Ranking Louisiana’s top 30 prospects in 2018

lsu-tigers-recruiting-pooka-williams

After evaluating the high school football talent throughout Louisiana during various camps, 7-on-7 competitions, drills on campus and watching a full season’s worth of film, SEC Country is ready to unveil the fifth and final installment of prospect rankings for the Class of 2018.

As expected, LSU holds commitments from a good chunk of the talent included in the top 30 and is squarely in the mix with those who remain uncommitted at the time of these rankings.

Note: These rankings take into account the spring and summer evaluation periods and were updated in December after the Louisiana’s high school football regular season came to a close and a firsthand look at prospects in the LHSAA state championships.

Without further ado, here is our final countdown of the top 30 prospects in Louisiana for 2018:

30. Tony St. Julien, 3-star ATH (5-foot-11, 175 pounds); uncommitted — Vinton 

  • August rank: N/A
  • September rank: N/A
  • October rank: N/A
  • November rank: 28

Tony St. Julien’s presence on this list is long overdue. His senior film shows his versatility to play a multitude of positions, including slot receiver, running back and defensive back. The 4.45 speed is evident coming off the edge or in the return game, which is where I believe he can have the biggest impact early on. As a runner, St. Julien impresses with how fluid he is and how natural he finds seams.

29. Dorian Camel, 3-star S (6-foot-1, 170 pounds); Tulane commit — Scotlandville

One of the fastest prospects in the state, Dorian Camel’s speed has translated nicely to a diverse set of roles in the Scotlandville secondary. Camel is used as a blitzer off the edge and is solid in his run defense. With all of the natural tools at his disposal, he shows a ton of upside as a safety. 

28. Derek Turner, 3-star ATH (5-foot-11, 185); uncommitted — West Feliciana

Derek Turner plays quarterbacks and splits his time in the West Feliciana secondary. He is uber athletic with elite speed and ballhawking skills. While he may take some time to get used to playing defensive back on a full-time basis, he can also contribute in the return game. He possesses great coverage skills and the ability to track the football, and boasts tremendous upside down the line. This is his first ranking.

27. Jeremiah McDonald, 3-star S (6-foot-3, 195 pounds); Northwestern commitment — Northshore

Often one of the most overlooked prospects in the state, Jeremiah McDonald has impressed despite a limited sample size of highlights this fall. The big-bodied safety has been a force at the back end of the North Shore defense. He’s brought a physical presence to the secondary and has effectively read opposing quarterbacks and is taking advantage. He’s a truck-stick sort of hitter with a nose for the football in coverage.

26. Michael Williams, 3-star ATH (6-foot-2, 260 pounds); uncommitted — Dunham

Michael Williams played quarterback for Dunham but is being recruited as a an athlete. He’ll likely play defensive end. You get an idea of Williams’ freakish athleticism from watching him run all over the yard. When he sees snaps at defensive end, he has deceptive speed and overwhelming power, but needs more time getting comfortable in that role on a full-time basis. He has all of the traits desired out of a 5-technique in a three-man front and the ability to learn a variety of positions, but will need to add strength and some fundamentals to transition to a full-time defensive line role.

25. Nelson Jenkins, 3-star DL (6-foot-2, 270 pounds); LSU commitment — Plaquemine

Nelson Jenkins’ senior season was cut short, which has been a theme for the defensive lineman. When healthy, the LSU commitment has shined. He generates consistent pressure and is a big-play threat due to his quick burst. Jenkins lines up at both defensive tackle and end in the three-man front and uses a swift swim move to rush the quarterback. He consistently gets his hand into the air to bat down pass attempts and is a major presence for the Plaquemine defense when he’s on the field.

24. Corione Harris, 4-star CB (6-foot, 165 pounds); Kansas commitment — Landry-Walker

Corione Harris should be in the discussion as one of the better corners or nickel safeties in the state. He saw limited action there this fall, but impressed nonetheless. The Kansas verbal has shown incredible aggressiveness in both the run and pass game and relentlessly pursues the football. Spending time at both nickel and outside at corner in red-zone situations, Harris makes strong plays on the ball particularly in man-to-man coverage. Physicality is now one of the strengths of his game.

23. Joseph Foucha, 3-star DB (5-foot-11, 180 pounds); uncommitted — McDonogh 35

Joseph Foucha is a dynamic defensive back and a leader for the McDonogh 35 defense in so many ways. His game has completely evolved over the years as he’s essentially a Swiss Army knife in the secondary. Foucha plays with a giant-sized chip on his shoulder — with physicality and attitude — and it’s glaring when seeing him meet receivers at the line of scrimmage or in run defense. Foucha has seen time at corner, safety and nickel, but also as a wildcat quarterback. Of course, he needs to continue to polish up his fundamentals, but his natural playmaking is uncanny.

22. AJ Carter, 3-star RB (6-foot-1, 225 pounds); uncommitted — Many

AJ Carter possesses a massive 6-foot-1, 225-pound frame and is Louisiana’s premier downhill runner. His stats back it up, too. Carter’s game is simple: power, power, power. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield and has deceptive athleticism as a pass-catcher, but lacks high-end breakaway speed. Carter’s bread and butter is running over would-be defenders and is chain-mover as a workhorse back capable of handling 25-30 touches a game.

21. Devin Brumfield, 3-star RB (5-foot-10, 219 pounds); Texas Tech commitment — Covington

Devin Brumfield has long been considered one of the state’s top backs and his senior tape does that claim justice, as does the fact he’s reached 2,000 yards rushing before Thanksgiving. The Texas Tech commitment has incredible vision to find the hole and burst through it accordingly. He’s a physical runner with above-average lower-body strength and is a load to try to bring down in the open field. Brumfield finished his senior season with 2,300 yards, 25 touchdowns a 7.4 yards-per-carry average, which is just insane.

20. Slade Bolden, 3-star ATH (5-foot-11, 195 pounds); Alabama commitment — West Monroe

Slade Bolden will transition from quarterback to a hybrid running back-slot receiver when he arrives at Alabama. During the camp circuit, he impressed with his crisp route-running and sure hands and there’s little doubt that his work ethic won’t allow him to make a smooth shift to his next role on offense. The 2017 Gatorade Player of the Year in Louisiana, the biggest attribute Bolden needs to work on his explosiveness, which should come in time.

19. Eddie Smith, 3-star ATH (6-foot, 172 pounds); TCU commitment — Salmen

Eddie Smith is forced to play a handful of different roles at Salmen — defensive back, quarterback, wide receiver and return specialist. He possesses great football instincts and above-average athleticism to keep pace with wide receivers. Smith is physical at the point of attack and deceptively plays with a nasty streak. The strong film Smith has at cornerback — playing in both man and zone schemes — already is a promising sign that he will continue to develop when he can dial in on one position when he arrives at TCU.

18. Aaron Brule’, 3-star LB (6-foot-2, 215 pounds); Georgia commitment —Rummel

Aaron Brule’ is a defensive force no matter where he lines up on the football field. This fall, he has focused solely at linebacker for Rummel and has been a stout run defender all season. His track record at safety should serve him well as he balances his ability to stop the run but also drop back into coverage. The Georgia coaches are very high on the versatility Brule’ should bring to Athens, Ga.

17. Ar’Darius Washington, 3-star ATH (5-foot-9, 175 pounds); LSU commitment — Evangel

It easy to overlook Ar’Darius Washington because he does not possess ideal size for a safety, but the 3-star prospect is arguably the biggest sparkplug in the state and his resume proves as much. Washington’s film shows his snaps at nickel corner, safety, running back, receiver and as a return specialist, and there are no shortage of examples of his playmaking abilities in each of those roles. Washington has great speed in coverage and a nose for the football, evident by more than 25 career interceptions, most of which housed for scores. It’s also worth noting he does not shy away from contact. Washington is dynamic in the return game and with the ball in space and should see some carries or passing plays at LSU. 

T-16. Geor’quarius Spivey, 3-star TE (6-foot-6, 230 pounds); Mississippi State commitment — Richwood

Mississippi State pledge Geor’quarius Spivey reeled in 33 receptions for 981 yards and 9 touchdowns during his senior, making tremendous leaps as the year went on. In the 3A championship game, Spivey put together his best game of his career. He showed his soft hands, the ability to use his lengthy frame to his advantage and get vertical for grabs, not to mention bullied defenders. He is the prototypical hybrid tight end and is a bigger, stronger type of slot receiver or H-back. Spivey has the ceiling of a player like Jimmy Graham or Evan Ingram, as a total mismatch at tight end in a spread offense.

T-16. Glenn Beal, 3-star TE (6-foot-5, 250 pounds); uncommitted — John Curtis

The John Curtis offense does not feature the versatile tight end in the passing game, but Glenn Beal was ultra-impressive as a pure run-blocker and could potentially shift out to play offensive tackle if he wanted to. Behind the scenes at camps and practices, Beal flashes a ton of potential as a receiver. He has great athleticism and soft hands and would add a great dimension in the short and intermediate passing game. He sees snaps at defensive end, too, and has all of the ability to do that at the next level. However, he remains focuses in at tight end, where he has come up with several explosive catches this fall thanks to his deceptive speed and consistent pass-catching skills.

15. Lawrence Keys III, 4-star WR (5-foot-11, 175 pounds); uncommitted — McDonogh 35

Lawrence Keys is Louisiana’s top slot receiver prospect with exceptional explosiveness and athleticism for his position. He possesses a high football IQ and understanding of reading defenses and exploiting them accordingly. As the featured receiver in the McDonogh 35 offense, defenses are keying in on him, yet he is still finding ways to get open and put up numbers. He is a deep threat, but can also beat defenders around the edge on screens and gadget plays. Keys also adds a ton of value as a return specialist and should be able to contribute in a number of different ways at the next level.

14. Pooka Williams, 3-star APB (5-foot-9, 165 pounds); Kansas commitment — Hahnville

Pooka Williams is a one-man wrecking crew and has consistently reminded folks that he is the most dynamic home-run threat in Louisiana regardless of class or position. Despite a small frame (5-foot-9, 165 pounds), Williams averages a touchdown every six touches and has clocked a 4.2 time in the 40-yard dash. The featured prospect in the Hahnville offense finished his senior season with 3,144 rushing yards with 38 touchdowns. In the playoffs alone, Williams amassed more than 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns, drawing the attention of LSU and several other college football powers. Williams is already a Louisiana high school football legend because of his ability to run over and around defenders and pull off near-impossible feats. 

13. Dantrieze Scott, 3-star DE/OLB (6-foot-6, 245 pounds); LSU commitment — Ferriday

Dantrieze Scott has an argument to be Louisiana’s best-kept secret. As an edge rusher, his future position in Baton Rouge, Scott has consistently been in the face of opposing quarterbacks, evident by 49 tackles for loss and 10 sacks his senior year. As a tight end, he has 10 total touchdowns. Scott’s explosiveness off the line of scrimmage and ability to bully offensive linemen will serve well for LSU’s defensive front. Scott has the size and raw abilities to thrive there, mainly speed around the edge. He’ll need to polish up a few aspects of his game and add some strength to his frame, but when he can focus on just rushing the passer, he will cement himself as one of the hidden gems in this class.

12. Jaray Jenkins, 4-star WR (6-foot-2, 185 pounds); LSU commitment — Jena

Jaray Jenkins was off to a hot start to his senior season before fracturing his fibula, and if healthy, it’s very likely he would have proven himself to be a top-10 prospect in the state. The LSU commitment was being used as a wide receiver, running back, defensive back and return specialist, and would have likely seen his stock continue to rise as he put up eye-popping numbers in those roles throughout the fall.  Jenkins has an incredibly high ceiling given his versatility and explosiveness on the offensive side of the ball and on special teams. When healthy, he is among the state’s elite receivers.

11. Cameron Wire, 3-star OT (6-foot-6, 285 pounds); LSU commitment — East Ascension

Cameron Wire has had to battle some injuries to start the fall, but played through and showed some serious toughness. Wire has all of the measurables of a future NFL offensive tackle. He has a mean streak to him and a great work ethic, which shows in his film. Like most high school left tackles, he needs to add some weight, strength and fine-tune his technique. However, Wire has all of the necessary traits to eventually be a stalwart on the LSU line.

10. Davin Cotton, 4-star DL (6-foot-2, 260 pounds); LSU commitment — Evangel

Davin Cotton did not get to play his senior season due to an undisclosed leg injury, but his previous film should serve as a reminder to why he’s in the discussion as Louisiana’s top defensive lineman. Cotton should project as a 5-technique in LSU’s 3-4 front, but he will have to continue to add some muscle to his frame. Cotton has slimmed down during the season, but likely needs to add between 15 and 20 pounds to play in the SEC. He was Evangel’s featured pass rusher from the defensive end and tackle positions and boasts a fantastic football IQ.

9. Kenan Jones, 4-star WR (6-foot-3, 205 pounds); LSU commitment — Berwick

In what is a loaded wide receiver crop in 2018, Kenan Jones often falls under the radar. However, LSU’s 4-star commitment puts up video-game numbers week in and week out and is quietly one of the most dominant prospects in all of Louisiana. Jones works on the outside and in the slot to take advantage of matchups, and as a result, put together a strong senior campaign of 43 receptions for 683 yards and 10 touchdowns. His size and raw abilities should lead to a WR1 type future in Baton Rouge as he continues to develop his craft.

8. Damone Clark, 4-star LB (6-foot-3, 220 pounds); LSU commitment — Southern Lab

Damone Clark’s transition to a full-time linebacker at Southern Lab has been rather smooth. A strong safety for the Division IV state champions a year ago, Clark has bulked up and is now playing in the box on a full-time basis. He is also getting opportunities to rush the passer and see some snaps at tight end. Clark is very physical and shows a tendency to deliver big-time blows at the point of attack. He will need to continue to add weight, but his natural inclination to find the football is uncanny evident by 86 tackles an 11 sacks his senior year says enough about his versatility as an inside or outside linebacker at the SEC level.

7. Dare Rosenthal, 3-star DL (6-foot-7, 331 pounds); LSU commitment — Ferriday

Dare Rosenthal has seen a timeshare at both defensive line and offensive tackle. In terms of size and raw physical tools, Rosenthal has a high ceiling no matter where he lines up on the field. As a defensive lineman, he has elite power to bull-rush opposing offensive linemen and causes interior pressure. He recorded 60 tackles as an interior tackle while also notching 6.0 sacks and 5.0 quarterback hurries. As an offensive tackle, he can utilize that same strength and long arms to eventually compete for a starting job at LSU. Whichever position he plays, Rosenthal has brute strength and deceptive athleticism, which has been on display throughout the fall.

6. Micah Baskerville, 4-star LB (6-foot-3, 225 pounds); LSU commitment — Evangel

Micah Baskerville has the prototypical size and demeanor to be a true middle linebacker in the SEC. Baskerville led a stout Evangel defense with 80 tackles, 4.0 sacks and 2.0 interceptions, including a pick-six. He is the quarterback of the defense and makes his mark as an enforcer in the running game. Baskerville is improving in pass coverage and possesses great instincts all over the field.

5. Devonta Jason, 4-star WR (6-foot-3, 215 pounds); uncommitted — Landry-Walker

Devonta Jason is a SportsCenter highlight waiting to happen. With no true quarterback at Landry-Walker this year, the coaches have had to manufacture touches for the 4-star wide receiver. To their credit, he has produced regardless. He has strong hands and is the best in the country at snatching 50-50 balls. Jason is always open, even when he’s covered. What he lacks in breakaway speed he makes up for tenfold with a huge catch radius and proven playmaking ability.

4. Justin Rogers, 4-star QB (6-foot-4, 210 pounds); TCU commitment — Parkway

Louisiana’s top-ranked quarterback was destined for a monster 2017 campaign before a torn ACL derailed his season. Justin Rogers will take advantage of the time on the sidelines by learning the playbook and how to better read defenses. The 4-star dual-threat made incredible strides in the short and intermediate passing game from last fall to now. He has one of the strongest arms in the country and incredible accuracy. What separates him is his ability to make decisions while moving in the pocket and deliver. Whether it’s TCU or elsewhere, Rogers has all of the tools to be a program-changing signal-caller.

3. Ja’Marr Chase, 4-star WR (6-foot-2, 195 pounds); uncommitted — Rummel

Ja’Marr Chase’s stock has steadily risen from the spring through the summer through the early parts of the fall. The dynamic 4-star wide receiver is bordering on 5-star territory and is arguably the most explosive pass catcher and athlete overall in the state, and perhaps the most dangerous receiver after the catch in the country. Rummel’s offense featured Chase as the recipient of screen passes, short slants and a couple of deep balls, and all seem to yield the same result: touchdowns. He is unguardable and always a threat to house the ball. The most fitting comparison is to another New Orleans native, Odell Beckham Jr.

2. Kelvin Joseph, 4-star DB (6-foot-2, 190 pounds); uncommitted — Scotlandville

Kelvin Joseph has cemented his spot as Louisiana’s No. 1 defensive back and No. 1 overall defensive prospect. He plays with a nasty streak at his free safety position for Scotlandville. He thrives in 1-on-1 coverage with his incredible upper-body strength and ability to press at the line of scrimmage. He is also a true center fielder in his ability to disrupt plays with hits after the catch or assisting in the run game. This fall, the 4-star defensive back is flirting with 5-star territory averaging better than 10 tackles per game and thriving as a return specialist. Joseph’s game is at an all-time high.

1. Terrace Marshall Jr., 5-star WR (6-foot-3, 195 pounds); uncommitted — Parkway

Terrace Marshall, the state’s top prospect, kept his post at No. 1 despite a dislocated ankle and fractured fibula. His elite size, smooth route-running and consistent hands make Marshall a prototypical No. 1 receiver at any Power 5 school. LSU believes he has the skills to succeed D.J. Chark, a future first- or second-round pick. Marshall is touted as an instant-impact type of prospect and is among the highest potential-laden receivers to ever come from The Boot.

The post Ranking Louisiana’s top 30 prospects in 2018 appeared first on SEC Country.

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