“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.
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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.”