GEISMAR, La. - There is a rising defensive tackle prospect in the New Orleans area at Isidore Newman who is picking up interest as the weeks move along.
That is defensive tackle Mandela Kazi, who checked in at 6-foot, 268 pounds at the Rivals.com Junior Day at Dutchtown High School this past weekend. Kazi, an all-district selection and team captain for his school, put together a solid 2006 campaign. He totaled eight sacks and 67 tackles for the year.
Now, recruiting is starting to pick up and he's making his way on some trips.
"Last weekend, I went to LSU's spring game," Kazi said at the Rivals.com Junior Day. "I'm going on a couple of unofficial visits to Kentucky and Louisville because I'm very interest in those schools as well. I'm also looking at Ohio State."
Kazi says that he hasn't received any scholarship offers yet, but says that with several schools showing a lot of interest, one could come after the spring.
At the high school level, Kazi has shown versatility by playing defensive tackle and a little bit as an offensive lineman. Between now and the college level, Kazi says he's just trying to work on his ability get up field in a hurry.
"I want to get my stop and start speed up a little bit," Kazi said. "I really just want to be a guy that gets to the ball, breaks down, and makes the big tackle. My main goal right now is my speed and really improving my technique."