LSU underwhelms, and Alabama is going to land the No. 1 class. Again.
With five five-stars set to commit and considering LSU seriously, I was excited to potentially cover some drama for the No.1 recruiting class. But LSU gained commitments from only two or the five, with Alabama landing five-star cornerback Tony Brown, a major surprise given that LSU had been the long-time favorite, and that Brown's sister runs track at LSU. Brown is a major get for Alabama because cornerback is such a huge need for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama now has a ridiculous 18 commitments rated four or five-stars, and 24 commitments overall. And the Tide could add a few more blue chips. The race for the No. 1 recruiting class of 2014 is over, and the Tide has won.
LSU did land two elite players Thursday in Leonard Fournette, the No. 1 running back in the country, and Jamal Adams, one of the best safeties in the land. Scouting reports for both players are included in the links and should be checked out — particularly Fournette, who is one of the best running back recruits I have ever seen.
But overall, this was a special year in the state for LSU, and the Tigers failed to take advantage to the fullest extent: six of the top-50 players from the country are from the state. Only one, Fournette, is committed to LSU. It's a top-five class nationally, but LSU had a chance to land the top class in the country.
And when playing in the SEC West, where four of the top-10 recruiting classes reside, missed opportunities such as this can be very painful down the line. Two of those are teammates Gerald Willis, a five-star defensive lineman who chose Florida, and Speedy Noil, a five-star receiver who chose Texas A&M.
Alabama was not perfect on the day, either, losing five-star Maryland cornerback Jalen Tabor to Arizona. Yes, Arizona, a surprising pick to be sure. Rich Rodriguez is building one of the better rosters in the Pac-12. And four-star receiver Travis Rudolph picked Florida State over the Tide.
Several players had excellent days in the Under Armour All-America Game.
- Texas A&M five-star defensive end commitment Myles Garrett was simply unblockable for most of the day, tallying multiple tackles for loss. I was incredible impressed with him throughout the week and if someone told me he was the best player in the country, I would not argue.
- Minnesota running back commitment Jeff Jones, a four-star player who I have liked for a while, had a very nice day. Jones has great quickness and is very smooth. Programs like Florida are trying to get in on Jones, and he will visit Gainesville in January.
- Sean White, the four-star Auburn quarterback commitment from Florida, was the best quarterback on the day. White was consistently accurate and made few mistakes. He doesn't have one great attribute, but seemingly does everything well.
- Florida State's new receiver commitment Travis Rudolph had several catches including a touchdown. Rudolph catches the ball very well, is smooth, and runs solid routes. If he was a bit taller or faster, he'd be in the conversation for the top receiver in the country.
- Uncommitted cornerback Adoree' Jackson, a five-star from California, had excellent coverage all day and had an interception in the end zone to thwart a drive. It looks to be a battle between USC, Florida, Florida State, LSU and Oregon for Jackson.