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Friday, January 11, 2013
'Boys from the Boot' have top 2014 players

By Gary Laney

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Ask any long-time observer of Louisiana football and they'll tell you that the Class of 2014 will be a special one in the state.

Headlined by running back Leonard Fournette, offensive tackle Cameron Robinson and safety Laurence "Hootie" Jones, is expected to be a banner year for Louisiana, which is already a normally recruit-rich state.

LSU tries to get a jump start on its in-state recruiting every year with its "Boys from the Boot" event, an unofficial visit day for rising seniors that serves as a kickoff to the heart of the recruiting process for them.

Louisiana has 12 players who are on the ESPN Watch List and all 12 are scheduled to attend Saturday on LSU's campus.

Here's a look at the 12:

Fournette: Big (6-foot-1, 232 pounds), powerful and fast, Fournette is likely to be the top running back in the class. Alabama is already high on him and he'll be able to pick the school of his choice.

Robinson: Like Fournette, he is considered to be the best player at his position in his class. Big, quick and physical, Robinson makes not only his man, but an entire side of a defensive line, crumble when he drive blocks.

Jones: He'll also be on the short list of the best players in the country at his position. He's a physical safety who has good enough change of direction to be used at cornerback for his high school team. He's a prototypical SEC safety who, fortunately for LSU, is a prep teammate of 2013 commit John Diarse.

WR Trey Quinn: One of the most prolific prep receivers in prep football history, Quinn will visit at the tail end of a junior season where he eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark in receiving as a junior, a truly astounding statistic. With another strong season as a senior, he'll become the all-time leading receiver in the history of high school football.

DL Gerald Willis: The younger brother of Alabama safety Landon Collins, Willis is a big (6-3, 260), menacing end who has the agility and speed to stay at end, but also the natural build to move to tackle. LSU hopes he won't break Tigers hearts, and his mother's, on signing day in 2014.

TE Jacory Washington: Where have you heard this before: He's an athletic tight end who has an accomplished basketball background that has allowed him to develop tremendous ball skills (See Graham, Jimmy or Gates, Antonio).  He compares favorably to LSU commit Desean Smith, who is from the same area as Washington.

WR Speedy Noil: Part of two groups of note. The first is the talented Karry team that won the 4A state championship with Noil, Willis some prime-time 2013 prospects. The second group is the group of four elite wide receivers coming out of Louisiana in 2014, along with Quinn and two more mentioned below. And guess what his strength is? If you said he's fast, you probably didn't have to watch game film to figure that one out.

WR Malachi Dupre: A big downfield target, Dupre doesn't put up huge numbers in his school's split-back veer offense, but he's a matchup nightmare for a corner and, during the summer circuit, comes across as a much more polished receiver than one would expect coming out of an option program.

WR Cameron Sims: Another big receiver, Sims is North Louisiana's Dupre, a big target who can create matchup problems.

LB Kenny Young: A teammate of Dupre's at national powerhouse New Orleans John Curtis, Young may follow in the footsteps of 2013 Curtis linebacker Duke Riley, whose stock rose late. Riley recently gained a greyshirt offer from LSU.

OL Garrett Brumfield: A prep teammate of the top Louisiana player in the 2013 class, Tim Williams, Brumfield preps on campus and figures to be one of the top three offensive linemen in the state.

OL William Clapp: The son of Tommy Clapp, a fierce Tigers defensive lineman in the 1980s, Clapp plays with a mean streak that recalls his father's past.

A couple others to note who have confirmed they will attend:

QB Donovan Isom: Attends the same school that produced Jordan Jefferson and threw for many of his yards to Jefferson's younger brother Rickey Jefferson, a 2013 LSU commit. Isom also possesses measurables (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) that recall the elder Jefferson.

DE Davon Godchaux: A long, athletic end, Godchaux may be the No. 2 defensive lineman in the state in the 2014 class behind Willis.