Who Recruits Louisiana?

Sonny Shipp takes a look at who recruits Louisiana and how LSU has fared the last 10 years.

Louisiana is fertile recruiting ground for college football coaches as the Bayou State is one of the top producing states on an annual basis, not only for the collegiate level, but also for the NFL.

Sonny Shipp has taken some time to research Scout.com’s database that goes back to 2002 to see just how many schools have signed players out of Louisiana and he’s found some interesting stats and tidbits that he’s broken down into a spreadsheet as well as bullet points.

This LINK should open up into a new window on your browser and it gives you a snapshot of how well the FBS schools in Louisiana have done recruiting in their own backyard, along with a look at which out-of-state FBS schools have had some success recruiting in the Bayou State.

We’ll take a closer look at some numbers below that LSU fans and Louisiana high school football fans in general should find interesting.

-         The 2006 class was Les Miles’ first full year of recruiting for the Tigers and current Missouri offensive line coach Josh Henson served as the Tigers’ recruiting coordinator for that ’06 class thru the ’09 class. In that time, LSU’s total number of in-state to out-of-state signees was 49/46 which comes out to a 51/49 ratio. Don Yanowsky served in that same capacity when Henson left for Missouri for the 2010 class and LSU signed only 13 players from Louisiana compared to 14 from outside the borders.

-         Current LSU recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson assumed those responsibilities from Yanowsky when he left for Memphis and the 2011 and 2012 classes are solely on Wilson. The Tigers have focused much more on Louisiana since Wilson has taken over as the ‘11 class featured 16 in-state players compared to just seven from out-of-state. The Tigers have 18 commitments for ‘12 and 14 hail from Louisiana.

-         Prior to Wilson taking over, LSU’s classes consisted of 62 players from Louisiana compared to 60 from outside the state’s borders under Les Miles. With Wilson at the helm, though, LSU is now at a 3-to-1 ratio with 30 of the signees/commitments for ’11 and ’12 being from Louisiana with only 11 from states other than the Bayou State.

-         Going back to 2006, Les Miles’ success of signing Louisiana players that he extended a scholarship offer – based on the info we have – is impressive.

-         LSU didn’t lose any in-state players from the 2006 class that they offered but in 2007 they lost out on the state’s top-ranked player Joe McKnight (USC). Luther Davis originally committed to LSU, but later signed with Alabama after his scholarship offer was rescinded.

-         In 2008, LSU didn’t lose any in-state prospects that had offers but in 2009 three players that were committed to the Tigers at some point ended up signing with other schools for various reasons in Janzen Jackson (Tennessee), Kenny Bell (Alabama) and DeAngelo Benton (Auburn).

-         The 2010 class saw Trovon Reed sign with Auburn and Brandon Jackson stuck with his commitment to Texas A&M despite a late offer from the Tigers, then Houston Bates chose to sign with Illinois rather than take a gray-shirt with LSU.

-         Greg Robinson followed his former high school teammate – Trovon Reed – to Auburn in the 2011 class and Bradley Sylve signed with Alabama, but LSU got everyone else they offered that year.

-         The 2012 class is far from being wrapped up, but so far Lorenzo Phillips has committed to Florida, making him the only in-state guy that has chosen another school over an LSU offer. Denzel Devall and Landon Collins are the only other in-state prospects that are uncommitted and that have offers from the Tigers as of Aug. 16.

-         All in all, going back to the ’06 class thru the current class (seven years), we have LSU offering a total of 101 Louisiana prospects and 92 signed with the Tigers. Lorenzo Phillips was included in that number but Landon Collins and Denzel Devall were not since they have not committed to a school. The total comes out to a 91 percent success ratio.


Former St. Augustine wide receiver Akiem Jolla was a 5-star prospect in 2002

-         Scout.com has awarded 19 players five-star status from 2002-2012 and LSU has signed 13 of them but Landon Collins would make 14. The only one the Tigers didn’t offer was kicker Keith Andrews, who signed with Mississippi State in 2002.

-         Looking at four-star players over that same time frame, Scout.com tabbed 97 players from Louisiana with that status and LSU signed 54. An offer wasn’t extended to 24 of the 43 that didn’t sign with LSU and two more would have signed but failed to qualify academically, along with Jeremy Hill from the ’11 class.

-         In looking at the out-of-state schools that have recruited Louisiana hard from 2002-2012, Ole Miss has had the most success out of BCS schools with a total of 26 signees. Much of the Rebels’ success can be attributed to Frank Wilson when he was in Oxford from 2005-2007 as Ole Miss signed 15 players from the Bayou State – the recruiting territory he was responsible for.

-         Texas A&M and SMU have enjoyed the most success recently as the Aggies signed nine prospects from 2009-2011 and have two more committed for 2012, not including former Abbeville defensive end Alonzo Williams, who recently moved to California. SMU signed 10 players from ’09-’11 and also have one committed for the current class. Of those 22 players, LSU offered just one a couple of weeks away from signing day in Brandon Jackson (2010 A&M signee).

-         Southern Miss leads all other FBS schools in the number of Louisiana players signed from 2002-2011 with a total of 29.

-         When it comes to conferences in that same period and not including LSU, the SEC has landed the most players from Louisiana with 95 led by Ole Miss (26), Auburn (12), Tennessee (12), Arkansas (11), Mississippi State (10), Vanderbilt (8), Alabama (7), Kentucky (7) and South Carolina (1). Georgia and Florida are the only SEC schools that haven’t dipped into the Bayou State but Florida does have Lorenzo Phillips committed for the 2012 class.

-         The Pac-12 has successfully recruited 28 players from the state with Stanford and UCLA accounting for half of that number with seven each. New Pac-12 addition Colorado has landed seven players but all were when the Buffaloes were part of the Big 12.

-         More players from Louisiana have elected to go out West than up North as schools from the Big 10 have accounted for only 22 players from the state.

-         Out of the remaining BCS automatic qualifying conferences, the Big 12 trails the SEC with 55 players signed from the Bayou State, while the ACC and Big East are tied with 13.

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