Rivals250 CB Laterrance Welch honors Mom with LSU commitment
In back-to-back postseasons, Laterrance Welch has proven to be tops at his position in The Boot.
After landing an offer from the Tigers right after the new year, the Rivals250 cornerback has elected to try and continue to build his legacy in Louisiana.
LSU reeled in a commitment from Welch, the state's No. 8 overall prospect and the No. 12-ranked corner in the country. The decision comes 13 days after Welch was offered by the Tigers. He chose the date -- January 24, his his mother's birthday -- to honor the person who has stood by him through both the ups and the downs of the recruiting process thus far.
Welch has helped guide Lafayette-area powerhouse Acadiana (La.) High School to consecutive Class 5A state championships, and in the most recent victory, sealed the game with an interception on a 2-point attempt with one minute remaining.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
"My recruitment was fun, building up relationships with all of the coaches and meeting the coaches and them giving me these opportunities. For LSU, I'm glad I got that offer. Only playing in two games ... it was a blessing. Now, I have the opportunity to be coached by the best coaching staff in the nation and the best cornerbacks coach in the nation. Coach O is a great guy and we're building a relationship. Coach (Corey) Raymond, I love him and I can't wait to be coached by him."
"I’m glad I got the offer when I got it … I was gonna drop a top 10 (on Jan. 24) but instead, I’m committing (on my mom’s birthday). It was big for me and it was big for her because she has been here my whole life and through the whole process. She’s been there through my injury and since Day 1.”
"They said (my performance in the state championship) was big-time. They love coaching corners with my size and length and I want to go up there and compete for a starting spot as a true freshman. Only time will tell."
"My relationship there mean a lot. Throughout this whole time, Coach O has been talking a lot to my mom and they've been building a good relationship. Coach Raymond tells me how it is and we've build a great relationship. I look at it as if he's coaches some of the best cornerbacks and safeties in the game. It's a blessing to go to a college and to be coached by him one day."
"I look at it like … why would I turn up in another state when I can turn up in mine? I live 35 minutes away from LSU and my whole family can come (there). How I looked at is … I’m just ready. It was the right time, on my mom’s birthday and it all came together.”
Welch was a second-team All District 3-5A cornerback selection for Class 5A Louisiana state champion Acadiana as a sophomore in 2019. Welch's abilities began to show over the course of the season, particularly with strong performances against 2021 LSU signee Chris Hilton and against 2021 TCU signee Quincy Brown in the state title game.
As a sophomore, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound cornerback was responsible for 25 tackles and 11 pass breakups. Welch added two picks and two fumble recoveries that season.
Welch underwent offseason surgery to repair his meniscus in July. That cost Welch the majority of his 2020 season -- up until December when doctors cleared him to return to the field. Welch was consistently rehabbing throughout the fall and contributed to Acadiana's semifinal defeat of Destrehan.
Playing the entirety of the Louisiana Class 5A state championship, Welch didn't miss a beat. He's long and naturally drops back into coverage. Although there are no known track times for the four-star cornerback, Welch consistently sticks with his receivers downfield and can turn and run seamlessly in coverage.
Welch has a filled-out frame and his length is glaring. He's a capable and willing tackler and will shed a blocker to contribute to slowing down the run. He's also a reliable last line of defense from the secondary.
However, Welch's game is geared toward being a playmaker on the back end of the defense and he has surfaced as a true lockdown corner with his performances the past two postseasons. He's capable of pressing receivers, playing off-ball coverage, defending the short field and the vertical passing game.
Welch is well-disciplined with improved anticipation. His instincts are beginning to show more and more and he's showing through various settings the multiplicity to cover in an array of different schemes and styles.
It's also worth noting that Welch shows a keen awareness of game situations and how to defend accordingly. His knack for that was made rather clear as he plucked a loft into the end zone in the final play of the Class 5A state championship to seal Acadiana's victory thanks to his length, leaping ability and awareness.