Louisiana-Monroe picks up local standout

Monroe (La.) Ouachita is having a big day for its top prospects on Friday. On the same day that four-star athlete Montrell Conner committed to Mississippi State, Conner's teammate Cameron Blakes also ended his recruitment. Blakes, one of the top linebackers in the state, has decided to stay close to home and will be heading to Louisiana-Monroe to play in college.
"I committed to UL-M," Blakes said on Friday. "I went up there and watched the practice today and man they looked good out there and I had been talking to them a while and I went on and verbally committed. That was the best offer and I was just getting tired of talking to recruits and they were the ones saying what I wanted."
UL-M's victory over Alabama during the 2007 was sure to draw the attention of a lot of major recruits and Blakes was certainly one of them. When asked what was the main thing about the UL-M program that caught his eye, Blakes had no hesitation.
"When they beat Alabama first of all," he said decisively. "They've got a lot of people there and a lot of good players. They've got a couple of players that went to LSU and transferred, and they're defense, they get after it."
The pickup is a big one for the in-state program. Blakes had offers from several other programs such as Louisiana Tech, Tulane, McNeese State, Northwestern State and Tulsa. While he is happy with his decision, Blakes will still listen to other programs that show interest.
"Arkansas and LSU, they're still sending me handwritten letters and stuff," he said. "[If one of them were to offer] that would change things. But so far [Louisian-Monroe] is the best offer I've got and I'm all about the best schools and the best offer."
Blakes starts practice on Monday where a talented Ouachita team hopes to begin a quest for a state championship.