Peeking ahead to the 2011 recruiting cycle, the state of Louisiana is loaded. That's always good news for LSU, which has been dominant in keeping the top talent within its borders for the better part of this decade.
In fact, the good news has already started to roll in because the five ESPNU 150 Watch List prospects from the Pelican State that the Tigers have landed are some of the best in the entire country.
Both of the top in-state running backs for 2011, Jeremy Hill (Baton Rouge, La./Redemptorist) and Kenny Hilliard (Patterson, La./Patterson) are committed. Offensive tackle La'El Collins (Baton Rouge, La./Redemptorist), who could be one of the best in the country, defensive lineman Anthony Johnson (New Orleans, La./O. Perry Walker) and offensive lineman Corey White (Baton Rouge, La./Capitol) round out the Tigers' five early pledges.
Hill was one of the first players to commit from this class and, at the time, he vowed to help the Tigers' coaching staff recruit other elite prospects, including Hilliard.
"I feel like we are going to have the No. 1 class in the country," Hill said. "It's just cool seeing it all come together right now. Every guy that has committed so far could come in and make an impact at LSU as a true freshman. It's just amazing."
There are plenty of additional prospects in Louisiana that LSU figures to be in the mix for, including ESPNU 150 Watch List receivers Jarvis Landry (Lutcher, La./Lutcher) and Alonzo Lewis (Saint James, La./Saint James), as well as defensive lineman Jermauria Rasco (Shreveport, La./Evangel Christian).
Oklahoma assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator/secondary coach Bobby Jack Wright is in the midst of a banner year on the recruiting trail. Recently, he landed five-star prospect Tony Jefferson (Chula Vista, Calif./Eastlake), the nation's top-rated prospect at the athlete position. Jefferson joins four-star safety Quentin Hayes (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster), four-star athlete James Haynes (Orange, Texas/West Orange Stark), four-star offensive tackle Tyrus Thompson (Pflugerville, Texas/Pflugerville), three-star safety Aaron Colvin (Owasso, Okla./Owasso), three-star safety Eddrick Loften (Irving, Texas/Nimitz) and three-star athlete Julian Wilson (Southmoore, Okla./Southmoore) in one of the most impressive hauls for a single recruiter in the country.
With the addition of Jefferson, that gives Oklahoma three of California's top prospects. He joins running back Brennan Clay (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch) and wide receiver Kenny Stills (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon) from the Golden State in this class.
The Hot Sell: LSU
No team is really all that hot right now because we are in a dead period, but with its recent run of 2011 commits and putting the finishing touches on the 2010 class, the Tigers are the hot sell for this week.
A runner-up this week is Central Florida, which landed a trio of commits from prospects at Miami Central -- including four-star receiver Joshua Reese, quarterback Jeffrey Godfrey and defensive back Jammal McClain.
Bowl games do matter
Bowl games definitely give schools a chance to showcase themselves to recruits by playing a nationally-televised game during the holidays -- a time when most recruits are at home.
Class of 2011 ESPNU 150 Watch List running back Harvey Langi (South Jordan, Utah/Bingham) had the chance to watch BYU's 44-20 win against Oregon State in Tuesday night's Maaco Las Vegas Bowl on ESPN.
The Cougars are a strong player for the 6-foot-1, 210-pounder and made an impression with their win.
"This game shows that any team can do anything," Langi said. "It doesn't matter who you are, what state you are from or what type of scheme you run, you can accomplish anything if your team is willing to commit."
Noles making a move for Lemonier
Sources indicate that Florida State, which has been one of the hottest teams on the recruiting trail in the country this month, could be making a strong push for Under Armour All-American defensive end Corey Lemonier (Hialeah, Fla./Hialeah) and may very well be the leader at this point.
There has been a big buzz among recruits about Oregon for some time and this year's Rose Bowl berth is going to pay dividends in recruiting for Chip Kelly and his staff. Look for the Ducks to emerge as major players for several prospects from around the country in the coming weeks.
One college coach said last week that players already were enamored with the Oregon uniforms and facilities and that the run to a major BCS bowl this year, combined with a continued commitment on the part of the staff to recruit nationally, could result in a major recruiting windfall.
Beasts of the East have offered Chestnut
Penn State, Rutgers, Temple, West Virginia, Connecticut, Pittsburgh and Villanova (nearly every major program in the Northeast) have offered athlete Terrell Chestnut (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove). The 5-10, 170-pounder is a Class of 2011 ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect.
Texas should still be considered the favorite for Under Armour All-American linebacker Jordan Hicks (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West). He narrowed his list of schools to Ohio State, Florida and the Longhorns this past week. ... ESPNU 150 defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (Philadelphia, Pa./George Washington) had a good official visit to North Carolina this past weekend. The Tar Heels, along with Ohio State (the reported favorite), Florida and South Carolina are still in the mix. He will make his decision on Jan. 9. ... Keep an eye on Class of 2012 athlete Nate Smith (Philadelphia, Pa./George Washington). Several people who follow recruiting in that area think he's potentially special. ... Florida State is still the hands-down favorite to land ESPNU 150 prospect and recent Under Armour All-American Kenny Shaw (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) on Jan. 2 at the Under Armour All-American game. ... Michigan and Tennessee were both strong players for Under Armour All-American offensive tackle Torrian Wilson (Miami, Fla./Northwestern) before he committed to Stanford. It would not be surprising to see him end up in Knoxville or Ann Arbor when all is said and done. ... Class of 2011 offensive tackle Bobby Hart has transferred from Cardinal Gibbons in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Saint Thomas Aquinas in the same town. The 6-3, 260-pounder recently picked up an offer from Florida State and has additional offers from Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and Maryland.
JC Shurburtt covers recruiting for ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.