CFP Championship Clemson LSU Football

LSU players stand on the field after their win against Clemson in the College Football Playoff national championship game Jan. 13 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. LSU won 42-25.

NCAA-mandated recruiting constraints during the COVID-19 pandemic have kept schools from having prospects on campus for summer camps and traditional visits.

That was the case for Naquan Brown, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound outside linebacker/defensive end. But apparently what he learned from a distance about LSU was enough for the four-star prospect from Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, to become the latest commitment for the 2020 CFP national champions — despite being unable to set foot on school grounds.

Brown announced his commitment to the Tigers on Wednesday afternoon, choosing LSU over a bevy of offers that included Tennessee, South Carolina, Michigan, Penn State, TCU, Miami (Florida), North Carolina and Virginia and Virginia Tech in state.

In a video he posted to social media, Brown thanked his mother for sacrificing for him and his siblings.

“Her biggest worry was that we would get caught up with the wrong crowd and get into some trouble," Brown said. "I took a different route and saw that sports could be a way out. I saw how my mama's family struggled, and I wanted to do my part, so I focused all my energy on football."

Brown is the 13th commitment for LSU for 2020-21, pushing Ed Orgeron’s program just past the halfway point of 25 signees a school can have in a recruiting cycle.

According to the 247Sports.com composite rankings, Brown is a four-star talent and the No. 194 prospect nationally, the No. 11 weakside defensive end and No. 7 recruit in Virginia. 247Sports’ in-house rankings, however, have Brown as a three-star, the No. 27 weakside end and No. 13 prospect in Virginia.

Rivals places Brown as a four-star, the No. 133 prospect overall and No. 5 in Virginia. That website lists him as an outside linebacker, the sixth-best at his position. ESPN also has Brown as an outside linebacker (No. 20 nationally), a four-star recruit rated No. 191 among all prospects and No. 5 in his home state.

LSU’s pursuit of Brown is yet another indication that the program’s coast-to-coast recruiting approach isn’t slowing down.

Only two of the Tigers’ pledges — fellow defensive end Savion Jones (6-5, 240) of St. James and West Monroe punter Peyton Todd (6-5, 210) — are from Louisiana. The rest are from eight other states: Mississippi, Texas, Florida, Georgia, California, Ohio, Michigan and now Virginia. That matches the number of states from which LSU signed 22 prospects for the 2019-20 recruiting cycle, plus two transfers: outside linebacker Jabril Cox (6-3, 233) from North Dakota State and tackle Liam Shanahan (6-5, 270) from Harvard.

LSU’s last recruiting class also included a signee from Virginia: inside linebacker Antoine Sampah (6-2, 220) of Woodbridge.

The Tigers now have the No. 9-ranked recruiting class, according to 247Sports.com, and are third in the Southeastern Conference behind Tennessee and Florida.

LSU 2020-21 commitments (13)

Name Hometown Pos. Ht. Wt. Rating Notes

Naquan Brown Virginia Beach, Va. (Ocean Lakes) DE/OLB 6-3 205 **** No. 11 weakside DE

Zavier Carter Atlanta (Hapeville Charter) OLB 6-4 193 **** Nation’s No. 15 OLB

Raesjon Davis Santa Ana, Calif. (Mater Dei) OLB 6-1 215 ***** Nation’s No. 3 OLB

Garrett Dellinger Clarkston, Mich. (Clarkston) OT 6-5 280 **** Nation’s No. 12 OT

JoJo Earle Aledo, Texas (Aledo) WR 5-9 170 **** No. 69 recruit overall

Khari Gee Atlanta (Woodward Academy) S 6-3 185 ****

Anthony Hundley Miami (Booker T. Washington) DT 6-3 270 *** Nation’s No. 30 DT

Landon Jackson Texarkana, Texas (Pleasant Grove) DE 6-6 240 **** No. 4 weakside DE

Corey Kiner Cincinnati (Roger Bacon) RB 5-10 205 **** Nation’s No. 10 RB

Saivion Jones St. James (St. James) DE 6-5 240 **** No. 19 weakside DE

Garrett Nussmeier Flower Mound, Texas (Marcus) QB 6-1 182 **** No. 7 pro-style QB

Deion Smith Jackson, Miss. (Provine) WR 6-1 172 **** No. 1 in Mississippi

Peyton Todd West Monroe (West Monroe) P 6-5 210 N/A Kohl’s top national P


Email Scott Rabalais at srabalais@theadvocate.com