The final Scout300, released on Tuesday, reflected both the senior seasons and All-Star Game performances of the nation’s top prospects, shuffling the group for a final time before National Signing Day rolls in.
For LSU, eight commitments finished in the Scout300.
Anthony Johnson earned the top honor from the group, a five-star ranked as the No. 1 defensive tackle and the No. 4 overall player in the country. As a senior at O.P. Walker Johnson carried the Chargers to a state semifinals appearance, wracking up 20 sacks in the process. The sack total pushed Johnson to 79 sacks for his career, breaking the national record for all classifications, a mark previously held by Elvis Dumervil.
Looking to get a head start on his fellow classmates, Johnson enrolled at LSU on Tuesday and began working through the spring semester with the football team, where he will participate in all of the offseason workouts.
The next name in was La’el Collins, also a five-star prospect.
The Baton Rouge native finished as the No. 2 offensive tackle and No. 11 overall player in the country. Collins is joined by teammate and fellow LSU commitment Jeremy Hill, who closed out as a Top 100 player (No. 95) and the No. 11 running back prospect in the country. The pair helped carry Redemptorist into the playoffs, seeing Hill pile up 1,967 yards and 30 touchdowns on the ground in the process.
Jarvis Landry, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound receiver out of Lutcher High, made the biggest move. After climbing up the rankings over the past year Landry closed with a bang, tearing apart the Under Armour Bowl week in Orlando. He capped the week off with an MVP performance in the televised game.
It was all that scouts needed to see to move Landry up for a final time. He earned his fifth star, finishing as the No. 29 overall player and No. 4 wide receiver in the country.
The first LSU names in the stretch from 100 to 200 come from the Lone Star State.
Lewisville’s David Jenkins, who remained a four-star prospect, closed out ranked as the No. 11 cornerback and No. 128 overall player. League City linebacker Trevon Randle, who also remained a four-star prospect, finished as the No. 8 outside linebacker and No. 135 overall player.
Back in Louisiana, running back Kenny Hilliard saw a drop in his stock, still finishing among the top 200 (No. 194) but down to the No. 25 ranked running back. In November Hilliard broke the state record for career rushing yards, topping the 8,182-yard mark previously set by Ascension Catholic’s Germaine Williams. On Tuesday he was set to enroll at LSU for the spring semester, but a minor Clearinghouse issue delayed the process through the weekend. Like Johnson, Hilliard’s head start should prove him ample opportunity to get into shape before the rest of the 2011 signees arrive in May.
The latest pledge, Newman’s Odell Beckham, rounds out the LSU names. After a strong showing in San Antonio at the Army All-American Bowl, Beckham closed as a top 40 wide receiver and the No. 252 overall player. At 5-foot-11, 185-pounds, Beckham could play either wide receiver or cornerback for the Tigers. He said he will start at receiver, but a move from the LSU staff could be in the works.
Zach Mettenberger, a Junior College prospect not ranked into the Scout300, is the final four-star prospect from the incoming class. Mettenberger was named the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for 2,678 yards, 32 touchdowns and just four interceptions this fall. He is expected to compete this spring alongside seniors Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee for the starting job.
Though spots are limited, Les Miles and Co. still have their sights set on a number of Scout300 names: Mississippi linebacker C.J. Johnson, Florida defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, Georgia defensive end Ray Drew, Louisiana defensive linemen Jermauria Rasco and Mickey Johnson, and Tennessee offensive lineman Antonio Richardson.
C.J. Johnson, who is down to LSU, Ole Miss and MSU and will visit LSU on Jan. 29, is the No. 58 overall player and No. 4 ranked middle linebacker.
Jernigan, a five-star prospect once ranked above Johnson, slid down to the No. 4 defensive tackle and No. 30 overall player. Drew, the other big five-star linemen on the out-of-state board, closed as the No. 6 defensive end and No. 33 overall player.
Rasco, also a five-star prospect, closed as the No. 8 defensive end and No. 40 overall player. Mickey Johnson, a four-star prospect, finished as the No. 19 defensive tackle and No. 216 overall player.
Richardson, a 6-foot-6, 310-pound tackle out of Nashville, Tenn., closed as the No. 18 offensive tackle and No. 134 overall player.