EDGARD, La. -- For ESPNU 150 Watch List OLB Ronnie Feist, it was an easy decision, so why wait?
That's why two days after the Class of 2011's national signing day, the 2012 prospect from Edgard (La.) West St. John High School committed to LSU.
"It was so nice to get it out of the way and done that early," Feist said. "It's 45 minutes from home which is great for my family. I love Coach [John] Chavis and he seems like a really good defensive coordinator. Coach [Frank] Wilson is a guy that's honest and you can trust. He let's you know right up front with you. It also helps that the Tigers are one of the best football programs around.
"Plus, I wanted to stay home and play at LSU. We have great players in Louisiana and I am proud to represent my state."
It was so nice to get it out of the way and done that early. ... I wanted to stay home and play at LSU. We have great players in Louisiana and I am proud to represent my state.
”-- Watch List OLB Ronnie Feist
At 6-1½ and 230 pounds, Feist will play linebacker for the Tigers and has just the right disposition and demeanor for the position.
"Ronnie is our enforcer," said West St. John coach Rob Valdez. "He's so nasty and tenacious. Ronnie just has that attitude out there. He has great speed and a super football mentality. Ronnie Feist has 'it' and he's the total package."
Funny thing is those who know Feist say he's nothing like his on-field personality. He's intelligent, respectful and carries a conversation easily. He's apparently well-meaning off the field, but just plain mean on it.
"He didn't get that meanness from me or his mom," said his father, Ronnie Feist. "He just plays that way. Ronnie has always been a big Ray Lewis fan. Maybe it's from that. He has a great love of the game and he's really looking forward to the next level."
Even the younger Feist doesn't know where the mean streak comes from.
"I honestly can say I don't know where I got that from. It's just different when you put on that helmet. It's like I flip a switch," he said. "When I am out there I just try and be relentless. I want to be physical. I want to be everywhere and play sideline to sideline."
Linebacker wasn't always in the cards for Feist. Up until last year, he was playing defensive end. That's what happens when you're one of the biggest players in a school of a little over 200 students. In fact, Feist played on the varsity as an 8th grader and even played in the state championship game that year.
"I was new to the team and didn't play much," Feist said. "I was a defensive end. We started out 0-5 and won our last game [to make the playoffs] before losing the state championship game. Now, the task is to make it back to the game, to win that game and be the MVP of that game."
Feist will graduate this December and be an early enrollee at LSU. He carries a 3.5 core GPA and has scored a 23 ACT, a point that his parents stressed is more important than anything he does on the football field.
"We never realized that he would play college football," his father said. "At least not at first. I didn't play but he had this love for the game. Of course, his mother and I always preached that academics came first. With an education you can do anything you want to.
Feist had scholarship offers from all over the country, including most of the SEC, USC and Stanford, but never looked back after committing to LSU back in February. Now it's May and Feist is in the middle of spring ball getting ready for his senior season, but he finds his mind drifting at times to the fall in Baton Rouge.
"I can't wait to get to LSU," Feist said. "I can't wait. I am ready for the next chapter."
Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.