Kale Ridge will be taking his talents to Prairie View A&M next season.

Lindale's senior flex linebacker and defensive end finished his deliberation Tuesday and announced a verbal commitment to the Panthers program through his personal Twitter account. He intends to join a defensive unit that has averaged just 23.8 points against in five Southwestern Athletic Conference contests this season.

Ridge (6-2, 220) was part of an elite Lindale defense last year. It averaged 20.8 points against in 10 regular season games to help the team to a 5-5 overall record and almost a first-round upset against a powerful Marshall offense in the Class 5A Division II playoffs.

The defender has solid personal numbers this season, but Lindale is 1-5 overall ahead of Friday's District 17-5A game at Ennis.

There's still hope for Lindale. Four of the six teams in its district will qualify for the playoffs, and it is only in a 0-1 hole in the league standings.

Prairie View A&M owns a 4-1 record against SWAC teams and currently sits in third place within the West Division. The other four teams in the division have between one and three games in hand against the Panthers.

Grambling State and Southern maintain undefeated conference records despite playing less games. Those two schools technically lead the division with higher winning percentages.

Grambling State defeated the Panthers two weeks ago at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Prairie View A&M's only other loss came against Texas A&M, which is now ranked sixth in the Associated Press' FBS poll.

The program has a big non-conference game Oct. 22 at Rice, another FBS school. Prairie View A&M is seeking its first win against an FBS opponent while Rice has lost its first five games of the season.

SWAC teams abstain from the FCS playoffs and instead send the winner of their conference championship game to the Celebration Bowl to face the champion of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The winner of the bowl game is awarded the historically black colleges and universities' unofficial national championship.

Ridge, like all senior high school football players, will become eligible to sign with any program that offers him in February.