“It’s great to be able to play in the SEC — that’s like the best conference you can play in — and for me to play both sports at the top is big. I put in a lot of work. It’s tough trying to be a two-sport athlete and a scholar and excel in all three. I think I’ve done it well enough to reach my dream, so that’s why I felt I needed to commit right then.”
Toles, who maintains a 3.0 GPA, had a fantastic junior year. In the fall, he was always around the ball making big plays in helping the No. 1 Panthers to a 10-0 season, finishing with 41 tackles, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns.
In his third varsity basketball season, he averaged 12 points, five rebounds and three assists as the Panthers swept the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference and Baltimore Catholic League championships with a 38-6 mark.
“He’s not only a special athlete, he’s a special kid,” St. Frances coach Nick Myles said. “He’s mentally focused, very knowledgeable to be able to play both at a high level and he continues to be a 3.0 student academically. Being at St. Frances, playing one at the level we play at is not easy. But to actually play both and to excel like he does is just a special feat.”
Toles got a taste of the two-sport grind at the end of December when he played games in both sports on back-to-back days. Immediately after a loss to rival Mount Saint Joseph in basketball, he hopped on a jet to Georgia, where the Panthers football team beat state champion Lee County, 43-14, in the Geico State Champions Bowl Series to cap its perfect season.
Toles said Maryland also guaranteed him a chance to play both sports and Ohio State and Penn State both considered it, but when it came to LSU, he said, “They showed me a different level.”