The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has left much of Louisiana in a state of disarray.

With the situation in New Orleans and many of its surrounding areas, there are well over a million residents trying to come to grips with losing practically everything they own and having to rebuild their lives in nearly every capacity.

Sports are merely an afterthought at this point in time but at some point life will resume some sort of normalcy for most people around the state.

Unfortunately, for many it will be quite some time before they can get back into their normal routines they enjoyed before Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.

A question I have been asked many times over the last few days is how will all of the devastation caused by Katrina and the flooding in South Louisiana affect LSU's recruiting efforts for 2006?

It feels kind of silly thinking about how all of this will affect LSU's recruiting class when the recruits themselves are the ones who suffer the most from this tragic event.

There are not many schools in New Orleans, Metairie, Chalmette and other areas that will be able to resume school for at least four months and many will not be able to hold classes again until next August.

That leaves several college football recruits who must enroll in schools far away from where they called home for much of their lives.

The Bayou State has several blue-chip prospects who will now be suiting up for new schools in the state for the 2005 campaign but there may be just as many taking their skills to neighboring states such as Texas, Arkansas, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.

Shreveport-Evangel added as many as six new players from the New Orleans area that will surely make the Eagles the most dominant team in the state on the Class A level.

Reserve-East St. John offensive tackle Jamarr Thompson is a player a lot of college coaches were watching closely this year and he has decided to stay with his family in Shreveport and play for the Eagles.

Joining Thompson is one of the nation's top juniors Joe McKnight of River Ridge-John Curtis, who will easily be the No. 1 prospect in the state for the Class of 2007.

West Monroe also added six new players and picked up a big catch in former Brother Martin offensive tackle Mark Snyder (6-7, 285, 5.2).

As for the question of how all of this will affect LSU's recruiting efforts for this year, Tiger fans should not worry. Les Miles has already picked up commitments from many of the in-state kids who have offers with the exception of cornerback Jai Eugene of Destrehan, receiver Chris Mitchell of Marrero-East Jefferson, athlete Jared Mitchell of New Iberia-Westgate, receiver Ricky Dixon of East St. John and offensive lineman Zhamal Thomas of New Iberia.

Out of that group, Chris Mitchell is the only prospect who will have to transfer to another school but to date no one knows where that will be. LSU has trailed Ole Miss for his signature from the beginning and he will likely join his brother in Oxford once he moves on to the next level.

The other four guys want to take some official visits but LSU is the team to beat and will likely come out on top for all of them.

The only other in-state players receiving strong interest from the LSU coaches at this time are Destrehan defensive tackle Chaz Washington, Lafayette-Northside defensive tackle Jarred Shaw, Slidell-Northshore offensive tackle Tyler Unsworth, Baton Rouge-Scotlandville offensive guard Daverin Geralds and Hahnville defensive end Kentrell Lockett.

None of these guys have offers yet but if Miles extends one all but Lockett would probably jump at the chance to play for the Tigers.

So, recruiting should not suffer much at all this year as LSU is in good shape with all of the top players in the Bayou State.

Now, next year and beyond is a different story.

Next week I will take a look at how this tragic event will change the landscape of LSU's recruiting efforts for the Class of 2007 and beyond.

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