The state of Louisiana has always produced top level football talent, and the 2011 class is no different. In fact, the Louisiana 2011 football talent is arguably the best in Louisiana history! This crop of talent has coaches from all over the country foaming at the mouth. The staff at LSU has done a good job at trying to lock down the state. Of the 16 commitments, 12 are Louisiana residents, while another is from Louisiana but decided to attend his last three years of high school in Texas. Although the LSU staff has done a good job so far, there is still work to do! Especially with teams like Alabama, Auburn and Texas zeroing in on several of the top in-state prospects. Many fans and recruiting services feel that LSU could sign arguably the top class in the country if the LSU staff can hold onto the guys it has committed plus add a few names that they have high on their wish list. It’s a long way until February, but this is my take on what may happen in recruiting over the next 6 months. Over the next few days I will do a 5 part series on the LSU recruiting breakdown at every position. It will give you a detailed summary of who's in the class, who the staff wants, and who might get into the class by February! Part one takes a look at the QB position.
Quarterback (one) – LSU does not have a senior QB, so the safe bet is that the staff takes one and possibly two if Zach Lee does the unexpected and signs to play with the Dodgers. As we stand now, LSU has three scholarship QB’s (2 juniors and 1 freshman). Contrary to message board chatter, LSU only needs one QB in this class. I think we have all learned that signing two QB's in the same class is not always a good thing, and it usually results in one guy and possibly both not seeing the field at that position. The only exception has been Matt Flynn. But let's be honest, there are not many high school QB's that have the patience and loyalty of a Matt Flynn. Also keep in mind that any QB that is signed this year will more than likely spend their first four years behind Zach Lee. Les Miles just called Zach Lee the future QB at LSU in his Wednesday press conference. With most of the QB's that LSU offered committing to other schools, here are the realistic options for the staff at QB.
1. Phillip Ely – 6-1/190 Tampa, FL Plant HS – This is a kid on the smaller side, but he makes up for it with his on-field IQ. He comes from a school with great coaching and a history of producing great QB's! As a matter of fact, the last two starters at Plant High School will be the starting QB's at Georgia and Purdue! I think Ely is a solid prospect that would make a good addition to the 2011 class. I believe he will commit to LSU in mid-August.
2. Jacoby Brissett - 6-5/225 West Palm Beach, FL Dwyer HS – An extremely talented player. Great size and speed. Throws the ball well, although he does have a few issues with his mechanics and footwork. The knock on him, is that he has a hoop dream. Basketball is his first love and it appears that he may want to play both in college. He spent most of the summer playing AAU basketball and not focused on football or recruiting. If he ever decides to only focus on football and being a QB, then I can see this kid playing on Sunday! He definitely has the ability to come to LSU and push Zach Lee for the starting job in 2012. This kid is looking to see what his options are in basketball before he commits to signing with a football program. For that reason I feel that he does not end up at LSU. Not to mention that he did not camp at LSU.
3. Cardale Jones – 6-5/220/4.5 Cleveland, OH Glenville HS – This is a kid that the staff just recently begin to recruit. He is very talented and shows great command of his offense. He has a very strong arm and has improved his accuracy. On film he shows great pocket awareness. He needs to continue to improve his release and mechanics. I think he is the most complete QB of the ones left on the board. His skill set really meshes with what Gary Crowton and Billy Gonzalez like to do! He has offers from Michigan, Michigan St., Penn State, etc. and because he lives in Big Ten country I think that the odds of him coming south are very slim right now!
4. Stephen Rivers - 6-6/200 Athens, AL Athens HS - This kid has late bloomer written all over him. Remember his brother? NFL QB for the San Diego Chargers! Phillip Rivers! None of the big boys recruited him and he ended up at NC State and just happened to break many school and conference records. Just like Phillip, Stephen seems to be just an average QB with the same unorthodox throwing motion! But many schools thought that Phillip would never be a college caliber QB. Today he is a top ten QB in the NFL. It is believed that if LSU offers Stephen, he will commit. If the first two guys on the list decide to go elsewhere, expect Rivers to be offered. I am of the opinion that over the next 4-5 years, Rivers will develop into a great college QB. I'd offer him now and take the first QB to commit.
*Others to keep an eye on: Zach Oliver, Daniel Sams (Kansas St. is getting a steal), Dak Prescott (Arguably the best in-state QB), and Preston Messer.
My Take: I believe it is always important to sign one QB per year! I also feel that it is important to have spacing between your QB's. Having QB's that are in the same class can lead to attrition and the staff loses the investment that they had in the kid. I say take one QB in this class and go after a stud in the 2012 class. The early sign is that the 2012 class seems to be loaded at QB. So why not take one in 2011 and then bring in a guy in 2012 that will have a shot at beating him out for the 2nd string spot behind Zach Lee in the fall of 2012? Here is a list of 2012 QB's that the staff has and/or will target in the near future.
- Gary Crow 6-3/220 Ocala, FL Trinity Catholic
- Jameis Winston 6-3/180 Hueytown, AL
- Matt Davis 6-2/195 Houston, TX Klein Forest - This is the guy that really sticks out in my head, and he has 5 Star written all over him. He camped at LSU last month, and had great things to say about his trip.
- Connor Washington 6-2/190 Stephenville, TX
- Jeremiah Briscoe 6-3/185 Houston, TX 2nd Baptist
- Marshall Williams 6-5/195/4.7 Flower Mound, TX
- Greyson Lambert 6-5/185 Jesup, GA Wayne County
- Zeke Pike 6-5/220/4.7 Edgewood, KY Dixie Heights
*Check back tomorrow for part 2 on this series that will cover the running backs, fullbacks, tight ends, wide receivers, and the offensive line.