The lanky and sinewy Brown was only there Saturday (7v7) and Sunday (camped and tested). He ran in the 4.38 range at LSU. Brown's efforts - while only over the course of two days (camp lasted a total of five days, including the 7v7 - OL/DL Camp (Sat.). - prompted one highly-respected high school coach to call the Texan "the best CB and DB in the nation for 2014." The coach added, "He's the best CB I've ever seen. He has great attention to detail. He knows how to use his eyes."
Brown's overall composure, presence and charisma (coupled with his 3.7 GPA and realistic aspiration to become Ozen's valedictorian) are are a picture-perfect complement to his vast athletic skills. Brown, in a post-camp interview, did mention something complicated about the way his eyesight factors into his vast abilities, too.
He further related a conversation with Coach Les Miles: "He said I'll be a Top 10 pick in the NFL Draft one day," Brown said of the Tigers' boss. The efforts of Brown and the other top members of the Louisiana Bootleggers Elite squad on Saturday -- when the multi-state grouping of all-stars went 5-0 in 100-degree heat index against a plethora of strong opponents -- were, indeed, highly-impressive. To put it succintly, the Bootleggers lived up to their advance billing.
Brown wasn't perfect in man-to-man coverage on the island, but no one was versus a deep overall field that included 5A Westgate (semis two years ago); 4A Karr (state runner-up past two years); O.P. Walker (a conservative No. 8 in 4A -- could be better, especially if offense can get past losing playmakers Anthony Scott (RB), Raymond Jackson (FIU, WR) and Devin Powell (Tulane, QB); Plaquemine (reached first-round of the 4A bracket last year); Notre Dame (captured 3A title two years ago, reached second round in 2011); McDonogh #35 (reached last year's 4A quarters before bowing to eventual state champ Neville; ranked No. 4 in 4A preseason; defeated talented St. Aug (talked about shortly) twice in 2011); and St. Augustine (4A New Orleans Catholic power ranked No. 3 on our preseason Top 10 list; home of '14 RB Leonard Fournette).
Brown also wowed the staff at the Alabama camp, according to a coach who worked the Tide's first camp of the summer. Brown's long arms and reaction speed accompany his deceptive strength and nice height (at 6-1). Observers at the camp were sometimes tricked into believing Brown is too thin, but you got a look at his well-built frame on Sunday when he took off his shirt and ran the 40 in brilliant fashion. He could stand to gain some weight - in fact, Brown could probably see 220 in college if he wants to play at that weight. Again, it should be noted, Brown is plenty strong for his age and size.
He was only beaten off the line during the 7v7 tourney by Devante Noil, the '14 Karr WR known as "Speedy," according to Bootleggers Elite head coach Jimmy Smith. "Brown has elite reaction speed," added Smith, who watched the DB (he could play safety or corner on the next level) lead his team to victories over McDonogh #35 in the opener, followed by wins vs. St. Augustine; Plaquemine (WR/RB Hakeem Deggs); O.P. Walker (OLB Lyn Clark, DB Bobbie Temple); and Karr (four-star TE Standish Dobard, four-star CB Noel Ellis).
Coach Smith also watched Brown closely the following day during testing. The only drawback for Brown is that he camped two days (our number two overall performer, Trey Quinn, was there from Sunday through Wednesday). Brown says he's wide-open right now despite rumors that LSU is a leader. He does like LSU; Brown, with scores of offers from BCS programs across the nation, is not revealing anything publicly at this point in the (recruiting) game. He did seem to strike up a genuine friendship with LSU commit John Diarse, a teammate on the Bootleggers. Diarse is a four-star S (and QB/RB) from defending 4A state champ Neville (Monroe, La.).
Quinn, a two-sport star, hails from the southwest corner of the state. His older teammate, '13 TE Desean Smith, is a four-star prospect that is committed to LSU, and the lightning-fast Quinn (reportedly clocked a 4.39 in the 40 and certainly looked 100% legit running it) earned an LSU offer on Wednesday, the final day of camp (half-day).
Coaches at the camp said that Quinn ran the best routes of any receiver there, and he got behind stud CBs like Terrence Alexander (John Curtis Christian, '14, has offers from Ole Miss and Tulane) during the one-on-one's. Quinn, many believe, will either play both football and baseball at LSU - or sign with an MLB team as a possible/probable first-round pick.
LSU fans hope he isn't in a hurry to play major league baseball, and he might not be. It's too early to tell, at this point, without directly hearing from Quinn, who caught 16 passes for 331 yards and three TDs vs. a darn good St. Thomas More (Lafayette, La.) squad (STM reached the 4A quarters last year before losing a thriller to Karr). Quinn ran for two more touchdowns in the St. Thomas More game, which was actually a 39-36 loss for Quinn and the Buccaneers.
Barbe is ranked No. 4 on our 5A preseason list (behind only defending state champ No. 1 West Monroe, which ousted Barbe from the postseason in '11, No. 2 West Jefferson (Harvey, La.) and No. 3 St. Paul's (Covington, La.). Quinn showed the ability to run all variety of routes at a very high and polished level. He's a competitor who appears to remain intense at all times. Quinn hauled in some very difficult catches vs. elite competition in the 'Opportunity Period," the one-on-one showdowns featuring top prospects from 2013 to 2017 ('17 is Dylan Moses - University Lab, in case you took a break from recruiting news for the last week).
It's widely-discussed that Quinn could be LSU's second 2014 pledge. The first '14 commit for the Tigers - LB Kain Daub from Nease (FL) St. Augustine - announced his decision on Sunday before leaving LSU for his home state of Florida. Daub was yet another member of the Louisiana Bootleggers Elite team that won first place at the LSU 7v7. Quinn was invited to join the Bootleggers' roster but reportedly declined so he could concentrate on preparing to camp and earn an offer (which he did) at LSU in July.
White, a three-star prospect on this network, was the overall top performer at LSU Camp, according to one insider. You could certainly make the case that White belonged in the top spot; as noted in the intro, it's an arduous and possibly impossible task to rank the overall top performers from a camp as large as LSU puts on.
White was beyond comparison when it came to the 7v7 play of any offensive skill player on any team. He repeatedly torched corners down the sidelines, and showed sticky hands. He's a gamer. White will give 100%, which was difficult to do at all times during the scorching temperatures that held firm all through Saturday afternoon and early evening.
Some insiders feel that White is a Top 5 overall player in the Louisiana 2013 class. He has close ties to former Fair Park (Shreveport, La.) athlete (QB/DB) Morris Claiborne, the first-round NFL draft pick and former All-American DB at LSU. White committed to the Tigers early in the process. He's needs to get bigger before he gets to the SEC (probably is in the 5-10.5 and 170-pound range). White is over all receivers in one-on-one coverage; it's very difficult for a WR to shake White.
He runs in the 4.40 range, to the best of my knowledge, and could be faster than that. He looked quick, fast, elusive and overall - well, exceptional. White plays QB for the Class 3A Giants, who are located on the north side of Shreveport near Cross Lake.
He also plays DB, of course, and had a nice sophomore showing. White displayed tremendous growth as a player in his 2011 footage (compared to his sophomore season). He was bigger, faster, and just overall a completely improved and different player. White was a starting WR during his sophomore season at Green Oaks, which has struggled as of late but hopes to bounce back with White returning (and a new head coach with ties to the local Shreveport metro community).
Dupre earned an LSU offer after he blazed past several respected defenders during the one-on-one's -- and gathered in many difficult catches from a group of QBs that did an excellent job of getting the football downfield. Quarterbacks who impressed included '13 Manvel (Tx.) signal-caller Shane McCarley, who paced the Bootleggers to the 7v7 title on Saturday. Back to Dupre shortly, as McCarley almost broke into our top ten, due to his terrific performances on both Saturday and Sunday.
LSU Camp was Dupre's "coming out party" of sorts, as he showed that he can catch the football vs. the best DBs in the state, region and nation. He has ideal height in the 6-3.5 to 6-4 range, and Dupre is stronger than you'd guess for a person with his frame at 180 to 185 pounds. He'll get ample opportunity to practice his blocking skills this fall for the Patriots, who run the split-back veer option on offense. When LSU head coach Les Miles offered Dupre, the Tigers' head man complimented the three-sport (basketball, track and football) star on his leaping ability - which is reportedly in the 40 to 41 inch range (vertical).
Last year, Dupre only caught a few passes for the 14-0 Patriots. He'll go against top competition in early September (on the 7th) when John Curtis faces Sunshine State defending Class 8A state champ Tampa (FL) Plant. The large-school Florida power ended last year with a No. 14 ranking in the Scout Top 50.
Dupre's vertical was on full display during the one-on-one's. He rocketed into the air and came down with several nifty grabs that might have cemented his offer (he has six: Tulane, Colorado, Southern Miss, Cincinnati, LSU and Ole Miss. Dupre dominated the indoor and outdoor track and field circuit last year in the "collective jumps" (triple jump, long jump, high jump). He plays AAU basketball and departed for a tourney on the West Coast following LSU camp. Curtis won its first-ever state hoops title last year (Patriots also won state in both outdoor and indoor (Class 2A) track and field.
Noil led the Cougars to the 4A state finals last year as a southpaw QB; he also led the Cougars to the LSU 7v7 finals on Saturday, where -- in the finals -- Karr lost to the all-star contingent aka "Louisiana Bootleggers Elite."
I had questions about what Noil would like at WR up until the LSU 7v7. I saw quickly, in an early game vs. Westgate (always an athletic bunch), how good Noil looks at receiver, even in a limited (7v7) setting.
He's added good weight - solid muscle - which looked to be needed by the end of the grind last December. Noil was knocked out of the state finals vs. a rugged Neville team buoyed by QB/S John Diarse (who might play WR at LSU) and CB Laurence Jones (menacing CB with LB size at 6-2, 215). Not to get off track too far but Diarse (talked about below) and Jones camped with LSU this week.
Noil actually looked bigger in 7v7 without all his gear than I recall him looking in the '11 quarterfinals and state finals, which were vs. St. Thomas More (on the road) and in the Superdome vs. Neville. Noil has an LSU offer. He looks to be in the 5-10.5 to 5-11 range by my eye, but I didn't get to see him nearly as much during the rest of the camp as I did in 7v7 - and he had a helmet on during the bulk of the 7v7 (100% of the time I saw).
I should add, just to show how big the camp was, that we were monitoring simultaneously-played games on all four outdoor practice fields and there was accompanying action at University Lab's stadium just across the street. Noil may only have slot receiver size at this point, but that's not a problem for me. He's projects to be that good (blue-chip) of a player, and he's already proven a lot last year as a sophomore signal-caller.
Noil was the main man responsible for the Cougars' coming back from a 1-3 start -- to finish 11-4 (10-game win streak shortly after Noil took over as starting QB).
The story of Moses was the biggest story of the week in own way. The 2017 prospect, who will be in the eighth grade at University Lab, ran a 4.46, checked in at 6-0 and 205 -- and earned a scholarship offer. He likes LSU a great deal, as the entire family reportedly loves the local Tigers. Moses will run in an AAU National Track Meet later this summer. He's already been the spotlight of his own gridiron highlight films for years. You can tell Moses has a very strong family support system. His father, Edward Moses, is a local attorney and New Iberia native.
Diarse (pictured again, bottom) is a leader and a winner. He's an intriguing guy and an intelligent prospect. Diarse guided the Neville Tigers to a perfect 14-0 season in 2011 as a QB/S. He's projected as a possible WR (or S) at LSU, where Diarse is committed. He worked the center of the field continuously during the 7v7 at WR. On defense, he and teammate Dondre Dobbins (safety from Scotlandville, our preseason Class 5A No. 5 squad) tormented opponents.
Both Diarse and Dobbins delighted in letting foes know who was getting the upper hand. The play was very physical, and officials had to warn DBs to quit jamming WRs so hard. Again, it was a very physical environment during the 7v7, and Diarse cashed in, as he always seems to do.
I'm not sure how he tested; Diarse has never been known to run a fast 40. In fact, that's basically the only knock on the four-star: He's known as a 4.65-to-4.75 type guy. We can tell you one thing: Diarse stuck around for at least Saturday through Tuesday, and he led by example. He was serious about stretching; he was deadly serious about lifting at 8:00 A.M. at the indoor practice facility. Diarse loves to win and compete, and he's helped Neville, a storied north Monroe program, to two 4A crowns in three years.
LSU fans hope his leadership will help sway Neville teammate - the aforementioned '14 CB Laurence Jones - to commit to LSU. Jones already has offers for numerous big-names, as you'd expect. Alabama and then Stanford - in that order - are believed to be LSU's primary competitors in the race to land Jones.
It's a little difficult to compare Brazil to Diarse. Brazil, the LSU commit and speed merchant of international renown, got sidelined from 7v7 action in the second game vs. St. Aug (a 32-20 win for the Bootleggers). Brazil collided with a Purple Knight and both went down. Brazil incurred a bruised lower body, while the St. Aug player reportedly broke his ankle. The next day, however, Brazil was back and ready for action. Later during the camp, he blasted past CBs while running routes at wide-out. Brazil was the first player committed to LSU in the '13 class, and he committed at this time (second LSU camp) last summer. He was ecstatic that good friend - '13 four-star WR/DB Rickey Jefferson (Destrehan) - showed up at the indoor facility with his mom and dad during camp and committed to the Tigers.
Fournette, who has owned an LSU offer since early during his freshman year, suits up for the 4A Purple Knights. He played for St. Aug's 7v7 team, and Fournette stayed additional days after that (total days at camp numbered at least three).
Fournette has the quiet swagger of a player who knows that he's good - but he doesn't find it necessary to draw unwarranted and extra attention to himself. He's comfortable in the limelight, at the same time. Fournette is in the neighborhood of 6-2 and 230 lbs. High school coaches shook their head in amazement after getting an intial look at Fournette in one-on-one coverage vs. the top LBs in camp. "He couldn't be stopped," said a veteran coach.
Robinson is listed at 6-1 on this network, athough he looked in the neighborhood of 6-2 to 6-3 at LSU. He was one of several premium (top-shelf) DBs in Baton Rouge. There was momentum building at the camp to a potential Robinson pledge, but it never did happen. "He's close (to committing)," said one insider during one-on-one drills midway through the five-day affair.
Robinson, like No. 1 Tony Brown, uses a long wingspan to frustrate WRs with highly-effective jams at the line of scrimmage. Robinson hails from the same high school as current Tiger WR Avery Johnson.
Best of the Rest: '14 DB Brandon Simmons (Mansfield Timberview), '14 DB Ed Paris (Mansfield Timberview), '13 OLB Kendell Beckwith (East Feliciana), '13 LB Duke Riley (John Curtis Christian), '13 RB Sherman Badie (John Curtis Christian), '13 QB Shane McCarley (Manvel), '13 DB/WR Jermaine Antoine (Loreauville), '14 OL William Clapp (Brother Martin), '14 OL Garrett Brumfield (University Lab), '13 OL and LSU commit Josh Boutte (Westgate), '14 CB Terrence Alexander (John Curtis Christian), '14 TE and LSU commit Desean Smith, '14 DE Davon Godchaux (Plaquemine), '13 DE and LSU commit Michael Patterson (Winnfield), '13 CB Will Likely (Belle Glades), '13 QB Joe Lissard (Catholic-NI), '14 QB Quentin Gibson (Archbishop Shaw), '13 WR and Arkansas commit Jervenski Johnson (Amite), '13 TE and Arkansas commit Deondre Skinner (Patterson - earned offer), '14 DB Kylon Brown (West Saint Mary), '13 TE Standish Dobard (Edna Karr), '13 WR Rasheed Davis, '13 Byrd DB Kieron Williams, '14 TE Jacory Washington (Westlake - earned offer), '14 TE Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte (N.C.) Christian, '13 four-star WR Rickey Jefferson (Destrehan - committed, which was huge without any camp participation), '13 DT and Ole Miss commit Christopher Robinson (Woodlawn-SH), '13 OLB/DE and subsequent (to LSU camp) Louisiana Tech commit Hakim Gray, '13 four-star RB Adam Taylor (Katy), '13 WR/DB/RB Carlton Perkins (Walker), '13 WR and Houston commit Donald Gage (Zachary), '13 OLB/DE Claude George (Acadiana), '14 WR Mandell Sam (Opelousas), '13 RB/WR Jamal Chevis (Beau Chene), '14 OL Hunter Perrin (Hahnville), '16 WR/DB Mykel Jones (Patterson), '13 CB Jamiah Nelson (St. Martinville)