Living in Louisiana, Perry Stevenson should have little problem putting more pounds on his 6-foot-9, 190-pound frame. The forward from Northside High School in Lafayette knows he needs to put down more jambalaya, red beans and rice and other delicacies of the Cajun state. His prowess as a national recruit is beginning to expand just as much as his body is.
Stevenson, the No. 63 ranked player in the country, is finding the local hot spots and making sure he's putting the healthy foods into his system.
"I'm watching what I eat," Stevenson said. "It has to be good for me and it has to be a lot of it."
Sure Stevenson is rail thin but he's thick with talent. The big man is a big time defender in the paint, swatting nearly seven shots a game. Over the course of the year, his offense grew along with his frame says Northside head coach Rick Lebato.
"Perry is such a key part for us because we have four guards and he gives us a chance," Lebato said. "People don't beat us up because we've got Perry down there to rebound and do the dirty work. For not being a thick kid, he does a good job of controlling the middle.
"He's really just a joy to watch on defense. He's so much stronger. I see him everyday so I don't see the big changes on his body as much as other people do. For those that see him maybe once a month, they all comment on his size and how much bigger he's getting."
Stevenson is long, athletic and has a nice touch from the wing. However, the four-star prospect is improving his footwork in the post and adding more moves to his arsenal inside the paint. Lebato said Stevenson was averaging 25 points a game in the final four of five games of the year.
"I've been working on my individual game outside of practice," Stevenson said. "I know I've got to get better and stronger. Coach is working really hard with me to helped me improve and get me to where I need to be."
High-major programs are intrigued by his potential. Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette, LSU, Texas, Texas Tech and others have either been down to watch or made calls to Lebato about the big man. Lebato believes many more will come.
"He can go anywhere in the country," Lebato said. "We've heard from just about everybody except Duke and North Carolina. I'm pretty sure he'll have offers from everybody after the ABCD camp. I really think he'll be one of the top 10 players in the country by then.
"There is no telling who might be interested in him later on. It's hard to say. Right now, I think he's wide open. You just don't know what some schools will do. Some guys could leave and something opens up."
Stevenson will play with the Louisiana Stars this AAU season.