When you run a 3-4 defense like Dave Aranda, you welcome all the lanky, athletic defenders that can get around the edge. The more you have, the rotation can enlarge and create more havoc in the backfield. Sometimes, you find recruits like that even at the end of the recruiting cycle.
Every year there is a lesser-known recruit or two that comes on in the last few days before National Signing Day. Players like Lloyd Cushenberry and Foster Moreau were late pickups in previous classes. Desmond Little fit that bill in 2019, and provides some hope as a pass rusher if he can add to his frame. Little had offers from other SEC schools like Alabama, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Tennessee, but it remained to be seen if they were committable or camp offers. As LSU got to National Signing Day, they realized they had an open spot to use, saw a prospect in Little and decided to seal the deal.
110 - 101 = Franchise Player. One of the best players to come along in years, if not decades. Odds of having a player in this category every year is slim. This prospect has “can’t miss” talent.
100 - 98 = Five-star prospect. One of the top 30 players in the nation. This player has excellent pro-potential and should emerge as one of the best in the country before the end of his career. There will be 32 prospects ranked in this range in every football class to mirror the first round of the NFL Draft.
97 - 90 = Four-star prospect. One of the top 300 players in the nation. This prospect will be an impact-player for his college team. He is an All-American candidate who is projected to play professionally.
89 - 80 = Three-star prospect. One of the top 10% players in the nation. This player will develop into a reliable starter for his college team and is among the best players in his region of the country. Many three-stars have significant pro potential.
79 - below = Two-star prospect. This player makes up the bulk of Division I rosters. He may have little pro-potential, but is likely to become a role player for his respective school.
247 Composite Rating: ***
247 Composite Ranking: .8601
Little was up to 402 following his junior year, but as more recruits got scouted and a somewhat tough senior year, he fell far off.
(Junior highlights above)
Little, a two-sport athlete from Vigor, finished the 2018 season with 98 tackles, including 11 for a loss, and 14 sacks. You can see the athleticism is there and has the frame to fill out but does show how raw he is. He gets stood up from time to time in the film, but does a good job of still tracking down the ballcarrier to prevent a larger gain.
You can never have enough pass rushers, especially when you run a 3-4 and can put two of them out there on a passing down. Little comes to Baton Rouge with a similar frame as Barkevious Mingo did a decade earlier. And while he doesn’t have Mingo’s pure talent, Little could be a similar developmental type of rusher down the line.
High End: He fills out that frame and becomes an every-down outside linebacker with a specialization in bringing the quarterback down.
Low End: Has issues getting his weight up to handle the SEC rigors and finds himself in the transfer portal in a couple of years.
Realistic: Between Moffitt, Aranda and Orgeron, I think the groundwork is in place to at least turn Little into a third down pass rusher. There’s clips in that highlight film that suggest he can be out there every down, especially if he can to around the 230-235 pound range.