Sunday, December 20, 2009

Recruiting: Class of 2011 Update

In my last update, I mentioned that LSU was expecting to receive a commitment for the Class of 2011 on Friday from North Carolina receiver Nigel King.  Well, King decided to postpone his announcement so that he could get to know LSU's new receivers coach Billy Gonzales before making a decision.  That announcement could come soon though, maybe before the end of the year. 

However, LSU went ahead and got three commitments on Friday anyway, bringing their total for the Class of 2011 to five. 

The morning started with the huge news that O. Perry Walker defensive tackle Anthony "Freak" Johnson has switched his commitment from Tennessee to LSU.  Johnson is a candidate to be a 5-star prospect, and as far as I'm concerned, he's the top prospect in the state of Louisiana.  He may be the nation's top rated defensive tackle prospect next year.  Johnson is 6'3" 295 pounds and absolutely unblockable.   He had 80 tackles and 12 sacks during his junior season. 

Capitol High School offensive lineman Corey White met with Les Miles on Friday and committed shortly afterwards.  White is 6'5" 308 pounds and projects as an offensive guard in college.  White will likely be one of the state's Top 10 prospects next year. 

Later Friday evening, Patterson running back Kenny Hilliard also committed to LSU.  Hilliard will be the top running prospect in the state, and is also a candidate to be a 5-star prospect and a National Top-100 type of player.   Hilliard ran for 2,512 yards and 32 touchdowns as a junior and was named the Gatorade Player Of The Year for the state of Louisiana in 2009.  He averaged 8.5 yards per carry.  He also caught 17 passes for 332 yards and four touchdowns.   As a sophomore, Hilliard rushed for 2,337 yards and 34 touchdowns.   Hilliard is a big back at 6'0" 215 pounds.  He doesn't have blazing speed, but he has very good burst and acceleration.  Hilliard had early offers from Alabama, Miami, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and many others.  Here are some highlights of Hilliard:

LSU also offered Thibodaux offensive lineman Greg Robinson a scholarship recently and he seems to be on the verge of committing to LSU also.  Robinson is a VERY impressive prospect.  He's 6'5" 285 pounds and moves exceptionally well for a guy his size, and he can play either guard or tackle.  Hopefully, we see something happen with Robinson soon. 

It's important to note the significance of all the activity we saw on Friday with the Class of 2011.  For whatever reason, the top player in the state of Louisiana typically waits quite a while before announcing a decision.   Joe McKnight waited until national signing day.  Ryan Perriloux entertained a circus of a recruitment until the very end.  Even Early Doucet waited until January before commiting to LSU.   But with Anthony Johnson and La'El Collins already on board, LSU has arguably the state's top two players committed very early.  Prospects are often drawn to big recruiting classes and now that it's apparent LSU has a start to a very special class, others may want to jump on board. 

Since I've referenced my rankings of the state's top players for the Class of 2011, some have asked what it is.  It only exists of a Top 5 right now, but here is my take on the state's best juniors based on looking at film, reading updates, etc:

1.  Anthony "Freak" Johnson  DT  O.Perry Walker HS  (LSU Commitment)
2.  La'El Collins OT   Redemptorist HS  (LSU Commitment)
3.  Jarvis Landry  WR   Lutcher  HS 
4.  Jermauria Rasco DE  Evangel HS
5.  Kenny Hilliard  RB  Patterson HS  (LSU Commitment)


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