Tuesday, June 25, 2013
LSU instant impact recruits
By Gary Laney
BATON ROUGE, La. -- With LSU after so many ESPN 150 players, which ones would likely make an impact earliest? Here are the 10 most likely candidates:
1. RB Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine)
6-foot-1, 232 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 1
Why he would make an impact: The nation's top-ranked player would make an impact for anybody, but LSU seems to have gone out of the way to thin its once deep running back herd. If Jeremy Hill departs after this season (assuming he's out of his legal hot water), there's not reason to think Fournette wouldn't be the Tigers' starter as soon as he arrives.
Will he sign? It's far from decided. LSU and Alabama are at the top of the list, but there are several other suitors.
2. S Laurence "Hootie" Jones (Monroe, La./Neville)
ESPN 300 rank: 23
Why he would make an impact: LSU's projected 2014 secondary might be a little deeper than the 2014 running backs, but not by much. With strong safety Craig Loston graduating after the 2013 season, there would be a spot for a talented young player such as Jones to come in and compete to play, and maybe start, right away.
Will he sign? It looks like an LSU-Alabama battle right now.
3. ATH Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Karr)
ESPN 300 rank: 8
Why he would make an impact: Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr., LSU's two natural slot receivers, are both juniors in draft years. If one, or both, leave, the opportunity for a player such as Noil to step right into their role would be immediate. And Noil would bring more speed than either incumbent.
Will he sign? LSU is a major player, but he's also enamored with USC, Florida and Texas A&M.
4. OT Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La./West Monroe)
ESPN 300 rank: 7
Why he would make an impact: La'el Collins is a junior this season and, assuming Collins gets his draft stock to where he'll leave school for the NFL, that would leave LSU looking for a new left tackle. Robinson could compete for that spot right away, probably against Class of 2013 arrival Ethan Pocic or perhaps Vadal Alexander. If Alexander moves over from right tackle, that would create another potential spot for Robinson.
Will he sign? It's looking like an Alabama-LSU battle for his services.
5. S Edward Paris (Arlington, Texas/Mansfield Timberview)
ESPN 300 rank: 52
Why he'll make an impact: LSU values players who can both cover like a corner and bring the physicality of a safety. Paris fits that mold. The Tigers will have an open spot at strong safety with the departure of Loston, and if Paris doesn't land that, he'll have an opportunity to step into the nickel or dime roles.
Will he sign? Paris is already an LSU commit.
6. CB Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen)
ESPN 300 rank: 27
Why he would make an impact: LSU secondary coach Corey Raymond is not afraid to put young talent on the field and Brown would bring a skill set -- particularly his blazing speed -- that would challenge LSU's incumbents at the position.
Will he sign? LSU has appeared to be a front-runner for a long time, but any school with a strong track program -- think Texas A&M, for one -- will get the attention of this future Olympics hopeful in the hurdles.
7. Trey Quinn (Lake Charles, La./Barbe)
ESPN 300 rank: 38
Why he'd make an impact: Like Noil, Quinn is a natural fit to step in if either, or both, junior slot receivers depart for the NFL. Quinn, one of the most prolific receivers in high school football history, would also come to campus perhaps more game-ready than other receivers.
Will he sign? LSU still has work to do for Quinn, who has LSU high on his list but has been impressed by high-powered offenses that have pursued him, such as Clemson.
8. OG Garrett Brumfield (Baton Rouge, La./University)
ESPN 300 rank: 101
Why he'll make an impact: Brumfield is likely going to be an inside player -- a guard or possibly even a center -- and LSU's three projected starters at those positions will all be draft-eligible this year, including one senior. There could be more than one position up for grabs that Brumfield can compete for.
Will he sign? Brumfield is already committed to the Tigers.
9. DT Gerald Willis III (New Orleans/Karr)
ESPN 300 rank: 29
Why he would make an impact: Willis might project as a defensive tackle and if he does, he'll move into a position where LSU has two draft-eligible starters in 2013, including possible first-round pick Anthony Johnson. There would be an opportunity to make a quick impact there, or if this year's young crop of ends leave something to be desired, allowing Willis to compete there.
Will he sign? LSU's history of defensive line production and proximity makes Willis a strong candidate to land in Baton Rouge, but that's far from a done deal.
10. QB Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway)
ESPN 300 rank: 48
Why he would make an impact: LSU has a senior starter in Zach Mettenberger and Harris plans on enrolling for the spring semester, so the opportunity to compete right away would be there. He would have a tough battle on his hands with four underclassmen, including impressive young Brandon Jennings.
Will he sign? It's looking like an LSU-Auburn horse race for Harris.