PERKINSTON, Miss. — Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s 2016 season came to a screeching end Saturday when the Bulldogs came up just short of pulling a road upset over ranked East Mississippi.
The end of the Bulldogs’ season, however, means it won’t be long before we learn the fate of Isaiah Buggs.
Buggs, a 4-star recruit and the top-rated junior college defensive lineman in the Class of 2017, will be deciding from LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Auburn in the next few weeks, he told SEC Country. With the attention off his team, he can now effectively give his recruitment his full attention.
As he makes his decision and contemplates a future at one of these SEC West powers, there’s only one factor he’s truly considering.
“I love my mom to death. She’s the No. 1 lady in my life right now,” Buggs told SEC Country.
“She loves me and guides me, mainly because I didn’t have a father. She’s been the main lady to guide me since Day 1, so she’s going to have a part in the recruiting process. I ask her what she thinks, and at the end of the day she’s going to tell me it’s my decision and to go wherever I want to go. But I love my mom, so …”
Buggs’ mother resides in Ruston, La., which is just about three-and-a-half hours away from Baton Rouge.
The Tigers were one of a handful of teams to recruit Buggs coming out of Ruston (La.) High and into his tenure at Mississippi Gulf Coast. LSU interim head coach Ed Orgeron and special teams coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto have spearheaded his recruitment, and both paid ample attention to the elite defensive lineman during several of his visits this summer and when he took in Coach O’s inaugural game against Missouri on Oct. 1.
Not surprisingly, both of LSU’s coaches are well-aware of the X-factor in Buggs’ decision.
“They always ask me for her number because they know she’s the No. 1 lady in my life,” Buggs said. “At the end of the day, she’ll be the one to help me out.”
“She’ll call me and say, ‘Son, such and such called me …’ She’s going to be a top priority in my life and help me make this decision.”
You can bet both Orgeron and Peveto have courted Buggs through his mother and are hoping to finish strong.
One edge LSU holds is its proximity to Buggs’ hometown and his mother, which makes traveling on Saturdays even easier.
Buggs downplayed that factor — a bit — but conceded that Baton Rouge is an easy drive and the closest school to home over Alabama, Auburn, A&M and Ole Miss. Rest assured, these are all factors that will come into play as the 6-foot-5, 280-pounder finalizes his college plans.
“Wherever I go, she’s going to go,” he said. “If it’s LSU, it’s close to home and easier for her to get down and see me. Any decision I make, she’ll be at the top of it.”
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.
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