- Dave Hooker, Reporter, RecruitingNation
Louisiana once again has proven itself as one of the most talented states in the region. The Pelican State has 11 prospects on the 2014 ESPN Watch List. Several have other been offered big-time college football scholarships. Otfhers will follow. Here are some of those that have already gained acclaim in recruiting:
• Garrett Brumfield -- The offensive guard from Baton Rouge (La.) University Laboratory already has scholarship offers from Florida, Florida State, LSU and Miami
• William Clapp -- Another standout offensive guard from New Orleans (La.) Brother Martin, Clapp has scholarship offers from Alabama and LSU.
• Malachi Dupre -- Florida State and Alabama have already come calling with scholarship offers for this receiver from River Ridge (La.) John Curtis.
• Leonard Fournette -- The battle should be intense for this running back from New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine. Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan and Notre Dame have already offered a scholarship.
• Laurence Jones -- Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee have offered a scholarship to Jones, a safety from Neville High School in Monroe.
The state of Tennessee's high school football talent continues to improve after decades of playing a distant second fiddle to most of its other southeastern counterparts. The battle to be the top prospect in the state should be interesting. Jalen Hurd from Hendersonville (Tenn.) Beech could be tough to beat. He already has scholarship offers from several big-time schools, including Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Ohio State.
Receiver Josh Malone from Gallatin (Tenn.) Station Camp is worth watching as well. He has scholarship offers from Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska and Tennessee. Offensive tackle Alex Bars from Nashville (Tenn.) Montgomery Bell Academy has scholarship offers from Michigan, Ohio State and Tennessee, among others.
Safety Todd Kelly Jr. from Knoxville (Tenn.) Webb could soon be at the center of a heated recruiting battle. His father, Todd Kelly, was a standout performer at Tennessee in the early 1990s. However, Kelly Jr. has shown strong interest in Alabama, where his sister is a Crimson Tide cheerleader. The family has repeatedly said such ties won't play a strong factor in Kelly Jr.'s recruitment. Kelly Jr. also has scholarship offers from Florida, Florida State and USC.
Mississippi has five prospects on the ESPN 2014 Watch List. More will likely be coming. Running back D.K. Buford could prove to be a major coup for Mississippi State is the Bulldogs can manage to secure the prospect is from Lafayette High School in Oxford, Miss. which is close to the Rebels' campus. As of now, Ole Miss and the rival Bulldogs are the only two schools to offer Buford a scholarship. The same can be said for safety Calvin Hampton from Meridian (Miss.) High School. However, he is committed to Ole Miss so it would take some major work by Mississippi State's recruiters to lure him away.
Ole Miss and Mississippi State will have to battle each other and an SEC West rival for Rod Taylor from Jackson (Miss.) Callaway. He has scholarship offers from the two in-state schools and Alabama.
Credit LSU with tabbing athlete prospect Devin Voorhies early in the recruiting process. Still, there's no guarantee that the Tigers will be able to hang onto the prospect from Woodville (Miss.) Wilkinson. Other schools are sure to test his dedication.
Kentucky continues its tradition of producing highly touted quarterbacks with Drew Barker from Hebron (Ky.) Conner. Barker already has several scholarship offers. Some of the more noteworthy are from Louisville and South Carolina.