Maybe Brian Kelly can recruit the state of Louisiana?
Wednesday evening Woodlawn quarterback Rickie Collins announced he would be committing to LSU. The old recruiting adage is you want to take a quarterback every single year and the Tigers can head into the fall with that particular need met.
Collins isn’t a throwaway, offering a local kid for the sake of offering either. He’s a top-200 prospect and a top-15 quarterback in the country. As a sophomore he accounted for just under 1,500 yards of offense and 16 touchdowns and his junior season he threw for 1,900 yards. Collins was invited to the 2022 Elite 11 finals and competed alongside some of the top quarterbacks in the cycle: Malachi Nelson (No. 2 overall prospect/USC commit), Dante Moore (No. 9 overall prospect/Oregon commit), and fellow Louisiana QB Eli Holstein (No. 56 overall prospect/Alabama commit). Collins was previously committed to Purdue before backing off a little over a week ago.
Earlier in the summer there was this great hullabaloo about Brian Kelly’s ability—or rather lack thereof— to recruit the state of Louisiana. Arch Manning and Holstein are Texas and Bama commits; Westgate safety Derek Williams is also Texas bound; U-High’s Jaiden Ausberry (and Verge’s son) committed to Kelly’s old program, Notre Dame, while Many’s Tackett Curtis pledged to USC. That’s five of Louisiana’s top-seven prospects deciding to go out of state to play their college ball.
But look at the run LSU’s been on recruiting Louisiana lately: five-star receiver Shelton Sampson committed on Saturday; four-star running back Kaleb Jackson committed about a month ago and that came on the heels of fellow four-star running back Trey Holly committing in May. Tyree Adams, a four-star offensive tackle from St. Aug, committed at the end of July and the Tigers are thought to be the leader for four-star tackle Zalance Heard (who was teammates with Will Campbell at Neville). LSU’s also the favorites to land four-star safety Kylin Jackson out of Zachary who is set to announce his decision on Saturday.
For as talent rich of a state as Louisiana is, it’s not every year the state has three quarterbacks in a cycle as good as Manning/Holstein/Collins are. With two of those kids definitely not coming to Baton Rouge, Collins was a huge must-get for LSU. Nobody actually thought Arch Manning was going to commit to LSU; same goes for Holstein. But LSU couldn’t afford to let Collins get away too. Credit the staff, they made sure to get their guy.
Not too long ago LSU only had three commits and its 2023 class was sitting in the 50s. Now, with Rickie Collins on board, LSU’s class has jumped all the way up to the top-10 and they are knocking on the door of the top-five. Kelly’s connections from all across the country coupled with a staff full of ace Louisiana recruiters like Frank Wilson, Brad Davis, Cortez Hankton, and Joe Sloan, so far appears to be a winning combination.