August 18, 2009

Elite 2011 defender putting up big numbers

Numbers are a big part of the allure that Shreveport (La.) Evangel Christian defensive end Jermauria Rasco brings to college coaches. As only a sophomore, Rasco had 149 tackles as a defensive end and 26 sacks. As mind-boggling as those numbers are, many coaches may be more impressed with a recent number that the 6-foot-3, 227-pounder put forward: 23.

That was the score that Rasco posted on his ACT test this summer, making him that much more of an appealing prospect to college coaches as a likely full qualifier.

"I made that score over the summer," Rasco said. "I was shooting for an 18 or a 20 and I was surprised I got it. I'm not even going to bother with taking it again."

Though the test score was one highlight of the summer for Rasco, he also took in the NIKE Football Training Camp at the campus of Rice University. That was the only event he attended, spending the rest of the summer working out and training for the season with his teammates at the powerful Evangel program. With fall practice already in full swing, Rasco expects big things out of himself and his team.

"I just know this year I've got to pick it up and become a better leader even than I have in the past," he said. "I gotta bring an A-plus game this year. I brought an A game in the past but this season I have to add that plus."

After falling just short of a state championship behind the arm of quarterback Dez Duron last season, Rasco hopes to finish the job in 2009.

"We have no choice but to make it to the state and we're just going to continue to work hard and try to win this year," he said.

Personally, Rasco did plenty to put his team in a position to win in 2009. His 26 sacks tied a state record set by Reggie White. This season, Rasco hopes to take the top spot with a staggering pace.

"Last year I went for about four sacks a game," he said. "This year, I'm shooting for six or seven sacks a game. I want to finish with 30-plus sacks this year."

That incredible production is what has already earned Rasco verbal offers from Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M and UCLA. On September 1, official offer letters are allowed to come in for the class of 2011. Rasco has at least one more program that he is expecting to see in his mailbox. There are also a few more that he is hoping to see.

"Tennessee sent a letter to my head coach and they're going to offer me on September 1," he said. "I'm just enjoying the process and taking it slowly. I'm not in a rush to make a decision."

Rasco lists the state of Florida's big three, Georgia and Southern Cal as some of the schools that have yet to show him significant interest who he would like to hear from.


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