Bertrand Carrell‘s recruitment is beginning to wind down.
On Friday, the Baton Rouge, La., 3-star defensive back trimmed a double-digit offer sheet to 12. Included in the first round of finalists is LSU, the current favorite, and Missouri, which is one of two schools guaranteed to host Carrell for an official visit in the fall.
The rest of the top 12 are Texas A&M, Kentucky, Tulane, Arizona, Louisiana Lafayette, Colorado State, Texas, South Alabama, Florida and Southern Miss.
“These are the schools that have showed love to me early in the process,” Carrell told SEC Country. “After my top 12, I’ll set up my officials. Everybody is up there, but I wanted to start narrowing it down a little bit.”
In theory, Carrell will select five of the top-12 schools and begin setting up official visits. He plans to announce a commitment in November and sign during the early period in December.
LSU offered the 6-foot-1, 193-pound safety during the spring evaluation period. Tigers first-year safeties coach Bill Busch has maintained daily communication with the Madison Prep Academy standout and has cemented LSU as the team to beat.
“LSU is still up there. They’re the home team, so they’re right above everyone else, and I feel the same about them … maybe even better,” Carrell explained. “People hit me up and I talk to people about LSU as a good place to be.
“They’re my hometown team and what separates them from any other school is how the coaching staff talks to me, how much and how they show love to me. It makes it feel like a second home.”
Busch is spearheading LSU’s push to keep Carrell in-state. He had been eyeing the local defensive back for months before offering in May.
Thus far, communication has remained consistent, and the message has been the same.
“Coach Busch is hitting me up about working harder, grinding and leading my team,” Carrell said. “It’s the same communication. He’s talked to me the same before and after the offer — all about making me a better player. It’s a great relationship to be honest. I talk to him every day. He’s my coach outside of high school. It’s a good, good relationship.”
Carrell attended a handful of LSU’s spring practices and will return to campus for the team’s elite high school prospect camp later this month to work out in front of Busch and the entire defensive coaching staff, most notably secondary coach Corey Raymond and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.
Carrell shines with his physical style of play in the box, but he plans on impressing the LSU staff in other ways. Earlier in June, he produced a 4.49-second 40-yard dash at a Mississippi State camp, and he plans on improving that slightly when he works out at LSU.
“I’m confident, working every day to show off my speed. I want to show I can run, too, and I’m working every day to drop my times,” Carrell said. “I want to prove I can be lockdown. Everyone knows I can hit and break on the ball, but I want to show them I can cover. They want to see me fast, more fluid and in press-man [situations]. People I know I can hit, but I’m going to show I can cover.”
While Carrell has plans to take official visits in the fall and give a November commitment, the 3-star defensive back admits he could make a decision sooner should certain dominoes fall into place this month at LSU’s elite camp.
Could he shut things down as early as June?
“For LSU, if it’s something that I feel like is good going on there, then, yeah, it can be shut down earlier,” Carrell said.