After pumping the brakes on his college decision the past several weeks, Westgate guard Taylor Fondal decided the timing finally was right.
Fondal, a three-star prospect by 247 Sports, followed through on his earlier inclination — which had been building since March — with a commitment to Louisiana Tech on Sunday.
“They stood out when I went to junior day,” Fondal said. “I liked the way the academics were set up, especially the way they’re on the quarter system. I liked the coaches and their facilities. They made me feel at home when I’m not at home.”
Louisiana Tech’s recruiting class stands at 16 commitments, including four offensive linemen.
“I knew I wanted to go a few weeks ago, but I had to talk with my parents and see how they felt,” said Fondal, whose mother attended nearby Grambling and whose coach, Ryan Antoine, played at Tech. “I’ve been thinking about it and prayed about it. I felt Sunday was the best time to do it. That’s where I wanted to go.”
Fondal said he chose Tech over Ole Miss and Southern Miss. He also garnered offers from Western Kentucky and Nicholls State.
Fondal — a 6-foot-3, 300-pounder — is in his third year as a starting right guard for Westgate, which lost its season opener to Carencro on Friday. He was a first team all-District 5-4A selection as a junior and second-team choice as a sophomore.
“I think I’m a better run blocker, and pass blocking is one thing I need to get better at,” he said. “Once I make that adjustment and fix that flaw, that will add something more to my game.”
Fondal’s trip for Tech’s junior day was his lone trip to the Ruston campus. He also took part in the Bulldogs’ satellite summer camp in Lake Charles, where he further developed a relationship with the coaching staff — particularly his area recruiter, safeties coach Karl Scott.
“I’ve built a strong relationship with Coach Scott and talk to him every day,” Fondal said. “I’ve kept in touch with (inside receivers coach Joe) Sloan and the offensive line coach (Robert McFarland). Every time we’ve talked, that bond got stronger and stronger.”
Fondal also drew interest, including offers from LSU and McNeese State, for his prowess in track. He’s the reigning Class 4A state champion in the shot put and discus with personal bests of 54 feet, 5 inches and 163-9.
Fondal also won the shot put and was second in the discus in 2014.
“It’s a big relief, like a big bear jumped off my back,” Fondal said. “I feel I can breathe and just focus now.
“As a competitor, I would like to go in there and play. If they tell me I’ve got to get bigger and stronger, that’s what I’ll do. I’m not a selfish person. I want to do what’s best for the team.”