Three-Point Stance: LSU's skill class, 2023 edge talent, 2024 risers
Rivals national recruiting analyst Nick Harris takes a look at LSU's 2023 offensive class, the emergence of edge prospects in the 2023 class in the Mid-South and potential preseason risers in the class of 2024.
1. LSU will find its way under Brian Kelly with its strong 2023 core.
If we're discussing programs that had huge summers on the recruiting trail, it'll be hard to argue against the case for LSU having the best. Across two recruiting classes, the Tigers reeled in 18 commitments, including some of the most electric players within its state lines.
As a program, LSU hit a small road bump in Ed Orgeron's final years in Baton Rouge, and a lot of college football fans did not see Brian Kelly as a great fit moving forward. However, if you look at the buy-in in Baton Rouge, paired with the recruiting success that Kelly has had in his short tenure, it's hard to envision things not working out.
In my eyes, what has made LSU football great over the years has been electric and entertaining offensive talents. (This isn't a shot to the defensive talent that has gone through the program in recent years. Chill.) Whether it be Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase or Leonard Fournette, LSU has always found a way to put polarizing offensive talents on the field in positions to succeed.
All of that brings us to now, though. Coming off a lackluster season in which there wasn't much to parade around, especially on the offensive side of the ball, Kelly has identified this problem and offered up an exciting solution in the 2023 class.
Rickie Collins' commitment this week rounds out an offensive skill talent class that features some of the most electric players in not only the state of Louisiana but throughout the entire country. Along with Collins, running backs Trey Holly and Kaleb Jackson, wide receivers Shelton Sampson and Jalen Brown and tight end Mac Markway are all Rivals250 prospects that could have immediate impacts in Baton Rouge.
If Kelly is the man for the job, after all, he will find his early success a product of what was built this summer on the recruiting trail. For what it's worth, my bet is that he will.
2. Edge prospects are dominating the Mid-South landscape when it comes to potential.
In looking at position groups in the Mid-South that have some of the safer bets and some of the higher floor/ceiling prospects in the class, the edge group is absolutely loaded.
In Rivals rankings discussions this week Braylan Shelby was a name that came up as one of the freakier looking and high-potential players across the country. The USC commit combines an NFL bloodline, a Power Five-ready frame and freakish athleticism to wreak havoc for opposing offenses. It's only safe to assume that he will make an impact in Los Angeles very early in his career.
In looking deeper into the Rivals250, Texas Tech commit Isaiah Crawford and Princewill Umanmielen are prospects that combine technique and power to put themselves in positions to succeed early at the next level. The same could be said for prospects such as Samuel Omosigho, Corey Kelly and Ashley Williams.
With the emergence of the edge role becoming increasingly important at the college level, athletic high-upside talents are what makes personnel departments champ at the bit. But in 2023, there are so many safe bets that that excitement can only extend out to the rest of the coaching staffs and fan bases throughout the country.
3. Three 2024 prospects who could be risers in the next rankings update.
The half-brother of Adrian Peterson, Conroe (Texas) Oak Ridge running back Frankie Arthur is starting to carve out a name for himself on the recruiting trail with big offers from Oregon, Louisville, Texas Tech and more.
Arthur uses strength and speed to fly through opposing tacklers, as he is one of the more violent ball-carriers in the class. His 10.71 speed makes him one of the faster prospects in the country at 200 pounds or heavier. Look for a big junior season out of the North Houston product.
An absolute statistical machine for Rosebud-Lott (Texas) a season ago, athlete Jamarquis Johnson has added just two early offers from Texas Tech and UTSA, but expect more to fly in once he starts his junior season.
At 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, Johnson rushed for 543 yards and six touchdowns while hauling in 39 receptions for 786 yards and five more touchdowns in 2021. He also added 27 tackles on the defensive side.
This spring, Johnson put down a sub-11 100-meter time (10.92) while also jumping an impressive 23-feet-2-inches in the triple jump, which was good enough for second place in the state in the 2A ranks.
Few quarterback prospects in the country helped their case this summer more than Midland (Texas) Legacy signal-caller Marcos Davila. In the month of June, Davila camped and earned Power Five offers from Indiana, TCU, West Virginia, Baylor, Pitt, Rutgers and Texas Tech as he has really started to put it together as a prospect going into his junior year.
In looking at his performances at those camps it's easy to see why coaches are intrigued. Davila possesses a phenomenal physical profile, a lively arm and is deadly accurate in the short-to-medium game.
If Davila can take his vast offseason improvements to the field in 2022, we could be looking at a potential national quarterback prospect coming out of West Texas in the 2024 class.