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January 24, 2009
La. state ranking loaded with elite talent
Postseason State Rankings:
While the state of Louisiana is always loaded with talent, the 2009 class within the state surpasses even those lofty standards. If you're looking for proof of the in-state talent level, look no further than the top of the national team recruiting rankings where LSU sits alone.
The Tigers have made a living off of the fertile Louisiana recruiting grounds and this year's class has scored them two in-state five-star prospects already with a possible third five-star waiting in the wings.
Topping Rivals.com's postseason Louisiana state rankings is that undecided five-star, Rueben Randle. The wide receiver out of Bastrop High School began the season as the state's top ranked player and did nothing as a senior to put that ranking in doubt, even while playing out of position at quarterback.
The No. 2 player in the state had to earn his five-star status during the season with a huge senior year. Janzen Jackson did it all for his Barbe High School, returning kicks, catching touchdowns, picking off passes and sniffing out huge collisions that are quickly becoming his trademark on a football field.
Chris Davenport out of Mansfield, La., rounds out the Louisiana five-stars as a big defensive tackle with worlds of potential. Despite missing much of his senior season due to injury, Davenport's ceiling of potential didn't get any lower over the last several months. He remains an athletic and agile big-body with a terrific attitude and work ethic and a piece of clay that is a coach's dream to mold.
Beyond the five-stars, there is a minimal drop-off in talent and there have been some big movers since the pre-season. Slidell (La.) Northshore offensive lineman Chris Faulk continues to get the job done in every setting he sees, including the U.S. Army All-American Bowl where he handled the best defensive linemen in the country.
Josh Downs got a big jump in the state rankings with an outstanding senior season and a strong performance at the Under Armour All-American Game. Just in front of Downs, Sentimore remains strong at No. 7, cementing his status with a dominating MVP performance in the Louisiana Class 5A State Championship game.
One of the sleepers on the list shows up at No. 16 in Brandon Mitchell. Mitchell is a big strong athlete out of Amite, La. that has been a high school quarterback. He was originally committed to LSU for basketball but since expressing his interest in football late in his senior season, Mitchell earned offers from the likes of Michigan, Arkansas and Mississippi State. The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder could be a quarterback, wide receiver or safety in college and has a ton of upside.
Coushatta (La.) Red River defensive end Bennie Logan makes a debut on the rankings after emerging from relative obscurity on the recruiting trail following his junior season. After dominating at the LSU prospect camp in the summer, Logan went on to excel as a senior and has since picked up offers from Michigan, Nebraska, Texas Tech and others.
Because of the talent and depth in the state of Louisiana, the list extends 75 players deep and don't be surprised to see players deep down on the list make major college impacts.
Watch Torell Miller cover receivers for New Orleans (La.) O.P. Walker and you see shut down ability and smooth hips and athleticism. You also see a 6-foot-3 body with a lot of potential. The Kansas State commit lands at No. 38 on the final rankings and has a chance to help out early in the Big 12.
Belle Chasse athlete Blake Matherne quarterbacked his team to a state championship almost single-handedly but doesn't have prototypical size for any one position. He debuts on the list at No. 53 and could land at any number of schools as an athlete, slot or defensive back and become a late steal.
Even as deep as No. 71 in the rankings is a quarterback in Dez Duron that amassed, 4,428 yards passing and 58 touchdowns in just one season for Shreveport (La.) Evangel.
WR rising in Illinois
There is a new No. 1 player in Illinois. In the preseason Illinois top 30, the top-ranked prospect was offensive lineman Chris Watt. However, after a strong senior season and an impressive performance in the Under Armour All-America Game, East St. Louis receiver Terry Hawthorne ends up at No. 1 in the Illinois postseason top 30.
All in all there are slight changes in the top 10 with Homewood Floosmoor defensive end Michael Buchanan moving into the top of the list at the No. 8 spot. There were also five new entries to the ranking – quarterback Charlie Goro at No. 19, defensive tackle Ty Phillips at No. 20, kicker Mitch Ewald at No. 27, offensive lineman Gus Handler at No. 29 and linebacker Jake Sinkovec at No. 30.
In the Nebraska top 10, the new No. 1 ranked player is Tyrone Sellers, a defensive end from McCook that's heading to Kansas. He's followed by offensive lineman Jon Lechner, receiver Vondrae Tostenson and fullback C.J. Zimmerer.
There is also a new No. 1 in Utah.
After a solid senior season, Provo Timpview offensive lineman Xavier Su'a Filo moves into the top spot in the Rivals.com Utah postseason top 15 over former No. 1 John Martinez of Salt Lake Cottonwood. The talent in Utah is extremely strong this season and it's reflected in the top 15 all being ranked three stars or higher.
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