In an effort to pay tribute to these prep stars and their achievements, Tiger Rag Magazine brings to you our annual Dirty Dozen, honoring the top 12 high school players in the state. This year we have added a "Second Dozen," an honorable mention, if you will, which further spotlights the accomplishments of the state's top talent.
Since Saban's arrival in Louisiana, a large majority of in-state talent seldom strays too far from the state's flagship institution. While a sprinkling of players within the borders of Louisiana will go elsewhere, Saban has tightened his grip on the state's top talent, further proving himself as college football's best recruiter.
As we spotlight this elite group of gridiron stars, we begin with Louisiana's top prospect, St. Martinville standout athlete Early Doucet.
"I have been blessed with the opportunity to attend any university in the country," Doucet said.
Doucet, affectionately nicknamed "Vick" by St. Martinville fans comparing him to Atlanta Falcon quarterback Michael Vick, concluded his pre career with 7,104 all-purpose yards and 79 touchdowns by rushing, passing, receiving and kickoff returns. He rushed for 3,592 yards and 52 touchdowns, including 850 yards as a senior.
On signing day, Doucet chose LSU.
Craig Steltz, Archbishop Rummel
The 6-2 202-pound Steltz, a four-star prospect according to theInsiders.com and a 5A All-State selection, picked up 70 tackles and three interceptions in 2003 while also spending some time at running back for the Raiders.
Darryl Richard, Destrehan
After snagging 85 tackles (21 behind the line) and 12 sacks for the Wildcats in 2003, Richard was ranked one of the top defensive linemen in the nation.
Richard is also just as successful in the classroom. He's in the running for student of the year in his district, and with a perfect 4.0 GPA he's gunning for class valedictorian.
On signing day, Richard signed with Georgia Tech.
Derron Thomas, East St. John
After a season in which he rushed for over 2000 yards to go with 750 yards receiving and 36 combined touchdowns, Thomas gained 5A All-State honors and was a part of an offense that averaged 52.6 points per game.
Thomas chose the University of Miami.
Glenn Dorsey, East Ascension
East Ascension defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey is a big reason LSU's recruiting class ranked No. 2 in the nation. The 6-3 285-pound Gonzales native was rated a five-star prospect by theInsiders.com and was one of Nick Saban's first commitments to the 2004 recruiting class.
Jay Lucas, Redemptorist
Redemptorist running back Jay Lucas is one of Louisiana's top high school stars, and after leading the Wolves to a state championship in their first year in class 4A, Lucas will have his choice of some of the top programs in the country-provided he can qualify academically. Lucas has the necessary grade requirements with a 2.8 core GPA, but he scored a 14 on his most recent ACT test. He plans on retaking it in February.
As of February 10, Lucas was still without a college home.
Luke Sanders, West Monroe
A 5A All-State selection, Sanders collected 89 tackles, four interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) and two sacks in the 2003 season. At 6-4, 219 pounds and with a reported 4.4 time in the forty, Sanders has the size and speed to excel at the next level.
Sanders looks to carry on what has become a West Monroe tradition in Baton Rouge.
Marlon Favorite, West Jefferson
A member of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl all-star squad, West Jefferson defensive tackle Marlon Favorite (pronounced Fave-O-Rite) gives Nick Saban's recruiting class another top notch defensive star. A stalwart for coach hank Tierney's 10-0 West Jeff club, Favorite is projected to factor into playing time as a true freshman.
Quinn Johnson, West St. John
The 6-3 230-pounder from Edgard was instrumental in helping the Rams mow down the competition in class 2A during a state championship season in 2003. Johnson wracked up 90 tackles and 11 sacks during the season and also saw action on the offensive side at fullback, where he rushed for 1129 yards and 11 touchdowns. Johnson was at his best during the playoffs, when he gained approximately 500 yards in leading the Rams to the state title.
Reggie Joseph, East St. John
East St. John receiver Reggie Joseph will head to Boulder, Colorado after choosing the Buffaloes as his collegiate choice.
Joseph teamed with 5-A All-State selections quarterback Ryan Perriloux and running back Derron Thomas to give the East St. John one of the state's most explosive offenses despite playing most of the season with a hair fracture in his tibia.
Ryan Miller, Barbe
Barbe center Ryan Miller went against the grain when choosing LSU. A member of a very loyal Texas A&M family, Miller de-committed to A&M choosing LSU instead. Rated as the top offensive lineman in Louisiana, Miller brings a large 6-5, 315-pound frame to Baton Rouge.
Tyson Jackson, West St. John
The success of LSU's outstanding defense is attracting some of the nation's top defensive talent, and one of those players won't be traveling far to get to Baton Rouge. West St. John defensive end Tyson Jackson of Edgard is a 6-7 270-pound behemoth who helped the Rams tear through class 2A en route to a state championship. Coaches rave about Jackson's exceptional pass rush skills and nasty attitude that fit well with his size and speed. Jackson was second to fellow LSU pledge Quinn Johnson on his team with 85 tackles and 12 sacks in 2003.
Alfred Newman, Istrouma, QB
Charles Alexander, Breaux Bridge, DE, LSU
Hunter Boyd, E.D.White, LB
Jacob Hester, Evangel, FB/LB, LSU
Jakouri Williams, Plaquemine, RB, Tennessee
Max Holmes, Parkview Baptist, C, LSU
Nader Abdallah, Rummel, DB, Ohio State