This is a critical time for coaches and especially now that many prospects are announcing their college intentions before their senior year ever begins.
Coaches have spent the last couple of months reviewing film on recruits and talking to their high school coaches but actually seeing the players in action will go a long way in determining whether or not a scholarship will be offered.
Many felt the current recruiting year was going to be a down year for high school talent in Louisiana and while the state may not be as deep as it was the past couple of years there are certainly some exceptional athletes on the offensive side of the ball who will garner a lot of attention.
Leading the way in the Bayou State for 2005 is Reserve-East. St. John quarterback Ryan Perrilloux.
Perrilloux 6-4, 220, 4.5) will be one of the highest rated signal callers in the country and he is already being compared to current Florida quarterback and former National Gatorade Player of the Year Chris Leak.
Like Leak, Perrilloux has a big-time arm but he is also very accurate and he can make all of the throws. He also has good athletic ability which allows him to create something when his offensive line breaks down.
Other quarterbacks around the state who are getting a lot of attention is Sean Santos (5-11, 185) of New Orleans-Holy Cross and Brian Babin (6-3, 185, 4.6) of St. Amant. Both put up big numbers as juniors and are solid Division-I prospects.
Another quarterback who will probably play receiver at the next level is Carencro's Lucas Taylor (6-0, 180, 4.4). Carencro recruiting coordinator Tony Courville said Taylor is a touchdown waiting to happen and he is in the same mold as another quarterback who led Carencro a few years ago in Damien James.
James, who was an All-SEC safety at LSU, was one of the top athletes when he came out of Carencro due to his ability to make plays and Taylor has that same kind of potential.
Baton Rouge-Parkview Baptist gave LSU its first two commitments for 2005 and the Eagles have another player who is on the Tigers' radar screen. Jacob Lennox (6-2, 190, 4.5) plays quarterback but he is not your typical dropback passer. He has a lot of athleticism and good speed which will allow him to play somewhere in college and probably at safety.
The Tigers already have secured a pledge from one of the state's top running backs in 6-foot-2, 195 pound Antonio Robinson of Winnfield and they are also very interested in Amite's Kendrick Perry (6-1, 210, 4.5).
Both are the type of backs Saban likes with a combination of size, speed and power. If Perry commits to LSU then that would probably fill the allotment of running backs for 2005.
The state's top fullback prospect has also announced he will attend LSU in Mandeville-Fontainebleau's Steven Korte. He is the bruising type Saban wants but he also has the versatility to get out and catch the ball in the flats. At 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds Korte could also get a look on defense but as of now his coach says the Tigers like him at fullback.
Aside from Taylor, LSU is also in the mix for another pair of receivers in Brian Jackson of Baton Rouge-Woodlawn and Laterryal Savoy of Mamou. Both are big physical receivers in the 6-foot-3 range and have the ability to go up and get the ball over defensive backs.
Last year was a great year in recruiting for defensive linemen and to LSU's advantage the crop of offensive linemen will be deep for 2005.
There are several linemen who will sign with high-profile schools including Carencro's Bradley Guillory (6-3, 300), Haughton's Glen Gibson (6-7, 300), West Monroe's Larry Shappley (6-5, 275), Alexandria-Bolton's Marcus Washington (6-4, 295) and a pair from New Orleans-St. Augustine in Earnest Jones (6-5, 335) and William Russ (6-5, 325).
Guillory and Gibson have LSU as their top choice and are just waiting for an offer to commit. LSU has a pipeline to West Monroe so one would think that the Tigers are in good shape with Shappley.
Jones and Russ will get plenty of offers when coaches stop by St. Augustine during the Spring and Washington will also have ample opportunities to play at a major college.
The only problem for the LSU coaching staff is finding room for all of these linemen.
These are just a few of the prep standouts around the state to keep an eye on but they are worth following closely throughout the recruiting year.
Next week we will take a look at the state's top defensive prospects.