LSU's class should skyrocket Thursday
LSU could land as many as five five-star prospects during Thursday's Under Armour All-America Game, which puts them squarely in contention for the No. 1 class for the 2014 cycle. Here's a look at the anticipated announcements.
The Under Armour All-America Game kicks off at 4 p.m. Thursday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and as is normally the case with high school all-star games, there will be plenty of high-profile public commitments.
Reading the tea leaves (or Crystal Ball in this case), it looks like it will be a huge day for LSU. The Tigers could get the top overall prospect, a top two cornerback, the top receiver, a top two defensive tackle and a top two safety- five five star prospects.
This will definitely impact LSU's class rank. The Tigers currently are No. 11 nationally in the 247Sports Team Rankings, which are calculated exclusively using 247Sports Composite rankings, weighing prospect ratings and rankings from throughout the recruiting industry equally.
In other words, it's a consensus if your team is No. 1.
There are two more significant announcements anticipated, too, that could impact the chase for the recruiting championship.
Here's a breakdown of the prospects are expected to announce during the game.
Leonard Fournette, RB, New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine
The nation’s top overall prospect according to 247Sports Composite rankings will make a much-anticipated announcement. LSU and Alabama are the two contenders for the 6-foot-1, 226-pounder, who is considered by many to be the best running back prospect in years. 247Sports Crystal Ball, which measures predictions trends of the nation’s top recruiting analysts from coast-to-coast (from all networks), says Fournette to LSU at 95 percent.
Tony Brown, CB, Beaumont (Texas) Ozen
Brown, the No. 9 overall prospect in the 2014 class, told 247Sports on Saturday, that there were five schools left heading into his Thursday announcement- LSU, USC, Alabama, Ohio State and Texas. What is significant about his list of finalists is that Texas A&M- once considered a major threat to the favored Bayou Bengals (his sister Beloved Brown runs track at LSU) was not among the finalists. 247Sports Crystal Ball says Brown, a 6-foot corner prospect who also is a track standout and has been timed as fast as 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash, will be a Tiger at 100 percent
Speedy Noil, WR, New Orleans (La.) Edna Carr
Noil is the No. 11 overall prospect (and the top-ranked receiver prospect) in the 2014 class according to 247Sports Composite rankings and like Brown is one of the fastest prospects in the country (he is aptly named for sure). LSU will have survived a nice push from Texas A&M during the recruitment of the 5-foot-10.5, 176-pound playmaker should the Tigers land his commitment. 247Sports Crystal Ball says Noil to LSU at 90 percent.
Gerald Willis, DT, New Orleans (La.) Edna Carr
The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Willis is a classic Louisiana defensive line prospect- athletic enough to play end, big enough to be a monster matchup nightmare on the inside at defensive tackle (he’s the No. 2 prospect at that position nationally according to 247Sports Composite rankings- No. 21 overall). Willis is the brother of Alabama safety Landon Collins, but the Crimson Tide is not in the mix. He told 247Sports on Saturday that he is down to LSU and Florida.?? 247Sports Crystal Ball says Willis to LSU at 90 percent.
Jamal Adams, S, Carrollton (Texas) Hebron
Of the other LSU targets mentioned thus far, most have been expected to end up in Baton Rouge for most of the process. That’s not the case with Adams. The 6-foot, 199-pounder, the No. 2 safety prospect and No. 27 overall prospect in the class, looked Florida-bound where his godfather, Joker Phillips, is heading up his recruitment. The Gators are still firmly in the mix, but the Tigers are trending in a major way. 247Sports Crystal Ball has LSU at 44 percent, higher than any other program. Florida is at 24 percent. This one would be a big one and somewhat of a surprise for the Tigers.??
Two more prospects (and you never know who may decide to announce or to postpone between now and the game) are set to make decisions and there’s a chance both could be SEC West-bound.
Jalen Tabor, CB, Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate
Tabor is the No. 24 overall prospect in the 2014 class and the No. 4 cornerback. The 6-foot-1, 182-pounder has been on the prospect radar since his freshman year and had dozens of scholarship offers. For some time, it appeared that Maryland and ace recruiter Mike Locksley would keep yet another top prospect from inside the beltway at home, but recently, Tabor has been public in saying his top two are Alabama and Arizona. He’s an early enrollee, so time is of the essence. I can tell you that the Crimson Tide has felt cautiously optimistic in recent weeks and that a Thursday announcement could very well be for Bama. 247Sports Crystal Ball is trending that way, too.
Travis Rudolph, WR, West Palm Beach (Fla.) Cardinal Newman
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Rudolph is the No. 69 overall prospect in the 2014 class and the No. 7 wide receiver. On Saturday, Rudolph told 247Sports that Alabama was the current leader for his services, but there’s a load of optimism at Florida State that he will end up in Tallahassee. Is the Crimson Tide really sitting at the top currently or is this the common attempt by a prospect to hype his announcement? 247Sports Crystal Ball is holding steady with the Seminoles at 73 percent. ??This wave of commits will definitely impact the chase for the 2014 Recruiting Championship.
Should LSU get commits from Fournette, Brown, Willis, Noil and Adams, the Tigers would have a team rankings score of 302.86 (according to the LSU Class Calculator), which means they would have the No. 1 class as things stand today. Alabama, currently No. 1, has 299.07 points. If the Tide does land Tabor, however, they would total 305.41 points (according to the Alabama Class Calculator) and would remain at the top. There are plenty of top targets remaining in this class for both programs, however, so this could come right down to the wire.
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