This is our first ranking of the
Top 40 college prospects in
Disclaimer: The schools listed below are not listed in any particular order. Some prospects were strongly considered for the Top 40 but I never received their highlight film or had the opportunity to evaluate them. Once I have a chance to do so they will receive consideration for the July rankings.
1. ATH Joe McKnight 5-11, 190, 4.5 John Curtis
McKnight is easily the state's top rated prospect and is one of the most versatile and exciting players in the country. As a junior he rushed for 502 yards and nine touchdowns on 36 attempts, and hauled in 20 passes for 497 yards and five scores. Returning kicks was when McKnight was especially lethal as he averaged over 38 yards a kickoff return with 1 touchdown and 29 yards a punt return with four more scores. For his efforts he was selected 1st Team All-State and has an excellent chance of being a five-star recruit when Scout.com releases its first edition of the Class of 2007 player ratings.
After transferring to Southern Lab
after Hurricane Katrina hit
3. DT Will Blackwell
6-3, 295, 4.8
Blackwell is very strong and has a good first step off the ball. He could play end or tackle but is destined to move inside at the next level. As a junior, Blackwell was named Class 5A 1st Team All-State, All-Northeast Louisiana, and All-District after totaling 80 tackles and eight sacks for the season.
4. S/LB Stefoin Francois 6-2, 200,
In eight regular season games, Francois recorded a total of 141 tackles (67 sols and 74 assists), five and a half sacks, picked off two passes with one going all the way back for a touchdown, and forced four fumbles. Those numbers did not include three playoff games where he estimated that he had at least 40-50 more tackles. The only question regarding Francois is will he end up at linebacker or safety? He has the speed and skills to play either.
5. DE/DT Luther Davis 6-3,
As a junior,
6. ATH John Williams 5-10, 175, 4.5 Breaux Bridge
Williams is a true two-way star who earned Class 4A 1st Team All-State honors on both sides of the ball. He rushed for 967 yards and 15 touchdowns, and passed for another 901 yards and eight more scores. Defensively, he picked off eight passes with one going all the way back for six and added 96 total tackles from his free safety spot. Williams projects on both sides of the ball but look for him to get a look at corner first.
7. WR Gabriel Bryant 6-2, 190, 4.5
Bryant played his junior season at
8. DT Drake
Ole Miss got an early commitment from
9. WR DeAngelo Benton 6-2, 190, 4.5
Some consider Benton a member of
the Class of 2008 because academically speaking he will be a junior, but his
eligibility on the field will expire following the upcoming season.
10. DT Rolando Melancon 6-1, 270, 4.8 Lutcher
Melancon burst onto the scene when
he was voted first team all-state and his district's most valuable player after
his freshman campaign. His production never dropped off over his sophomore and
junior seasons as he recorded 198 tackles with 48 behind the line of scrimmage,
14 sacks, and 12 forced fumbles. There are several defensive tackles in the
11. WR Toddrick Bajoie 6-1, 205, 4.5 Catholic-Pointe Coupee
12. S Tarence
13. TE Mitch Joseph
6-4, 250, 4.8
As a junior, Joseph was a Class 3A 1st Team All-State, All-District and All-Acadiana selection after hauling in 16 passes for 414 yards and two touchdowns. He is a dominant run blocker with good hands and good speed. Joseph committed to LSU at junior day after receiving an offer from Ole Miss and interest from several top programs.
14. WR Ahmad Paige 6-2, 165, 4.4 Sterlington
Speed is the name of the game with Paige. He was a Class 2A 1st Team All-State selection after hauling in 44 passes for 1,198 yards and 14 touchdowns. As impressive as those stats are, though, what really sticks out is the fact that he averaged 27.2 yards a catch and found the end zone nearly once every three times he caught the ball. Paige would be rated higher but there are some question marks regarding his weight and ability to get off jams at the next level.
15. DE Jason
16. DT Kantravis Aubrey 6-3, 285, 5.2
Aubrey is very strong, which is evident from his 385-pound bench, and he moves well. Don't be surprised if he gets a strong look on the other side of the ball at guard when he gets to LSU. As junior, he was a Class 4A 1st Team All-State selection after recording 81 tackles, 10 sacks and 13 tackles for a loss. Aubrey committed to LSU after receiving the offer at LSU's Junior Day.
After making the move to offensive
tackle late in his junior campaign,
18. Earl Patin 6-1, 225, 4.7 Southern Lab
Patin is a true middle linebacker prospect with good instincts and he is very well put together from a physical standpoint. He was named Class 1A 1st Team All-State and finished his junior season with 80 tackles, including eight behind the line of scrimmage and six sacks.
19. ATH Jasmine
He may not end up at receiver but
20. LB Korey Williams 6-1, 218, 4.6 Edna Karr
Williams will give Earl Patin a run for his money at middle linebacker but Patin gets the early nod for tops in the state. While Patin plays a little more instinctively, Williams has a little more quickness. Williams' junior campaign was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina but he still had a solid showing in the abbreviated season with 80 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, six sacks, two caused fumbles and three interceptions.
21. LB/S Grant Fleming 6-2, 200,
Fleming plays free safety for the Cougars but anyone who has seen him play can see that he has the traits of an outside linebacker. He is a huge hitter with good speed and could easily be in the 210-pound range for his senior year. Fleming was a Class 4A 1st Team All-State selection as a sophomore and even though opposing coaches chose not to test the middle of the field, he finished his junior year with 77 total tackles, two sacks and five pass break ups.
22. OL Alex Williams 6-5, 290, 5.2 French Settlement
Williams played his sophomore
season at L.B. Landry in
23. WR/CB Aaron Johnson 5-10, 180, 4.5 Southern Lab
Johnson was voted the MVP at an
24. WR/CB Edwin Reed 5-9, 175, 4.5 Destrehan
"Little Reed", as he is often called by his coaches and teammates, is the younger brother of former Miami Hurricane and current NFL Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed. Edwin will likely end up at wide out when he moves on to college and end up as a slot receiver. As a junior, he logged 34 catches for 645 yards and five scores.
25. CB Terry Carter
5-10, 170, 4.4
After playing safety as a junior, Carter expects to move back to corner for his senior year to take advantage of his blazing speed. In addition to excelling on the gridiron, Carter is also a standout track performer with personal bests in the 100-meters of 10.4 seconds and 21.37 seconds in the 200-meters.
26. DE Harvey Haynes
6-4, 220, 4.8
Haynes is a pass rushing specialist but he would make a nice SAM linebacker at the next level. He is strong enough to play on the line and quick enough to drop back and cover the short routes.
27. DT Jonathan English 6-0, 295, 5.1 John Curtis
Some may question English's height but there is no questioning his ability to stop the run. He is a clog in the middle that often takes on double and triple teams. When he goes one-on-one in some summer camps coaches will see the true worth he brings to the defensive front. English had a stellar junior year with 102 tackles, 11 sacks, and he even picked off a pair of passes.
28. OL Alex Washington 6-4, 315, 5.3 Carroll
29. DT Mason Hitt 6-2, 255, 4.8 Parkview Baptist
Coaches went to Parkview Baptist two years ago to evaluate Lyle Hitt, who signed with LSU, and now they are back after Mason. His first step is very quick coming off the edge but once he moves inside to tackle he should really flourish.
30. Reggie Weams 6-0, 190, 4.5 Redemptorist
Weams has good range and does not shy away from contact. He has a knack for being around the ball and making big plays when they are needed. As a junior, Weams picked off seven passes and registered 112 tackles in leading the Wolves to a state championship.
31. CB Joshua Victorian 5-10, 170, 4.4 Destrehan
Victorian impressed scouts at the U.S. Army All-American Combine when he ran a 4.4. As a junior, he picked off eight passes playing opposite of Edwin Reed. Victorian is a solid cover guy who could see his stock rise with another outstanding season.
32. OL Matt Stone
6-4, 316, 5.4
Stone occupies the left tackle position for the Bearcats but is probably better suited for guard once he moves on. He has great upper body strength and can drive defenders down the field. If Stone works on his footwork and quickness look for him to end up playing major D-I school.
33. LB Jacob Dufrene 6-1, 210, 4.7 John Curtis
J.T. Curtis has had more than his share of Division-I players over the years and when he says Dufrene falls into that category you better trust the Patriots' headman. Dufrene is not the fastest, nor is he the biggest, but you can deny the fact that he is always around the ball making plays. He logged 95 tackles and 14 sacks as a junior.
34. LB Dusty Rust 6-3, 195, 4.75 Captain Shreve
If you are looking for a player that loves to hit then Rust has to be on your radar. Coaches are still trying to decide if he is a linebacker or safety at the next level. Rust racked up 123 tackles, five sacks, two interceptions and six pass breakups last year.
35. OT/DE Josh Dworaczyk 6-5, 260, 4.9
Dworaczyk plays defensive end for Catholic but he has the tools to play on the edge on the other side of the ball. He has a long wingspan, quick feet and he plays with an attitude. If he shows those skills and traits at camps then his stock could take off.
36. OT Kyle Plouhar
6-6, 290, 5.3
Plouhar played his junior season at
37. TE/DE Frank Alexander 6-4, 228, 4.7 Southern Lab
Alexander was a first team all-district selection on both sides of the ball for the Kittens. He started at tight end and defensive end, and with his frame and quickness he can play either at the college level.
38. RB Philip Livas 5-8, 155, 4.3 South Terrebonne
Livas may not be the fastest person in the state but he could very well be the fastest on the gridiron for 2007. What he lacks in size he makes up for with his 4.3 speed. Livas had 1,223 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns as a junior, and he also returned four kickoffs for scores.
39. CB Sonny Roseborough 5-9, 170, 4.5
Despite playing for a small school, Roseborough is getting plenty of attention from some of the big boys. Coaches are uncertain on where he will end up at but with his speed and athleticism receiver or corner would be a good fit.
40. LB C.C. Carpenter
6-0, 210, 4.8
Carpenter was a Class 5A 1st Team All-State selection last year after leading West Monroe in tackles with 122 and he added four sacks and 12 tackles for a loss. He has a good nose for the ball and loves to hit.