Highland Park (Dallas) Senior John Rutledge is one of the Lone Star State’s top track athletes, but a strong senior season on the gridiron suddenly opened another door.
With a solid resume in hand, Rutledge is interested in a number of college programs. But even after passing 49 passes for 766 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, Rutledge wasn’t sure whether or not he would get college football scholarships.
“Deep down, I was still hoping, but I just wasn’t sure,” Rutledge said.
In early December, the Air Force decided to offer Rutledge his first football scholarship.
On January 9, the major reshuffle occurred.
LSU reached out to Rutledge through assistant coach Brian Polian, who is the program’s new special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator under head coach Brian Kelly. Polian told Rutledge the staff had seen his film and were interested.
“I had caught up with Coach Polian after he texted me the night before (the offer), and we talked on the phone for a bit that night. The next day he handed me the hand and told me to call him, and he proposed to me right away. I was definitely shocked and excited. It really surprised me.”
With an impressive senior season on the books, and Rutledge recently set a personal best with a sprint of 21.47 200 meters (which ranks No. 1 in the United States for the indoor event this season), the Tigers in had seen enough to take the step. on the dormant Lone Star State prospect.
Now, Rutledge is set to take the next step in his football recruiting with a home visit from LSU staff on Tuesday night.
“Coach Polian is coming tonight, and I’m sure we’ll hang out, talk, and have dinner. We had already talked a bit about a visit to LSU, and he had brought up that last weekend in January (before the National Dedication Day). I’m sure we’ll talk about all that tonight.”
With Rutledge balancing academics and track season, throwing football recruiting with signing day on the first Wednesday in February in the mix has the Highland Park senior juggling a number of avenues as he ponders his options.
“With running track in college, it’s something I talk to a ton of schools about,” Rutledge said. “That’s always on my mind. With the LSU offer, it all happened very quickly. But it’s attractive, for sure.”