NEW ORLEANS — Joseph Foucha‘s list of top schools are slowly whittling down.
On Monday, the highly sought-after 3-star defensive back trimmed his list of top schools to seven schools. LSU, Auburn, Alabama and Arkansas were the four SEC teams to make the cut along with Florida State, Arizona State and Kansas.
The common thread between his final seven schools: playing opportunities and a platform to eventually fulfill his professional football dreams.
“Those seven teams had a lot of opportunities,” Foucha told SEC Country. “I thought about it from playing-wise and also getting to the next level.”
Earlier in the spring, Auburn emerged as a front-runner for the 3-star defensive back, who projects as a safety at the next level.
After garnering an offer from LSU and receiving more interest from some other programs, Foucha maintained that he doesn’t have a leader and all seven teams are pushing equally as hard.
“Every school is recruiting me about the same,” he said. “I talk to the coaches at LSU a lot and I go up there to visit sometimes, being that it’s so close. Everybody, really, is 50-50.”
Foucha made visits to LSU, Alabama and Florida State in July.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound prospect from McDonogh 35 (La.) High School in New Orleans added an offer from the in-state Tigers after the elite high school camp in June and LSU quickly asserted itself as a major player in Foucha’s recruitment.
He camped at Alabama and Florida State the following month before returning to Baton Rouge before the NCAA’s dead period.
“LSU wasn’t in my top 15, but it’s a school I’ve liked since I was a kid,” Foucha said. “The players they’ve produced like Tyrann Mathieu — we’re from the same park — Leonard Fournette — I grew up knowing him.
“I’ve been out to Alabama a few times, but this time I wanted to go for a camp to show how much I’ve improved. It was great. I talked to coach [Nick] Saban and he told me I remind him of Landon Collins, which was pretty amazing because he’s from New Orleans and moved after the hurricane.”
Foucha, a top-400 prospect in the Class of 2018, is the No. 32 safety in the country, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He is the No. 14 overall recruit from Louisiana.
Foucha is planning to release his five official visits sometime this week. A commitment won’t follow until National Signing Day on Feb. 7.
One hint that the standout defensive back provided was that he enjoyed his July visits because they were to teams with defensive-minded coaches. That includes Saban at Alabama, Ed Orgeron at LSU and Florida State defensive coordinator Charles Kelly.
“Those three teams have a lot of players in the league and also come from defensive-minded guys,” Foucha explained. “Those three schools are known for defense like Nick Saban is a defensive coach, Coach O is a defensive guy and Coach Kelly at Florida State. When I went out to camp there, we linked up and I did my thing and everything went well there defense-wise.”