Clifton Garrett commits to LSU: Tigers land elite linebacker recruit

Bud Elliott (SB Nation)

One of the country's top linebackers is going to play his college ball in Baton Rouge.

Clifton Garrett, a consensus five-star linebacker, committed to the LSU Tigers on Tuesday afternoon. Garrett also considered Florida, Tennessee and Ole Miss, but had been expected all along to choose the Tigers.

Garrett played at Plainfield South High School in Illinois, where his efforts earned him a spot in the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl Game, which is one of the most prominent showcases of high school talent each year.

Both 247Sports and Scout consider the 6'2, 228-pounder a five-star player, while Rivals regards him as a four-star prospect. All three services agree that he is one of the five best outside linebackers in the country; Scout has him at No. 1, while the other two have him at No. 3.

Garrett becomes the 16th member of an LSU class that already ranked among the nation's top 15, according to the 247Sports composite. He is the fourth consensus top-100 prospect to commit to the Tigers.

Bud Elliott, National Recruiting Analyst: This anecdote might be tired, but Garrett has what makes most elite prospects elite -- size and speed. There are plenty of fast linebackers, and big linebackers, but there are few big linebackers who can run. Garrett can do that, and even if that is all he had, he would still be a top-300 player because of his potential.

But Garrett is more than big and fast. He is aggressive and physical against the run, and I was impressed by his surprising instincts playing zone pass coverage in some 7-on-7 passing tournaments I watched over the last two years. Off the field, Garrett is anything but an intense linebacker. He seems comfortable in his own skin and I enjoyed chatting with him for interviews.

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