Better than ever on the Bayou

The state of Louisiana has been known to produce some good prospects, but even by its lofty standards, this is a great year for talent in the Bayou. Louisiana has matched its highest total for ESPNU 150 prospects as seven players from the state fall in the 2011 rankings, and what makes it so special is the outstanding group of potential impact prospects. Louisiana is home to two five-star prospects and three prospects who rank among the top three at their position. Big men lead the way as the two highest-rated prospects in the state reside in the trenches. Five-star defensive tackle Anthony Johnson (New Orleans/O. Perry Walker) is the nation's No. 2 prospect and five-star offensive tackle La'El Collins (Baton Rouge, La./Redemptorist) is the nation's No. 8 prospect. The state is also home to several other promising line prospects as well as some talented skill players like No. 3-rated wide receiver Bradley Sylve (Port Sulphur, La./South Plaquemines), a fast and versatile playmaker.

Top prospect



Anthony Johnson
Impact defensive tackles are not easy to come by, but Johnson has displayed the ability to be that type of player at the college level. At 6-foot-3, 300 pounds, he possesses good size and has the ability to be a stout presence in the trenches. He also possesses very good first-step quickness and can get penetration and be a disruptive force. The No. 1 rated defensive tackle, Johnson moves well and has a good motor and can be tough against the run and pass. His combination of size and quickness can make him tough to stop as a pass-rusher. He has a nice quick swim move as well as the power to collapse the pocket with a bull rush and with a little more development of his pass rush arsenal, he could be a real handful as an interior pass-rusher. LSU has produced some good defensive tackles and in Johnson the Tigers could potentially have one of their best ever. Only time will tell, but at a position where it can be tough to find difference-makers, Johnson has the tools to be one.

Remember this name



Gregory Robinson (Thibodaux, La./Thibodaux)

The state offers four line prospects in the ESPNU 150, but one big man who sits just a little outside the lofty ranking but deserves some attention is Robinson. The top-10 guard prospect is a physical and aggressive blocker. He has good size (6-5, 300 pounds) and the room to get a little bigger. He also possesses a nice wingspan for his build. He is a bit raw and plays with more aggressiveness than technique at this point, but once he is able to meld some of his tenaciousness with better technique he could be a fine college lineman. As a pass-blocker he can use that reach and can deliver a devastating punch that can not only knock rushers off stride, but can at times knock them on their butt. He is a competitor who will battle, but his blocking style can be described as a bit feast or famine. The four-star prospect needs to develop the little things that go into being a great blocker, but you like the toughness he brings and the tools he has to work with. Currently uncommitted, Robinson has options, but LSU and Auburn look like the main players for this promising line prospect.

Taking up residence

Here are the colleges that are doing the best with prospects from Louisiana.


LSUThe Tigers don't often let good in-state talent get away and this year they are reaping the benefits of a strong crop of talent within the state. Led by Johnson and Collins, LSU's class features four of the state's top five prospects and 12 in-state prospects total. The Tigers have also landed two of the better big backs in the country in Kenny Hilliard (Patterson, La./Patterson) and Jeremy Hill (Baton Rouge, La./Redemptorist). Four-star wide receiver Jarvis Landry (Lutcher, La./Lutcher) was another key in-state get for LSU. The strength of LSU's current top five class is built off the fine top-end talent that they landed in the state this year.


AlabamaWhile LSU has been doing well at keeping much of the top talent in-state, Alabama was able to come in and score a big commitment from the state's third-ranked prospect. Wide receiver Sylve is a sleek and speedy athlete who can help the Crimson Tide as a playmaker on offense and in the return game.


MemphisMemphis has enjoyed some success in the Bayou with three prospects committed from the state of Louisiana. Two of those prospects are solid three-star skill position players. Jermaine Johnson (Houma, La./Ellender Memorial) is a receiver with a nice blend of height and vertical speed and quarterback Stevie Douglas (Clinton, La./Clinton) is a pocket passer who shows nice upside.

Mississippi State

Mississippi StateThe Bulldogs have commitments from a trio of Louisiana prospects led by athlete Devante Scott (Ferriday, La./Ferriday), who could contribute in a variety of ways. Three-star quarterback Dakota Prescott (Haughton, La./Haughton) could be a nice fit for the Bulldogs with development.

Craig Haubert is the recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting and has more than a decade of coaching experience.