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Recruiting Update, Part 4: The Backup Plans

In Part 3 of this series, we discussed the wish list for the remainder of the recruiting season.  Now we will go into what would happen if we do not get the players we really wants.

If we don't get Reuben Randle:


Reuben Randle may end up at Bama, and if he does then Gadsden, Alabama wide receiver Kendall Kelly will probably come to LSU.  Randle is an exceptional player, but Kelly's a pretty solid prospect himself.  He is listed as a 5-star on Scout, and a 4-star on Rivals.  He is a tall receiver at 6'4" with some real size to him at 210#.  You have to figure he will probably end up playing at around 230#, which is a great size for a wideout.  He also has excellent speed, being listed between 4.45 and 4.5 seconds in the forty.  I don't think he has the exceptional body control or hands that Randle has, and that's what truly separates these two players.  Kelly's more of a project than Randle, and is not quite as fluid of an athlete, but if he develops he could be an outstanding wide receiver wherever he goes.

Rumors out of Gadsden say that Kelly is definitely not going to Bama.  He is rumored to be disenchanted with Alabama, and is even supposedly separating himself from his friends and teammates who are going to Tuscaloosa, including teammate and 5-star Dre Kirkpatrick.  One wonders if this is true, or where he will end up if indeed Randle goes to LSU.  Bama is going to have a pretty small class, and they can't wait around too long for their guys.  Kelly is reportedly also considering Clemson pretty heavily.  He is reportedly waiting to see what Randle does, and if Randle goes elsewhere, he will come here.

If Darren Myles does not come to LSU:


OK, I know what you're thinking.  You're going all Grandpa Simpson on us and thinking, "A white kid?!?!?!"  Slow down.  Josh Johns from Central High School in Baton Rouge looks pretty good actually.  Darren Myles is clearly the target for LSU at safety, but he is far from a sure thing, and may be a lost cause.  LSU definitely wants two safeties in this class, and while Craig Loston is one, we don't exactly know who the other will be.  One name that keeps popping up is that of Johns.  And while Josh Johns is not a household name in recruiting circles, as he is only a 2-star on Rivals and a 3-star on Scout, his highlight reel is actually pretty impressive.  He hits hard, and does not look at all slow out there.  His measurables are right up there with higher rated safeties, as he is 6'2" 210#, runs a forty in the 4.5's, and has a 32-inch vertical (and it shows).  Darren Myles is the better prospect at this point, but it is hard to say that he is all that much better.

Johns is a guy they say may get an offer regardless of what happens with Darren Myles, and I believe he could probably step right in and be a contributor on special teams.  Don't be fooled by his Comic-Con looks.  The kid can play.  It remains to be seen how his game will translate to the next level, but I think he has a real shot.  In fact, he looks like he could put on more bulk and end up at a linebacker spot rather than a safety spot.  He may be a backup plan more to Jarvis Jones than to Darren Myles.

If Jarvis Jones does not come to LSU:


I may be stretching a bit here, as the coaches may not actually have a backup plan to Jarvis Jones.  They may be done at linebacker if Jones doesn't want to be a Tiger.  If there is a backup plan, however, I think it is probably Sulfur linebacker Tahj Jones.  Tahj at one time considered himself to be committed to LSU, but his commitment was refused because of academic considerations.  He was reportedly far away from qualifying before the end of his junior year.  

Jones claims to have made considerable progress in reaching his academic requirements, though not even he claims he's all the way there yet.  Jones is a prototypical spread-defending linebacker, with good lateral movement and speed without a lot of bulk.  He's listed at 6'2" and 210# on Scout, but only 185# on Rivals.  That's too small even for a spread linebacker, but look for him to add weight wherever he goes to college.  

If Sam Montgomery does not come to LSU:


This is Bennie Logan from Red River High School in Coushatta, Louisiana.  He's another defensive end who is not particuarly bulky at 6'3" and 235#.  Just looking at him in that picture, you get the sense he could easily add a lot of weight, and he reportedly has gotten bigger in his senior season.  

He recently presented some senior film to the recruiting sites, and the message boards denizens gushed over how good it looked.  His senior film was pretty good, and in my opinion partially made up for the fact that his junior film is not so good.  On his junior film, I thought that while he was clearly bigger, stronger, and faster than anyone else on the field, he did not look like a fluid athlete to me.  He looked like he lacked quickness and had a hard time changing direction.  The senior film was better, but then again he was one year more mature.  It is hard to compare Logan to other prospects for whom only junior year footage is available.  Presumably, those guys were similarly improved in their senior years.

But enough of that.  While Sam Montgomery appears to be a highly athletic pass rusher in the Dwight Freeney mold, Logan looks like more of a standard defensive end, along the lines of what LSU has stuck with in the last few years.  While Montgomery looks like a monster rushing the passer, Logan looks like more of a run stuffer, an all-around defensive end in the Kirston Pittman or Pep Levingstong mold.