Lawrence High senior defensive end Amani Bledsoe only had time for about one hour of sleep after last week’s victory against Olathe North, the result of an exciting win and trying to get the most out of his college recruitment.
Bledsoe traveled to the University of Oklahoma last weekend for an official visit, leaving Lawrence at 3:30 a.m. with his mother and brother, and picking up his grandfather in Wichita, to watch the Sooners.
For Bledsoe, it’s simply just a part of finding time to focus on both his collegiate recruitment and the season, as the Lions look to win a district title when they play Olathe East at 7 p.m. today at the College Boulevard Activity Center.
“It’s kind of a balance,” Bledsoe said. “You have to find that in between because what’s most important to me is the team. After that is when I’ll get heavy on the recruiting process and everything.”
Bledsoe, ranked the 10th-best strong-side defensive end in the country by Rivals.com, cut his list of potential schools before the season to Kansas University, Oklahoma, Missouri, North Carolina State, Oregon and UCLA. He visited Oregon in September and will visit N.C. State on Saturday.
Sometimes it’s tough for Bledsoe to find that balance. He has received so many college letters that he doesn’t keep up with them, and they all just go in a box. But he has learned to accept help.
“My brother’s girlfriend actually has been kind of helping me out with that,” Bledsoe said, “organizing stuff when we were getting kind of behind. I appreciate her with everything to help me out with that.”
Bledsoe isn’t the only one trying to balance recruiting during the season. Senior linebacker Price Morgan has received several college offers, including South Dakota State, Air Force, North Dakota, Wyoming and Western Illinois, among others. Morgan is still working on setting up dates for official visits but plans to wait until the season is over.
“I’m just kind of playing it by ear, like, see who else decides to offer after the season,” Morgan said. “There’s still a lot of things that can happen. I’ve talked to coach (Dirk) Wedd a little bit about it. Really, the main goal right now is winning the next game against Olathe East.”
LHS senior defensive end Trey Georgie boasts offers from Air Force, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, South Dakota State and Western Illinois. He took an official visit to Northern Iowa two weeks ago.
“I try not to pay attention to it because we have a state championship to win,” Georgie said. “Recruiting can be handled after the season. But you still have to let the coaches know you’re interested.”
For now, all of the Lions (8-0, 2-0 in districts, ranked No. 1 by Kpreps.com) are focused on securing the top seed for the state playoffs, which they will clinch with a victory. The Hawks (3-5, 0-2) were eliminated last week, but the Lions refuse to take them lightly, knowing 30 players are celebrating their Senior Night.
“Number One priority for me is making sure this team is successful,” Morgan said. “But at the same time, you have coaches (direct messaging) you (on Twitter), calling you. It takes up some time. But it’s a pretty good burden to have, I’d say.”
LHS probable starters
LT — Trey Georgie, sr. LG — Jacob Unruh, jr. C — Mark Greene, jr. RG — Ethan Taylor, so. RT — Amani Bledsoe, sr.
QB — Alan Clothier, sr. RB — JD Woods, sr. H — Peter Afful, sr. WR — Luke Padia, sr. WR — J’Mony Bryant, sr. TE — Price Morgan, sr.
K — Cole Brungardt, jr. P — Alan Clothier, sr.
DE — Trey Georgie, sr. DT — Nathan Koehn, sr. DT — Jacob Unruh, jr. DE — Amani Bledsoe, sr. LB — Konner Kelley, sr. LB — Price Morgan, sr. LB — Tanner Green, sr.
CB — Dante’ Jackson, so. CB — Ivan Hollins, sr. SS — Santino Gee, jr. FS — Cade Burghart, jr.