The Class of 2011 is in the home stretch, and space is limited in the Tigers' class. LSU can only enroll 23 players in this class, and they already have verbal commitments from 21. In addition, Cameron Fordham will count against this year's numbers even though he signed in 2010. Fordham was a walk-on for the 2010 season but will go on scholarship in 2011. So that essentially leaves just one spot left in the class. But if the right players want to come aboard, I expect LSU to take as many as 26. Certain players could be asked to grayshirt depending on how the academics go.
In what is annually one of the more popular features on the site, this post acts as a guide to National Signing Day which is now just one week away. Detailed below is my take on each of LSU's commitments, along with their rankings from all of the major recruiting services and some video whenever available. In case you're unaware, these evals are available all year long on the Commitments page. Following the write-ups on the verbal commitments are similar write-ups on the remaining targets for LSU and my thoughts on LSU's chances. I try to compare each prospect to someone. Please note that these comparisons are only comparing their style of play, not necessarily their overall ability.
Here we go...
1. Stephen Rivers - Athens, LA - 6'7 210 pounds: Rivers is a big, tall passer with a nice arm and a lot of upside. He is the younger brother of NFL Pro Bowler Phillip Rivers, and his quirky three quarters throwing motion is almost identical. While Rivers shows plenty of zip on his short and intermediate throws, some of his deep throws seem to die. Rivers also needs some work mechanically. He often throws off his back foot rather than step into his throw. Once he fixes that, his arm strength will improve. At the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Classic in December of 2010, he measured at 6'7" 210 pounds. He'll eventually fill out that frame and his arm will only get stronger. Rivers is more mobile than you might think and is not afraid to run the ball. He does a fantastic job of avoiding pressure and keeping plays alive. He is surprisingly accurate while on the move. Most consider Rivers a project that will redshirt and then learn for another year or two before being ready to compete in the SEC.
Rivals: #19 Pro Style QB 3 stars
Scout: #35 QB 3 stars
ESPN: #56 QB 3 stars
Reminds Me Of: Tyler Bray (Tennessee - Class of 2010)
2. Zach Mettenberger - Butler Community College - 6'5" 247 pounds: Mettenberger is the classic pro style passer with a big strong right arm. He is perhaps LSU's most important commitment in this entire class due to the immediate need for an impact player at quarterback. On his film, Mettenberger shows very good mechanics and footwork. He has a strong presence in the pocket and steps up into the pocket to deliver his throws. He shows the ability to feel pressure coming and to roll away from it while keeping his eyes down the field. He also displays some pretty nice touch on his passes, and he uses the touch at the appropriate times. There is not much to dislike about him as a prospect. At his size, he would certainly not be considered a mobile or a dual-threat quarterback. But he has good enough feet to avoid pressure and to scramble for a few yards here and there. He has the upside to develop into a Matt Stafford or Andrew Luck type of player. His physical skills will remind LSU fans of Jamarcus Russell.
Rivals: #1 JUCO QB #17 JUCO overall 4 stars
Scout: 4 stars
Reminds Me Of: Josh Freeman (Kansas State - Class of 2006)
3. Kenny Hilliard - Patterson HS - 6'0" 220 pounds: Hilliard has probably been the state of Louisiana's best running back over the last two years. Physically, he's got the body to play college football right now. Despite being Dalton Hilliard's nephew, Kenny is much bigger than Dalton and runs with a different style. Hilliard doesn't have great top end speed, but he is decisive running the ball, and he accelerates quickly through the line. He navigates through traffic surprisingly well for a big guy. After his initial cut, he doesn't shy away from contact and punishes defenders. He runs with a good low pad level. He's also a good receiver out of the backfield. Hilliard will need to watch his weight. He is at his best when playing around 220 to 225 pounds. He has allowed himself to get up to 240 at one point. If he loses his quickness and ability to make quick cuts in traffic, then he runs the risk of losing what makes him special. He could become a plodder at that point. I've seen some good comparisons of Hilliard to former Louisville runner Michael Bush or even former Tennessee Vol Jamal Lewis. To me, Mississippi State's Anthony Dixon comes to mind. In a worst case scenario, I think Hilliard can be a Charles Scott or Ally Broussard type of runner. But he has the potential to be really special.
IRivals: #9 RB #63 overall 4 stars
Scout: #25 RB #194 overall
ESPN: #9 RB #120 overall
Reminds Me Of: Anthony Dixon (Mississippi State - Class of 2006)
SNS State Rank: #4
4. Terrance Magee - Franklinton HS - 5'9" 195 pounds: Magee is a fantastic athlete who plays quarterback for Franklinton but projects as a running back in college. Magee has a very powerful lower body and has great strength for someone who is under 200 pounds. He's got very good speed and could outrun defenders at the college level. He shows the ability to make great reads as a runner. He picks the right hole and bursts through it consistently. He could stand to add some bulk to his upper body which would enable him to take the pounding he'll see at the next level. I am very high on Magee and won't be surprised if he turns out to be the best back in this class. Magee had a great senior year and proved to be a very effective quarterback and an outstanding leader. If not for his height, he would be a legit quarterback prospect. Magee passed for 2,634 yards and rushed for 1,370 yards as a senior while accounting for 54 touchdowns. For what it's worth, he threw over 30 touchdown passes and just three interceptions. He was voted as the Most Oustanding Offensive Player in the state for Class 4A. He'd be a great option in some Wildcat sets at the next level. He will remind many of Spencer Ware in his build, skill set, and running style. He may be a bit shiftier than Ware with better lateral movement but without as much power. Also like Ware, Magee is also a top notch baseball prospect that we'll need to keep an eye on during the MLB Draft.
Rivals: #28 ATH 3 stars
Scout: #44 RB 3 stars
ESPN: #51 ATH 3 stars
Reminds Me Of: Spencer Ware
SNS State Rank: #12
5. Jeremy Hill - Redemptorist HS - 6'1" 220 pounds: Hill is another "big back" with a ton of potential. He's awfully similar to Hilliard though not quite the bruiser at the point of contact. He makes up for that with exceptional vision, often making the right cut and finding a hole through the front seven and into the secondary. He runs very decisively. Hill doesn't have great speed, but it's pretty darn good for a guy who is 220 pounds. His running style reminds me a lot of Stevan Ridley. Hill has also shown exceptional hands out of the backfield. He may be the most complete back in the state this year, and he had an outstanding senior season.
Rivals: #21 RB 4 stars
Scout: #11 RB #95 overall 4 stars
ESPN: #19 RB 4 stars
Reminds Me Of: Stevan Ridley
SNS State Rank: 8
6. Jarvis Landry - Lutcher HS - 5'11" 180 pounds: Landry (pictured above) is a college-ready receiver that should be able to contribute right away at the next level. He runs very precise routes and can get open with ease. Landry has great hands and catches the ball away from his body. He's also deadly after the catch. He is not a blazer but has good enough speed. He's also extremely tough. Landry does it all, and his style of play will remind Tiger fans of Josh Reed. Landry is also extremely physical and takes pride in his blocking. At camps last summer, Landry outperformed all other receivers in attendance including some 5-star guys from the Class of 2010. He's the real deal. I rarely say this about true freshmen...but I don't just think he has the potential to make an impact next year. I expect him to make a big impact next year.
Rivals: #4 WR #18 overall 5 stars
Scout: #4 WR #29 overall 5 stars
ESPN: #3 WR #37 overall 4 stars
Reminds Me Of: Josh Reed
SNS State Rank: #3
7. La'El Collins - Redemptorist HS - 6'4" 305 pounds: Collins is an elite offensive tackle prospect, and Louisiana hasn't seen too many of them over the last several years. Collins really made a name for himself at some camps last summer. He has great footwork and uses his hands extremely well. He also has great strength and can dominate when run blocking. He really has everything you want to see in a franchise left tackle. He shows a mean streak and a willingness to get to the second level to finish off plays. He looks like a future multi-year starter for LSU at offensive tackle, a future multi-year All-SEC performer, and a potential first round pick. That's a hell of a lot to project for someone, but Collins is that kind of prospect. He's a consensus five star prospect and a Top 20 player nationally. He will compete for LSU's left tackle position immediately upon his arrival.
Rivals: #2 OT #6 overall 5 stars
Scout: #2 OT #11 overall 5 stars
ESPN: #3 OT #8 overall 5 stars
Reminds Me Of: Trent Williams (Oklahoma - Class of 2006)
SNS State Rank: #2
8. Corey White - Capitol HS - 6'4" 290 pounds: White is a very solid offensive guard prospect. He has big size and good strength. As a junior, White was a mauler and used his enormous size to overpower opponents at the high school level which he won't be able to do as frequently in college. White had some bad weight on his frame as an underclassman. However, he worked very hard his senior year and transformed his body by shedding over 20 pounds. He showed up with much more agility and quickness as a senior, playing tackle for his high school team. Originally looking like just a straight ahead run blocker, White now displays the ability to do some pulling and be a complete interior lineman at the next level.
Rivals: #11 OG #184 overall 4 stars
Scout: #37 OG 3 stars
ESPN: #60 OG 3 stars
Reminds Me Of: Nate Livings
SNS State Rank: #16
9. Trai Turner - St. Augustine HS - 6'5" 340 pounds: Turner is a mammoth offensive lineman prospect who projects as a guard in college. Turner has outstanding power and a nasty attitude on the field. That combination typically spells bad news for whoever is lined up across from him. Despite his size, Turner can explode off the ball and keep a good low pad level. He often drives his opponent backwards and then reaches the second level to find someone else to block. Though he projects as an interior lineman, Turner displays the athleticism to play tackle, where he plays for St. Aug. He's surprsingly light on his feet and is very effective when blocking in space or down field. Turner also plays some defensive tackle in high school. He has some bad weight on his frame, which is a slight concern. But once in LSU's strength and conditioning program, that should no longer be an issue. If he loses that bad weight, I would not be too surprised to see Turner as a legit right tackle at the major college level.
Rivals: #12 OG 4 stars
Scout: #16 OG 3 stars
ESPN: #54 OG 3 stars
SNS State Rank: #11
10. Jonah Austin - St. Augustine HS - 6'7" 335 pounds: Austin put in a ton of work and enjoyed a very strong senior season en route to earning an offer from LSU in December. Austin certainly has the size but does not show quite the same level of strength as his teammate, Trai Turner. Although he plays left tackle in high school, there is some debate over his college position. Due to his size and long reach, some consider him a right tackle, but his footwork is questionable for a tackle in the SEC. He certainly has the potential to move inside to guard and become a physical presence. He'll need to add some strength and work extra hard on staying low due to his 6'7" frame. In the run game, Austin shows a mean streak that you love to see. Austin loves LSU and jumped at the chance to become a Tiger. Guys like that will often work hard, stay in the program, and become great program players. He'll have a very positive contribution to LSU's program.
Rivals: #58 OT 3 stars
Scout: #46 OT 3 stars
ESPN: #66 OT 3 stars
SNS State Rank: NR
11. Anthony Johnson - O.Perry Walker HS - 6'3" 295 pounds: Johnson has the nickname "Freak" for a reason. He is an absolute monster and is virtually unblockable. He is naturally very strong and has the ability to occupy blockers and stand up against the run. However, his quickness really, really stands out and he is better suited blowing past linemen and disrupting plays. He finished his junior season with 89 tackles and 16 sacks. He followed that up with 31 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks as a senior. Johnson is the nation's all-time sack leader for high school, finishing his career with 79 sacks. He seems to get into the opponent's backfield at will. He still has some work to do with his technique, but his physical skills are unmatched for a defensive tackle prospect from Louisiana. In my opinion, he's the best prospect in the state this year and a Top 15 player nationally. Johnson will enroll at LSU this spring and participate in spring practice. He will compete for a starting job right away. He has the potential to make a Chad Lavalais, Glenn Dorsey, Nick Fairley (minus being a dirty player with a shitty attitude) type of impact.
Rivals: #1 DT #17 overall 5 stars
Scout: #1 DT #4 overall 5 stars
ESPN: #1 DT #2 overall 5 stars
Reminds Me Of: Nick Fairley (football ability only)
SNS State Rank: #1
12. Quentin Thomas - Breaux Bridge HS - 6'3" 265 pounds - Thomas was recruited to LSU as a big defensive end, and he has the frame to play both end or tackle. He's currently a very lean 6'3" 265 pounds with a large wingspan. His film is impressive, and he shows incredible potential and a willingness to never give up on a play. He tends to play a little high but that's not too uncommon for a high school lineman. He is still pretty raw but his physical talent and upside is obvious. He won't be able to out muscle players at the next level so he'll need quite a bit of "coaching up" before he's ready for SEC ball. I can see him as a big strongside defensive end or as a quicker interior lineman. Thomas was suspended for his senior season which caused him to drop in my rankings since we were not able to see how he has developed. Thomas has a very high ceiling but has a lot of question marks at this point.
Rivals: #27 Strongside DE 3 stars
Scout: #35 DT 3 stars
ESPN: #55 DT 3 stars
Reminds Me Of: Pep Levingston
SNS State Rank: #21
13. Trevon Randle - League City, TX - 6'1" 205 pounds: Randle is a tremendous all around athlete and brings a lot of speed to the linebacker position. He gets to the ball carrier in a hurry and then delivers that "punch" you like to see when he makes a hit. The ball carrier always goes backwards when Randle shows up and his film reminds me of Ryan Baker's coming out of high school. While he's a bit light for a college linebacker, he has plenty of time to grow, and I suspect he'll end up playing at around 220 pounds at LSU. Randle also plays running back in high school. Randle was a top target of Texas and also had offers from Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona, and UCLA. While the state of Louisiana is loaded with talent this year, linebacker is one position that is lacking. For LSU to be able to go out of state and fill that void with a player of Randle's caliber is impressive.
Rivals: #17 OLB 3 stars
Scout: #8 OLB #135 overall 4 stars
ESPN: #88 OLB 3 stars
Reminds Me Of: Ryan Baker
14. Jalen Collins - Olive Branch, MS - 6'2" 175 pounds: Collins was a virtual unknown in recruiting circles until he camped at LSU the summer before his senior season. Collins impressed the coaches and left with an offer and was soon a commitment. He backed that up with an outstanding senior season and a very impressive week of practice at the Mississippi / Alabama All-Star Game in December. He is a tall, lanky cover guy who shows an uncanny ability to stick with a receiver. He can start and stop quickly and has flexible hips enabling him to change directions. If Collins grows into his 6'2" frame, will he lose some of his flexibility that makes him special for a guy his height? Collins could grow into a good coverage safety but is not a great tackler at this point in his career. He looks like a good find for the LSU staff, and I expect some other SEC schools to make a run at him as we approach Signing Day.
Rivals: #22 CB #249 overall 4 stars
Scout: #99 CB 3 stars
ESPN: #33 CB 3 stars
Reminds Me Of: Chevis Jackson
15. David Jenkins - Carrollton, TX - 6'1" 185 pounds: Jenkins has superior speed and athleticism, giving him all the tools needed to be an elite defender at the college level. He has track speed, running a 10.5 100 meters and was also voted as the #1 corner in the nation by Rivals.com in the category of "Best Coverage Skills." Jenkins is one of the least talked about guys in this class, but he's one of the best. If he were from Louisiana, he would be a Top 10 player in the state in my opinion, and that's saying something this year. He has the potential to contribute right away in the secondary and could compete for a starting cornerback job as early as his second year on campus. He's also a candidate to return kicks at some point in his career. Already at 185 pounds, Jenkins could certainly grow into a safety if things don't work out at corner.
Rivals: #21 CB #222 overall 4 stars
Scout: #11 CB #128 overall 4 stars
ESPN: #21 CB 3 stars
Reminds Me Of: Perrish Cox (Oklahoma State - Class of 2006)
16. Ronald Martin - White Castle HS - 6'2" 190 pounds - Martin plays a little bit of everything for White Castle, including quarterback. He threw for around 1,400 yards and rushed for over 1,100 as a junior. He accounted for 20 total touchdowns. On defense he made 58 tackles, intercepted nine passes and broke up 15 others. He intercepted 12 passes as a soophmore. He is 6'2" 190 pounds and can run a sub 4.5 in the 40. He has a great frame that he can fill out to over 200 pounds. He looks like a great coverage safety that will have the ability to stick with some wide receivers in the slot. He may even be able to play at cornerback though I believe he ultimately ends up at safety. Martin's recruiting process got started late since he plays for a relatively unknown 1A school. After great performances at both LSU summer camps, Martin earned an offer from the Tigers and accepted immediately. With LSU mostly using bigger, run support type of safeties recently, Martin looks like a guy that can cover some ground and handle some man to man duties in the slot.
Rivals: #60 CB 3 stars
Scout: #45 S 3 stars
ESPN: #73 ATH 3 stars
Reminds Me Of: Derrick Bryant
SNS State Rank: #17
17. Paul Turner - West Monroe HS - 5'11" 185 pounds - Turner is the quarterback for West Monroe but projects as a slot receiver or defensive back in college. I love Turner as an athlete, and I'm very high on him. As expected, Turner runs the ball quite a bit from his quarterback position. He shows exceptional quickness, speed, and change of direction ability. He also shows a good bit of toughness as a runner. All of those have the makings of a good cornerback; however, Turner has never played the position. His height is the only somewhat negative about Turner that I can see. He reminds me of a shorter Morris Claiborne. He tried his skills at cornerback at an Ole Miss camp in June and promptly earned an offer from the Rebels. He ran a sub 4.5 at LSU's July camp and worked out on both offense and defense, impressing those in attendance and earning an offer from LSU. Turner is also a great leader and great student. Like Magee, Turner had a great senior year and impressed as a quarterback. If he ends up on defense, He could be a versatile guy similar to current Tiger Ron Brooks.
Rivals: #32 ATH 3 stars
Scout: #52 S 3 stars
ESPN: #111 ATH 3 stars
Reminds Me Of: Ron Brooks
SNS State Rank: #13
18. Alonzo Lewis - St. James HS - 6'3" 190 pounds: Lewis has very good size at receiver and should be a very physical player in college regardless of what side of the ball he plays on. He attended the U.S. Army All-American Junior Combine in January and ran a slow 40 time while he was there. However, I've seen a few clips of him from the combine and he looks to have plenty of speed. LSU coaches saw Lewis first hand at a camp last summer, and they obviously liked what they saw. Lewis received a very early offer from Les Miles and did not take long to accept it. Lewis has good size and is built like a linebacker. Many debate what position Lewis is best suited to play, but nobody debates his physical ability. He could be a big receiver. He could potentially grow into a receiving tight-end similar to Deangelo Peterson. He could probably play some safety or play some outside linebacker. It will be interesting to see where he lines up for the Tigers next fall.
Rivals: #92 WR 3 stars
Scout: #58 WR 3 stars
ESPN: #82 WR 3 stars
Reminds Me Of: Deangelo Peterson
SNS State Rank: #19
19. Micah Eugene - Acadiana HS - 5'10" 185 pounds: Eugene enjoyed a superb senior season and an especially impressive performance in the state playoffs to earn an offer from LSU. Academic struggles kept Eugene's recruitment pretty low-key but a strong senior year in the classroom has him on track to qualify. Once news of his improved academics leaked out, schools like Alabama and USC showed high levels of interest. Eugene starred on both sides of the ball for Acadiana, but looks to be a defensive back in college. He shows really great hitting ability and outstanding burst and acceleration. He's a great candidate to be a combo defensive back that could play either corner or safety or perhaps find a home as a nickel back. He reminds me a lot of current Tiger Brandon Taylor. Many claim that Eugene is one of the top talents in the state, even though his recruitment was practically silent until December.
Rivals: #63 CB 3 stars
Scout: #39 S 3 stars
ESPN: #23 CB 3 stars
Reminds Me Of: Brandon Taylor
SNS State Rank: #25
20. Odell Beckham Jr. - Newman HS - 5'11" 180 pounds: Beckham is an incredible overall athlete. Though he's just 5'10", he has very long arms which make up for it and lets him compete as if he was 6' or taller. Beckham has very good speed, and he accelerates to get there in a hurry. He's also very shifty and can make quick cuts without slowing down. He has a perfect skill set to be an elite cornerback at the next level; however, he prefers to play on the offensive side of the ball. He could be an elite player on offense too. He is best suited to play as an inside receiver in an offense that can be creative in their ways to get him the ball in space. He will need to bulk up some before being able to physically match up with defensive backs at the college level....that is, if they can get their hands on him. He's an outstanding candidate to return kicks as well. Both of Beckham's parents were athletes at LSU. Regardless of where he ends up on the field, Beckham is an elite skill player. If he plays defense, he could be a tough cover corner like Joe Haden. On offense, he's somewhere between a guy like Golden Tate and Jeremy Maclin.
Rivals: #6 WR #43 overall 4 stars
Scout: #40 WR #251 overall 4 stars
ESPN: #61 ATH 3 stars
Reminds Me Of: Golden Tate (Notre Dame - Class of 2007)
SNS State Rank: #6
21. James Hairston - Dallas, TX - 6'0" 190 pounds
Rivals: #15 K 2 stars
Scout: NR 2 stars
ESPN: #22 K 3 stars
Reminds Me Of: John Corbello
So that sums up the current verbal commitments for LSU. A few things should be noted. First is that running back Jeremy Hill was arrested for oral sexual battery of a 14-year old girl. That's a pretty serious offense that he was arrested for. Needless to say, his status with LSU is unclear. Like anyone, Hill is innocent until proven guilty. But don't be surprised if LSU lets the legal system run its course prior to accepting him into the program. They could ask Hill to grayshirt while this issue gets figured out. So he may still sign a Letter of Intent with LSU, but that won't necessarily mean that he'll be on campus in the fall. We shall see.
LSU's commitments all appear to be on solid ground. Jalen Collins may be the only one to watch as many believe Ole Miss is making a serious run at him.
So who are the most likely candidates to fill out the remainder of LSU's class? Here are some write-ups on the remaining candidates, ranked in order of who I think is the most likely to sign with LSU
22. DE Jermauria Rasco - Evangel HS - 6'3" 240 pounds: Rasco is an incrediby productive player in high school, registering over 100 tackles in two of the last three years from his defensive end position. He also logged 36.5 sacks over the last two seasons. As a senior, Rasco registered 86 tackles, 20 sacks, two interceptions and six fumble recoveries. He has offers from nearly every major college program, and the recruiting services think highly of him. Even though he plays 1A football, Evangel often matches up with some big name opponents, so he has performed against good competition. Rasco has good quickness and very good strength and power for a guy only 240 pounds. His senior film was very impressive, and he shows equal ability stopping the run or rushing the passer. While many try to project Rasco as a linebacker due to his size, he's clearly at his best playing at the line of scrimmage. He is just one of these ultra productive smaller defensive ends in the mold of Dwight Freeney or Elvis Dumerville. He's clearly the top defensive end in the state and is a huge priority for LSU. Rasco took his official visit to LSU last weekend and spent time with over a dozen of LSU's commitments. Florida State and Florida remain big players for Rasco, but LSU really looks to be in the driver's seat right now.
Rivals: #8 Weakside Defensive End #168 overall 4 stars
Scout: #8 Defensive End #40 overall 5 stars
ESPN: #17 Defensive End 4 stars
Reminds Me Of: Justin Houston (Georgia - Class of 2007)
SNS State Rank: #7
23. S T.K. Fleming Benton HS 6'3" 200 pounds: Fleming has a ton of athleticism and doubles as one of the state's top track and field athletes. He also has a good frame for a big-time safety. That combination has a lot of big schools very eager to sign him. However, Fleming looks very raw as a defensive back. His film is a bit underwhelming, but his athletic ability is easy to spot and cannot be coached. He takes some poor angles and still has a long way to go before he's ready to play in the SEC. If he does not work out at safety, he has the frame to potentially grow into a linebacker, a la Harry Coleman and Stefoin Francois. Fleming has really struggled with some off the field issues which caused him to be suspended for his senior year. He also has some work to do academically. A lot of schools have backed off of Fleming as a result, but LSU continues to recruit him. A prep school or grayshirt is not out of the question. Fleming seems to strongly favor LSU over all other schools. The real question is whether LSU will take him into this class and sign him. He could very well sign and then grayshirt and show up in next year's class. That will give him some more time to get his academics in order and prove to LSU's staff that he can keep his nose clean off the field.
Rivals: NR 3 stars
Scout: #50 Safety 3 stars
ESPN: #46 Safety 3 stars
Reminds Me Of: Harry Coleman
SNS State Rank: #20
24. DT Tim Jernigan - Lake City, FL - 6'2" 280 pounds: Jernigan is a beast and universally thought of as one of the nation's top defensive tackle prospects. While Anthony Johnson looks to be a bit more complete tackle prospect, Jernigan really fits the bill of a disruptor that can get consistently get into the backfield and make plays. Jernigan played in the U.S Army All-American game and was one of the more dominant players at practice all week long. He is the real deal and will make an impact wherever he lands. LSU has long been one of Jernigan's favorites and he loves the idea of playing alongside Johnson. However, Florida State and Florida are both making huge pushes. Jernigan grew up a Florida fan but has been lukewarm on them during his recruitment, especially with their coaching change. They are making a very strong late push however. Florida State is considered to be the favorite by many. LSU is definitely in the picture though. My brain tells me that he's absolutely going to stay in-state, but I have a goofy feeling that LSU might just pull a signing day surprise.
Rivals: #2 DT #29 Overall 4 stars
Scout: #4 DT #30 Overall 5 stars
ESPN: #2 DT #17 Overall 4 stars
Reminds Me Of: Drake Nevis
#25 DT Mickey Johnson - St. Pauls HS - 6'1" 305 pounds: Johnson is a force in the interior of the defensive line. He has the make-up of a Kyle Williams type of tackle that puts on the hard hat and goes to work every play. Like Williams, Johnson has some insane weight room numbers and that strength translates onto the football field. Even when double teamed, he is extremely difficult to drive out of the way and he clogs up running lanes as a result. But make no mistake, Johnson is not just a space eater. He has the quickness and ability to get into the backfield to disrupt plays and rush the passer. He will make the other players around him better. Due to his strength, Johnson is a candidate to play early in his college career. As for his recruitment, Johnson will decide this Friday between Tennessee, Arkansas, and LSU. Many think that LSU has been "slow playing" Mickey while they wait for a decision from Jernigan. Some speculate that if Johnson chooses somewhere other than LSU, then that means LSU is getting Jernigan on Signing Day. I wouldn't go that far. Perhaps Johnson does not want to wait for LSU. Nobody really knows what school Mickey will announce on Friday. I do believe that if LSU wants Johnson, then they'll make that clear to him and that he'll choose LSU.
Rivals: #17 DT #195 Overall 4 stars
Scout: #19 DT #216 Overall 4 stars
ESPN: #11 DT #121 Overall 4 stars
Reminds Me Of: Kyle Williams
#26 DE Ray Drew - Thomasville, GA - 6'5" 240 pounds: Drew is an elite defensive end prospect that looks like a complete defensive end that can stay on the field for every play. He has a great frame to eventually play at about 270 pounds without losing much athleticism. He is highly thought of by every scouting service and has offers from nearly every major school. Drew shows very impressive speed for a guy his size but also a willingness to play tough and stop the run. Georgia is believed to be the big leader for Drew even though he is not tipping his hand. Auburn, Alabama, and LSU are also finalists for his services. Drew had a great visit to LSU earlier in the year, but I believe LSU is on the outside looking in here. Others think LSU has a real chance. He's one to watch, but not one to get too excited about.
Rivals: #1 Weakside Defensive End #9 Overall 5 stars
Scout: #6 Defensive End #33 Overall 5 stars
ESPN: #2 Defensive End #13 Overall 5 stars
Reminds Me Of: Sam Montgomery
#27 WR Chris Briggs - Franklinton HS - 6'4" 185 pounds: Briggs is a guy that would probably get more attention in any other year. But the state of Louisiana is so loaded for the Class of 2011 that a talented guy like Briggs has flown under the radar. He has numerous offers from smaller programs and some from a few bigger schools such as Pitt. Briggs has pretty good mobility and speed for a guy who is 6'4", and he shows nice hands and the ability to make some tough catches. LSU reportedly wanted a taller receiver in this class, and Briggs would fit the bill. He is due to visit LSU this weekend and depending on how things shake out with some other players on the board, Briggs may end up getting offered and signing with LSU. A grayshirt is not out of the question for him, and he could count against next year's numbers.
Rivals: NR 3 stars
Scout: #215 WR 2 stars
Reminds Me Of: Patrick Patterson (Ole Miss - Class of 2009)