1. Landon Collins S Dutchtown - Collins is the prototypical strong safety and is clearly the top prospect in the state of Louisiana. He checks in at 6'0" 205 pounds and has run a legit 4.4 in the 40. He has a great burst and delivers a big punch when hitting the ball carrier. He recorded the top SPARQ score at The Opening event in Oregon over the summer. He should be phenomenal on blitzes at the next level and is an instant impact player. Right now, he's better as he gets closer to the line of scrimmage but with his speed, he can cover a lot of ground in the secondary too. He is closer to a linebacker than he is a cornerback, so if he can improve, it would be in man coverage. He is one of the top overall athletes in the nation and one of the best to come out of Louisiana in some time.
2. Torshiro Davis DE/LB Woodlawn - Davis checks in at 6'3" 220 and has a ton of quickness off the edge. While I initially had him pegged as a defensive end, Davis worked out at linebacker at LSU's summer camp and impressed. He could excel at either position in college. His speed makes him a tough match-up, but he does not lack strength either. He is very well put together and could probably easily hold about 240 - 250 pounds on his frame without too much trouble. He is a great fit for what John Chavis likes from his defensive ends, and that's speed over size. He fits the mold of guys like Jermauria Rasco and Justin Maclin but shows off the ability to stay put at linebacker too. It's a good problem to have and any defensive coordinator could really take advantage of his versatility. Davis is a clear #2 on this list, but he's probably closer to #1 than he is to #3. He's a legitimate national Top-100 type of prospect.
3. Denzel Devall DE/LB Bastrop - Devall is a similar player to Torshiro Davis but has more size right now. At 6'2" 240 pounds, he could certainly play on the line and rush the passer. But he also looks to have the lateral quickness needed to possibly play some linebacker too. . Devall's tackling really stands out on his film. He does a very nice job of wrapping up and driving the runner backwards. He shows better than average burst and I suspect that if all of his highlights were of him playing linebacker, he'd still be a very highly rated prospect. Devall also sports a 3.9 GPA. The big question is how much more Devall will grow. Already at 240 pounds as a high school junior, it's not a stretch to picture him up over 250 once he is in a college strength and conditioning program. At that size, he may be better suited tto playing on the line than at linebacker. His possesses some nice weight room numbers with a 315 pound bench and a 485 pound squat. That strength, along with his versatility, will help him see the field early in his career. Devall seems set on playing outside linebacker in a 3-4 defensive system and that honestly seems like a good fit for him. That is the primary reason that Devall chose Alabama over LSU, Texas A&M, and others.
4. Lamar Louis LB/RB Breaux Bridge - Louis goes about 6'0" 220 pounds and can play either outside linebacker or running back. He has good speed for either position, running a 4.54 at a combine last February. He looks like a legit prospect on either side of the ball and that versatility makes him very attractive to college coaches. His running style will remind you a bit of Michael Ford. He does not waste much time behind the line of scrimmage and he is a very physical runner who can make some nice cuts. On defense, Ryan Baker comes to mind. He uses his speed to get through gaps and into the backfield. And he delivers a pretty good punch when he makes a hit. Louis had early offers from Florida and Texas A&M, among others. Most consider Louis a linebacker at the next level. Louis did not play high school ball as a junior due to eligibility issues, so his highlights are from his sophomore year. Lamar also won the MVP for the running back position at a Nike camp in Houston, TX. Several other impressive camp performances and a solid senior season have moved him up my list.
5. Ronnie Feist LB West St. John - Feist is another outstanding linebacker from the state of Louisiana. He projects on the outside, coming in at 6'1" 230 pounds. He rushes the passer from the end quite a bit in high school, and he shows off top notch speed and burst. He also shows up with an attitude when he gets to the ball. However, Feist does not spend as much time playing a traditional linebacker role, so he will have a learning curve. But it's tough to deny that Feist has the speed, athleticism, and physicality needed to be a starter in the SEC. Feist may be a candidate to play in the middle for LSU.
6. Travin Dural WR Breaux Bridge - Dural had a fantastic senior season which shot him way up my rankings (was #14). Along with Deion Jones, he's one of the biggest risers from the pre-season rankings. As the clear top play maker for Breaux Bridge, Dural caught 49 passes for 880 yards. He also rushed for approximately 250 yards. More impressively, he scored 25 touchdowns. He scored 20 through the air, three rushing, one on a punt return and one on a kick return. He currently has a tall, slender frame that will remind many of Brandon Lafell coming out of high school. At 6'2" 175 pounds, he is likely a tad shorter than Lafell, but his style of play is very similar. He has very good speed and frequently gets behind the defense for big plays. He shows good ability to come down with jump balls and to catch balls over defenders. He demonstrated during his senior season that he can also be effective in the short passing game, running precise routes and working the middle of the field. If Dural can add some bulk and show that he can handle the physicality of SEC football, then he's a candidate to see the field in 2012 as a true freshman....especially if Rueben Randle leaves early for the NFL.
7. Devante Bourque ATH Crowley - Bourque is a high school running back that is built like a college receiver. He goes about 6'2" 200 pounds and has a very upright running style. With the ball in his hands, Bourqie is a very exciting player. He shows very good burst and acceleration, and he demonstrates better than average cutting ability. His top end speed is good, but not elite. As a running back, he's projects as a player very similar to former LSU Tiger Richard Murphy. As a receiver, he is an unknown since he has never played the position. Can he catch? Can he run routes? Can he block on the edge? But the plan is for him to begin his career at running back. He'll get his chance to prove he can handle the position and if not, a position change could be in store. Even though he may be a guy without a position at the next level, I can't put Bourque any lower than this. He is too good of a football player and overall athlete to rank any lower. And he just might surprise me and really excel as a running back.
8. Derrick Raymond CB East Jefferson - Raymond has good size for a corner at 6'1" though needs to add some bulk. He also has blazing speed, running a 10.5 in the 100 and a 21.5 in the 200. Until this year, Raymond had not played high school football since he was a freshman due to transfer rules. But he proved himself on the field as a senior and those who have watched him live have raved about his potential. Furthermore, LSU defensive backs coach Ron Cooper offered Raymond after watching him practice a couple of times and chose not to wait until LSU's summer camp. Cooper has a great track record for evaluating defensive backs, and that stood out to me. This ranking is definitely a bit of a projection since Raymond needs to add some bulk and because he has a long way to go in terms of his technique. But his physical skills are so good and Raymond has such a high ceiling that I could not put him any lower, and I give him the slight edge over Dwayne Thomas as the top corner prospect in the state. A few years from now, there is a strong chance that Raymond could be at or near the very top of this list.
9. Dwayne Thomas CB OP Walker - Thomas is the kind of big corner that has excelled at LSU in recent years. With his 6'1" 175 pound frame that is sure to fill out, he will remind many of guys like Corey Webster, Chevis Jackson, Travis Daniels, or Morris Claiborne. Thomas is not a burner but his speed should be adequate for the next level. He has quick feet, good ball skills, and he's much more physical than most cornerbacks at this stage of their career. As a senior, Thomas picked off three passes and broke up another 14. He is a solid corner prospect and one that should certainly contribute during his LSU career.
10. Deion Jones LB Jesuit - Jones was the biggest riser in my rankings, going all the way from not ranked to the Top-10. And that's mostly due to the fact that I finally saw some film of him from his senior season, and he looked fantastic. Jones has outstanding speed, he tackles well, makes good reads, fights through blocks, and he hits hard. The only negative is his size, currently at 6'2" 205 pounds. Some question whether his frame can hold another 20 pounds or so. But even if Jones can get to 215, then he should have a place on LSU's defense. Tahj Jones has demonstrated that someone at that size can make it happen. Jones plays middle linebacker for Jesuit, where he racked up a ton of tackles. I love the idea of having someone with his speed in the middle, but he could very well end up on the outside at LSU due to his size.
11. Jearld Hawkins OT West St. Mary - Hawkins is a very athletic, but very raw prospect. At 6'6" 290 pounds and outstanding feet, Hawkins has nearly the perfect skill set for an offensive tackle. However, Hawkins has played very little offensive line in his career. As a senior, he played both offensive line and defensive end. He's the type of prospect that seems like a certain redshirt. But after year or two in a college program, he could emerge as a big-time player. He has a ton of potential and a very high ceiling, and that's why I have him as the state's top offensive line prospect. Similar to Derrick Raymond, the physical skills are just too good to rank any lower. When the Class of 2012 has exhausted their college eligbility, Hawkins could very well be one of the top two or three players from the state.
12. Lorenzo Phillips LB Patterson - Phillips is ultra productive at the high school level, and he has adequate size and good speed to match. Right now, he's about 6'1" 205 pounds but has plus athleticism and football speed. Most of his highlights are of him speed rushing off the edge and making plays in the backfield. By rushing the passer so much, Phillips logged 23 tackles for loss as a junior. However, Phillips also shows off some pretty good linebacker instincts. He has a knack of finding the ball carrier, squaring up, and making a sound tackle. Phillips spends very little time reacting to the play. He decides where he wants to go and he gets there in a hurry. Phillips would be deadly on the blitz, which is what he spends most of his time doing at the high school level. Phillips is pretty similar to Deion Jones. While lining up on the edge and rushing the passer, Phillips logged a ton of impressive sack and TFL stats. Meanwhile, Jones played in the middle and racked up huge tackle numbers. I give Jones the slight edge since he has played more "real" linebacker and has demonstrated he can do the things he'll need to do at the next level.
13. John Thomas TE Airline Bossier - Thomas is a big tight-end prospect with good athleticism. He checks in at 6'5" 235 pounds but will certainly fill out that frame more. He looks like someone that could develop as an all-around tight-end and allow LSU to get away from the "blocking tight-end" and "receiving tight-end" positions on the team. Thomas may be able to fill both roles and add some extra versatility to the Tigers' offense. As a junior, Thomas hauled in 30 passes for 575 yards and seven touchdowns. That 19 yard per reception average is very good for a big tight-end. Thomas can improve his blocking, but that is easily coachable for someone with his size and skills. He compares favorably to current Tiger Nic Jacobs but shows off the potential to be really special. He suffered a season ending knee injury early in his senior season so he his recovery is something to watch.
14. Derek Edinburgh OL Karr - Edinburgh is a mammoth offensive line prospect that goes about 6'7" 330 pounds. With a guy that size, you obviously would like to see him at offensive tackle where he can use his arm length to his advantage. That's where Edinburgh projects best, though he still has some improvement to make. He has come a long way over the last year, and it's reasonable to assume that he will continue to improve. Even though Ediburgh carries his weight well, he struggles a bit with speed rushers off the edge. He may be better suited at right tackle, where another huge guy in Alex Hurst, is currently enjoying some success. If he cannot cut it at tackle, he should bring some value as a huge interior lineman in the mold of Herman Johnson. Edinburgh earned some nice offers from schools such as Arkansas, Nebraska, Mississippi State, and Arizona.
15. Jerqwinick Sandolph S Hahnville - Sandolph projects as a free safety whose strong suit is coverage. He has good size at a rangy 6'1" 180 pounds and shows plenty enough physicality for safety. He's also got plenty of speed. Although he plays some corner in high school, he looks pretty good playing while facing the line of scrimmage. He plays fast moving towards the ball and tends to arrive there with a nasty attitude. Although he plays at a big-time high school program, he has not received much recruiting hype though it's hard to figure out why that is the case. Sandolph has really grown on me as a prospect, and I like him more and more. Nothing really jumps out about him. Pretty good size. Pretty good speed. Pretty good skills. But when you put it all together, I think he could contribute quite a bit during his LSU career.
16. Darion Monroe CB East St. John - Monroe plays quarterback for Est St. John but projects as a cornerback at the next level. Since his film shows him behind center, it's tough to project him in the secondary. He is clearly a very good overall athlete, and he has decent size at 5'11" 175 pounds. He shows very good "shake" and change of direction when he takes off with the ball, and that should translate to solid coverage skills. After a workout last summer at Texas A&M's camp, he earned an offer from the Aggies. He looks to be more of a sure thing as a prospect than Raymond, but does not show off as high a ceiling. Monroe had some some struggles at some summer camps, but excelled at others.
17. Dillon Gordon TE John Curtis - Gordon fits the profile of the "blocking tight-end" and he has superior size at 6'5" 240 pounds. He will probably play in college at around 265 or 270 pounds. Gordon is at his best on the line of scrimmage, and he likely won't be flexed out very often. But having a solid blocker that can act as a sixth offensive lineman in the running game can prove to be quite valuable. Gordon is not without some athleticism though, and he while he lacks the ability to stretch the field, he has pretty good feet and shows decent hands. It's not out of the question that Gordon grows into an offensive lineman once he reaches the college level. He's a solid prospect, and one that probably offers few surprises. He likely has a ceiling of being a Keith Zinger or Mitch Joseph type of blocking tight end, and there's nothing wrong with that. Those guys bring lots of value.
18. Otha Peters LB Covington - Peters just looks like a very solid player, and I'm pretty surprised that LSU did not offer him. In just about any other year, LSU probably would have offered. He's a little on the small side at 6'0" 215 pounds, and he shows plenty of quickness and athleticism to be considered a legit SEC prospect at outside linebacker. He stands out on film. He has a knack for sifting through traffic, seeking out the ball carrier, and then wrapping up while delivering a good punch. He'll need to gain some additional size/bulk before being ready to play at the next level, but he looks like he has the frame to do so without losing any quickness. He's a good looking prospect who should contribute nicely to Tennessee's program.
19. Kavahra Holmes WR Breaux Bridge - Holmes has tremendous speed, which is what sets him apart from others. He is the state champion in the 400 meters, with a time of 46.3. He has OK size at 6'1" 175 pounds. But at a few summer camp stops, Holmes proved he can be a complete receiver rather than just a speed guy. He attended TCU's camp as an unknown but walked away with an offer. Shortly after, he did the same at LSU's. Many who observed LSU's camp raved about Holmes' ability and that he looked natural running routes and catching the ball. So while I initially figured he was a Bennie Brazell type of speedster, it sounds like Holmes could be a legitimate receiver who just happens to have great speed rather than the other way around. However, Holmes's talent did not result in production on the field as a senior, so that is a reason for some concern.
20. Trey Granier LB Thibodaux - He's got the size at 6'1" 225 pounds, and he has the stats to match. The question is whether Granier has sufficient speed and athleticism to play at the SEC level. Granier does a good job of moving to the football, especially between the tackles. However, he looks a step slow especially when in pursuit to the outside. He also has a tendency to get caught up in traffic, and he needs to improve on shedding blocks. I was ready to drop him out of my rankings entirely, but some recent film surfaced where he looked a whole lot better and showed off a very nice burst to the football. Granier may be best suited to play in the middle in college, and he could be one of those guys that you don't notice during a game but who racks up high numbers of tackles.
21. Alonzo Moore WR Winnifield - Moore has decent size at 6'2" 175 pounds, solid speed, and tons of production at the high school level. Moore has consistently made big plays, week in and week out. Moore caugh 49 passes for 1,246 yards and 17 TDs as a junior while also rushing for 591 yards and nine TDs. Can Moore's production translate to big plays at the next level or does he become "just another guy"? Moore attended LSU's camp last summer, but LSU's staff decided to offer Kavahra Holmes instead. I think Moore can be a productive player at the FCS level and he has offers from Mississippi State and Nebraska, so it looks like he'll have the opportunity to prove it. Time will tell whether LSU made a mistake or not.
Jordan Batiste CB Lutcher - Tulane commitment
James McFarland DE West Monroe - TCU commitment
Lloyd Grogan LB/S Central Catholic
Terrell Lathan DE West Monroe
Bryan Singleton DL Destrehn - Houston commitment
Daniel Taylor RB Lutcher