Few players have seen their stock rise on the Bayou quite like Dion Gales.
The LaPlace (La.) JFK defensive end has gone from relative obscurity to a big-time prospect wielding offers from national powers like LSU, Miami, Florida State, Michigan, Alabama, Ohio State and Colorado.
“It’s been pretty wild,” Gales said, “but I’m trying to keep a level head. It’s a great honor to have all these schools interested in me. I have a lot of good places to choose from.”
Gales (6-5, 255, 4.9) has four schools at the top of his current list of favorites.
“Right now Miami is first, LSU is second, Michigan is third and Florida State is fourth,” he said.
Breaking down the leaders, Gales said:
“I love Miami’s style and their defensive mentality. They bring it. They play defense like they’re coming to take it from you. I love that.
“LSU is kind of the same as Miami. I like their defense, how they play aggressive and attack the offense. It’s close to home, too, and the coaches are real cool.
“Michigan, judging from the books they’ve sent me, would be a really great learning environment. I think they have a good combination of football tradition and education. Plus, it would be kind of nice to get away from New Orleans and experience a different part of the country.
“And Florida State is another school with a defensive style that I like. That’s the main thing I’m looking at, along with good education. They’ve had a lot of good defensive ends over the years.”
As a junior, Gales recorded 77 tackles and 15 sacks to earn his district’s defensive MVP honor. JFK opens the 2003 season on Saturday against St. Augustine.
Academically, he maintains a 2.9 GPA and has scored a 16 on his ACT. He’ll take the test again in October.