What is recruiting coverage without some rankings? Rankings are always a good thing to debate, and we didn't want to miss any of the fun here at ATVS. This should also give you a good look at the top players in the state this year.
Paul Crewe and I both ranked the Top-15 players in Louisiana. We compared notes and came up with a composite ranking between the two of us. A first place vote earns 15 points, a second place vote earns 14 and so on. We added up the points and came up with the official ATVS Louisiana state recruiting rankings.
1. Tre'Davious White DB Glen Oaks Shreveport - 30 points
Paul's Rank: 1
Kris's Rank: 1
Paul's Take - Tre White's star exploded as the year wore on, culminating in achieving 5-star status during AA Bowl Week. Well deserved for a guy who is both stellar on and off the field (4.0 student). He's maybe a shade shorter than the type of CBs LSU typically features, but he's the same type of smooth athlete we saw from Mo Claiborne, with similar return skills to boot. White should play a lot, as soon as next season.
Kris's Take - White is an instant impact guy in nickel/dime packages and possibly as a returner and gunner on special teams. I wouldn't be shocked if he was a starting corner at some point next fall. He's a bit small but plays very physical and can hang with bigger receivers. He's the best player in LSU's class.
2. Kendell Beckwith LB East Feliciana - 27 points
Paul's Rank: 3
Kris's Rank: 2
Paul's Take - It's hard not to get excited about this versatile athlete's sleek athleticism. He's just a natural on the field, playing virtually anywhere asked and doing whatever it took for his team. He played QB as some sort of a do-it-yourself read-option type that thrived on improvising. But to me, the most impressive part of his game is his strength. He's a bear at the point of attack, often knocking over OL on the way to ball carriers. Bodes well for his future.
Kris's Take - I've come around on Beckwith. I once thought he was a tweener, without a true position on the field. But now, I think he can legitimately play a few different spots at a very high level. If anything, I think he's a tad underrated nationally. Exceptional athlete who will excel wherever he ends up.
3. Josh Boutte OL Westgate New Iberia - 25 points
Paul's Rank: 2
Kris's Rank: 5
Paul's Take - Boutte ranks higher for me than most, but I see greatness written all over this kid. He's got prototypical size, he's athletic and he plays mean, nasty ball. I LOVED Trai Turner's tape coming out, because of his athleticism and the nasty way he played, and I think Boutte is a lot like Turner... with higher upside. He could play on the outside, but he's likely destined for a guard spot.
Kris's Take - Boutte is an absolutely great fit for LSU and what they like to do in their running game. He's so strong and once he gets his hands on you, it's over with. But he moves very well too. He'll lead the way for plenty of LSU runnings backs over the next few years.
4. Desean Smith TE Barbe - 24 points
Paul's Rank: 4
Kris's Rank: 4
Paul's Take - Smith is the type of big, athletic receiving target LSU hasn't had at the TE position since... David Jones? It's been a while, really. We've had some decent targets in there, but no one that really screamed "All Conference TE" and Smith has that sort of potential. How he develops as a blocker will be interesting, but he's super fluid, capable of making circus catches and flashes good speed.
Kris's Take - Smith looks like an X-factor at tight-end that LSU hasn't had in a really long time. Smith should be a mismatch nightmare for defenses and a weapon in the red zone. He's got some work to do as a blocker, but he should catch more than a few balls as a freshman.
5. John Diarse WR Neville - 23 points
Paul's Rank: 6
Kris's Rank: 3
Paul's Take - He's already on campus and listed as a WR, but he's built like a RB at 5'11, 200 pounds. Diarse really may be the victim of rising too high, too fast. After his all-out display at the dome during his Sophomore season, recruitniks gushed about him being potential number 1 in the 2013 class. Now... he's somewhat of an afterthought. Diarse may not have the athletic upside of Tre White or Beckwith or others, but he's certainly good enough for the collegiate level. He strikes me as the type of guy that just makes plays. I know that's lazy scouting/description, but well, it's also true.
Kris's Take - Diarse doesn't have great top-end speed, and he doesn't have ideal size for a wide receiver...but he has pretty much everything else. He runs good routes, has good hands, and shows off outstanding athleticism and balance. He's also a leader and one of those players you will feel comfortable having on the field in critical spots. I see him as a Jarvis Landry type of player.
6. Jeryl Brazil ATH Loranger - 20 points
Paul's Rank: 5
Kris's Rank: 7
Paul's Take - He's got the raw tools of a 5-star player. Brazil's future position is yet to be determined, but it's hard not to get excited about having that blazing speed on the offensive side of the ball. There is some question as to whether or not he's a good football player or merely hell on football cleats due to his speed, but I think he's less Xavier Carter than others. His tape show some solid instincts and physicality. He's got a chance to be a big play specialist in college
Kris's Take - Speed. Speed. Holy crap....speed. Brazil may be the fastest prospect in the entire nation this year. He could probably make a fine defensive back, but I suspect he'll end up on the offensive side of the ball. With some creativity (I know), Brazil could be an absolute weapon, motioning back and forth between the backfield and the slot. If he does end up on defense, it'd be nice to see him rushing off the edge in the Chief's Mustang package, especially with Tre White on the other side. Honey Badger and Ron Brooks, Part 2?
7. Melvin Jones LB Washington Marion - 17 points
Paul's Rank: 9
Kris's Rank: 6
Paul's Take - This is an interesting player. Rivals ranks him all the way down as a 3-star, no. 22 in the State. 247 has him a spot above me, and 171st nationally. When I turn on the tape, after seeing measurables, I expect Jones to be a big, plodding type of LB with a sure future at DT. His future may indeed be at DT, but he's no plodder. Jones can move around and actually looks pretty fluid in coverage for a big LB. I'm not sure how to feel about where he will play in the future, but I'm excited to see what Chavis comes up with.
Kris's Take - Jones is a fascinating prospect. At 6'3" 250-ish, he's got ridiculous athleticism. He runs well and has some pretty good lateral movement and "shake" to him. He often lined up at quarterback and rushed for an insane 12.5 yards per carry average as a senior. His weight has shown a tendency to rise and he may eventually grow into a defensive lineman, which is scary for someone with his skills. It wouldn't surprise me to see him in a end/tackle combo spot...perhaps like Melvin Ingram at South Carolina. If all else fails, he's a heck of a candidate for fullback too. Love his versatility.
8. Rickey Jefferson ATH Destrehan - 16 points
Paul's Rank - 7
Kris's Rank - 9
Paul's Take - Jefferson looks like a natural with the ball in his hands, but his future is likely on defense at corner. He's got the speed and athletic traits necessary in making a good corner, so we'll see how that transition goes.
Kris's Take - Jefferson's sophomore film was some of the best in the state. He is truly explosive with the ball in his hands and seemed to have the skills that would translate nicely to defensive back. Lately, the talk has been that he'll play safety, which surprises me a bit. At the end of the day, Jefferson is too good a prospect not to make a significant impact in college.
9. Jeremy Cutrer S Jewel Sumner - 14 points
Paul's Rank - 8
Kris's Rank - 10
College: LSU (Junior College)
Paul's Take - Cutrer is one of the most instinctive players in this class,but serious grade concerns hurt his stock. He's big and rangy and does a good job reading the field, but needs to get his grades in order to make sure he can put it in play.
Kris's Take - Cutrer has nice height and is not afraid to hit people. He's also got some pretty good range. He is very light in the seat though, and he'll have to find a way to pack on a lot of pounds before he's ready for the SEC. Unfortunately, he'll have time to do that since he's apparently headed for junior college due to academics.
10. Tim Williams DE University - 13 points
Paul's Rank: 11
Kris's Rank: 8
Paul's Take - I imagine I'll take a lot of flack for not putting Williams higher, but I'm failing to see anything distinguishing about him. He's a nice player, but I don't see what makes him an All-American, and I felt this way long before he committed to Alabama. I think there's a decent chance he could get lost in the shuffle in Tuscaloosa, whereas he maybe would have thrived at Miami. Hope the best for him, except when he plays LSU, of course.
Kris's Take - Williams has plus athleticism and quickness, but he really needs to add some size before he's ready for defensive end, or even outside linebacker like he's going to play at Alabama. He looks more like a wide receiver than a player in the front seven on Alabama's defense. But he's got a lot of natural ability and if he grows into his talent, he could be a terror rushing the passer at the next level.
11. Michael Patterson DE Winnifield - 8 points
Paul's Rank: 13
Kris's Rank: 11
Paul's Take - Interesting guy to me. Somewhat like Melvin Jones, and he's not really a standout athletically, but he just keeps showing up on tape... over and over and over again.
Kris's Take - Patterson is a tad undersized, and I have some concerns about whether he'll be able to grow into a SEC defensive lineman, but that's the only thing I don't like about him. He has outstanding technique for someone at this stage in his career, and he makes a ton of plays. He even lined up at wide receiver in high school, and looked pretty natural doing it.
12. Kevin Spears WR Holy Cross - 6 points
Paul's Rank: 10
Kris's Rank: NR
Paul's Take - This guy sky rocketed up the rankings in the last couple of weeks, after a strong senior season. As a WR, he's got as much upside as anyone in the state. I see a lot that I like about him... speed, athleticism, toughness. He's still raw, having played football for only two seasons. This could be one of the state's hidden gems.
13. Noel Ellis CB Karr - 5 points
Paul's Rank: 14
Kris's Rank: 13
College: Texas A&M
Paul's Take - Ellis is a pretty solid looking corner prospect. His tape has a wide array of big plays, but he also doesn't look as fluid as I would hope from a future corner prospect.
Kris's Take - Ellis doesn't have good size and he doesn't run a fast 40 time. But when you turn on the film, the kid can just cover. Will he be able to do so at the next level with his limitations? Time will tell. But Ellis is a natural play maker.
13. Darian Claiborne LB Port Allen - 5 points
Paul's Rank: 12
Kris's Rank: 15
College: Texas A&M
Paul's Take - Claiborne is probably one of those guys that would be better thought of if he was an inch taller, 20 pounds heavier or a tick faster. Instead, he's that odd kind of breed, like Jerico Nelson where he's too slow to play safety, too small to play LB... so kinda stuck in between. But I kinda like that about him.
Kris's Take - Claiborne is a really, really good football player. He's probably a tad too short, but he's definitely a SEC level prospect. Had LSU not taken so many linebackers a year ago, I believe Claiborne would have received serious consideration for an offer.
15. Standish Dobard TE Karr - 4 points
Paul's Rank: NR
Kris's Take: 12
Kris's Take - A year ago at this time, I would have easily put Dobard in the Top-10 in Louisiana. But as a senior, he seemed to add some extra weight and that explosiveness he showed as a junior wasn't as evident. He now looks like a guy that may be more of a blocker in college. But he's still an awfully good prospect and is the only in-state player LSU offered in this class that they did not get.
16. Cethan Carter TE Rummel - 2 points
Paul's Rank: NR
Kris's Rank: 14
Kris's Take - Carter came out of nowhere to have a great senior season, helping Rummel to a state championship. I love Carter's versatility. He lines up on the line, at H-back, as a fullback, or split out wide. And he looks great in every role. He probably lacks that extra burst that would make him a truly high level prospect, but he's definitely SEC caliber, and I wish LSU would take him.
17. Raheem Falkins WR Carver - 1 point
Paul's Rank: 15
Kris's Rank: NR
Paul's Take: Great size, which should make him a future red zone target in Alabama. I question his speed, but he's definitely got the size and leaping ability.