Grading Louisiana's 2012 Class

With the 2012 Signing Class officially in the books, BJ Thompson breaks down this years haul with his position-by-position grades. Go "inside" the Cajun Redzone for the rest of the story.

Coach Hudspeth and his staff set out to sign Louisiana athletes first in the 2012 Class. With that goal in mind, they succeeded in signing 13 athletes from within state. With the remainder of the class coming from out-of-state athletes and a handful of transfers, the Cajun's class finished in the upper-echelon of Sun Belt.

Here is a position-by-position evaluation of Coach Hudspeth's second class at UL.

Position: Quarterback

Grade: A

Signed: D'Shaie Landor (6-0, 170), Brooks Haack (6-1, 190)

Analysis: With only two quarterbacks on scholarship Blaine Gautier and Terrance Broadway, the staff needed to add some depth at the position and they stuck gold with two quality signees in this class. Local product D'Shaie Landor ran one of the state's prolific offenses at Teurlings High the past three seasons. He has good foot speed with a 4.56 forty and fits the spread offense like a glove. Brooks Haack played in multiple offensive sets at nationally ranked Katy High in Texas and his capable of playing under center or out of the spread.

The quarterback position is set for some time at UL, but look for the staff to add one more in the 2013 class if signee Jaylen Nixon slides over to another position.

Position: Running back

Grade: N/A

Analysis: This position grade is incomplete for now with the return of Sun Belt Freshman of the Year Alonzo Harris and Marcus Jackson from the defensive side of the ball. With redshirt freshman Effrem Reed waiting in the wings and possibly athlete Jaylen Nixon added to this stable of backs, the Cajuns could bet set for several years. But if the injury bug hits the running back position, the staff may be faced with the option of working walk-ons into the rotation. Look for the staff to sign one or two backs in the 2013 class.

Position: Wide receiver

Grade: C

Signed: La Marcus Allen (6-1, 185), C.J. Bates (6-1, 195), T.J. Worthy (6-2, 200)

Analysis: This group would have a higher grade if C.J. Bates would not be headed to junior college. Allen is a sleeper in this class; he had a very good senior year and just was lights out at the NUC Combine and UL summer camp. Worthy was a three-star athlete coming out his senior year and adds another quality athlete to a deep position on the Cajun's roster. With the return of James Butler and addition of transfer Devon Figaro, this group is still solid.

Position: Offensive line and tight ends

Grade: B+

Signed: Terry Johnson (6-2, 295) JC, Jeremy Sparks (6-5, 270), Zach Tarver (6-4, 260), Dominick Bilich (6-3, 290), Joseph Brunson (6-4, 290), Jared Johnson (6-6, 205)

Analysis: the staff need a solid group of offensive linemen in this class after losing two in last years group, Fred Moore and Jaylen Hunter. They came away with a very solid group with Sparks being the most highly rated of the bunch. Jared Johnson is listed as a tight end in this class, but nothing about his current build tells me he will be anything other then a big receiver that plays tight end at times like Ladarius Green.

I would have rated this group higher had UL been able to land JC transfer Rashad Fortenberry; he would have been an instant starter on the edge for the Cajuns. With the addition of last years group of Octravion Anderson, Mykhael Quave and Greg Siener, the staff has a solid group of athletes to develop in the offensive line for several years.

Position: Defensive line

Grade: B+

Signed: Jalen Fields (6-5, 280) JC, Remaine Douglas (6-3, 280), Karmichael Dunbar (6-2, 310), Darrien Batiste (6-2, 250), Blain Winston (6-4, 230)

Analysis: Who has time to complain about the few from in-state that the staff didn't land when they landed a talent like Jalen Fields? The staff has put together depth in the defensive line with Douglas, Winston, Dunbar, Douglas, Ringo, Hamilton, Prater and Foster for the future. They have Jalen Fields to impact this years class immediately to play along side the upper classmen in the program. The program is in good shape here for the near future and the foundation as been laid.

Position: Linebacker

Grade: A

Signed: Rodney Smith (6-4, 210), Delvin Jones (6-5, 240) JC, Tremaine Lightfoot (6-1, 210), Kevin Fourquier (6-4, 222), Ryan Mosby (6-1, 220) JC, Tyren Alexander (6-1, 190)

Analysis: This is a position that needed immediate help and should get some from Delvin Jones and Ryan Mosby. Jones gives Coach Stewart an athlete that can rush the quarterback and play out in space while Mosby gives the defense another fast athlete that loves to hit. The high school athletes in this group lend the future defense size and speed. This group adds to last years core of young backers in Jake Molbert, Dominique Tovell, Trae Johnson and Qyen Griffin; This is a solid group of young athletes with speed.

Position: Defensive backs

Grade: B+

Signed : Will Burrowes (6-1, 200) JC, Christen Hill (5-11, 200), Dominick Jones (5-11, 187) Tig Barksdale (6-0, 210)

Analysis: This group will get an immediate boost from transfers Will Burrowes and Rig Barksdale this spring. Both athletes will be in position to compete for the safety positions, but don't be surprised if Chris Hill competes for playing time this fall. Grey-shirt Jevonte Watson is not listed as a signee nor is safety Chris Morgan. Watson will compete for a roster spot this spring, while Morgan will compete this fall. Both could be big surprises this year.

This years class, grey-shirts will add to the last season's young core of Eric Buckley, Sean Thomas and Dexter Aucoin.

Overall grade: B+

Analysis: The Cajuns addressed immediate needs at linebacker, defensive back, defensive line and were able enroll five signees for the spring semester.

Jaylen Fields, Delvin Jones and Tig Barksdale were all four-star athletes coming out of high school that signed with SEC programs. Burrowes, Mosby and Worthy were all three-star athletes coming out of high school; Worthy and Mosby both signed with SEC programs as well.

While losing a few big time athletes that you targeted like Lloyd Grogan and Trevon Stewart hurts, the staff has went out and recruited five former SEC signees. They also added a fine group of high school athletes to develop at linebacker, defensive line and the offensive line. The foundation for the programs future has been laid with those three groups, along with some very good skilled athletes at receiver, quarterback and defensive back.

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