With the saga of Jordan Burch wrapped up, it’s time to turn the page to a new and exciting chapter. They always say it’s the class following a national title that is impacted the most by the accomplishment. Mix in a coaching staff that is driven for success (I mean Orgeron went to visit a recruit’s grandmother), a record-setting offense and a once national title winning defensive coordinator returning to the scene and you have a recipe for a strong recruiting year. Let’s just end the build-up and get to what you clicked on this article for.
Todd was the first commit of the 2021 class, announcing his decision back in December. With Zach Von Rosenberg entering his senior season, the punter position will be Todd’s for the taking by the time he steps on campus, and trust me, it will be his job.
This was at Kohl’s Kicking Camp a few weeks back. When it comes to kickers, is service is the one to go by, and he rates Todd as the top punter in 2021 and for good reason
Just go to the 1:00 mark. Yes, that’s a 60-yard punt with a 5.1-second hang time. We’ve seen what happens when a punter can flip the field, and Todd can definitely do that.
Hundley followed up Todd with his commitment three months later. It will be interesting to see how Hundley performs on the camp circuit this spring and summer because I think he could be due for a ratings bump. At 6-3, 270 pounds, he gives Pelini some versatility heading into his expected change to a 4-3 defense. Hundley could add some weight and move inside, or drop a little weight and be a big left end-type.
As we’re about to explain, Louisiana is loaded with wide receivers for the 2021 class, so for Smith to receive a committable offer and have LSU accept it says a lot about his talent level. With Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss and Mike Leach at Mississippi State, it will be a battle to hold onto his commitment, but he was sold on the new-look LSU offense.
Like his once Mater Dei teammate Elias Ricks giving LSU a great Christmas present a year earlier, Davis helped LSU ring in the New Year with his commitment on January 1st. Ranked as the top outside linebacker in the nation, his combination of speed and tackling is at an elite level. With former defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Dave Aranda at Baylor, it might give fans some pause on his commitment, but it appears Davis has his sights set on LSU, not the coordinator.
You couldn’t go wrong with any three of these options, but Williams is obviously No. 1 on the board. With a Russell Wilson vibe to him, Williams comes in as the top dual-threat QB in the 2021 class. Nussmeier has put up huge numbers in my neck of the woods, and with Cowboys quarterback coach Doug Nussmeier as your dad, there’s a good background for him. The elder Nussmeier also has a relationship with LSU’s new passing game coordinator, Scott Linehan. Thompson might be slightly below Nussmeier on the board, but he too has put up impressive stats. The problem LSU is going to have is the departure of Joe Brady to the Carolina Panthers and Jorge Munoz to Baylor, showing that the offense is still there despite those two leaving.
Wheaton, the top running back in the class, visited LSU recently and with only one RB taken in 2020, there will be an emphasis on the position. Johnson, the son of former LSU Tiger Johnathan Johnson, is a top target as well. Campbell rounds out the top targets in Texas, while Watkins and Celestine are two of the top names in Louisiana.
Hilton comes in as the top recruit on the board. Like Kayshon Boutte, Hilton could find himself in five-star status if he keeps improving. Brian Thomas Jr. is your prototypical outside wide receiver, and even though Alabama leads perceptions, he is still very open. Pazon is a burner. Brown once tried to commit to LSU, but a cloudy academic picture blurs what would normally be an LSU shoo-in. It’s expected that he’ll be ineligible to play his senior season at Destrehan for being too old. There’s plenty of other names that the LSU camps will help solidify who gets an offer in the end, like Solomon Lewis, Malik Nabers, Latrell Neville, Jack Bech, Keon Coleman and Mario Williams.
Despite getting Arik Gilbert and Kole Taylor in 2020, depth at the position is extremely low, especially with Jamal Pettigrew entering his senior season. Expect more names to enter the conversation after the numbers Thaddeus Moss put up in this new offense.
With the state of Louisiana lacking in offensive line talent once more, expect next door neighbor Texas to get a lot of attention. While the Brockermeyers are Texas legacies, there recent performance and coach Todd Herman has begun to lead them astray from the Longhorn pasture. Mims and Byrd are both Lone Star tackles as well, while Leigh resides over on the east coast.
Despite missing on McKinnley Jackson and Jordan Burch, LSU had a very strong defensive line class for 2020. The marquee target is obviously Maason Smith, and LSU is in great shape there. He’d be someone on commitment watch with any reported visit. Adeleye was excited at the arrival of Pelini and the 4-3 transition. Jackson is another great target for that 4-3 defensive end spot. Keenan has visited numerous times, but the move to 4-3 might cause the Tigers to move from the 340-pound defensive tackle. Jones is very raw as he recently started playing, but the talent is there.
This is the board on defense that will see a lot of change, and is a position that might need several additions to it. The transition to a 4-3 defense means those pass-rushing outside linebacker you were once recruiting turn into ruse 4-3 defensive ends. Blackshire is coming off a torn ACL, but he could be a perfect middle linebacker like the Kelvin Sheppards and Kevin Minters of previous defenses.
If there is one position to never worry about in terms of recruiting, it’s Corey Raymond and his group of corners. Stingley will be in his junior (and likely final year) by the time this class steps on the field, so there will likely be one top corner to come from this to pair with Ricks in the following years.
Ryan is talented enough to play on either side of the ball, but with the crowd already at the wide receiver class, it’s likely Ryan stays at safety, a position that may be struggling with depth by the time this class makes it to LSU. Williams is one of the top safeties in the nation as well with the Tigers sitting in a good spot for both.
With the commitment of Peyton Todd, along with Cade York entering his sophomore season and long snapper Quentin Skinner entering his redshirt freshman year, the special teams department is set for a little while.
Obviously this is not all the players on the board, but a good foundation of where to start. There will be more names added once this staff shifts its full focus to the 2021 class and the camp season brings recruits up the ranks. After one of the best classes in LSU history for 2020, this one has the potential to top what the Tigers just accomplished.