The Brother Martin Crusaders are poised for a promising campaign in 2012.
Two major reasons are a pair who man spots in a vital area - up front. Senior OG/C Ryan Hoefeld (6'3-265) is rated as one of the top offensive linemen recruits in the state and the 8th ranked best center prospect in the country.
Just a couple of months ago attention was at a minimum for Hoefeld among recruiters, but since then it has really ratcheted up. Thus far Arizona, Florida International, Florida State, ULM, TCU, Louisiana Tech, Minnesota, Memphis and ULL have offers on the table. Florida State is the latest FBS power to aggressively court Hoefeld and a planned visit to TCU is upcoming for him within the next few days. A decision could be forthcoming shortly thereafter, although nothing is certain.
Another Crusader who is drawing a lot of attention from the country's best is 2014 recruit, junior OT/OG William Clapp (6' 4 1/2, 272) who runs a sub-5.0 forty. Clapp attended camps at both LSU and Alabama recently and caused quite a buzz. Both staffs raved about his skills and potential. A follow trip to Tuscaloosa is expected.
Following an unofficial stopover in Tigertown this past weekend, LSU head coach Les Miles made a personal offer to Clapp for the '14 class. A decision was not made at that time.
One interesting sidenote is that William Clapp's dad, Tommy, played DT for the LSU Tigers from 1984-87, serving as one of the captains on the '87 team along with Eric Andolsek, Nicky Hazard and Wendell Davis, That group that finished 10-1-1.
During his recent stopover in Alabama, Nick Saban, who does not make a practice of spending a great deal of time with each prospect, did chat with the Clapp for over 30 minutes.
The young Clapp has outstanding feet, great technique, possessing just enough of a nasty streak while finishing his blocks.He's very, very athletic and loves playing left tackle. Projections having him growing to 6' 7 " or 6' 8 " in the next few years.
Despite the lifelong ties to LSU football, his dad has assured me that the decision will rest solely on the shoulders of William.
It does appear strange in this day and age of 4 and 5 star rankings and multiple offers that usually play a role in these ratings that, thus far, ONLY LSU and Alabama - obviously two of the top five programs in college football today - have paid any attention to Clapp.
Another player who has drawn attention from the Tigers' staff for 2014 is Quincy Wilson (6'1-185 CB) from Fort Lauderdale, FL. LSU, Auburn, Florida, Clemson, Maryland, Ohio State, Purdue and West Virginia have extended offers.
November 3, 2012 is a date that looms large for LSU both on the field and in recruiting battle. Three top-ranked players from the 2013 class are planning a visit to the LSU campus for that weekend for the Tigers showdown with the Crimson Tide of Alabama. As it stands now, that is the only scheduled visit for all three of the following top prospects.
Five-star DT Eddie Vanderdoes (6'3 1/2-303) from Auburn, California is on the docket among recruits for the first weekend in November. Vanderdoes is super versus the run, possessing great feet, tremendous quickness and power at the point of attack. He recorded 10 sacks in '11, with three forced fumbles. Other offers that he is considering include Georgia, Alabama, Arizona, USC, UCLA, Michigan, Notre Dame and Oklahoma among others.
Another player expected in for that weekend is five star rated safety Priest Willis (6'2-190) from Tempe, Arizona. He also has the skills to line up on the corner. He is among the top 2-3 safety prospects in the country for 2013. The only visits scheduled are LSU on November 3 and Nebraska October 27.
The third highly-regarded recruit set for a visit on LSU-Alabama weekend is from the West Coast like the aforementioned duo. Four-star safety Tahaan Goodman (6'2-190, 4.52) from Rancho Cucamonga, California is expected in for the big weekend. The fifth ranked safety prospect in America is considering offers from LSU, USC, UCLA, Alabama, Florida and Florida State.
Three additional prospects for the 2013 class on the verge of making a decision. Four-star DT Greg Gilmore from Hope Mills, North Carolina appears ready to pull the trigger. The 6'4" 275 pound prospect is among the top 6-7 DT prospects in the upcoming class. He has great feet and reportedly already loves what he has witnessed involving Bayou Bengal football. Besides LSU, he also camped at Alabama and Florida.
The quest for Barbe High's four-star TE DeSean Smith (6'4-220) currently favors LSU over offers from Alabama, Auburn, TCU, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Oregon, Florida and Florida State.
Kendell Beckwith (6'2-220), a four-star LB from Clinton, Louisiana rates LSU and Alabama as his top two. Clemson, Ole Miss, MississippiState, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Auburn are trailing slightly.
A mammoth 2013 prospect is beginning to draw interest is 370 pound OT Jeremiah Guillory from Hamilton Christian Academy in Lake Charles, Louisiana Tulane, Central Arkansas, Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, McNeese State and North Texas are monitoring the 6-foot-5 mauler closely. The Southern Jags have extended an offer to Guillory.
Now for a few tidbits on the national landscape of recruiting:
The USC Trojans added Poland to their commitment list for 2014. Although this Poland is only slightly smaller than the country itself.
Jordan Poland (6'8-333), a OT from LaJolla, California, pledged to head coach Lane Kiffin and the Trojans for '14. He dismissed overtures from Boise State, UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona State and Oregon State. Jordan is nimble enough to dunk a basketball. Family projections anticipate that the 16-year old still has not reached his maximum growth potential.
In addition to Poland, USC has added QB David Sills from Elkton, Maryland for 2015. The 6-foor-3, 180 pounder is not shying away from competition in light of the fact that the nation's top-ranked passer of the 2013 class, Max Browne, has already committed to USC for the upcoming class.
Meanwhile, one player for the 2013 class, three-star rated QB Connor Manning from El Toro High School (Lake Forest, California) tossed for 4,219 yards and 41 touchdowns in 2011. Despite those impressive numbers, the 6-foot-2, 195 pound prospect has not attracted a single offer. Wisconsin appears to show the most interest at this time. Oregon State, Colorado, Utah, Hawaii and San Diego State are also showing some interest.
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