The Houston Cougars secured commitments from two Louisiana prospects this month: offensive tackle Josh Thomas (Evangel Christian) and wide receiver Donald Gage (Redemptorist). Houston has offers out to a handful of other Louisiana players and there's talk that LB X'Zavier Preston, Thomas' teammate at Evangel, could be next in line for an offer from the Cougars.
Houston has hit the recruiting trail hard in Louisiana under first-year assistant Brandon Middleton, who coached last year at Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport. Middleton was responsible for recruiting recent Cougar commits Josh Thomas and Donald Gage, and he's also extended offers to WR Taijuan Thomas (Ouachita Parish), DB Xavier Woods (West Monroe) and LB Duke Riley (John Curtis Christian). O.P. Walker OLB Lyn Clark, who lists Houston and the UL Ragin' Cajuns as his top two, feels that he is closing in on a Houston offer. Clark says Middleton plans to offer both him and Preston.
Xavier Woods attended LSU's spring game and hopes to land an offer from the Tigers at their summer camp. He's also being courted by TCU, which signed a total of three West Monroe products (Chuck Hunter, Terrell Lathan and James McFarland) in the '11 and '12 classes.
Fox Sports/Scout.com adjusted the Scout 300 and expanded its 2013 rankings today. The previously-mentioned Preston is a three-star prospect who is ranked as the No. 40 MLB in the country, 11 spots ahead of Washington-Marion middle linebacker Melvin Jones (No. 29 nationwide at the position).
Among the Scout 300, Edna Karr CB Noel Ellis added a fourth star. Ellis, who is uncommitted, is teammates with four-star TE Standish Dobard (Miami commit).
Looking at LSU pledges, Karl Malone (Cedar Creek) is a three-star and the No. 33 offensive guard in the country, while Tevin Lawson (Denham Springs) is a three-star and the No. 42 defensive tackle in the nation. Tredavious White (Green Oaks) is a three-star and the No. 52 CB in the country, and Chuck Baker (Salmen) -- also a three-star -- is the No. 77 WR in the country.
Four-star LSU commit Jeryl Brazil (Loranger) continues to recruit four-star Destrehan WR Rickey Jefferson for the Tigers, and Brazil feels good about LSU's chances of landing Jefferson. Brazil is ranked as the No. 18 corner in the nation.
West Saint Mary QB/S Trevell Dixon was Nebraska's first commitment of the '13 recruiting class. Dixon, a three-star and the 67th-ranked safety prospect in the country, wasn't able to make Nebraska's spring game over the weekend due to a conflict with the ACT. He remains committed to the Huskers but will attempt to earn an LSU offer at the Tigers' camp this summer. Dixon was recruited to Nebraska by new LSU defensive backs coach Corey Raymond.
It goes without saying that LSU and Alabama fans savor the fruits of every head-to-head recruiting battle won by either program, and the Tigers came out on top by landing the aforementioned Malone and four-star safety John Diarse (Neville). Alabama actually offered both Malone and Diarse before LSU. According to Fox Sports Alabama expert Andrew Bone, Malone earned a Bama offer at their camp last summer.
Westlake sophomore TE Jacory Washington was among the throng of participants at UL's recent Junior Day. The Cajuns subsequently let the Westlake coaching staff know that they'll be officially offering Washington in the future. Washington favors LSU and UL.
St. Thomas More WR Jake Juneau posted the sixth-highest SPARQ rating among 1,240-plus competitors at the Dallas-Fort Worth NIKE Football Training Camp. Juneau, a junior, is the younger brother of senior RB Jon Juneau, who will walk-on at LSU this fall. Jake attended Junior Day at SMU the same weekend as the Nike camp.
Plaquemine RB/WR Hakeem Deggs ran a 4.41 at the DFW NIKE Football Training Camp. That tied for the fastest 40 time on the tour this year. Fox Sports/Scout.com National Recruiting Analyst Greg Powers named Deggs to the All-Camp team.
Loreauville WR/DB Jermaine Antoine added a Memphis offer, according to his father. Texas A&M has offered Antoine as a corner. LSU is his current leader and will offer Antoine if he did well on last Saturday's ACT, said the elder Antoine.
Fox Sports/Scout.com recruiting analyst Steve Robertson reported this week that Denham Springs RB Kaleb Blanchard is up to five offers with Mississippi State being the newest.