Michael Patterson, who committed to head coach Les Miles and the LSU Tigers on March 31st (same day Karl Malone pledged), is the SEC power's ninth pledge of the '13 recruiting class. He's also the only unranked commit, although that will change in the near future.
A defensive end/receiver at Class 2A state runner-up Winnfield, Patterson's junior exploits were partially overshadowed at first due to those of senior teammate Alonzo Moore, Winnfield's high-profile starting QB during the playoffs (and Nebraska signee).
Patterson, whose Winnfield team went 14-1 and only lost to John Curtis Christian, appears to be in the 6-3 to 6-4.5 range at 230-to-240 pounds. He's an impressive-looking guy "just standing there."
Patterson's initial leader was Mississippi State after the Bulldogs came forth with an early offer. He has also played wide receiver and would make for an ideal target (good hops, strength and height) in the red zone at tight end. Although Patterson did play with his hand on the ground last year, he has the athleticism to successfully transition to linebacker if that's where his future best lies.
Malone's successful recruitment deserves special recognition. His father, Karl Malone, was an NBA all-time great and former Louisiana Tech star. The LSU staff had some work to do in order to get the elder Malone in the Tigers' camp, according to the son.
Although Malone feasts on small-school competition at Class A Cedar Creek in Ruston, his talent stands out on tape. He was offered by Alabama last summer, according to Fox Sports/Scout.com Alabama expert Andrew Bone.
LSU offered Malone in person earlier this year, according to Fox Sports' Shea Dixon. During a February interview with this network, Malone talked about getting the offer first-hand from Tigers head coach Les Miles. During that article, Malone revealed what he described as an "equal" top two of LSU and Alabama. The nation's 33rd-ranked offensive guard, Malone obviously continued to warm up to LSU's advances following the February offer.
In fact, Malone stated during that interview that he would defer announcement all the way until National Signing Day of next year.
The excitement of spring game weekend proved to be the right time for verbals from both Malone and Patterson, neither of whom talked about an early commitment much (prior to pulling the trigger).
LSU already holds a solid commitment from three-star offensive guard Josh Boutte of Westgate High School in New Iberia. The No. 13 OG prospect in the land, Boutte stands nearly 6-foot-5 and is a nasty, destructive pulling guard for the perennial playoff program.
Westgate was knocked out of the '11 playoffs by Mandeville in the first round by a final score of 24-21. The New Iberia-based school is also former home to new LSU secondary coach Corey Raymond, who prepped at New Iberia Senior High, played at LSU and served as Westgate's defensive coordinator a few years ago.
Raymond was hired away from the Nebraska Cornhuskers and head coach Bo Pelini in late February of this year.
Denham Springs junior Tevin Lawson is listed as the nation's No. 42 defensive tackle, but he has (likewise) been a very effective blocker on the offensive side of the ball for 5A Denham Springs, which recorded a 7-4 mark and reached the opening round of the '11 playoffs.
Lawson, who is in the 6-4, 275-pound range, looks great on film as a lineman on either side of the ball. He got an LSU offer in early February, which was his first and only offer reported to date.
As the nation's 12th-ranked safety, John Diarse from Neville has the highest positional ranking of any of the Louisiana prospects. Boutte is right behind as the No. 13 OG, Jeryl Brazil is the No. 16 corner, and Jeremy Cutrer (Denham Springs) is the nation's 18th-rated safety.
Cutrer seemingly came out of nowhere to garner an LSU offer at the Tigers' Junior Day (and he committed a few days later). Cutrer and Diarse are both mentioned by Fox National Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons as Top 10 safeties in the South Region, with Diarse at No. 5 and Cutrer listed alongside a few others from various states.
Much of the credit for landing Diarse has gone to new WRs coach Adam Henry. It's undecided which position (WR or DB) Diarse will claim at LSU but our "fearless prediction" is that he'll make All-SEC a few years from today. The junior has been, as is well-documented, Neville's starting QB for the past two years. He was a frosh sensation at WR for the Tigers (who also won 4A that year).
Cutrer is a district rival and friend of LSU commit Jeryl Brazil (more on Brazil soon). Cutrer wears the uniform of remotely-located Jewel Sumner High School.
Sumner, as it's commonly known, is a Class 3A school located on an "out of the way" state road several miles north of Amite in the Florida Parishes.
Sumner and Cutrer went 5-5 in '11 and lost to Loranger and Brazil by a 32-14 margin. The Cowboys failed to qualify for the postseason although they did so the preceding year.
Cutrer became LSU's fourth verbal in the '13 campaign in early February.
He has a reed-like frame and stands in the 6-4 range at only 175 to 185 pounds. Of course, he'll grow under the watch of
LSU strength and conditioning guru Tommy Moffitt. While Cutrer is admittedly thin, at the same time he packs the type of wallop that you expect from an LSU target.
He's also added Ole Miss and Mississippi State offers and attended the Rebels' junior day event, although the rangy safety has stated that he's not wavering from LSU.
CB Tredavious White is listed as a three-star and the country's 52nd-best player at his position. White, who has close ties to former LSU defensive back Morris Claiborne (Fair Park product from Shreveport who should be a first-round NFL pick later this month), plays for the Class 3A Green Oaks Giants in north Shreveport.
The Giants had a lackluster 2-8 showing last fall, but that didn't prevent White from racking up an ample amount of impressive highlight footage. You can honestly say that White doesn't even look like the same player when you compare his sophomore and junior film. He seems bigger than 5-10, 175, and there's no doubt about his ability to motor.
Baker, a WR in the 6-2 to 6-2.5 range, is from Class 4A playoff club Salmen High in Slidell. The Spartans return their starting quarterback, Raymond Crochet, who will try find Baker through the air as much as possible.
The country's No. 77 WR and a three-star prospect, Baker's highlight tape and LSU pledge garnered this response from Fox National Recruiting Analyst Greg Powers:
"Has a long frame. He is used in a variety of ways in the Salmen offense. They like to get him the ball underneath, will hand it to him on the reverse and will chuck it to him deep down the field. Shows some explosion, but needs to become a more consistent threat. He projects out as a long-armed, possession-style receiver, but does have the raw abilities and shows enough electric flashes to believe he could be more than that," Powers wrote in early February.
Baker might not have the top-end speed to project as a deep threat receiver in college, but he's as physical as perhaps any wide receiver that you'll ever see. For example, Baker pancaked and sent a defender to the hospital by powering over a St. Paul's DB just after making a reception in a televised '11 contest (the DB turned out to be fine). He had a modest 37 receptions for 503 yards last year but the Spartans were a run-first team with a sophomore star (Christopher Thomas) at tailback.
That brings us to the final review of LSU signees, which wraps up with four-star corner Jeryl Brazil.
The Tigers' first verbal commitment for the group, Brazil is also one of the fastest persons on the planet. He goes all over the world competing in sprints that usually range from 55 to 110 meters. Brazil first committed to LSU during spring camp for the Tigers last summer. After visiting Alabama and other schools that "were of interest" Brazil ended his recruitment by coming to LSU's camp and committing face-to-face to Les Miles.
Brazil, who paced the Class 3A Wolves to the quarters where they lost a 14-13 defensive struggle to Port Allen and four-star LB prospect Darian Claiborne, plays multiple positions for Loranger, including wideout, running back, QB (out of the Wildcat), DB, and he specializes in returning kicks and punts for long distances.
Outside the south, the news may not have widely-circulated that Brazil decommitted from LSU for "an afternoon" earlier this year. The speedster promptly changed his mind after speaking with coach Frank Wilson, who "put out the fire" like a true fireman.
Immediately following an in-depth phone conversation with Wilson (LSU's highly-respected recruiting coordinator and RBs coach), a sheepish Brazil promptly informed everyone who would listen that he had decided to recommit.
Since that public reaffirmation in favor of LSU, Brazil has taken over the job as point man among the class. Brazil is quite cool and careful with his word choice, but he's always available for an interview (i.e., he's a "Writer's Dream"). Brazil has zealously recruited four-star Destrehan WR Rickey Jefferson for the Tigers, and Brazil firmly believes that LSU will get a commitment from Jefferson at some juncture.
Brazil ran a 10.41 in the 100 at an LSU indoor meet, and he broke (former LSU and current NFL) speed demon Trindon Holliday's personal record in the 55-meter dash with a 6.25 (old record was 6.27) at a February track meet.
He continues to improve, having set new a PR this month in the outdoor 100 in an elite event held in Mobile (AL).
Suitors topped by Florida State and Ole Miss seek to lure Brazil away from Baton Rouge, and that is not likely to happen. After his "afternoon respite" earlier this year when Brazil (pictured below) stepped back and took a full look at all of his collegiate options, the junior is now as firm a commit as you can probably find on any elite BCS school's list.
A current glance at Brazil's offer sheet reveals, of course, LSU, in addition to Arkansas, Florida State, Ole Miss, Purdue and Southern Miss.