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SEC Roundup: Tigers on top?

LSU currently sits at No. 6 in the 247Sports SEC team recruiting rankings for the Class of 2014.

LSU secured a commitment from Okla. DE Deondre Clark on Monday.

It would be a surprise if the Tigers did not finish much higher than that on national signing day and the root of the reasoning lies in what happened Monday evening.

Four-star defensive end Deondre Clark (Oklahoma City, Okla./Douglass) made an expected commitment to LSU, giving the Tigers commitment No. 11 in the 2014 cycle. Clark is the latest out-of-state standout to jump on board with a commit to the Bayou Bengals. That out-of-state prowess is the key to this going from a very good, typical LSU class to one of the best classes in history on paper. 

Everyone who follows college football recruiting knows that it’s a banner year in the state of Louisiana, where LSU annually signs north of 90 percent of the elite talent, so the Tigers are “set up” to have a great haul. Five prospects in the state hold a five star rating according to the recruiting industry-generated 247Composite (exclusively used to calculate the official 247Sports team ranking) and No. 6 is Speedy Noil (New Orleans, La./Edna Carr), who 247Sports ranks as the No. 1 wide receiver prospect in the 2014 class. 

But it’s the work LSU is doing out-of-state that’s impressive. In addition to Clark, the Tigers have the following four-star (247Composite) rated non-Louisiana prospects committed.

Edward Paris, S, Arlington (Texas) Mansfield Timberview- Paris is a five-star (0.9848) prospect according to 247Composite, which ranks him as the No. 5 safety prospect in the 2014 class.

Devin Vorhees, S, Woodville (Miss.) Wilkinson County- Vorhees, who has been committed to LSU for nearly a year, is a four-star (0.9327) 247Composite-rated prospect and is the 247Composite-rated No. 9 safety in the 2014 class.

Chris Hardeman, CB, Alief (Texas) Taylor- The 5-foot-8, 180-pound Hardeman also has been committed for the past year to the Tigers. He is a four-star (0.9037) rated prospect by 247Composite, which also says he’s the No. 21 cornerback prospect in the 2014 class.

Consider the following non-Louisiana standouts, rated four-stars or higher by 247Composite, are currently predicted to LSU at a high rate.

Tony Brown, CB, Beaumont (Texas) Ozen- The No. 3 cornerback prospect in the 2014 class per 247Composite, Brown is also rated as a five-star (0.9943). He is currently predicted to LSU at 97 percent by 247Sports Crystal Ball. His sister signed a track scholarship with LSU last year. 

Clifton Garrett, LB, Plainfield (Ill.) South- Garrett is a five-star prospect (0.9836) per 247Composite, which ranks him as the No. 2 outside linebacker in the 2014 class. Though he has visited a slew of schools this summer, he is a 100 percent prediction to LSU according to The Crystal Ball.

LSU is the favorite to land five-star RB Leonard Fournette.

Saeed Blacknall, WR, Englishtown (N.J.) Manalapan- The 6-foot-3, 210-pound pass catcher from Jersey is a four-star (0.9588) prospect per 247Composite, which ranks him as the No. 7 wide receiver prospect in the 2014 class. The Crystal Ball predicts him to LSU at 92 percent. Blacknall is quite a talent, but watch out for numbers at receiver here as the Tigers have talented prospects at his position closer to their campus that they are in on.

In-state, LSU is predicted to land the following prospects with five-star ratings according to 247Composite.

Leonard Fournette, RB, New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine-- Crystal Ball predicts LSU 90 percent for Fournette, the top overall prospect in 247Composite for 2014 (0.9997 numerical rating).

Laurence Jones, S, Monroe (La.) Neville- Crystal Ball predicts LSU for Jones at 100 percent. Jones is the No. 16 overall prospect in 247Composite for 2014 (0.9885 numerical).

Malachi Dupre, WR, New Orleans (La.) John Curtis- Crystal Ball predicts the ultra-athlete Dupre to LSU at 100 percent. Dupre is the No. 28 overall prospect in 247Composite for 2014 (0.9860 numerical).

Gerald Willis, DE, New Orleans (La.) Edna Carr)- Crystal Ball predicts Wills to LSU at 100 percent. Willis is the No. 36 overall prospect in the 247Composite for 2014 (0.9835 numerical).

Should LSU also land Noil (Crystal Ball is 72 percent Tigers, but Texas A&M is trending) and top Alabama (Tide currently at 52 percent on Crystal Ball) for the nation’s top offensive tackle prospect Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La.), that’s possibly nine five stars (either 247Composite or 247Sports) in the 2014 class.

That’s quite a few, not to mention the loads of additional Top247 and highly-ranked 247Composite prospects the Tigers could end up with.

Alabama DC Kirby Smart is finding talent in Georgia, but he's not alone.

The bottom line in recruiting for any program in the SEC is to sign the majority of the top talent in your state each and every recruiting cycle. LSU has done that for the better part of the last decade and some change dating back to the Nick Saban era. Where programs land classes that are ranked No. 1 in the country, classes that can energize an already confident fanbase and classes that will create a loud recruiting buzz throughout the country (not just in the south), is by supplementing that talent with elite players from beyond the borders of the state.

The Tigers are well on their way in 2014.

Alabama and Michigan both could make a push for the top class this cycle. If the Tide swipes Robinson and then pulls the upset and lands Fournette, then those two prospects could make the difference. The Wolverines are low on numbers this cycle, but the quality of the class could potentially make them a factor

Well done

Speaking of out-of-state recruiting, it’s impressive what the SEC programs have done in the following areas or in some cases, entire states, this recruiting cycle.

Alabama- Georgia. Kirby Smart continues to raid his home state for talent. Top247 defensive tackle Johnny Dwight is quite a find. The Tide has three Georgia commits to date.

Auburn- Atlanta. With former UGA assistant and Auburn alum Rodney Garner leading the charge, the Tigers are a factor for a number of top Atlanta prospects. Keep an eye on Top247 defensive end Dante Sawyer.

Arkansas- Missouri. Under Bret Bielema, the Hawgs are going to recruit in-state, hit the Midwest a bit and south Florida hard, but why not raid their northern neighbors now that it’s SEC territory. The Hawgs have four-star quarterback Rafe Peavey committed and are in great shape for four-star corner Raymond Wingo. Both have connections to Arkansas, granted, but Missouri can become a great place for the Hawgs to recruit.

Florida- North Carolina. Even though the Gators only have four-star quarterback Will Grier committed from the Tar Heel State and aren’t really the big leaders for any others at present, Florida is still formidable with the top talent in North Carolina and could sneak in for someone like four-star defensive end Lorenzo Featherston when all is said and done.

Georgia- South Florida. Getting five-star (247Composite) running back Sony Michel was quite a grab for the Bulldogs, who also evaluated and landed sleeper receiver Gilbert Johnson. North Carolina may be the out-of-state area we are talking about for UGA at the end of the cycle, though.

Kentucky- Ohio. Led by Vince Marrow, the Wildcats have eight Ohio prospects currently committed in their current top 10 class. Big Ten rosters of teams that have defeated SEC schools in bowl games have been built like this.

LSU- Texas. After not signing a single Texan in the last cycle, the Tigers have Paris in the fold, have a good shot at Brown and have been competitive for multiple high-end Lone Star State prospects.

Mississippi State- Atlanta. The Bulldogs have three solid commits from the Atlanta area, including 6-foot-6 dual-threat quarterback Elijah Staley and a pair of players from talent-rich Stephenson High.

Missouri- Tennessee. The Tigers identified three prospects in the Volunteer State (Nashville area) that they believe are SEC-level and swiped them.

Ole Miss- Georgia. The Rebels have landed one prospect out of Atlanta in linebacker Demarquis Gates, but have done most of their work in the rest of the state. Running back Akeem Judd and cornerback Quintavious Knight both hail from Georgia Military College and Ole Miss rolled into Colquitt County in south Georgia to land defensive tackle Jamiyus Pittman.

South Carolina- Atlanta. Four-star linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams and four-star cornerback Wesley Green are already in the fold. Allen-Williams is a “pied piper” type recruit for the Gamecocks that could pay off this class in the metro area.

Texas A&M- Arizona. The Aggies, moreso than perhaps any other SEC program, can reach into the lower southwest and be a formidable option. Top247 quarterback Kyle Allen committed to Texas A&M in what was somewhat of a surprise. Defensive end Qualen Cunningham, an Aggie legacy and another Phoenix-area standout, is expected to head to College Station, and Texas A&M is now battling Oklahoma for Allen’s teammate and Mike Evans clone Mark Andrews.

Tennessee- Ohio/Midwest. This should not come as a surprise as Vols coach Butch Jones and staff have excellent ties to the Buckeye State. Tennessee doesn’t have eight commits from Ohio like Kentucky does, but defensive end Joe Henderson and tight end Ethan Wolf is promising. The Vols also have rising tight end Daniel Helm out of Illinois.

Vanderbilt- Illinois. It’s an excellent year for talent in the Land of Lincoln and the Commodores already have a four-star running back from Chicago in Mikale Wilbon committed. Another big Illinois prize is Top247 linebacker Nyles Morgan, who currently favors Vanderbilt.

Quick Hits

-Georgia could make a big push for Top247 linebacker Christian Miller (Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley) when he visits Athens on Wednesday. The Bulldogs have always had his attention, but they did not offer until after he de-committed from Florida. Should UGA not make a big move, then it’s the Gators and Alabama for the talented linebacker/pass rusher.

-Class of 2015 quarterback Jarrett Stidham (Stephenville, Texas) has a ton of upside and could push for five-star status once he has a few snaps of varsity football under his belt. What may not be common knowledge about the 6-foot-4 four-star prospect, though, is that he grew up in Kentucky and is a Wildcats fan. Could Mark Stoops and staff pull one of the best quarterback prospects in the country next cycle? Also, look out for Texas A&M here.

-Tennessee can continue to land top in-state talent this cycle if, as expected, it lands four-star defensive end Derek Barnett (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy). The Vols have gone from not having any predictions for the 6-foot-4, 260-pounder to a 67 percent to 33 percent advantage at press time. Should Tennessee land Barnett, it has a shot to land five of the top seven in-state prospects for the 2014 cycle according to 247Sports. The key for re-loading the Vols roster for new coach Butch Jones and staff is to take advantage of the upswing in talent in the Volunteer State for the 2014 and 2015 cycles. The tea leaves (or Crystal Ball in this case) says that it’s looking likely.

-Currently SEC programs have three of the top five pro-style quarterback prospects and three of the top five running back prospects (Fournette is likely SEC-bound, which will give the league four) according to 247Composite committed for the 2014 cycle.

-Six of the top eight coaches ranked nationally in the 247Sports recruiter rankings for the 2014 cycle are from SEC programs, including No. 1 Dameyune Craig (Auburn) and No. 2 Travaris Robinson (Florida). Ironically, Craig and Robinson both played football at Auburn. David Beaty (No. 4) and Clarence McKinney (No. 6) of Texas A&M, Kirby Smart (No. 5) of Alabama and Bryan McClendon (No. 8) of Georgia also are included.

  • Impressive to say the least. And those aren't hopefulls either, you probably land almost all of them. I think you miss on Cam and one of your top three wr targets. That could be two five stars right there. Not counting NyQuil lol, I don't think y'all need him, us either. But again, LF is the key. Miss on him and the class will be majorly deflated on the offensive side. I'm not sure why y'all don't go with the high profile pro style QBs and do what we do. I dunno, maybe y'all tried but are going to take the best available player left on your board with Harris. Style of play is so important to wrs on who they choose to play for.

    If y'all clean up you will be set up to seriously challenge us going forward, just like you have been. I hope you don't find an offensive identity though, it's our only advantage at the moment on the field.

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    "We're modern-day gladiators, and that mental toughness is really important to have in a good team." Nick Saban

  • I agree we don't need to manipulate the numbers to defend our record to anyone. The line between Bama and LSU has been so thin over the last 4 years it's insane. Bama has handled business along with getting the bounces needed to win Titles. Props to them for that. Aggie fans that dream of LSU falling off are living in a dream World. Sure a few kids will leave Louisiana, but most grow up bleeding Purple and Gold.

    As for post Mett era, all signs point to Anthony Jennings. He is an early enrollee from GA, I believe he won the Elite11 competition. He surely didn't look like a high school senior at our spring game. I think it's interesting we both have Senior QB's in the same season.Who do you think takes over after AJ?

  • BamaOnLine


    Samdog is 10 times more informed than I am, but I think we are looking at Alec Morris or Cooper Bateman as the starter. I think Bateman is probably more talented, but Morris has the McElroy look to him. Not great, but won't blow the game for you. BTW this is based off of the little we've seen of them in the Spring Game.

  • BlueandGold


    Jennings didn't win the Elite11 last year. The kid out of FL won it. Have heard Jennings is already #2 is that true?

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  • My bad I wasn't sure who won it. It's never really been announced that I'm aware of. I believe if Mett went down early that Rivers would get the first crack. However, I believe he would probably at least split snaps with Jennings. Almost all signs indicate that Jennings is the QB of the future. I also feel so much better with Cam developing these guys and calling the shots.

  • I agree with Macgruber. As of right now it looks like Morris. He fits the safe game manager mold that is effective in the short and intermediate passing game. And he's athletic enough to get out of trouble, seems to be a tough kid. Funny thing is though if AJ goes down this year I'm pretty sure Blake Sims would be the one going in if it's a pressure situation. We"ll see though. He makes for a great switch up and is really effective when he plays. It's just hard for me to see him taking over next year. His bag of tricks is small, or at least it has been so far. Just a few plays really. It will be one hell of a QB battle going on next spring though. Probably come down to Morris and Bateman and Sims still playing his role in the read option package. Just don't think Cornwell will have enough time even though he's an EE. Whoever it is get ready for tons of screens and half back throws, short passes to OJ Howard and lots of outs. In other words, a lot of confidence building throws. We will take a few steps back from what AJ does this year and it kinda sucks cuz it will be Amaris last year. This next year might be his best shot to shine and rake in the trophies and awards. Breaking in a new LT as well so it will be a lot of question marks early.

    So is Jennings another big athletic QB? I guess what I was getting at is what kind of offensive style do you see LSU playing next year. It would be hard for me to swallow watching Mett have a great year slinging the ball around and managing games then switch to another feel on offense. LSU could be deadly with a great qb. To me there hasn't been a consistent feel to the offense or qb play. That could just be my POV though since I tend to form my opinions based on our games and not your other opponents. And both our defenses have given the offenses fits, and Mett still had a good game last year. I just can't figure out how y'all evaluate QBs. Are you looking for a Jordan Jefferson type, with a brain this time, or a pro style game manager? Or best available QB you can get committed regardless of style? Or get different style QBs committed and on campus and go with whoever makes the offense click?

    This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by samdog91 10 months ago

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    "We're modern-day gladiators, and that mental toughness is really important to have in a good team." Nick Saban

  • I don't think recruiting in state is as necessary in states that aren't as big as ga and fl. I like the strategy we seem to be going with

  • Geaux247


    Please, never another Jordan Jefferson!

    Our freshmen QBs this year, Jennings and Hayden Rettig - both EEs - are Pro Style, but Jennings is more athletic and can make plays with his feet when his receivers are covered or the pocket breaks down.

    Jennings showed to be more advanced this spring, so most believe Rettig will take a RS this. Steven Rivers, another Pro Style QB, has been in our system for a while and will most likely be #2 behind Mettenberger. Rob Bolden, the transfer from Penn State is a question mark right now.

    I believe we are looking to get the best remaining target on the board this year and that guy seems to be Harris at this point, a dual threat in-state QB with a good arm.

    Great thread, guys!


    Ken Caracci

  • Jordan Jefferson just got to QB by default. A series of bad luck really. I will lay it out for you. we had Ryan Perilloux...he looked fantastic in filling in the year before and bowl game.He was Parade all American and #1 duel threat QB I believe coming out of high school. He gets kicked off the team by Miles for a serious of infractions bar-fight sneaking in to a casino ,curfew violations and such. People say we are thug U but Miles disciplines people even the ones that hurt like 0Perriloux and TM7. Andrew Hatch was the back up and he had a bad concussion in a game and Jarret lee was third string thrown in before he was ready and became pick6 Lee guys head was forever messed up. JJ was 4th string. We had another top recruit that chose baseball Zach Lee and we are then stuck with JJ and Lee who could have been a good QB. JJ was lucky to make the team and never really expected to be the starting QB so we really do not look for guys like him.....On a side note Anthony Jennings is a duel-threat QB but he more like 6'2 and really a great passer he can run but its really not his thing. He won the Nike event in Georgia in the south east regional to get to the elite 11 maybe that's what you reacall. JJ is what you get when a series of catastrophic events happen and your 4th stringer end up leading the team....think of your 4th stringer running your team. Lee was gonna be the guy after Perillox JJwas never suppose to even play....I will say that Miles is as fault for not reckonizing the situation...He knew Lees head was messed up but he had a belief in JJ once he got up top and he was wrong JJ was just bad JJ had a good I believe it was Cotton Bowl and I think that sold Miles on he could do it. He was wrong

    This post has been edited 5 times, most recently by Medictiger 10 months ago

  • Ya I totally forgot about the Perilloux thing. And that you have Rivers in the wing. It's definetly been an eclectic bunch. But I like the sound of a big body athletic pro style qb. And I label a pro style as a kid that can make all the throws you need him to as well as manage the game and set the offense. But to me its usually a slow white kid that has grown up playing football with nothing but his arm to save his slow ass. I understand that doesn't exclude being athletic. To me a dual threat qb is usually that fast kid that has been put at qb instead of safety or wr in high school and told to run around with the ball and score points. Dissecting defenses on passing plays and making reads might be in their arsenal, might not be. It's easy and wins games, but seldom leads to a true high level thinking qb, and not because he can't think, but simply that he hasn't been forced to. Path of least resistance thing. But sometimes they do have both games in their bag, and when it does they are hard to handle. And when they are elite at passing and with their legs they're unstoppable.

    I guess why I'm saying is that when you're forced to rely on your arm and brain for your sole survival on the field you tend to become better in a style more suited for college. I have no clue why I turned this into a pro style/dual threat debate. I got carried away there. But if I were an LSU fan I'd probably be pulling for Rivers and hoping he wasnt a head case. I like my offense and qb to have the exact same feel so recruits know exactly what they are getting and can expect in the future. No surprises. Boring? Yes. Effective? Very.

    My whole point from the start is that LSU would be deadly with a pro style qb in an offense like Bamas, especially with the type of WR targets on the recruiting board this year and the athletes that y'all regularly get. You're going to have the star rb in LF. But it's a three position deal in the passing game. QB, WR,LT. The star pro style qb eluded you this year, you might lose Cam R (50/50), so do all those wr targets get on board? I feel not but what do I know. Dunno, it's one of those logic games I have going on with myself. Strictly a football iq thing, nothing to do with LSU hatred or anything. Just trying to get in the mind of recruits. That and LSU is interesting.

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    "We're modern-day gladiators, and that mental toughness is really important to have in a good team." Nick Saban

  • I here make good sense to me. I think its a little bit uncertain now with a new oc. I think Miles definitely likes a QB with legs that can pick-up that first down when things break down. I think we all have this argument with ourselves. Anthony Jennings is that guy hes really a pro style QB that can use his legs to move in pocket or get that 3rd and 3...That's tough on defenses especially when he can throw at last minute and make you pay dearly. ... No one was scared of JJ lol .Rivers had a good spring also he is 6'7 so to say Jennings is pushing him as a freshman says a lot about what they see in Jennings. I think Rettig will be good also he immature not ready yet though came in jan think he was like 17 still. Like Jarret Lee, when he was thrown in, he is not ready yet needs a year or two. We took two good QB last year so we really don't have to take one this year and its why some top QBs are not looking at us this year...Brandon Harris is from Louisiana so maybe we get him. Some LSU fans don't wont us to waste a pick on QB this year with all the talent out there this year. Crazy numbers at wr and db. Brandon Harris could help in recruiting North Louisiana so I see him as a take. Good conversation friend. No flaming but ill get my one small dig in Jennings is better then
    One other thing ill mention that you said I do think fournette is a good player...I do not believe he is make or break for us or anyone else. Elite running backs are nice and they really burn up the small schools and put up crazy numbers but LSU or Alabama can shut him down you know what I am saying. That's not what is going to win that game and that's the game that counts.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Medictiger 10 months ago

  • Interesting on LF. Again it's my perception. I have no clue what kind of talent you have at rb. To me it looks like you need that kind of kid to compete with Bama. Y'all had four rb's that were studs and now it seems there all but gone while we added four more studs last year. And y'all didnt take any last year correct? Should be a no brainer for LF. A lot riding on getting Hill back as well for this year. Any word on that or feeling?

    Batemen strikes me as a guy that likes to wear pink shirts and spends 30 minutes in the mirror getting ready to go out. Not sure he has the big boy pants on yet. At least AJ is a smug smartass. It's a good attitude for a qb.

    So I'm sure Jennings is much more field ready for SEC play. But Rivers at 6'7 is ridiculous. He must have a cannon. Good pedigree and genetics obviously. Just wait till you see the qb debate at Bama not next year, but the year after that when Cornwell has been in the program for a full year and a half. He want start in 14, but whoever does will still have at least two years of eligibility and return, except for Sims. Fans will be wanting Cornwell unless Morris or whoever has a great year. So the drama is coming to us soon. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    "We're modern-day gladiators, and that mental toughness is really important to have in a good team." Nick Saban

  • I hope LSU's class is on or near the top. Consistently has been the funnest defense to watch in all of college football the last couple of years.

  • We still have Blue, Hilliard and I believe Hill will be back if nothing else happens but he is on thin ice..He may miss first game. I think Blue will be starter anyways he was hurt last year if he come back in form hes a bad boy. We are not worried about your running backs. We are worried about our db because of youth and our pass rush again cause of youth. Our 4v3 defense with a shutdown corner and a fierce pass rush vs your 3v4 defense with those monster lbers and a big nose guard is what makes the game fun. Our speed vs your strength. A lot of our guys like Kwon Alexander and Debo Jones Jemauria Rascoe and many others saw good playing time last year they should be ready to go. I don't mean to dump on Fournette at all hes a great talent. I just don't subscribe to the 1 man makes a team theory. especially running back. Spencer ware had no where near his talent but we won many games with Ware. You get my point. The new oc Cameron and does Mett improve a couple new deep threat recivers Travin Durel and Quantavius Leslie to go along with the great hands of Landry.. Will Beckham stop dropping the ball. Will the offensive line keep improving. That is some of the things we worry about. We worry about ourselves we know Bama will be good.....We do have some Saban haters cause of the way he left LSU and coming back to the SEC west...Its a lot less then you think though but they are loud....LSU and Albama are developing a rivalry and will get stronger if we both keep winning....That is over taking the Saban Haters...Make no mistake LSU plans on winning this year and every year.

  • Hmm ok. I thought only Hilliard was left, plus Hil. I thought Blue was a senior last year. I guess this will be his senior year. Oh wait he got hurt didn't he? Maybe that's why I had him out of the picture in my head. Hard for me to keep track. All three of those guys are huge bruisers. Surprised you dont go after a smaller change up guy in the 200-210 range. Oh well, however it falls Bama and LSU will be the top two classes with ridiculous talent. I actually think the best is still to come. Recruits are flocking to the SEC like never before. At this point it's like drafting a semi pro team. Season can't start soon enough. We've got freshmen Christmas presents to open.

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    "We're modern-day gladiators, and that mental toughness is really important to have in a good team." Nick Saban

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