From the better half of the Tiger staff to the Who’s Who of high school Louisiana coaches working the camp, all bodies were in place at the close of the session as the defensive backs and receivers worked one-on-one.
Landry’s 4.7 forty-yard dash didn’t blow anyone away earlier in the day, but his ability to create separation and pull the ball in against the group’s top names left nobody questioning who the most talented skill player at the camp was. He was the most fluid mover on the day, and the ability to overpower cornerbacks at just 5-foot-11, 185-pounds makes Landry almost unstoppable.
Not far behind was East St. John receiver D’haquille Williams, a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder who made most of his catches after blowing by the defensive back with a quick first move and burst of speed. Williams is physical upon first contact, and he enjoys the back-and-forth competitive nature needed to stand out in 7-on-7 sessions like Sundays.
While he already has plans in place to head to Gulf Coast Community College and spend two seasons following his final year of high school ball this fall, Williams shouldn’t be overlooked as one of the nation’s top prep players this season. In a Louisiana class stacked like no other in recent memory, Williams – despite just one year of high school football – has been able to put himself at the top of receiver conversations. Look for teams to be licking their chops to sign him on once his time on the Gulf Coast is complete.
A receiver that is already making noise on the Gulf Coast is Ocean Springs High rising senior Joe Morrow. The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder stood out alongside Landry and Williams as one of the more dominant receivers at Sunday afternoon’s LSU session, always consistent with clean routes and hands. He moves well with for a player his size and he will go anywhere on the field with his routes, often making him a tough match for smaller cornerbacks. His initial burst is something he needs to continue to work on, but there’s no doubting that with the tools Morrow has he can grow into a solid wide out or tight end at the college level. With offers already in from Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State and Ole Miss, Morrow is proving his value as an SEC-caliber prospect.
Odell Beckham worked out with the wide receivers for most of the day, though the Tiger staff would no doubt take the Newman High standout on defense if he so pleased. Beckham really shined in the 7-on-7 session, working mostly across the middle where he was able to set up defenders with a quick first move after the catch. At 5-foot-11, 175-pounds Beckham could be a shutdown cornerback, but it appears he is set on playing on the offensive side. No matter, he’s definitely one of the nation’s top athletes. The four-star prospect has named frontrunners of LSU and Miami, and he has camped with both schools this summer.
LSU commitment Alonzo Lewis was able to turn out a number of good plays in both the 7-on-7 and one-on-one sessions, spending his entire day working out with the receivers. At 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, the St. James standout was able to overpower defensive backs and create space with consistency. While his lack of speed has always been a knock, Lewis put together a package of plays that were set up through a quick first move. Like Beckham, he could play on either side of the ball when he arrives in Baton Rouge.
Also impressive was Redemptorist’s Jeremy Hill and Franklinton’s Terrance Magee, a pair of Tiger running back commitments for 2011 that stood out head and shoulders above the running back group in attendance. When they worked with the wide receivers in the one-on-one drills, both found success against most of the cornerbacks they faced. In the same fashion that Kenny Hilliard showed off in a dominant 7-on-7 performance with Patterson High the day prior, Hill and Magee – both 200-plus pound backs – looked light on their feet and consistently made good plays in space. There was no doubting that all three are powerful runners, but the past two days the trio was able to showcase their pass-catching skills – and all checked out. Magee even took to quarterback for a few plays during the 7-on-7, flashing an impressive southpaw release that found receivers with accuracy and good timing. A 40-yard ball put on the money – in tight space - to a streaking receiver drew one of the day’s biggest reactions from the sidelines.
Jenkins already has offers from LSU and Texas, and those appear to be the two names out front for his services. A decision is set to come within the week, and Jenkins, his father and sister spent Saturday and Sunday with the Tiger coaches. A quick mover with great hips, Jenkins was able to go stride-for-stride with all the receivers at the camp. He was physical throughout the play, and he closes with great speed. There’s no doubt Jenkins would be a great addition for any program in search of cornerbacks in 2011.
At 6-foot-2, 185-pounds, Martin physically stood out as one of the most impressive bodies among the defensive backs. He closes on pass plays from the hash to the sideline with great speed and aggressiveness. He has the frame that could add 15 more pounds without losing speed, which makes him the ideal college safety. Though just one day in, Martin is well on his way to becoming a standout name at his second straight LSU summer camp. With offers already in from the likes of Memphis and Tulane, the White Castle native is no doubt hoping that the next couple of days turn up an offer from LSU.
Jackson, whose offer sheet includes teams such as Arkansas, California, Michigan, Nebraska and Oklahoma, is lighting-quick in nearly every direction. Though on the smaller side at 5-foot-10, 175-pounds, Jackson – a four-star prospect – was able to hold back the talented receiver group for most of the day. The Klein Collins (Texas) corner is on pace to turn out one of the camp’s stronger defensive performances.
While Floyd Raven was on hand and working out, the East St. John cornerback was clearly nursing an injured hamstring. His size (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) is the first thing that jumps out, and he flashed quick hips when the coaches worked him out one-on-one against the LSU commitments. Much like Martin, Raven is hoping a strong few days turn out a scholarship offer. Right now Raven is considered to be among the state's top uncommitted players.
Of the big men, the top performers were Anthony Johnson, Mickey Johnson, Quentin Thomas, La’el Collins and Trai Turner. At 6-foot-4, 275-pounds, Collins is among the nation’s top prospects regardless of position. The Baton Rouge native is the ideal five-star lineman, a quick, aggressive tackle that has a frame NFL scouts would drool over. Collins looks to be one of the most college-ready prospects in the country.
Mickey Johnson, a defensive tackle on the smaller side who uses his speed and strength to work either around or over offensive linemen, showed great hands and feet when the group worked on shedding blocks. LSU commitment Quentin Thomas also performed well in the afternoon session, a bigger body that – though more unpolished than the likes of Johnson and Johnson – is very strong coming off the line.
However, LSU commitment Anthony Johnson, the 6-foot-2, 296-pound tackle out of O.P. Walker in New Orleans, stood above the rest. Johnson is very explosive for his size, and his sheer power allows him to run through most any high school lineman. For the next level Johnson will need to work on putting together a set of moves, but there’s no doubt that the five-star prospect heads into college ball as one of the nation’s premier defensive prospects. Johnson continues to make his bid against La’el Collins as the state’s top overall prospect.