You will not find any stars next to Josh Paul’s name on most recruiting websites.
That does not mean the 6-foot-4, 205-pound linebacker from De La Salle High School in New Orleans is not a big-time talent.
On Wednesday, Paul announced his commitment to Arkansas — giving the Razorbacks 13 commits for their 2017 class. He is listed as a three-star prospect by 247Sports, the only site to give Paul a rating.
“Josh, you can’t really find him on Rivals and all that because he’s not a kid that’s every been to camps,” said De La Salle coach Ryan Manale. “He’s played AAU basketball in the past, and this summer he’s just been touring some schools. He’s been invited to the Nike Elite camps and some different things, but he’s never been a kid to go. He’d rather work out with his team and just get better.
“He feels that everything he needs is on his highlight tape.”
Paul led his team in tackles, interceptions and defensive touchdowns last season. His exceptional athleticism is his greatest strength, according to Manale, allowing him to do multiple things from the linebacker position.
“He’s always been a multiple-sport player,” Manale said. “He’s a player that’s going to be able to put on 25 or 30 pounds of muscle in a year and he’s going to be one heck of a 235-pound linebacker in a couple years. I think they’re getting a player with plenty of upside.”
Paul is the third player in the 2017 class from Louisiana to commit to the Razorbacks, a state recruited heavily by wide receivers coach and ace recruiter Michael Smith.
“When he went and visited a couple weeks ago, he felt very, very comfortable with Coach Smith,” Manale said. “He came back and said he feels at home there. Coach Smith, and all the coaches up there, made that possible.”
Paul also holds offers from Ball State, Mississippi, Mississippi State and Tulane.
“He’s one of the greatest kids to be around,” Manale said. “Doesn’t come from an overly wealthy family, so it takes a lot of hard work just to get him to and from school everyday. But you’re looking at, as far as character goes, a quality kid on and off the field with no grade or discipline problems. He’s the kind of kid that people are going to want around.”