University High leads the way among recruiters

Garrett Brumfield is nicknamed “The Bruiser” because, at 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds, he packs a wallop that can open holes for running back Nick Brossette or give peace of mind in the pocket for quarterback Manny Miles.

It’s because of those skills that Brumfield, the LSU-committed offensive lineman some consider to be among the nation’s top 100 seniors, gives University Lab the Baton Rouge area’s top prospect for the 2014 signing class.

Get used to it.

U-High is in the middle of what promises to be an unprecedented run of talent for LSU’s on-campus college prep school. Starting a season ago with Tim Williams’ commitment to Alabama, the Cubs are in a stretch when they should send at least one player to a major college for at least five straight seasons.

After Brumfield, Brossette figures to be one of the nation’s top running backs in the 2015 class, then 2016 will be led by defensive back Tre Jackson, who already has committed to follow the footsteps of his father, former Florida wide receiver Jack Jackson, to Gainesville.

Then comes 2017 and “ESPN the Magazine” cover subject Dylan Moses, who had an LSU offer before he entered eighth grade.

University is geared to be at the center of a golden age for recruiting in Louisiana. Many consider the 2014 class to be the best ever in Louisiana, led by running back Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine) and offensive tackle Cameron Robinson (West Monroe High), considered by many to be the top two players in the country.

How deep is Louisiana? So deep that, while Brumfield is rated somewhere close to No. 100 by the four major recruiting services, he is generally just the ninth- or 10th-best player in the state.

Still, landing him was huge news for LSU, which hopes to continue to mine its nearest player source in its most fertile stretch of football talent in school history.

It’s a promising run that may make University the new Dutchtown, which has generally been the area’s kingpin when it comes to producing talent in recent seasons.

But don’t cry for the Griffins. Their remarkable run of high-end talent continues this year with a pair of wide receivers who already have pledged to Arkansas. Torrance Mosley, a running back, figures to be a slot receiver at the college level, while lightning-fast Corey McBride will be a deep threat.

This comes after the Griffins sent receiver Shelby Christy to Mississippi State in 2013 and safety Landon Collins to Alabama in 2012.

And Dutchtown made history in April when it became the first high school to have two players invited to New York for the same NFL draft. Ex-Griffin Eric Reid (the LSU safety) went in the first round to the San Francisco 49ers, and running back Eddie Lacy (the Alabama running back) went in the second round to the Green Bay Packers.

The next big-time running back out of Ascension Parish comes from one of Dutchtown’s biggest rivals.

Lightning-quick Sione Palelei of East Ascension accepted an LSU offer after an impressive showing at the Tigers’ July camp. At a compact 5-9, 205, the 1,000-yard rusher has breakaway speed that makes him a home run threat.

Palelei is part of a talented group of running backs in the area, a collection that also includes Kameron McKnight of East Feliciana, who reclassified from 2015 to 2014, and Scotlandville star Dontrell Hilliard, who has offers from Oklahoma State and Tulane.

Running backs will continue to be a focal point in the area and around the state. Locally, Brossette and Derrius Guice of Catholic will be two of the nation’s better running back prospects in 2015, while North Webster’s Devin White will be an elite target in the 2016 class.

The area’s best defensive prospect for 2014 is defensive end Davon Godchaux of Plaquemine, who is on the elite lists of all the recruiting services. Godchaux sports an LSU offer, and most expect him to pick the Tigers on Dec. 28, the date he has set to make his choice known.

Other area prospects include:

Scotlandville defensive tackle Deldrick Canty, who has drawn interest from Southeastern Conference programs, including LSU and Alabama.

Redemptorist athlete Russell Gage, who propelled himself to recruiting significance with an impressive performance at LSU’s July camp.

Livonia linebacker Russell Farris, a short but talented tackling machine who has offers from most of the state’s schools not named LSU.

Donaldsonville athlete Leondre James, who has pledged to Tulane.

Catholic High tight end Clay Moffitt, a baseball-football star who is entertaining an offer to join LSU as a grayshirt with the 2015 class.