St. Aug tight end Jamal Pettigrew commits to LSU _lowres

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- St. Augustine's Jamal Pettigrew scores a touchdown against Warren Easton at Pan American Stadium in their 2014 spring football game in May at Pan American Stadium.

Jamal Pettigrew started off his park-ball football days playing guard. Then he moved to tackle.

But blocking for people got old to him, so he wanted to switch to quarterback. His father, Curtis — also his coach — had another suggestion: tight end.

“What does a tight end do?” asked Pettigrew, who was around 10 years old at the time.

They block, and they catch passes, his father replied.

Pettigrew, now a 6-foot-6, 220-pound junior at St. Augustine, has been a tight end ever since. His next stop will be LSU.

Pettigrew committed to the Tigers on Sunday morning, making the phone call to LSU recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson.

“I had a great relationship with Coach Frank, and I think they can evolve me into a great tight end,” Pettigrew said.

Pettigrew is the fifth player in the Class of 2016 to commit to the Tigers. He is rated a four-star recruit by 247Sports and is rated the No. 6 tight end in his class.

He chose LSU over a long list of scholarship offers that included Nebraska, Louisville, Tulane, Texas A&M, Florida, Ole Miss, TCU and Tennessee.

“I wanted to decide early and get it out the way and focus on my senior season,” Pettigrew said. “I want to try to help my team win a state championship.”

Pettigrew was getting plenty of congratulatory messages Sunday after word of his commitment began to spread.

“It’s been crazy,” he said. “It feels great to have a lot of people supporting your decision.”