Madison Prep linebacker Cedric Triplett didn’t recognize the number calling his cell phone when he was out with friends.

Triplett took a chance and answered and found out Southern University coach Dawson Odums was ready to take a chance on him.

Odums called to offer the 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior a scholarship. And Triplett committed to the Jaguars.

“At first I thought somebody was joking with me,” Triplett said. “Then I realized it was coach Odums. I’d met him and talked to him before.

“I was surprised he called. … I didn’t expect it. Southern is a school I’ve grown up watching. I’ve gone to homecoming and other games. So I committed.”

Triplett was a second-team All-District 6-2A choice. He finished with 88 tackles and helped the Chargers finish with an 11-1 record.

Madison Prep was the Baton Rouge area’s lone unbeaten team in the regular season and won the District 6-2A title before losing to St. Charles Catholic in the Division III select semifinals.

Triplett said the chance to go from one successful local program to another factored into his decision. He plans a college major in mechanical engineering.

“I like what coach Odums and Southern have done the last couple of years,” Triplett said. “I want to be part of that and help make the program even stronger.”