As we near the end of September, the LSU Tigers have 14 verbal commitments to the Class of 2014. The Bayou Bengals' early class includes nine recruits given consensus four-star rankings, as well as five recruits with three-star grades. LSU's class is currently ranked 13th nationally, and seventh in the SEC.
The Tigers have not added a commitment since wide receiver Trey Quinn announced his decision on August 17. Quinn, a four-star wideout from Lake Charles, La., is ranked as the nation's 15th-best receiver prospect by 247Sports, and chose LSU over offers from Texas, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Clemson, Auburn, Nebraska, Ole Miss, and a host of others.
Edward Paris, a safety recruit from Arlington, Tex., is the crown jewel of LSU's class to date. Paris is a consensus four-star prospect with a five-star rating from 247Sports. He is widely considered one of the nation's top five safety recruits and a top 40 overall prospect.
Dual-threat quarterback Brandon Harris, a four-star recruit out of Bossier City, La., is frequently listed among the nation's top 100 overall high school players. He is the nation's third-best scrambling quarterback, according to 247Sports. Harris held offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Auburn, and myriad others.
Hometown guard Garrett Brumfield, a four-star lineman out of Baton Rouge's University Lab High, also holds a four-star grade. The 6'3, 272-lb. Brumfield sits just outside the 247Sports top 100, but is a consensus top 10 offensive guard and one of the 10 best players in Louisiana. Brumfield chose the Tigers over Alabama, Florida, Texas A&M, Tennessee, USC, UCLA, and Florida State.
While LSU currently is outside the top-five in the SEC, they are the only team likely to challenge Alabama for the No. 1 overall recruiting class. The reason for this is simple: LSU is considered a strong favorite to land seven more five-star prospects, and perhaps three four-star prospects as well. Even with the onset of early recruiting, what happens down the stretch is still very important. Let's take a look at the studs LSU could still land.
|Leonard Fournette||Running back||5||New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine|
|Malachi Dupre||Receiver||5||New Orleans (La.) John Curtis|
|Tony Brown||Cornerback||5||Beaumont (Texas) Ozen|
|Laurence Jones||Safety||5||Monroe (La.) Neville|
|Gerald Willis||Defensive end||5||New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr|
|Speedy Noil||Receiver||5||New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr|
|Clifton Garrett||Linebacker||5||Plainfield (Il.) South|
|Kenny Young||Linebacker||4||New Orleans (La.) John Curtis|
|Garrald McDowell||Defensive line||4||Covington (La.)|
|Davon Godchaux||Defensive end||4||Plaquemine (La.) Senior|
|Josh McNiel||Tight end||4||Copiah-Lincoln JUCO|
If The Tigers can close out the 11 remaining prospects in the above table, they would go from a class of nine four-stars and five three-stars, to one of seven five-stars, 13 four-stars and five three-stars. It would be one of the greatest closes in recruiting history. And the reality here is that none of the listed prospects are longshots. At all. The Bayou Bengals are in tremendous position to close in a ridiculous fashion.
The strongest competition for prospects like Fournette, Dupre and Jones? You guessed it -- Alabama -- the team LSU is fighting for the top recruiting class in the country.