football Edit

Class of 2016 storylines: Mid-South

The region's top prospect, Gregory Little, has already made his commitment, but many are keeping their options open at this point.
Brandon Jones, Eric Monroe and Deontay Anderson all remain uncommitted and highly coveted by programs inside and outside the region. Defensive tackles Ed Oliver and
Edwin Alexander both have LSU high on their lists, but continue to
check out their options. Shea Patterson is the top uncommitted prospect and holds offers from across the country.
Early decisions have been made in the past and it is only February, so it is still very early. However, many are taking their time and letting the recruiting process take its course before zeroing in on a decision.
Depth in the trenches
The offensive and defensive line talent is not only strong at the top, but there is depth, and college coaches are already hot on the trail.
Little is the best offensive tackle prospect from the region since Cameron Robinson in 2014. Patrick Hudson, Willie Allen,
Jean Delance and
J.P. Urquidez also come with strong resumes and equally strong offer lists.
The defensive line group also packs a strong punch. Louisiana standout Edwin Alexander is the region's top defensive lineman. He is one of the more
disruptive forces in the entire class and he holds offers from Florida, LSU,
Oklahoma and several others. Kendell Jones may be the most impressive prospect off the hoof and is nicknamed The Hulk. Then there is Oliver with his constant motor and explosive power in the middle of the defense. College coaches
are well aware of them all.
The roll call of standouts does not stop there for the defense. Euless Trinity
standout Chris Daniels has picked up several offers and Baylor commitment Jordan Elliott also continues to attract attention. Destrehan's Glen Logan is another Louisiana standout grabbing offers from across the country.
Offense also boasts plenty of strength. LSU commit Donavaughn Campbell is mean on the interior, Kellen Diesch and Chris Owens are a few who have the eye of college coaches. 
Top in all the land
Leonard Fournette
It has been a long time since someone from the region has claimed the top spot in the Rivals.com rankings, but Patterson and Little are making a strong run at the No. 1 position.
Several have tried. Myles Garrett and Leonard Fournette made a strong run for
the top spot in 2014, but came up just a little short. Johnathan Gray came close in 2012. Rueben Randle ended up at No. 2 in 2009 and Joe McKnight did the same
in 2007. However, no one from the the talent-rich region of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma has claimed the No. 1 spot since Adrian Peterson received the nod in 2004. Only one other prospect from the region has received the honor and that was Vince Young in 2002.
Patterson and Little have both made strong impressions with their play over the last couple of years on the field and at camps. The potential is high for both prospects. Will either be able to claim the No. 1 spot? It is definitely a possibility.
Outside influence
Several top programs have made a strong push from outside the region over the last few years, and it does not seem to be going away.
On Signing Day, UCLA claimed the top available prospects in Texas and Oklahoma when
five-star running back Soso Jamabo and four-star offensive lineman Josh Wariboko
chose the Bruins on national television. K.J. Hill, the No. 2 prospect in Arkansas, chose Ohio State. Daylon Charlot opted for Alabama along with Texas
defensive backs Deionte Thompson and Kendall Sheffield. USC grabbed
Ronald Jones II and Notre Dame landed four-star defensive lineman Jerry Tillery.
Alabama, Ohio State and UCLA have already started peppering the region with
offers. Ole Miss and Mississippi State are also making their presence felt, as have USC, Auburn, Notre Dame, Michigan and Florida State.
There are always going to be top programs jumping into the region for talent, but the in-state programs have seen their grip loosened over the years. The tide could be turning, but programs outside the region do not appear to be going anywhere at this time.
Jason Howell
Mid-South Recruiting Analyst
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