As is the case every year, the state of Louisiana is absolutely loaded with top FBS-quality talent. The Class of 2016 is top-end heavy with players like Calvary Baptist quarterback Shea Patterson (verbally committed to Ole Miss), Kentwood cornerback Shyheim Carter (Alabama), St. Thomas Aquinas defensive tackle Edwin Alexander (LSU), and Donaldsville wide receiver Stephen Sullivan (LSU).
The list of FBS talent long exceeds past 5- and 4-star ranked players with teams like Stanford, Arkansas, and TCU coming into the Bayou State for 3-star talents like University Lab safety Malik Antonie, Teurlings Catholic quarterback Cole Kelley, and Zachary High School center Kelton Hollins respectively.
Of the 100-plus players that are expected to sign with FBS teams come National Signing Day 2016, 10 of the top 25 ranked players in the Sportsman’s Paradise have not yet committed to a top college program.
In addition to the four previously mentioned verbally committed players, St. Augustine tight end Jamal Pettigrew, Calvary Baptist cornerback Andraez Williams, Destrehan defensive tackle Glen Logan, Wossman safety Cameron Lewis, Edna Karr defensive end Andre Anthony, and Denham Springs defensive end Caleb Roddy are all committed to LSU giving the Tigers nine of the state’s top 25 players.
Other FBS teams have been able to make headway in Louisiana with Arkansas snatching up Archbishop Rummel defensive tackle Briston Guidry, Florida State taking Holy Cross cornerback Kyle Meyers, and Arizona State luring Meyers' running back teammate Tre Turner to Tempe. Mississippi State was able to land prized Parkway cornerback C.J. Morgan-Walker, leaving 10 4-star caliber players still wavering on where they want to play their college ball.
The following is a list of the top 10 remaining players from the state of Louisiana who are still undecided. The list includes their schools, the programs they hold offers from, and public perception on which school they may be leaning towards.
DT Rashard Lawrence – Neville High School, Monroe
This 6-foot-3, 305 pound 5-star is seemingly on every college recruiting board. Over 20 schools have offered including UCLA, Auburn, Arkansas, Oregon, Florida State, Georgia, USC, Texas A&M, Washington, Cal, Oklahoma State, Louisville, and Tennessee.
If unofficial visits and camps mean anything LSU, Alabama, and Ohio State appear to be in the lead with many believing he will be the second 5-star in-state recruit to sign with the Tigers.
OT Willie Allen – John Curtis High School, New Orleans
Allen is a nearly 6-foot-8, 300 pound behemoth that could seemingly roll off the high school field and contribute immediately as a true freshman in 2016. He has the size and athleticism to be a cornerstone bookend. A year or two in the weight room plus some heavy drills on footwork and technique and Allen could be an all-conference-caliber player by his junior and senior seasons.
The John Curtis star holds offers from nearly 30 schools with Auburn, Alabama, LSU, and Ole Miss at the top of the mix.
CB Kristian Fulton – Archbishop Rummel, Metairie
Fulton also has over 20 offers from every other school in the SEC and Big 12 and beyond. Michigan, Nebraska, Louisville, and Notre Dame have all made plays for this cover corner’s skill set.
The recruiting process has not been lost on the New Orleans area native. He has reported unofficial visits to Arkansas, Mississippi State, LSU, Ole Miss and Texas A&M. Many feel that LSU is the team to beat given they are the top in-state team and the Tigers' track record of producing NFL-quality defensive backs.
Fulton, at least outwardly, seems very open to the recruiting process meaning a long shot could steal him away from the Tigers.
One recruiting note in LSU’s favor: St. Augustine tight end Jamal Pettigrew. Pettigrew and Fulton are friends and Pettigrew is committed to the Tigers.
OLB Michael Divinity – John Ehret High School, Marrero
Divinity is another player that could be heading out of state. The 6-foot-2, 215 pound outside linebacker is knocking on the door of 30 scholarship offers with SEC and Big 12 teams, along with some ACC and Pac-12 teams showing interest.
The rangy and athletic linebacker has taken unofficial visits to TCU and Ole Miss but his visits to Texas A&M and LSU are the water cooler talk when it comes to Divinity's upcoming decision.
RB/LB Devin White – North Webster High School, Springhill
If there was ever a guy that could fill the term athlete correctly, given how often the term is floated loosely in recruiting circles, White is the man.
The 6-foot, 230-pound, two-way star could play any number of positions at the collegiate level, and do it well. He could line up at running back, fullback, outside linebacker, and even safety if he dropped a couple of pounds. If he adds an inch or two to his frame he could be a defensive end, middle linebacker, a tight end, or even an H-back. The proof is in the stat line after he picked up 2,287 yards on 270 carries with 30 touchdowns and also came up with 93 tackles.
Depending on what position White wants to play at the next level will depend on where he plays his college ball. Teams like Arkansas are coming after White hard as a running back. The Razorbacks may be considered the early frontrunner because of the prospect of early playing time due to the likelihood that running back Alex Collins leaves after his junior season combined with the departure of his tag-team partner, senior Jonathan Williams. A seemingly wide-open backfield could be more than enough to convince White to sign with Bret Bielema and stake his claim to a starting job as a true freshman.
White attended Tennessee’s Junior Day, visited Ole Miss and Alabama in April and then headed back to Tuscaloosa in early June for a camp. Auburn and LSU are also teams considered to be in the running.
Still not impressed? White turned in a sixth-place finish in the 100 meters of the Louisiana state track and field championships, running a 10.84 while also helping out on the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams.
WR Clyde Leflore – Warren Easton, New Orleans
The state of Louisiana always turns out guys with great speed and Leflore fits the bill. The 6-foot, 170 pound slot receiver could make a difference on offense and on special teams as a punt returner right out of the gates for any given college program.
After turning in a 33-catch season with 821 yards and nine touchdowns all the usual cast of SEC characters came with offers, along with Pac-12 teams like UCLA, Arizona, and Utah. Big 12 teams like TCU, Oklahoma and Texas Tech have also come calling. Earning Leflore’s signature on NSD could come down to Texas A&M and LSU.
WR Mykel Jones – Patterson High School, Patterson
Mykel Jones is another speedster with good hands that can line up on the outside or in the slot. To date 14 teams have offered and the 6-foot, 180 pound receiver and he seems wide open to the process. Jones has made Junior Day visits to LSU and Alabama, taken an unofficial to USC, and camped at Ole Miss in early June.
UCLA, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Penn State, Georgia, Arizona State, Texas and Tennessee are among the other schools ready to bring Jones to campus in 2016.
WR Isaiah Graham – Bastrop High School, Bastrop
Graham, like Mykel Jones, is anyone's guess on where he will end up. Twelve different schools have put offers on the table for the 6-foot-1, 180 pound wideout with Arkansas, TCU, Mississippi State and LSU all in the running.
Graham caught national attention after hauling in 48 passes for 1,138 yards with 20 touchdowns in 2014.
DE Willie Baker – Livonia High School, Livonia
Nine schools have given offers to Baker but the only rumored school that matters is Texas A&M. The Aggies apparently have the inside track on Baker over Louisville, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Arizona State among others.
Baker proved to be a disruptive force in opposing Louisiana high school backfields when he came up with 108 tackles, including 29 for a loss, and 12 sacks.
DT Stephon Taylor – McDonogh 35 – New Orleans
Football games are won in the trenches and 34 different college football programs believe Taylor can help them accomplish that goal. The 6-foot-4, 290 pound defensive tackle is both a line plug as well as a line mover.
The list of schools that want Taylor is a who's who of college football royalty including Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Texas, Florida State, Florida, Miami, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, TCU, Tennessee, Utah, Arizona, Cal and Baylor, and that's not all.
Taylor has let it be known that LSU and the Longhorns are at the top of his list.
— Written by Ryan Wright, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and an established media professional with more than two decades' worth of experience. Over the years, Wright has written for numerous sites and publications and he recently started his own recruiting site, www.recruitingnewsguru.com. Follow him on Twitter @HogManinLA.