Laurence Jones (Neville) - Jones, who goes by the nickname "Hootie," is a cornerback with linebacker size (6-2, 210) who had a sensational sophomore season for the Class 4A state champions. He began to become a household name in Louisiana after an excellent performance in Neville's semifinal win at Breaux Bridge. In that contest, a 16-7 win for head coach Mickey McCarty and the Monroe-based Tigers, Jones blanketed Breaux Bridge star receiver Travin Dural for much of the game. A senior LSU signee, Dural had pretty much had his way with any and all defensive backs through 13 games (before running into Jones). The following week, Jones had another banner outing in the state finals vs. Edna Karr, intercepting a pass, recovering a fumble, recording four tackles, and returning a kick 34 yards. His teammate, four-star junior John Diarse, recently committed to LSU and Tiger fans hope Jones will follow Diarse to Baton Rouge.
Raekwon James (John Curtis Christian) - James was named MVP of the 2011 Class 2A state title game, a 33-3 Curtis rout of Winnfield. The 5-foot-9, 175-pounder ran for 65 yards on six carries with a TD and hauled in a 42-yard pass from QB Abby Touzet for another score. He also returned two punts for a total of 42 yards. James was a starting guard on the Patriots' first-ever state championship hoops squad (Curtis beat Riverside Academy in the finals earlier this year). During the '11 football season, James was third in rushing for Curtis, which completed the year with a perfect 14-0 mark. He ran for 761 yards on 90 carries with 11 TDs while splitting touches with junior backs Sherman Badie and Tevin Horton (and sophomore George Moreira). James gained a season-high 163 yards on seven attempts vs. Newman and also averaged 16.88 yards per punt return over the course of the season. Here's an interesting side note: Both James and Leonard Fournette reportedly reside in the Salmen High School district in Slidell. You can imagine the offense Salmen would have with James and Fournette combined with Spartans RB Christopher Thomas and WR Chuck Baker (LSU commit).
Gerald Willis (Edna Karr) - Willis manned the defensive end spot for the 4A state runner-up Cougars in 2011, and he'll step into the spotlight even more this fall once fellow defensive linemen Darrian Dyson and Leonard Washington take their talents to South Beach (at Florida International). The younger brother of five-star Dutchtown safety Landon Collins (Alabama signee), Willis has offers from the likes of LSU, Alabama, Florida and Nebraska. Edna Karr should challenge Neville for the 4A crown once again in '12, as the Cougars are well-stocked with returning starters such as four-star TE Standish Dobard (Miami commit), three-star CB Noel Ellis, '14 QB Devante Noil and Willis. Although Willis is listed on Fox Sports/Scout.com at 6-foot-3 and 265 pounds, he may have gotten taller: he's been described as "6-foot-5" in at least one recent report.