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2010 Commitment: LB D.J. Welter

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OK, let's just be honest about something here.  Every time you recruit a white guy who isn't a quarterback, offensive lineman, tight end, or kicker, you have to deal with the issue of public perceptions.  You can deal with it by denying the conception that white football players are slower and less athletic than their darker-hued counterparts.  You can also deal with it by ignoring the issue entirely, hoping no one notices.  You can also deal with it by comparing the player only to other white players, which is how it used to be done.  

Which brings us to DJ Welter of Notre Dame-Crowley in (of course) Crowley, Louisiana.  LSU accepted his commitment and immediately the message boards lit up with, "He's the next Jacob Cutrera."  Some meant it as a compliment; others meant it as a statement that Welter is limited athletically and likely never to have All-SEC potential.  Sides were chosen and the arguments continue unabated even now.

Welter is listed at 6'0" and 214#, which is a little small for a linebacker.  Then again, Ryan Baker is a little small for a linebacker and I happen to think he's a future star.  

Welter does not have much video available, but I've watched what is there.  I tend to fall in the middle of the spectrum of opinion.  I do not believe Welter is the next Ryan Baker.  His video just is not nearly as dynamic as Baker's was.  then again, Baker's was as dynamic a highlight reel as you're likely to see.  Baker found the hole and exploded into it to the ball carrier.  Welter goes hard, but he doesn't have Baker's explosion.  He's a pretty strong tackler, though.

I don't think he's going to end up being a national recruit.  I think he's more of a high-3-star-type player.  He's an in-state guy that Les Miles wanted to lock up early though.  I really want to see more film.  I'd like to see how he plays in coverage, and see a little more of his lateral pursuit.