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LSU head coach Ed Orgeron addresses the crowd, Wednesday, February 1, 2017, during the 2017 Bayou Bash on National Signing Day at the Belle of Baton Rouge.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

Under Coach Ed Orgeron, the LSU Tigers appear to be aggressively recruiting north Louisiana, a competitive territory that has not always been kind to the program.

But is that perception real? Does LSU actually struggle to get players north of Alexandria?

The Advocate studied 30 years of LSU recruiting in north Louisiana and analyzed data from the past decade in an attempt to answer those questions.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY. And see the 10-year chart below showing top north Louisiana recruits.

Here are some possible reasons to explain the numbers:

1. New Orleans’ talent resurgence since Hurricane Katrina has captured LSU’s attention and focus in the state.

2. Traditional north Louisiana powers such as West Monroe and Bastrop have seen a talent drop-off.

3. The LSU coaching staff has seen its share of turnover — specifically with assistant coaches assigned to north Louisiana.

4. The Tigers' growing national recruiting brand has the school turning its attention to out-of-state areas like Texas and Florida.

5. The cultural divide between north and south Louisiana doesn’t necessarily help LSU. For example, one north Louisiana coach observed, "Kids here aren’t nearly as dyed in purple and gold."

6. The physical divide between north and south Louisiana also doesn't help. The travel time from Baton Rouge to Evangel, for instance, is about four hours — similar to drives to the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Oklahoma and a host of programs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.


The best of the north

Over the past 10 years, 28 players from north Louisiana were ranked among the state’s top 20 players in their class. LSU signed 21 of them. Alabama signed five. 

Name

High school (town)

Signed with

State rank

2017

DT Phidarian Mathis

Neville (Monroe)

Alabama

4

2016

DT Rashard Lawrence

Neville (Monroe)

LSU

2

LB Devin White

North Webster (Springhill)

LSU

7

CB Andraez Williams

Calvary Baptist (Shreveport)

LSU

13

S Cameron Lewis

Wossman (Monroe)

LSU

18

2015

OT Jerry Tillery

Evangel (Shreveport)

Notre Dame

5

2014

OT Cam Robinson

West Monroe (West Monroe)

Alabama

2

S Hootie Jones

Neville (Monroe)

Alabama

6

QB Brandon Harris

Parkway (Bossier City)

LSU

7

2013

CB Tre’Davious White

Green Oaks (Shreveport)

LSU

1

WR John Diarse

Neville (Monroe)

LSU

7

DE M.J. Patterson

Winnfield Senior (Winnfield)

LSU

18

2012

OLB Shiro Davis

Woodlawn (Shreveport)

Texas

2

ILB Denzel Devall

Bastrop (Bastrop)

Alabama

3

2011

DE Jermauria Rasco

Evangel (Shreveport)

LSU

4

ATH Paul Turner

West Monroe (West Monroe)

LSU

18

2010

DE Jordan Allen

West Monroe (West Monroe)

LSU

4

TE Nic Jacobs

Many (Many)

LSU

9

ATH Jarrett Fobbs

Huntington (Shreveport)

LSU

11

2009

WR Rueben Randle

Bastrop (Bastrop)

LSU

1

DT Chris Davenport

Mansfield (Mansfield)

LSU

2

DT Josh Downs

Bastrop (Bastrop)

LSU

5

OLB Barkevious Mingo

West Monroe (West Monroe)

LSU

7

WR Kenny Bell

Rayville (Rayville)

Alabama

11

ATH Morris Claiborne

Fair Park (Shreveport)

LSU

17

2008

WR Chris Tolliver

Rayville (Rayville)

LSU

3

OT Matt Branch

Sterlington (Monroe)

LSU

6

TE Tyler Edwards

Ouachita Parish (Monroe)

LSU

8

Other players LSU signed from North Louisiana who were not ranked in the top 20 in the state: OT K.J. Malone, Cedar Creek (2013); WR DeAngelo Benton, Bastrop (2008).
*Only players to whom LSU offered scholarships. Rankings used are 247Sports composite.