In a bit of a surprise, LSU landed a commitment over the weekend from Donnie Alexander, an outside linebacker prospect from Karr High School. In a year when the state of Louisiana is loaded with top shelf talent, Alexander is a guy that was a tad overlooked. That's partially due to the fact that he plays on a team where he is overshadowed, with blue chip talent such as defensive end Gerald Willis and receiver Speedy Noil stealing the headlines. It's also due to the fact that Alexander played his sophomore season in the 185 - 190 pound range, very light for a SEC linebacker prospect.
As a junior, Alexander filled out his frame and now stands at 6'1" 210 pounds with long arms and a frame to pack on even more weight. He has exceptional speed and burst and looks like a great fit in John Chavis's scheme as an outside linebacker. He could compare favorably to current Tigers Tahj Jones and Deion Jones.
At this point, Alexander is not all that highly thought of by the recruiting services but that could certainly change, especially if he attends a camp or two this summer. He's currently a solid three star at 247 Sports and unranked by Rivals. While some may wonder why LSU would take an underrated prospect this early in the process, I can only defer to John Chavis. The Chief is the best linebackers coach in the country and if he wants a guy to play that position, then I do too.
According to this article on Nola.com, Alexander seems very solid to LSU and is genuinely excited about becoming a Tiger. Also from the same article, former Karr head coach Jabbar Juluke had this to say about Alexander in October:
"He may be a better prospect than any of the other (Karr) guys, including 'Speedy'"
That is obviously very high praise from someone who would know, and LSU clearly shares Juluke's evaluation of Alexander. Juluke is now an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech.
LSU has told a few prospects that they plan on taking two linebackers in this class. With Alexander on board, the obvious remaining target is John Curtis prospect Kenny Young. Young just picked up an offer from Alabama this weekend after attending their Junior Day. LSU is also pursuing several out of state prospects such as Clifton Garrett (Illinois), Josh Mabin (Texas), Greg Mclisse (Florida) and Petera Wilson (Tennessee). My guess is that LSU may ultimately take three linebackers in this class, especially if they get a look at Kendell Beckwith and Melvin Jones this fall and decide that one of them may be a better fit at defensive line.
Alexander makes LSU's fifth commitment for the Class of 2014, and LSU could add number six on Monday. Five star defensive back Ed Paris from Arlington, TX is announcing his decision Monday at noon, and LSU is the huge favorite.
Donnie Alexander Highlight Tape 2011 (via Mike12Dunn)