Class of 2012

1.  Jeremy Liggins – Oxford, MS
–  Liggins has tremendous size which is going to be the first thing that people notice about him.  He is 6’3″ and apparently played his senior season at around 265 pounds.  Some rumors say that he has ballooned up to 290 pounds recently.  So his weight will always be something that is a concern throughout his career.  But even at that size, Liggins is very athletic and is a threat to run the ball.  He moves well and is obviously a load to bring down.  He is used to running traditional and zone-read option plays and looks natural doing both.  As a passer, I like him better than most.  He has a very strong arm but shows nice touch when needed.  His mechanics are sloppy and he throws with an awkward three quarters motion.  Those things will need some fine tuning but are correctable.  Liggins is also a winner.  He went 46-2 as a starter in high school and won back to back state championships.  He is overflowing with intangibles and his high school coach raves about his leadership ability.   Even though Liggins needs some refining before he’s ready to be a full time quarterback, he could certainly see the field as a short yardage quarterback in the mold of Tim Tebow or Blake Bell early in his career.   If Liggins does not work out at quarterback, he certianly has the size and athleticism to find another position and succeed.  

Rivals:  #16 QB  3 stars
Scout: #19 QB  3 stars
ESPN: #12 ATH  #112 overall  4 stars
247:  #9 ATH  #93 overall  4 stars
Reminds Me Of:  Chris Relf – Mississippi State Class of 2007

3.  Travin Dural – Breaux Bridge HS– Dural had a fantastic senior season.   As the top play maker for Breaux Bridge, Dural caught 49 passes for 880 yards.  He also rushed for approximately 250 yards.  More impressively, he scored 25 touchdowns.  He scored 20 through the air, three rushing, one on a punt return and one on a kick return.  He currently has a tall, slender frame that will remind many of Brandon Lafell coming out of high school.  At 6’1″ 175 pounds, he is a tad shorter than Lafell, but his style of play is very similar.  He has very good speed and frequently gets behind the defense for big plays.  He shows good ability to come down with jump balls and to catch balls over defenders.  He demonstrated during his senior season that he can also be effective in the short passing game, running precise routes and working the middle of the field.   If Dural can add some bulk and show that he can handle the physicality of SEC football, then he’s a candidate to see the field in 2012 as a true freshman and he could have a big-time impact before his career is done.    

Rivals: #49 WR  4 stars
Scout:  #98 WR  3 stars
ESPN:  #73 WR  3 stars
  #39 WR  4 stars
SNS State Rank:   #6
Reminds Me Of:  Brandon Lafell

4.  Avery Johnson – Pompano Beach, FL
– The brother of former Tiger great Patrick Peterson, Johnson has been a commitment to LSU for over a year.  I’ve never been terribly impressed with Johnson’s film, even though his measurables (6’1″ 180 pounds, 4.44) are quite good.  Once thought to be a nationally elite prospect, some of the recruiting sites have cooled on him.  His senior season was not terribly productive, but the lack of a quarterback on his high school team is partially to blame.  Additionally, he failed to wow those in attendance at the Under Armour All-American game.  Regardless, Johnson still has an awfully impressive offer list and was pursued by the likes of Florida, Oklahoma, Miami, Florida State, and many others.  Johnson has great speed, which may be his biggest asset, and shows good physicality.  His willingness to be physical and block may earn him a spot on the field sooner than it otherwise would.  However, Johnson does not display a ton of ability to change directions, run crisp routes or makes plays after the catch.  Reportedly, he struggles some with his hands as well.  The good news is that the physical tools are there and the rest can be coached up.  Johnson can certainly contribute at the SEC level, but I’m not sure he’s a super star like many initially thought.  

Rivals:  #42 WR  #247 overall  4 stars
Scout:  #40 WR  # 270 overall 4 stars
ESPN:  #23 WR  4 stars
#37 WR  4 stars
Reminds Me Of:  Tavarres King – Georgia Class of 2008   

5.  Kavahra Holmes – Breaux Bridge HS– Holmes has tremendous speed, which is what sets him apart from others.  He is the state champion in the 400 meters, with a time of 46.3.  He has OK size at 6’0″ 175 pounds.  But at a few summer camp stops, Holmes showed off the ability to be a complete receiver rather than just a speed guy.  He attended TCU’s camp as an unknown but walked away with an offer.  Shortly after, he did the same at LSU’s.  Many who observed LSU’s camp raved about Holmes’ ability and that he looked natural running routes and catching the ball.   So while I initially figured he was a Bennie Brazell type of speedster, it sounds like Holmes could be a legitimate receiver who just happens to have great speed rather than the other way around.  However, Holmes’s production on the field as a senior did not match his talent, so that is a reason for some concern.  If he has the right level of toughness, he could be outstanding on special teams, both as a returner and a gunner.  

Rivals:  3 stars
Scout:  #104 WR  3 stars
ESPN:  #127 WR  3 stars
  #92 WR  3 stars
SNS State Rank:  #19
Reminds Me Of:  Kenny Bell – Alabama Class of 2009   

6.  Dillon Gordon – John Curtis HS – Gordon fits the profile of the “blocking tight-end” and he has superior size at 6’5″ 240 pounds.  He will probably play in college at around 260 or 265 pounds.  Gordon is at his best on the line of scrimmage, and he likely won’t be flexed out very often.  But having a solid blocker that can act as a sixth offensive lineman in the running game can prove to be quite valuable.  Gordon is not without some athleticism though, and he while he lacks the ability to stretch the field, he has pretty good feet and shows decent hands.  It’s not out of the question that Gordon grows into an offensive lineman once he reaches the college level.   He’s a solid prospect, and one that probably offers few surprises.  He likely has a ceiling of being a Keith Zinger or Mitch Joseph type of blocking tight end, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Those guys bring lots of value.  

Rivals:  #23 TE  3 stars
Scout:  #15 TE  3 stars
ESPN:  #33 TE  3 stars
#60 Ot  3 stars
SNS State Rank:  
Reminds Me Of:  Keith Zinger

7.  John Thomas – Airline HS 
– Thomas is a big tight-end prospect with good athleticism.  He checks in at 6’5″ 235 pounds but will certainly fill out that frame more.  He looks like someone that could develop as an all-around tight-end and excel as both a blocker and receiver.  Thomas may be able to fill both roles and add some extra versatility to the Tigers’ offense.  As a junior, Thomas hauled in 30 passes for 575 yards and seven touchdowns.  That 19 yard per reception average is very good for a wide receiver, much less a big tight-end.  Thomas can improve his blocking, but that is easily coachable for someone with his size and skills.  He compares favorably to current Tiger Nic Jacobs but shows off the potential to be really special.  He suffered a season ending knee injury early in his senior season so he his recovery is something to watch.  

Rivals:  #15 TE  3 stars
Scout: #3 TE  #121 overall  4 stars 
ESPN:  #16 TE  3 stars
  #7 TE  #188 overall  4 stars
SNS State Rank:  #13
Reminds Me Of:   Chase Coffman – Missouri Class of 2005


8.  Derek Edinburgh – Edna Karr HS – Edinburgh is a mammoth offensive line prospect that goes about 6’7″ 330 pounds.  With a guy that size, you obviously would like to see him at offensive tackle where he can use his arm length to his advantage.  That’s where Edinburgh projects best, though he still has some improvement to make.  He has come a long way over the last year, and it’s reasonable to assume that he will continue to improve.   Even though Edinburgh carries his weight well, he struggles a bit with speed rushers off the edge.  He may be better suited at right tackle, where another huge guy in Alex Hurst, is currently enjoying some success.  If he cannot cut it at tackle, he should bring some value as a huge interior lineman in the mold of Herman Johnson.   Edinburgh earned some nice offers from schools such as Arkansas, Nebraska, Mississippi State, and Arizona.

Rivals:  #29 OT  4 stars
Scout:  #29 OT  #232 overall  4 stars
ESPN:  #76 OT  3 stars
#46 Ot  3 stars
SNS State Rank:  #14

9.  Jerald Hawkins
West St. Mary HS– Hawkins is a very athletic, but very raw prospect.  At 6’6″ 290 pounds and outstanding feet, Hawkins has nearly the perfect skill set for an offensive tackle.  However, Hawkins has played very little offensive line in his career.  As a senior, he played both offensive line and defensive end.  He’s the type of prospect that seems like a certain redshirt.  But after year or two in a college program, he could emerge as a big-time player.  He has a ton of potential and a very high ceiling, and that’s why I rank him as the state’s top offensive line prospect.   When the Class of 2012 has exhausted their college eligibility, Hawkins could very well be one of the top two or three players from the state.

Rivals:  #42 OT  3 stars
Scout:  #38 OT  3 stars
ESPN:  #73 DE  3 stars
 #19 OT  #158 overall  4 stars
SNS State Rank:  #11
Reminds Me Of:   Jarvis Jones – LSU Class of 2007

10.  Vadal Alexander
 – Buford, GA –  Alexander looks to have the prototypical size and skills to be an elite guard at the next level.   With his 6’5″ 320 size, he is, not surprisingly, a mauler in the run game.  But what does surprise you is his quickness.  This benefits him when pass protecting and when pulling or getting to the second level in the run game.  His quickness causes many to believe he could play tackle in college, and I would not be shocked if he had success as a right tackle.   However, he is probably best on the interior even though he could find a role as an inside-outside guy similar to Nate Livings.  Alexander also shows a pretty aggressive playing style and the desire to play to the whistle.  I see Alexander as a multi-year starter for LSU.   

Rivals:  #11 OG  #232 overall  4 stars
Scout:  #11 OG  #216 overall  4 stars
ESPN:  #5 OG  #75 overall  4 stars
#8 OG  #165 overall  4 stars
Reminds Me Of:   Cordy Glenn – Georgia Class of 2008

11.  Danielle Hunter
Katy, TX–  Hunter is 6’4″ 225 pounds and has a ton of speed and athleticism.  He fits the mold of what LSU looks for in their defensive ends and Hunter should remind many of Sam Montgomery and KeKe Mingo.  Nearly every evaluation you can find on Hunter talks about his ability, but also about how raw he is.  He does not possess much in terms of technique or pass rush moves but makes plays based off talent and effort.  So he will obviously need some coaching up.  With the defensive end position being so deep for LSU in 2012, he seems like a certain redshirt.  That should provide him some time to receive that coaching.  He will also benefit from a year of bulking up, and I expect him to eventually play at around 240 to 250 pounds.  

Rivals:  #21 Weakside DE  4 stars
Scout:  #14 DE  #109 overall  4 stars
ESPN:  #34 DE  4 stars
  #15 Weakside DE  4 stars
Reminds Me Of:  Corey Lemonier – Auburn Class of 2010

12.  Kwon Alexander – Oxford, AL – Alexander is the prototypical outside linebacker for the college game.  He has a solid 6’2″ 210 pound frame that he is sure to grow into.  He has outstanding top end speed and a unique burst and accleration to the football.  Then once he gets to the ball carrier, he tackles well.   He shows good ability to lay the big hit and potentially cause turnovers.  He also has a knack for diagnosing a play and being a step ahead of the offense, consistently sniffing out plays and blowing them out.  He is sound in the run game.  He looks good in coverage.  And he is phenomenal as a blitzer, showing off his burst and speed to get to the quarterback.  In short, Alexander is the total package as an outside linebacker prospect.  One major area of concern is that Alexander suffered a very serious knee injury in September of his senior year.  It will likely take him close to a year to fully recover and be back at 100%.  Will he be the same player when he gets on the field again?  That injury could prevent him from playing as a true freshman; although, playing time on special teams is not out of the question.  

Rivals:  #20 OLB  4 stars
Scout:  #3 OLB  #52 overall  4 stars
ESPN:  #3 OLB  #29 overall  4 stars
 #9 OLB  #104 overall  4 stars
Reminds Me Of:  Jelani Jenkins – Florida Class of 2008

13.  Lamar Louis – Breaux Bridge HS – Louis goes about 6’0″ 220 pounds and can play either outside linebacker or running back, though he’ll be a linebacker for LSU.  He has good speed, running a 4.54 at a combine last February.  He looks like a guy that could fit into any linebacker position, and that versatility makes him attractive to college coaches.   He will most likely settle into the Will spot that Ryan Baker has played the last two seasons.  He uses his speed to get through gaps and into the backfield.  And he delivers a pretty good punch when he makes a hit.  Louis had early offers from Florida and Texas A&M, among others.   Louis did not play high school ball as a junior due to eligibility issues, so his highlights are from his sophomore year.  Lamar also won the MVP for the running back position at a Nike camp in Houston, TX.   Several other impressive camp performances and a solid senior season have increased his stock. 

Rivals: #18 ATH  #231 overall  4 stars
Scout: #36 OLB  3 stars
ESPN: #20 ATH  4 stars
#14 OLB  #162 overall  4 stars
SNS State Rank: #4
Reminds Me Of:  Shaun Lewis – Oklahoma State Class of 2010

14.  Ronnie Feist – West St. John HS– Feist is another outstanding linebacker from the state of Louisiana.   He rushes the passer from the end quite a bit in high school, and he shows off top notch speed and burst.  He also shows up with an attitude when he gets to the ball.  However, Feist does not spend as much time playing a traditional linebacker role, so he will have a learning curve.  But it’s tough to deny that Feist has the speed, athleticism, and physicality needed to be a starter in the SEC.   Already at 6’1″ 230 pounds, Feist may eventually be a candidate to play in the middle for LSU. 

Rivals: #34 OLB  3 stars
Scout: #25 OLB  #241 overall  4 stars
ESPN: #11 OLB  #125 overall  4 stars
#41 OLB  4 stars
SNS State Rank: #5
Reminds Me Of:  D.T. Shackelford – Ole Miss Class of 2009

15.  Lorenzo Phillips – Patterson HS – Phillips is ultra productive at the high school level, and he has adequate size and good speed to match.  Right now, he’s about 6’1″ 205 pounds but has plus athleticism and football speed.  Most of his highlights are of him speed rushing off the edge and making plays in the backfield. By rushing the passer so much, Phillips logged 23 tackles for loss as a junior.   However, Phillips also shows off some pretty good linebacker instincts.  He has a knack of finding the ball carrier, squaring up, and making a sound tackle.  Phillips spends very little time reacting to the play.  He decides where he wants to go and he gets there in a hurry.  Phillips would be deadly on the blitz, which is what he spends most of his time doing at the high school level.   He will occupy one of the outside linebacker positions at LSU.  

Rivals: #29 OLB  4 stars
Scout: #24 OLB  #228 overall  4 stars
ESPN: #12 OLB  #135 overall  4 stars
#30 OLB  #236 overall  4 stars
SNS State Rank: #12
Reminds Me Of:  Ryan Shazier – Ohio State Class of 2011

16.  Trey Granier – Thibodaux HS– He’s got the size at 6’1″ 225 pounds, and he has the stats to match.  The question is whether Granier has sufficient speed and athleticism to play at the SEC level.  Granier does a good job of moving to the football, especially between the tackles.  However, he looks a step slow especially when in pursuit to the outside.  He also has a tendency to get caught up in traffic, and he needs to improve on shedding blocks.  Some recent film surfaced where he looked a whole lot better and showed off a very nice burst to the football.   Granier may be best suited to play in the middle in college, and he could be one of those guys that you don’t notice during a game but who racks up high numbers of tackles.  

Rivals: #38 OLB  3 stars
Scout: #22 ILB  3 stars
ESPN: #46 ILB  3 stars
#54 OLB  3 stars
SNS State Rank: #12
Reminds Me Of:  D.J. Welter

17.  Deion Jones – Jesuit HS –    Once I finally saw some film of Jones from his senior season, I was very impressed.   Jones has outstanding speed, he tackles well, makes good reads, fights through blocks, and he hits hard.   The only negative is his size, currently at 6’2″ 205 pounds.   Some question whether his frame can hold another 20 pounds or so.   But even if Jones can get to 215, then he should have a place on LSU’s defense.  Tahj Jones has demonstrated that someone at that size can make it happen.   Jones plays middle linebacker for Jesuit, where he racked up a ton of tackles.  I love the idea of having someone with his speed in the middle, but he could very well end up on the outside at LSU due to his size.  

Rivals: #31 OLB  3 stars
Scout: #84 OLB  3 stars
ESPN: #24 ILB  3 stars
#27 OLB  #227 overall  4 stars
SNS State Rank: #10
Reminds Me Of:  Sean Spence – Miami Class of 2008

18.  Dwayne Thomas – O.P. Walker HS – Thomas is not a burner but his speed should be adequate for the next level.  He has nice size at 6’0″ 175 pounds.  He has quick feet, good ball skills, and he’s much more physical than most cornerbacks at this stage of their career.  Thomas also demonstrates pretty good closing speed and change of direction, and that will help mask any deficiencies in his top end speed.  As a senior, Thomas picked off three passes and broke up another 14.  He is a solid corner prospect and one that should certainly contribute during his LSU career.  He does not strike me as a guy that will contribute early, but can certainly make a positive impact on the program as an upperclassman.  

Rivals: #14 CB  #168 overall  4 stars
Scout: #23 CB  #284 overall  4 stars
ESPN: #26 CB  3 stars
#15 CB  #240 overall  4 stars
SNS State Rank: #9
Reminds Me Of:   Ronnie Prude

19.  Derrick Raymond – East Jefferson HS– Raymond has good size for a corner at 6’1″ though needs to add some bulk.  He also has blazing speed, running a 10.5 in the 100 and a 21.5 in the 200.  Until this year, Raymond had not played high school football since he was a freshman due to transfer rules.  But he proved himself on the field as a senior and those who have watched him live have raved about his potential.  Furthermore, LSU defensive backs coach Ron Cooper offered Raymond after watching him practice a couple of times and chose not to wait until LSU’s summer camp.   Cooper has a great track record for evaluating defensive backs, and that stood out to me.  Raymond needs to add some bulk and he has a long way to go in terms of his technique.   Not only does Raymond have excellent top end speed, but he flashes great short area quickness and tremendous recovery speed.  He can also change directions quickly and without losing much speed.  When you add in his size and length, Raymond has nearly everything you could want from a corner, physically with the exception of some added bulk.  He lacks reps in game situations since he missed two years of high school ball.  But with Ron Cooper coaching him, you have to love Raymond’s potential to contribute at a very high level for LSU.   

Rivals:  3 stars
Scout: #13 CB  #177 overall  4 stars
ESPN: #54 S  3 stars
#18 CB  4 stars
SNS State Rank: #8
Reminds Me Of:  David Jenkins – LSU Class of 2011  

20.  Jalen Mills – DeSoto, TX– Mills has decent size at 5’11” 180 pounds and at this stage of his career, he’s probably technically better than either Thomas or Raymond.  Mills does not have the speed of a guy like Raymond, but he clocked a 4.50 at LSU’s camp and a 4.26 shuttle to go along with a  35.5 vertical leap.  Those numbers are fairly good.  After competing at LSU’s summer camp, Mills earned an offer on the spot.  So Les Miles and Ron Cooper obviously liked what they saw.  Mills did not have any other big-time offers, but he also shut down the recruiting process early in the summer after committing to LSU.  With his skill set, Mills could be better suited making the move to safety at LSU, much like Brandon Taylor and Derrick Bryant.   

Rivals: #48 CB  3 stars
Scout: #34 CB  3 stars
ESPN: #126 CB  3 stars
#34 CB  3 stars
Reminds Me Of:  Marcus Gilchrist – Clemson Class of 2007    

21.  Jerqwinick Sandolph – Hahnville HS – Sandolph projects as a true free safety  He has good size at a rangy 6’1″ 180 pounds and shows plenty enough physicality for safety.   He’s also got plenty of speed.  Although he plays some corner in high school, he looks best while facing the line of scrimmage.  He plays fast moving towards the ball and tends to arrive there with a nasty attitude and that should prove to be an asset in run support.  Although he plays at a big-time high school program, he has not received much recruiting hype though it’s hard to figure out why that is the case.   Sandolph has really grown on me as a prospect, and I like him a lot more than most.   Sandolph will excel more at playing deep and facing the line of scrimmage rather trying to cover slot receivers, but most safeties struggle there.  Nothing really jumps out about him.  Pretty good size.  Pretty good speed.  Pretty good skills.  But when you put it all together, I think he could contribute quite a bit during his LSU career.  

Rivals:  3 stars
Scout:  #59 S  3 stars
 #45 CB  3 stars
#37 CB  3 stars
SNS State Rank: #15


22.  Corey Thompson – Missouri City, TX – Thompson is a fantastic looking safety prospect who has good size at 6’1″ 190 and also great combine numbers with a 4.2 shuttle and 36″ vertical leap.  What stands out on his film is that he can really lay the wood.  He is a big hitter and definitely not afraid to mix things up in run support.  He takes good angles and comes flying up from his safety position to make tackles.  While I think he’s better suited in a strong safety role, he shows pretty good range and ball skills too.   In that sense, he reminds me of Eric Reid who played free safety this year even though he’s fantastic close to the line of scrimmage.  He looks to have the skills to cover backs and tight ends nicely but probably won’t excel if forced to cover receivers in the short middle of the field.   Thompson has the skills and attitude to earn some early playing time on special teams and should be a candidate to start at LSU after the Eric Reid / Craig Loston era is complete.  

Rivals: #18 S  3 stars
#15 OLB  #168 overall  4 stars
#23 S  3 stars
#9 S  #137 overall  4 stars
Reminds Me Of:   Eric Reid

Deep Snapper
23.  Reid Ferguson – Buford, GA– Ferguson is rated as the nation’s #1 deep snapper by most who rate such things.  That skill is something that’s tough to evaluate.  Obviously, a highlight film will show clean, accurate snaps, but it’s tough to gauge consistency.  Ferguson does have nice size for a deep snapper at 6’2″ 235 pounds.  That’s big enough for him to hold his own in protection but small enough to where he is not a liability in covering punts.  He was rated the #1 long snapper at the Chris Sailer kicking camp.  Here is a bio they have of Ferguson to read more, written by those who specialize in the kicking game.  

Rivals: 3 stars
Scout: #2 Long Snapper  2 stars
#1 Long Snapper  3 stars
#1 Long Snapper  2 stars

Offensive Lineman
24.  Fehoko Fanaika

25.  Jamie Keehn