Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Zachary running back Terry Sullivan follows the block of Shyron White on Dutchtown defender Adam Sparks as he heads to the corner of the endzone for a touchdown on friday at Dutchtown.

John Oubre

Dutchtown High defensive back Adam Sparks and Madison Prep defensive tackle Troy James decided to ditch the football recruiting drama.

Sparks committed to Vanderbilt on Monday night. Determined to help build a program, James committed to Kansas on Tuesday afternoon.

“I went up there for a camp last weekend and got to go on a tour before it started,” Sparks said of a camp at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee. “I got the offer then and talked it over with my parents. The more we talked about it, the more we were convinced that was the best opportunity for me. That’s why I committed.”

For James, the decision to pick Kansas was part of an epiphany after an unofficial visit last week.

“When I was a ninth-grader at Madison Prep, everybody talked about it only being a basketball school,” James said. “We’ve worked hard to prove that it’s a football school, too. I don’t see any reason why myself and the other 2017 guys can’t do the same thing.

“Committing now gives me the chance to focus on my senior year. Our goal is to win a state title, and I want to do everything I can to help my team do that.”

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Sparks is the son of former Southern University standout Kenyatta Sparks. His brother, Jared, was the DHS quarterback last fall and has reported to Purdue, the school he signed with.

“I learned a lot from watching my brother go through the recruiting process last year,” Sparks said. “I knew what to expect, some things to ask and what to do.”

Sparks has 12 offers, including offers from Tulane, SMU, Colorado State, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Texas-San Antonio and Southern Illinois.

The 6-3, 275-pound James has 28 offers, including from Arkansas, Colorado State, Colorado, Tulane, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Indiana, Louisiana-Lafayette and UL-Monroe.

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