LSU is a favorite to bring home the No. 1 recruiting class in the country this year and it can get a big boost towards that goal by receiving letters of intent from a number of marquee prospects on national signing day.
Head coach Les Miles has continually proved that he’s one of the best recruiters around and his 2014 haul could be the signature class that lands his Tigers another national championship.
Miles is expected to receive letters from running back Leonard Fournette, widely regarded as the best high school player in the class, and a plethora of other 4- and 5-star talent on Wednesday.
Let’s take a look at who has already enrolled and is on campus down in Baton Rouge, plus the hard commits and top targets for LSU on national signing day.
|Edward Paris Jr.||#4 S||Arlington, TX, Timberview High School||6'0''||201||4||98|
|Brandon Harris||#2 QB-DT||Bossier City, LA, Parkway High School||6'2''||186||4||97|
|Leonard Fournette||#1 RB||New Orleans, LA, Saint Augustine High School||6'1''||226||5||100|
|Travonte Valentine||No. 3 DT||Palm Bay, FL (Champagnat Catholic - Hialeah)||6'3"||338||4||97|
|Malachi Dupre||#1 WR||River Ridge, LA, John Curtis Christian High School||6'3''||187||5||99|
|Jamal Adams||#2 S||Lewisville, TX, Hebron High School||6'0''||204||5||98|
|Clifton Garrett||#2 ILB||Plainfield, IL, Plainfield South High School||6'2''||224||5||99|
|Trey Quinn||#3 WR||Lake Charles, LA, Barbe High School||6'1''||200||4||96|
|Garrett Brumfield||#1 OG||Baton Rouge, LA, University Laboratory School||6'4''||285||4||95|
|Devin Voorhies||#16 ATH||Woodville, MS, Wilkinson County High School||6'1''||199||4||91|
|Jacory Washington||#5 TE-H||Westlake, LA, Westlake High School||6'5''||223||4||92|
|Davon Godchaux||#22 DE||Plaquemine, LA, Plaquemine High School||6'4''||271||4||93|
|Tony Upchurch||#42 WR||Pearland, TX, Glenda Dawson High School||6'2''||227||4||89|
|William Clapp||#22 OG||New Orleans, LA, Brother Martin High School||6'4''||270||4||90|
|Deondre Clark||#24 DE||Oklahoma City, OK, Douglass High School||6'3''||238||4||93|
|Darrel Williams||#77 RB||Marrero, LA, John Ehret High School||5'11''||203||4||90|
|D.J. Chark||#38 WR||Alexandria, LA, Alexandria Senior High School||6'1''||176||3||87|
|John Battle IV||#26 S||Hallandale Beach, FL, Hallandale High School||6'1''||171||3||88|
|Russell Gage||#57 ATH||Baton Rouge, LA, Redemptorist High School||6'0''||175||3||85|
|Cameron Gamble||#6 K||Flower Mound, TX, Flower Mound High School||5'11''||185||3||81|
|Donnie Alexander||#19 OLB||New Orleans, LA, Edna Karr High School||6'1''||207||3||87|
|Maea Teuhema||#3 OT||Keller, TX, Keller High School||6'4-5"||346||5||98|
|Sione Teuhema||#19 WDE||Keller, TX, Keller High School||6'3.25"||217||3||88|
ESPN (Ranking) and 247Sports (Composite Grade and Stars)
Lorenzo Carter, DE
LSU's big day was damped a bit, as Carter committed to Georgia over LSU (via Seth Emerson of The Macon Telegraph):
Lorenzo Carter picks Georgia.— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) February 5, 2014
Travonte Valentine, DT
The tradition of strong defensive tackles at LSU continues, as the Tigers were able to add Travonte Valentine to the mix on national signing day. Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald broke the news:
Travonte Valentine picks LSU.— Andre Fernandez (@AndreMHsports) February 5, 2014
Valentine is rated as a 4-star defensive tackle by 247Sports' composite rankings and the No. 3 overall defensive tackle. He is a force in all aspects and immediately upgrades an already stellar LSU line.
Adoree Jackson, CB
Jackson chose USC, spurning the Tigers on signing day, via Chris Foster of Los Angeles Times:
Maea and Sione Teuhuma
LSU landed two large commitments as Maea Teuhuma and his brother Sione committed to LSU after decommitting from Texas (via Andrew Lopez of NOLA.com):
The Sione Teuhema commitment brings along his 5-star brother and 2015 U.S. Army All-American Maea as well for #LSU. Good start.— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) February 5, 2014
ESPN's College GameDay documented Dupre's announcement, which should make LSU fans smile:
Miami-based freelance writer David Furones provided an image of Lane wearing the hat of the school he committed to on Feb. 5:
Thomas opted not to join the SEC and did so in entertaining fashion, as documented by Josh Ward of The Sports Animal WNML in Knoxville, TN:
DE Solomon Thomas pulls out a tree to announce he's signing with Stanford. pic.twitter.com/GvdH3BsPjm— Josh Ward (@Josh_Ward) February 5, 2014
Leonard Fournette, RB
Fournette has what it takes to take over the reins as LSU’s starting running back as a true freshman. He’s that good and will be an instrumental piece of the Tigers offense for at least the next three years.
The 6’1”, 226-pound back has prototypical size, speed, strength, athleticism and intangibles to step in and make an immediate impact for this prominent program.
Fournette is the definition of a lead back and can handle as many touches as Miles is willing to give him. He should only get better late in games when the defense is gassed due to his endurance and stamina.
There simply aren’t many recruits that have the type of blazing speed that comes with the bruising power and size of this New Orleans native. He’s going to produce in a big way for the Tigers and should be one of the key reasons why this school will be in the running for a national title playoff spot in 2014.
Jamal Adams, S
Adams is the type of safety that every coach dreams of recruiting. The six-foot star can dominate all aspects of the game and excels at everything he is asked to do at his position.
To put it bluntly, this kid is a football player and makes plays the way a great football player should. He’s instinctive as they come and makes solid reads of the quarterback and developing plays.
Adams will capitalize on these reads by using his top-tier speed and acceleration to defend the pass or come up and support the run. He’s adept at keeping everything in front of him and can recover from a rare mistake with explosive leaping and sprinting skills.
His coverage ability and willingness to make stops in run support make Adams the premier safety coming out of high school this winter. He should be able to make an impact from Day 1 on special teams and in certain packages, eventually working his way up to becoming an All-American-caliber starter.
The sky is the limit for Adams and fans cannot wait until he is starring on Saturdays under the bright lights of Tiger Stadium.
Brandon Harris, QB
Louisiana hasn’t exactly been a hotbed for quarterback prospects, but Harris is looking to change that perception when he takes the field for the premier program in his home state.
The dual-threat signal-caller knew he would have a chance to compete for the starting gig right away and is already on campus working to win that job. After making his decision in mid-December, the 4-star prospect told Scott Hotard of The Advocate:
I get the opportunity to go in in December and compete as a freshman and start as a freshman. Everybody knows Zach Mettenberger graduates this year. By me getting the opportunity to graduate in December, enroll early and go through spring practice, I get a great shot at trying to compete and start as a freshman.
Harris is a supremely athletic talent that prefers to and almost always looks to throw before he takes off running. He works best out of the shotgun and can command a spread offense with great efficiency, something LSU will likely install around this Parkway High School product when he gets on the field.
At 6’2”, 186 pounds, Harris has more than enough height to play the quarterback position at the collegiate level and just needs to bulk up in the Baton Rouge weight rooms. If he is able to retain his quickness and agility while packing on a few pounds and becoming stronger, this young man could be even better than advertised.
He has great arm strength and a quick delivery in addition to immaculate vision and a quick initial burst out of the pocket. Harris is everything LSU would want in a dual-threat signal-caller and he could lead this team to new heights.