you about everything. That's the type of coach that I love and that really drew me into the program."
GEN: Do you have a favorite memory of Texas A&M yet?
SL: "When I was on my Washington State [official] visit, we got back to the hotel and the Alabama game was on. I watched it play out how [the Aggies] kept battling and I remember telling the guys that were on the visit with me 'Man, that program [Texas A&M] is going to be good. They have something good going on over there.'"
GEN: What's your goal when you get to Texas A&M?
SL: "My goal when I get there is to start great in school, first and foremost, from the first day of summer classes. Starting off strong in school will make the process later on easier. Football-wise, I just want to get in there and learn my playbook, because I feel like whoever learns the playbook the fastest, that's who probably has the best chance to play. And hit the weight room hard."
GEN: When did you first get into football and why?
SL: "I first started playing [regularly] when I was about 11. I initially started playing when I was 9, but I quit. I was a basketball player and I didn't really like football like that. My brother went to Fairfax High School and I went to one of his games. It was their rivalry game and he had a huge game, like three touchdowns, and he was all over the field. I saw the love everyone gave him and I honestly liked watching him play. That's what drew me into football."
GEN: Do you have any superstitions or routines that you have before games?
SL: "I like to wear long-sleeve Under Armour, but I roll it up and make it like a short sleeve shirt. It's crazy. I roll it just above my elbows.
GEN: What's on your pre-game music playlist?
SL: "I like listening to slower music just to mellow out my mind. I don't listen to a lot of fast rap music, in-your-ear type stuff before games. I listen to artists like Drake. I guess I do have some hyped-up stuff like Meek Mill. Also YG, Dom Kennedy, those are L.A. rappers."
GEN: Biggest influence on your success?
SL: "My brother, pushing me to do great things. Also my coaches and my family."
GEN: What's your favorite thing to do outside of football?
SL: "Second would have to be sleeping, first would have to be relaxing. I just like to chill, laying back and thinking over stuff."
GEN: If you weren't a football player, what sport would you play?
SL: "I honestly do love basketball. I stopped playing basketball because I'm not 6-5, like my boy Ricky [Seals-Jones]. But I'm good with that. I'm comfortable with how tall I am. I know Ricky can never beat me in a race [laughs]."
GEN: How have your accomplishments changed your life?
SL: "Drastically. I carry more of a role-model [mentality] in my life. When I was younger in high school, I didn't feel like anybody was looking up to me or I needed to look up to anyone, just for the simple fact that I feel everyone should be their own person. But the older I got and the more I started getting into this process, I noticed that you can't really control if someone looks up to you or not. People are just going to naturally be drawn to you and look up to you just because of your success. So that's something I have to adjust to. You have to monitor what type of person you portray yourself to be, like on social media and things like that. And when people try to praise you, always be humble."
GEN: Biggest highlight in your playing career?
SL: "So far, my junior year, first round of the playoffs, I had four touchdowns, three in the first half plus a 99-yard kick return [for a touchdown]. We won that game by 7."
GEN: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
SL: "Hopefully either being in the NFL or in the UFC, one of the two."
Major: "I think I want to go in undecided and just take some general classes and get a feel for what I'm interested in and maybe decide after my freshman year."
Favorite food: "My grandmother's fried chicken."
Favorite car: "A tie between a 2005 Ford Mustang GT, before they changed to the newer body style. And a 5.0 Mustang from about 1994 or 1995. When I was like 5, my uncle had one and he used to let me ride in it. I fell in love with that car."
Favorite NFL player: "It's always been DeSean Jackson, but I like Patrick Peterson, how versatile he is and the way he approaches the game."
Desired jersey number: "I want to wear No. 1, [if] that's taken, I was thinking I might wear 7 my freshman year. My [position] coach [Sean Weston] who went to Texas A&M, wore that in high school."