As recruiting in the 2014 cycle comes fully into focus following the signing of 2013 class, we take a look some of the states that are cycling up in terms of standout classes. We begin first with Louisiana, the state that is the top NFL producing per capita, and has a chance to have a special class this cycle.
Leonard Fournette, the recruiting industry's current No. 2 overall prospect for the 2014 cycle, is one of the best running back prospects this decade and likely the country's top Friday night player.
If the early indications prove out to be true, the uber-talented state features the deepest class of prospects this decade. The class of 2014 already features 12 prospects ranked in the 247Composite rankings with at least three more strong possibilities. The dozen includes two five-star prospects, running back Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine) and offensive tackle Cameron Robinson (West Monroe), and a third ranked among the first handful of four-stars in Laurence Jones (Neville).
The current class in the Pelican State in its infant stages already compares favorably with the 2011 class, which featured 11 Top247 members, including three five-star prospects in offensive lineman La’El Collins (Baton Rouge/Redemptorist), defensive tackle Anthony Johnson (New Orleans/O. Perry Walker) and wide receiver Jarvis Landry (Lutcher).
While the star power is certainly powerful in 2014, the depth may be the most impressive aspect according to Geaux247 and Louisiana analyst Sonny Shipp.
“Everybody looks at 2011 as a very talented top-heavy class measuring stick,” Shipp said. "And it was, and is mentioned with 2001 as the top classes in the state in recent years. The more and more you dive into the 2014 class, the more impressive it becomes in terms of depth. The depth all the way to the high three-star prospects on the brink of being four-star’s is very impressive, and quite a few, to go with the top rated prospects.”
Leading the way in 2014 is arguably the best Friday night player in the country, the aforementioned Fournette. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound back who recently ran an impressive 6.57 55-meters has been on the top of recruiting boards at LSU and Alabama for two years at his position, and is the most highly thought of prospect out of Louisiana since the early 1990s trio of Kevin Faulk, Peyton Manning and Josh Booty.
Fournette, who features a blend of power, speed and special balance for his size, rushed for 2,136 yards and 31 touchdowns as a junior. The No. 2 prospect in the 247Composite added 15 receptions for 313 yards and three additional scores, as well as playing spot duty on defense as a safety and linebacker.
Joining Fournette is a bevy of talented offensive prospects in the class. Mammoth 6-foot-6, 330-pound Cameron Robinson is the No. 3 prospect in the 247Composite with offers from LSU, Alabama, Michigan, Texas, Oklahoma and many more; and currently rated as the top offensive tackle prospect in the country.
Joining the pair of five-star prospects is an elite group of wide receiver prospects.
Playmaking jet Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr) is one of the top slot prospects in the 2014 class, while high-rising Malachi Dupre (New Orleans/John Curtis) has as much upside as any receiver in the country. 247Composite No. 96 Trey Quinn (Lake Charles/Barbe) and No. 208 Cameron Sims (Monroe/Ouachita Parish) round out the quartet of nationally recruited wide receiver prospects that is as talented as any state will produce in 2014.
On the recruiting front, Noil is entertaining offers from LSU, Florida State, Alabama, Florida, Miami and many others, while Dupre has verbal offers from LSU, Alabama, Florida State, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and many others. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Quinn also has the offer from in-state LSU, along with Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Clemson and others; while the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Sims has Alabama, Arkansas and others.
The state is also home to one of the top tight ends in the class, LSU commitment Jacory Washington (Westlake). The 6-foot-5, 220-pound athletic tight end is the No. 141 ranked prospect in the 247Composite.
If there is an offensive prospect currently flying under the radar with the chance to blow up in the spring, it’s dual-threat quarterback Brandon Harris (Bossier City/Parkway). The 6-foot-2, 180-pound strong-armed prospect has a verbal offer from Louisiana Tech with interest from LSU and Baylor among a growing list of others.
On the defensive side of the ball, the depth is very impressive on the line. Not only are prospects such as Gerald Willis (New Orleans/Edna Karr), Davon Godchaux (Plaquemine/Senior) and Garrald McDowell (Covington) among the Top247 in the country, but prospects such as Tae Thibodeaux (New Iberia/Westgate), Deldrick Canty (Baton Rouge/Scotlandville Magnet), Joyan Williams (New Orleans/Edna Karr) and John Graves (Bogalusa) also figure to receive BCS conference offers down the line.
At defensive back, playmaking four-star corner Jermaine Roberts (New Orleans/St. Augustine) is a fast riser in the class with offers from Texas A&M, Florida State, Oklahoma State and others.
For the latest on Louisiana and LSU recruiting, visit Geaux247