One of South Lafourche’s biggest fish is headed to New Mexico to play college football.
Tarpons standout defensive back Wilbert Rhodes announced this week that he has accepted a scholarship offer to play at New Mexico Military Institute – a two-year junior college in Roswell, NM.
Rhodes said he will head for the desert in late July. He added that he’s thrilled for the opportunity to continue his career.
“I’m really excited,” Rhodes said. “This is an awesome opportunity and I can’t wait to head out there and start my college career.”
Rhodes earned his spot at NMMI by establishing himself as an elite playmaker for the Tarpons in 2012.
The 6-foot, 1-inch, 180-pound defense back played offense, defense and special teams for South Lafourche.
He scored touchdowns at each position, earning touchdown receptions, an interception return for a score and also a kickoff return for a touchdown.
South Lafourche head football coach Dennis Skains said he is proud of Rhodes’ growth during his senior season.
Skains said that when he arrived at the school, he heard people question whether Rhodes could be a leader.
The coach added that those questions were silenced in 2012, as Rhodes became one of the top seniors on the team.
“He’s extremely blessed – he was one of the more blessed kids that we had,” Skains said. “The thing that makes you the most proud of Wilbert is where he came from when I first got here to where he is now. That’s not to say that I did anything in this, because I didn’t. Wilbert in this one year has done a lot of maturing, and he’s done a great job on the field and in the locker room as one of our leaders.”
Rhodes said that he will be a defensive back at the college level – a man-to-man cornerback inside of the team’s defense.
He said that the thing NMMI’s coaches liked about his game was his size and speed.
“They said they liked how big I was,” Rhodes said. “But they said that I moved well for my size, too.”
With his college decision made, Rhodes said his eyes are already on the future. He said he wants to try and have two solid seasons with the New Mexico school so that he can enroll at a larger program later in his career.
“Now, I just need to get in the gym and get ready,” he said.