It’s no secret that the state of Louisiana is loaded for the 2014 cycle. The Pelican State features 16 prospects rated four stars or higher by 247Sports and the majority of those have multiple invitations to national all-star games, are on various All-American teams and then some.
Leonard Fournette, the nation's top running back prospect and perhaps the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson, is a consensus projection to stay in-state and play for LSU.
Simply put, it’s a special cycle.
So the question becomes with an abundance of talent in-state, which prospects stay at home and play for LSU, which very well could have the inside track to the top class in the country for the 2014 cycle.
On April 15, 247Sports will debut “Crystal Ball”, a new feature in our player database. The first version of this feature allows our analysts and analysts from throughout the recruiting industry (all have been invited to participate) to make predictions on the college destination of prospects. We’ve been busy calling our shots behind the scenes, so here’s a sneak peek at what some of us are thinking on all of the Louisiana prospects currently rated four stars or better by 247Sports this cycle.
Leonard Fournette, RB, New Orleans St. Augustine- JC Shurburtt, Brian Perroni, Keith Niebuhr, Barton Simmons, Gerry Hamilton (247Sports), Sonny Shipp (Geaux247, 247Sports) and Andrew Kulha (Bleacher Report) all project LSU for the nation’s top running back prospect.
Cameron Robinson, OT, West Monroe- Brian Perroni, JC Shurburtt, Keith Niebuhr (247Sports), Sonny Shipp (Geaux247 and 247Sports) and Andrew Kulha (Bleacher Report) project LSU for the nation’s top-ranked offensive tackle. Gerry Hamilton (247Sports) projects Alabama for Robinson.
Speedy Noil, WR, New Orleans Edna Carr- Brian Perroni, Barton Simmons, Gerry Hamilton, JC Shurburtt (247Sports) and Sonny Shipp (Geaux247) all project LSU for the aptly-named five-star receiver prospect.
Laurence Jones, S, Monroe Neville- Brian Perroni, JC Shurburtt, Keith Niebuhr (247Sports) project LSU for the talented safety, who is a five-star prospect according to 247Composite (recruiting industry consensus).
Malachi Dupre, WR, New Orleans John Curtis- Brian Perroni and JC Shurburtt (247Sports), Sonny Shipp (Geaux247 and 247Sports) and Andrew Kulha (Bleacher Report) all project LSU for the ultra-athletic Dupre.
Garrett Brumfield, OG, Baton Rouge Southern Lab- Brian Perroni and JC Shurburtt (247Sports) and Sonny Shipp (Geaux247 and 247Sports) project LSU for the nation’s eighth-ranked offensive guard prospect.
Trey Quinn, WR, Lake Charles Barbe- Brian Perroni and JC Shurburtt (247Sports) and Sonny Shipp (Geaux247 and 247Sports) project LSU for the four-star receiver prospect.
Cameron Sims, WR, Monroe Ouachita Parish- Brian Perroni and Barton Simmons (247Sports) project Alabama for Sims while JC Shurburtt (247Sports) projects LSU. The Tigers have yet to officially offer the 6-foot-4 pass catcher, who is the No. 120 overall prospect nationally according to 247Sports.
Davon Godchaux, DE, Plaquemine- JC Shurburtt (247Sports) projects Florida for Godchaux, who does not currently hold an offer from LSU.
Kenny Young, LB, New Orleans John Curtis- JC Shurburtt (247Sports) and Sonny Shipp (Geaux247 and 247Sports) project LSU for the 6-foot-2, 220-pound talented backer.
Garrald McDowell, DT, Covington- Sonny Shipp (Geaux247 and 247Sports) projects Arkansas while JC Shurburtt (247Sports) projects Ole Miss for the four-star rated McDowell, who does not currently hold an offer from LSU.
Alabama will have the nation's top corner (Marlon Humphrey, pictured above), top offensive tackle (Cameron Robinson) and top defensive tackle (Andrew Brown) on campus for visits this week.
Brandon Harris, QB, Bossier City Parkway- Sonny Shipp (Geaux247 and 247Sports) projects Arkansas for Harris while JC Shurburtt (247Sports) projects Nebraska for the nation’s No. 5 dual-threat quarterback prospect, who does not currently hold an LSU offer.
Jermaine Roberts, CB, New Orleans St. Augustine- Sonny Shipp (Geaux247 and 247Sports) projects Texas for the four-star corner, who does not have an LSU offer. JC Shurburtt (247Sports) also projects Texas, though he originally projected Alabama.
Note- Stay tuned for the release of Crystal Ball and other new recruiting database features on April 15.
-It should not come as a surprise, but it will be a star-studded visit week at Alabama as five-stars Andrew Brown, Marlon Humphrey and Robinson all are expected in for visits. The Tide had the highest-rated class numerically ever in the 2013 cycle. As of today (April 1), Alabama is under strong consideration (at least top five) for eight of the top 10 prospects in the 2014 class according to 247Sports.
-Look for more on this this week, but with the way Ole Miss has started in the 2014 cycle, it’s looking like Hugh Freeze and staff may be able to string back-to-back excellent classes together. Recruiting is never just a one-cycle deal, you have to do it consistently over time to raise the overall talent level of your program and the Rebels are well on their way to doing that.
-While Texas A&M has used SEC membership to its benefit to recruit to the east, perhaps what is understated has been the Aggies’ ability to go west as well (four-star receiver Sebastian LaRue out of California signed with A&M in the 2013 class) and be a factor with top talent. It’s no secret that the state of Arizona is deep with talent for the 2014 cycle and two of the best in the Grand Canyon State, defensive end Qualen Cunningham, an Aggies legacy from Chandler Hamilton, and U.S. Army All-American Bowl quarterback Kyle Allen from Scottsdale Desert Mountain will be making unofficial visits to College Station next weekend. Class of 2015 receiver Christian Kirk of Scottsdale Saguaro also will be visiting. Kirk is friends with Allen and is one of the top overall prospects in the country for 2015.
-After losing receiver Tramel Terry to Georgia in the 2013 class, snapping a run from 2009-2012 of landing the top in-state prospect, South Carolina could return to form with the 2014 cycle. The Gamecocks are the stated leader for the current No. 1 in-state prospect, receiver Shaq Davidson of Gaffney and also are in good shape for No. 2, offensive lineman Donell Stanley of Latta.
-With five of the top seven classes in the 2014 cycle to date, it appears the SEC has the makings of another special haul of talent heading to its 14 programs.