LSU’s promising 2014 football recruiting class picked up a tangible new asset Friday night as D’haquille Williams of East St. John, the nation’s top-ranked junior college prospect, committed to the Tigers, according to multiple recruiting services.
Williams (6-foot-3 and 190 pounds) is rated a five-star prospect by 24/7 Sports and the nation’s No. 1 junior college player.
The commitment from the Reserve native gives LSU 10 commitments for 2014 and its second five-star prospect on the 24/7 Sports list. Ed Paris (6-1, 195), a former New Orleans native now playing safety at Arlington (Texas) Mansfield Timberview, is the other.
LSU recruiting analysts immediately gushed about Williams’ talents.
“Best high school football player I’ve seen,” tweeted Shea Dixon of 24/7 Sports site Geaux247. “Huge talent.”
Williams would have to make his grades by December to be eligible to enroll at LSU in January and participate in spring football next year.
Williams was expected to sign with LSU in 2011 but had to go the junior-college route instead because of his academic issues.
Williams had a bumper crop of other offers, among them Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Florida State, Southern Cal, Miami and Texas.
As a sophomore, Williams led Mississippi Gulf Coast with 67 catches for 1,295 yards and 17 touchdowns receiving in 11 games.
Williams’ commitment pushes LSU’s overall recruiting ranking to No. 2 in the 24/7 Sports listing behind only Texas. LSU is still No. 6 on the Rivals list and No. 4 according to ESPN and Scout.
The commitment from Williams may just be the start for LSU this weekend.
Justin Thornton, a four-star defensive end from Vigor (Ala.) Pritchard, said he will announce his commitment Sunday. His final three are LSU, Auburn and Texas A&M.
Thornton (6-5, 225) is No. 55 on the 24/7 Sports Top 247, No. 63 on the Scout 300, No. 111 on the ESPN 150 and No. 112 on the Rivals 250.