Monday, January 28, 2008

Lavar Edwards Commits

The commitment of Lavar Edwards, a 3-star defensive lineman from Desire Street Academy in Baton Rouge actually happened on Saturday, but given the rest of the action on Saturday, I chose to save it until today.

Edwards has all the tools. He's big at 6'4" and 300 pounds. He's quick and athletic, and with his 27 inch vertical jump, I'm sure he can easily dunk a basketball, which is an impressive feat for so large a man. He played many positions for his small high school team, including defensive end, defensive tackle, offensive line, tight end, and running back. Yes, running back.

What he is not is accomplished. No one who has watched Desire Street games has returned singing Edwards' praises. People say he takes plays off a lot and leaves observers unimpressed.

So, he's really really athletic, but has some bad habits. That makes him a project. This is not necessarily a bad thing. If he gets to LSU and gets motivated, he could end up an All-SEC calibre player. Remember, Tyson Jackson was a 3-star too.

His high school coach was recently quoted as saying he'll make a better college player than high school player. The explanation was that in high school, he had to learn to play many different positions as disparate as defensive tackle and running back. In college, he'll get to focus on one position and excel at it.

But what position is that? Well, we can be sure he isn't a running back. However, his size at 6'4" and 300 pounds would suggest to me that he's an offensive guard. He's a little taller than you usually see at defensive tackle, and a little heavier than you usually see at defensive end. The Rivals database lists him as a defensive end. We shall see, but if he's a defensive end, I feel he'll have to drop 10-15 pounds while still getting stronger.

If I was laying money, I would say that Edwards, if he makes it into a starting lineup, will make it as a an offensive guard, but we shall see.

Recruiting is winding down. We have 25 commitments if you count DeAngelo Benton. Every year at this time, things start really coming into focus. Players who have been flirting with us for months end up either coming here or telling us they won't come here. We know we will sign a couple more players, perhaps as many as 4 more. It looks like Terrelle Pryor is a longshot, but if he wants to come, we will certainly make room.

Other players still on the radar include DeAndre Brown (5-star wide receiver, and the highest player left on the board, Mississippi), Corey Liuget (4-star defensive end, Florida), Jermaine Thomas (3-star running back, Florida), Antoine McClain (4-star offensive lineman, Alabama), Greg Shaw (star offensive lineman, Florida), TJ Bryant (4-star cornerback, Florida). Of all of those, I believe Brown, Liuget, Thomas, McClain, and Bryant are definite takes if they want to come. We'd find room for all of them, but it's unlikely they'll all want to commit to us. Shaw is a take if McClain tells us he's going elsewhere.

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