Ed Orgeron and Co. landed another big piece of Louisiana’s in-state talent haul for 2019 tonight, with four-star linebacker Donte Starks announcing his pledge to LSU tonight.
Starks, 6-1, 225, is the No. 6 inside linebacker in the Class of 2019, and ranked 123rd in the nation in the 247 Sports Composite. He prepped at John Ehret on the West Bank of New Orleans, with a brief stint in southern Mississippi. Starks chose the Tigers over Auburn, Arkansas and Georgia, with Mickey Joseph and Dave Aranda listed as his lead recruiters.
Most have considered Starks a heavy lean to LSU for some time, and he had previously listed a commitment date for July 8. Apparently, he felt the call to make his decision a few days sooner.
Reflexes and acceleration jump out right away — when he makes his decision and his read, he’s shot out of a cannon. Devin White is the obvious comparison, as a sideline-to-sideline type of inside linebacker. Would like to see him get his nose a little dirtier and stack and shed blocks, but that’s increasingly rare in the high school game in general. Something he’ll likely have to work on down the road, especially in a 3-4 defense.
Starks joins Kendall McCallum and Zach Edwards as the inside linebackers in this class, although many believe Edwards is not the firmest of commitments. He’s also the third commitment out of the Louisiana top-10 rankings for the Tigers, joining Derek Stingley and Kardell Thomas.
LSU’s class currently sits fourth nationally in the 247 Composite, with Starks making 19 commitments. Those final six spots should be extremely competitive, and could easily all stay in Louisiana with big fish like Ishmael Sopsher, Trey Palmer, Devonta Lee, Ray Parker, Christian Harris and John Emery still on the board.