Annual Offseason Class Projection 2014

Discussion in 'LSU RECRUITING' started by LSU Logic, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. LSU Logic

    LSU Logic Veteran Member

    First let me preface this by saying, I am just an avid recruit fan, not a scout, and I DO NOT presume to be completely correct. I enjoy projecting stars, starters, and possible busts just after signing day to see 3/4 years later to see how accurate or inaccurate my scouting skills were.

    I am pulling for all of our Tigers to succeed on and off the field, so during times were I notate my opinion on the downside or needed areas of improvement on a commitment, I am simply stating my OPINION.

    Ed Paris: his skill set could work as either free safety or cornerback. Because we have John Battle(who I believe will start at FS for us) I believe Paris will end up as CB, but will see the field first through special teams and/or nickleback. He isn’t your pure cover corner, he still has work to do on his coverage and breaking techniques, however; his make up speed and body positioning are elite. The way he adjusts to the ball in the air, and plucks it as though he is on offense reminds me of Morris Claiborne. If he polishes up his technique and keeps his speed, I think he will end up reminding all our fans of Mo.

    Brandon Harris: likely has the most upside out of anyone in the 2014 class. He is still very raw in his accuracy, but he has elite zip on the ball, pocket awareness, and escapability. He is a true dual threat. This makes him a bit of a wildcard, except that he will learn under Cam Cameron, and I believe he will strive. He has the tools to be a star in the making. He has a much higher ceiling than Jennings, but it remains to be seen what Cameron can do with his accuracy and decision making. It is notable that he does exude leadership qualities from his handling of the limelight thus far. If all the right things fall together, look for this kid to play NFL ball. The league is moving in his direction as far as skillset, and he will be highly sought after if he puts it all together.

    Leonard Fournette: he has been talked about ad naseum, and for good reason. He truly has an unparrelled combination of size, power, cutting ability, vision, and breakaway speed. There isn’t any doubt that he can progress and that things will hit a point in his college career where things “slow down” for him, but let’s bring the expectations back down to earth a bit to allow this guy to succeed. Too many people are putting unrealistic goals on this young man’s shoulders. He will be a great one, but he is just one. It takes a full 11 on offense for people to shine and for production to sky rocket. I look forward to his sophomore season as a true vision of what he can accomplish as the pieces will really fall into place.

    Malachi Dupre: another high ceiling prospect. His high school did not throw the ball often, and when they did, his qb was not extremely accurate. That said, Chi made the best of the opportunities when given, and he is a cut above the rest when it comes to ball adjustment in the air. He is not passive about accepting the ball, but goes out and takes it. From interviews, it’s easy to perceive that he is a bright and good kid with a laid back personality. He will benefit from studying under Cameron, and learning a much more complex offense, and also, adding a bit of lean muscle. He will always be a lean strider type receiver, but he will need to be made sec ready. Many have compared him to AJ Green, and I think that is a fair comparison to his body type and skill set.

    Clifton Garrett: projected MLB, and as such has a much steeper learning curve than other positions. Will need time to learn the system, as it will be his responsibilities to line up the defense and help make adjustments on point. Has superb closing speeding, breaks toward the ball at an elite level, and hits not just hard but fundamentally sound as well. He is also very adept at diagnosing plays quickly and making reactionary decisions. That said, Garrett was said to have struggled in the Army All American Game in coverage drills. This type of drill usually puts the linebacker at the disadvantage, and MLBs will usually be assigned to cover either tight ends on crossing routes, or to defend screen passes or shuffle passes to running backs. He is heavily needed ASAP, and will need work his tail off learning our complex defense. Once he gets the swing of things, he will be the heir apparent already at MLB.

    Jamal Adams: has the type of nasty attitude that we was so well enjoyed from our 2011 dbs. His play comes with confidence, and he finishes with purpose. He has the skills to play either Safety position, and I think he will cross train for both, but he can really lay the wood. He isn’t shy about contact and will be an asset as SS that can slide in the box to bring run support when necessary. If the offense makes an audible and switches to pass, he can pick up the extra wide out without his coverage skills being a liability. The fun part is that he has all the speed and ball skills of a FS. He has already been compared to Eric Reid by Miles, and is already being mentioned by him as a possible PR/KR specialist as well.

    Travonte Valentine: firstly, this guy fills a huge need. Even though we took a large number of DL prospects last year, its line play that makes the sec elite, and no other position is there more risk and boom/bust products than on both offensive and defensive lines. You have to take extra, and let the cream rise to the top. Kudos to the staff for getting on Valentine early and staying on him. His senior highlights show a huge step of progress from the year before. Valentine is a bit larger than we are used to in our system, but still gets the penetration and causes the disruption of a more compact DT. Especially for his mammoth size, he has extremely quick feet, and can shuttle around very well. A shifty DT with the type of power to disrupt plays in the backfield at his size is a truly rare find. He could be one of the ultimate steals of the class. I believe the staff with try to get him to drop a bit of bad weight, and lean up. Once he drops that weight, it will be easier for him to drop his pad level and cultivate new techniques that will give him a full repertoire towards his resume. Another one with a very high ceiling.
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  2. LSU Logic

    LSU Logic Veteran Member

    Trey Quinn: along with fournette, will have the most immediate impact. He comes in at a position of need and is already polished. He is a no non sense, high character, high intensity, work-a-holic, that will master his trade, and pay whatever toll to accomplish his goals. That will bring as much to the team as his skills and abilities. A true team player, Quinn has already fine polished the nuances of the trade including: precision route running, powerful hands, refined speed, and down field blocking. His only downfall is, like Fournette, physically and skill wise, they are so advanced that they are closer to their ceilings than some of the others. That will stop neither of the two from being elite, but between experience, physical development and work ethic, he and Fournette are the most college ready, and the best bets at early contributors.

    Garrett Brumfield: was courted by all the heavy hitters during recruiting and LSU was fortunate enough to land him. Extremely well spoken, exudes leadership, hardworking and intelligent. Pulls and blocks downfield at an elite level. It has been said that he can play tackle or guard, but because of his pulling ability and grittiness, I think his future is at guard. In his highlights from drills in the UAAA game, he was prone to the bull rush pass, as he is still extremely lean, and will have to pack on some weight moving forward. His father said he is still growing, and I look forward to seeing how well his frame handles added weight in the next couple of years. We needed OL bodies as much as DL, but we did not fill up like we had expected. We are very fortunate to have both Clapp and Brumfield as they will both be looked upon to play and possibly start their sophomore to junior years. Great assignment blocker that moves like a fullback, but punches like a lineman.

    Davon Godchaux – he is one that I am not nearly as high on as others are. I think his best shot is to bulk up and play DT; however, he is not our usual disruptive DT. He does not have the quick first step, and does not create disruption. Throughout his highlight videos, he almost always immediately lets the blockers engage him, but then he does a good job of shedding the blocker to make a run stopping play. He would be better fit alongside Valentine, so that Valentine can disrupt the play and Godchaux can play more line coverage and grab anyone who slips through the cracks. He does have great sideline to sideline speed, and is very solid in the run game. I find he often gets blown off the line too far, and that will hurt in the college game. He is very raw, and only time can tell if he can work on the first step, and create more disruption, but for his amazing size and speed, he should play with a good bit more excitement, burst and violence.

    Deondre Clark – Reminds me of Justin Maclin. Was a 4 star four years ago out of Memphis, TN, and hasn’t seen any meaningful playing time yet. He has a great build, but does not have a quick first step, lacks acceleration, and plays very upright. His has limited highlights, so maybe there is something I am missing, but I also remember him in camp drills, and not being overly impressed. Again, time will tell.

    Jacory Washington – excellent hands, smooth catching style and route running, and is not afraid to block downfield. He has the frame to bulk up and really be a premier pass catching tight end or he can stay lean/gain speed, and be a possession receiver like a Julio, or Calvin type. It all depends on how he physically develops once he is introduced to a college weight and exercise program. Either way, he is a valuable and versatile weapon.

    Devin Voohries: the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year; not talked about enough in the national recruiting media. This young man is a jack of all trades. He played many roles on his high school football team, as usually the best athlete does. For this reason, he is a bit harder to project. He is built like a safety, but has all the ball skills to play on offense. He has excellent vision to make cuts, and has incredible top out speed. He committed early, completely shut down his recruitment, and only attended the LSU camp that earned his offer. Having a committable offer that early in the process says something about what our staff sees in him. That said, Coach Raymond likes Voohries at safety. Either way, he will be quite the asset on either side of the ball, and will likely make an immediate impact on special teams.

    Will Clapp – gets his hands on the defender and doesn’t let go until the whistle is blown. Finishes his blocks, and again though he can be projected as either an OG or an OT, I see him more as a run blocking OG. Was pursued by the best schools, but shut it down early like Voorhies and did not hit the camp circuit. As with Brumfield, due to depth, I think he will play after two or three years, and was much needed for depth on the lines. I believe they both end up starting at some point.

    Darrell Williams: Though some people seem to believe he is more a bruiser type of back, his highlights generally show him doing well once he breaks around the edge of the line and bounces it outside. While I do think his speed will be a concern here at the next level, Darrell thrives in space as he has good vision, and keeps his legs turning. He doesn’t have the breakaway speed, but he also does not shy away from contact. I see him being a good role player at LSU. His defensive highlights are impressive, and I believe that makes him a candidate for the Charles Scott/Jacob Hester two back fullback role. He also catches the ball well, and could be utilized on 3rd down screen packages.

    Tony Upchurch: Not much had been heard before his recruitment, and really not all that much afterward. His film looks a great deal like Jacory’s but he doesn’t quite have the upside. Jacorys frame can pack on a good bit more lean muscle, whereas Tony is probably a lot closer to his limit for his size. I do not believe he is in the TE mold, but he can perhaps catch passes or run out of the backfield. He is a bit of a wildcard. As a WR, he is a possession type that will compliment Quinn in the slot, and Malachi as a sideline/deep threat. Reminds me a bit of James Wright
  3. LSU Logic

    LSU Logic Veteran Member

    Sione Teuhema: I know he is listed as a DE, but I actually really like him as a gunner/olb. The only reason this young man is not rated higher is because of his measurables and projected position. With his hand in the dirt, he doesn’t have the size or first step to be an every down rushing end, but he definitely excels in space. In the OLB role, he has a chance to delay and then gun the passer, or attack the run, but he also does extremely well in dropping back in coverage and jamming up the passing lanes. I believe he fits a 3-4 defense better, but when we switch to our pass rush defense, he will be a great asset on third downs.

    John Battle: the very definition of underrated. Our fan base is aware of how talented this young man is, but the national media(save maybe 24/7) completely whiffed on him. He has elite speed, closes with purpose, and is a prototypical ball hawking FS. He also isn’t afraid to lay the wood. The combo of Battle and Adams will be nearly unfair. He will have to add on some bulk, while ideally keeping his speed and agility. I believe Adams will see the field first as he is more ready physically, but as far as I can see DBU will continue to carry its name

    Trey Lealaimatafao: he is extremely quick and agile for his size. He moves very well in the pocket, and plays with viciousness. I love his film, and like Teuhema his biggest knock is his measurables. If he is indeed 6’0 or 5”11, it will create an uphill climb to become an elite DT. JC Copeland had some of the best film I’ve seen at DT out of high school as far as burst, aggressiveness, play diagnosis and disruption, and he ended up as a FB here because his height was too much to overcome on the line. Will the same be said for Trey?

    DJ Chark: he is vastly underrated as well, expect not just by national experts, but by many LSU fans. He is my pick for top sleeper(save for John Battle who is more touted in recruiting circles) He also came to camp competed and received an early offer only to commit and then fall off of the radar. There is definitely something to be said for the early camp offers and commitments in this class because the board was so loaded. Will Clapp, Devin Voohries and DJ Chark came in early, and then went about their processes very quietly. Their talent was not as publicized as they dropped of the radars of the public eyes, but the staff thinks very highly of these three. Miles mentioned he was a 4.0 honors student, which says something about this young man as well. He is smooth after the catch reminiscent of Odell Beckham Jr. He has great hands, makes impressive cuts, and doesn’t just have speed, but has instant acceleration. I believe he will catch many people off guard and be not only a contributor later in his career but a star. Possible PR/KR candidate once he gets on campus

    Donnie Alexander: Very light for a LB, and though there was some talk of him as Safety, I just think we are too talented at Safety for him to crack the lineup there. He will have to bulk up a good bit to play OLB while keeping his speed. He gets carried a bit when he tackles and that is why he will need to start putting on weight and pushing himself in the weight room asap. He will make for a serviceable coverage LB hybrid when we switch to our 3rd down package with two linebackers and will receive more playing time when we play the spread.

    Russell Gage: our last non kicker commitment, and yet another former high school qb great athlete playing out of position. He put on quite the show at a junior day camp and the coaches have kept tabs on him since. There is something to be said for a recruitable young man that patiently waited for his dream offer, continued to keep his face down on the grindstone, and didn’t create a scene. He humbly accepted his offer and worked with the staff to buy time while the numbers worked out. The concern with Gage comes less from his play, but more with his size. He is very thin, and will have to add on a good chunk of muscle to his frame to be ready for SEC play. At his size, there isn’t any telling how that much weight will affect his speed, agility and ability to make cuts. Otherwise, his film shows great awareness, quickness, vision, and speed. He will no doubt redshirt, and only time will tell what he blossoms into or becomes once he bulks up.

    This is class is a foundation class that you can build on to compete for championships. Every class has its share of stars, contributors, role players, and attrition. This class will have little attrition compared to its proximal counter piece classes.

    Instant Impact Players: Fournette, Quinn, Adams and possibly Ed Paris and Voohries

    Future major contributors and or stars: Harris, Dupre, Valentine, Garrett, Clapp, Brumfield, Washington, Chark, Battle, Lealaimatafao(at FB)

    Potential Role Players/Special Teamers: Godchaux, Clark, Teuhema(think he will make an immediate impact on special teams) , Upchurch, Gage, Williams, Alexander
  4. plotalot

    plotalot Veteran Member

    Way too long, didn't even think about reading past your first sentence disclaimer, but I think you're right. Keep up the good work.
  5. cajdav1

    cajdav1 Soldiers are real hero's

    I loved it, thanks do much for your in depth review.
    LSU Logic likes this.
  6. LSU Logic

    LSU Logic Veteran Member

    Cheers and thanks guys. I stayed home sick from work today. As a recruiting junkie this was the result :)
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
    ROY_LA_CA, LSUDad and cajdav1 like this.
  7. mobius481

    mobius481 Registered Member

    Good insight. the guys I'm most interested in seeing how they do are Trey Quinn (he went to same high school as I did), Brandon Harris (accuracy seems to be the only issue), and Valentine.
  8. LaSalleAve

    LaSalleAve when in doubt, mumble

    I think the most exciting player in this entire class is Jacory Washington. He has great hands and great size, is extremely athletic, and I can't wait to see him play.
  9. LSUpride123

    LSUpride123 Boobies make everything A OK!!!

    Solid stuff man!!

    On the LF bit, in the years I have watched LSU, we seem to let our Stud Freshman RB's slowly get into a rhythm. I for one am not expecting 1k yards, but WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED if he breaks it.
  10. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

    Fournette and Quinn seem likely to get the earliest PT along with Dupree, Adams, and Paris. Linemen take bit longer to develop. I agree that Chark may be the class sleeper. Freshman quarterbacks always come in with high expectations but I don't see Harris racing past all four quarterbacks ahead of him. And I also suspect that a QB (or two) will transfer before August.

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