LSU landed top in-state target Donte Jackson on Wednesday morning when he announced a commitment to the Tigers over fellow finalist and SEC foe Georgia, according to NOLA.com producer Julie Boudwin:
The Riverdale High School senior represents another pivotal New Orleans pledge for head coach Les Miles. Earlier this month, LSU added 5-star receiver Tyron Johnson, who vowed to put in work toward recruiting his friend.
"I'm going for Donte Jackson," he told Amos Morale III of NOLA.com.
Less than three weeks later, they're both destined for collegiate careers in Baton Rouge.
Jackson, rated third nationally among "athletes" in 247Sports' composite rankings, offers intrigue on both sides of the ball.
“They tell me I can come in and compete for the starting corner job right away and I’ll look to play some offense too,” he told Barton Simmons of 247Sports.
Jackson tallied more than 1,000 total offensive yards and scored 18 touchdowns. However, he earned his 2015 U.S. Army All-American Player of the Year nomination as a defensive back.
Strong play and an elite skill set warranted an array of scholarship offers from several big programs, including Ole Miss, Oregon, USC and Florida State.
He drew rave reviews from Bleacher Report recruiting analyst Sanjay Kirpalani.
Regardless of where he lines up at, Jackson is simply a blur on film due to his speed and agility. As a corner, he’s naturally loose with his hips, and he has the closing speed to cover for most of his mistakes. He’s a missile in pursuit, and he plays bigger than his size. He’s separated himself as one of most talented prospects in the 2015 class regardless of position.
The 5'11", 165-pound prospect is projected to play cornerback at the next level. He joins a Tigers class that already includes plenty of promise in the defensive secondary.
Coveted Jacksonville product Kevin Toliver II committed to LSU as a sophomore and cemented his place among America's premier defenders during stellar upperclassman campaigns. Rated second nationally among cornerbacks, he arrived on campus this month as an early enrollee.
The 5-star Sunshine State standout earned First-Team All-USA honors from USA Today after leading Trinity Christian Academy to a second straight state title. Toliver stands 6'2", 185 pounds, delivering an elite level of physicality at the position.
Though he owns a size advantage over Jackson, both players are consummate competitors. Toliver has a stronger shot at securing early playing time in Baton Rouge, but it appears LSU has found a dynamic duo for the future.
However, Jackson and Toliver won't be alone as quality additions to the Tigers' revitalized defensive backfield. A much-needed infusion of talent could quickly change the secondary's complexion.
In-state defensive back Xavier Lewis will look to make noise once he joins the program. Considered the country's No. 22 overall cornerback, he may be best suited for a role inside.
Jeremy Cutrer, rated a top-25 junior college prospect, signed with the Tigers in December. He ranks second among safeties who are set to move up from the 2015 JUCO class.
Despite losing defensive coordinator John Chavis to Texas A&M at an inopportune time late in this recruiting cycle, LSU has managed to hold things together and strengthen the unit.
The Tigers now hold 17 commitments in a class that currently ranks 10th nationally in 247Sports' composite rankings.
Recruit ratings courtesy of 247Sports.
“They tell me I can come in and compete for the starting corner job right away and I’ll look to play some offense too,” he said. “I talked to coach Cam about that already. He wants me to pull up some packages for me to play offense. They want to utilize some big play skills and try to get a national championship.“