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|Mingo commits to LSU; three other WMHS stars sign letters of intent|
Four West Monroe High School seniors signed national letters of intent Wednesday, with three going on to play football and one competing in track.
Barkevious Mingo, the Class 5A all-state defensive MVP for this season, made his intentions known by signing to play for the LSU Tigers and head coach Les Miles next season.
Mingo is ranked by national recruiting website Rivals.com as the No.9 linebacker in the United States. He was certainly the force of the West Monroe defensive unit in 2008 as he recorded 59 total tackles, four tackles for loss, seven sacks, seven fumble recoveries and two blocked punts.
"Barkevious (Mingo) is a special young man," West Monroe head coach Don Shows said. "He will be remembered as much for his character off the field and in the classroom at West Monroe as he will be for being an outstanding football player."
Mingo did not begin playing football until his junior year at West Monroe. He played basketball all four years and ran track on the relay team for the Rebels since stepping foot on campus four years ago.
"The things he has done and the leader he has been the last two years, you really cannot say enough about the way he has carried himself," Shows said. "Also through this process of recruiting I have been proud of the way he has conducted himself."
Mingo was one of the most highly recruited linebackers nationally this season and visited LSU, Southern Cal, Alabama and Connecticut before deciding on Baton Rouge as his next home.
Quarterback D.J. Banks signed a scholarship offer with the Tulane Green Wave and three-year starting running back LaDarius Abrams signed with North Carolina Tech.
Abrams will spend the next year getting stronger and faster in hopes of landing on a FBS team in the near future.
Banks started at quarterback and earned all-district honors as well as the team's offensive player of the year award this season. Banks played wide reciever and was the backup quarterback for the Rebels his junior year after transferring to West Monroe from Saint Frederick. For the Warriors, he started at running back during his first two years of high school football.
"D.J. (Banks) has been a joy to coach and be around," Shows said. "He played tremendous for us for two years and really did more for this team than just about anybody on offense. He was a receiver and quarterback for us last season. This year he started every ballgame at quarterback and just did a tremendous job for us."
Banks threw for 1,574 yards and 10 passing touchdowns while also rushing for 10 touchdowns for the Rebels. The senior season for Banks was good enough to earn district 1-5A Most Valable Player on the offensive side of the ball.
Abrams was a three-year starting running back for the Rebels and was the team's leading rusher in his sophomore and junior seasons.
"It is so rare to find a great athlete to start for you for three years like Abrams," Shows said. "He worked real hard his whole career and did everything we asked of him as a coaching staff."
Demetri Hampton signed to run track for the University of Louisiana-Monroe. The Warhawks get a blazing speedster with four-years of track experience in their program under head coach J.D. Malone.
Malone has dipped into the track talent pool at West Monroe in the past as the Warhawks signed Bola Shoyebi to run for the women's team two years ago.
Shoyebi was one of the relay team's premiere runners last season at the Sun Belt Conference Championships.