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"Unveiling the Impact of Brian Kelly's Louisiana Recruiting Lockdown"

When Former Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly made the decision to come to LSU there was a narrative put out by Irish fans that "Brian Kelly can't recruit". Now two years are in the books and Kelly has built up the foundation that he mentioned when he got here. Kelly inherited a team that was sitting right at .500 the 2 years before he got here and he turned in back to back 10 win seasons in his first two seasons at the helm and an SEC West Championship. How has that effected recruiting?

Everyone knows there is something special about LSU and it begins with the fact that it is the only P5 school in one of the most fertile recruiting grounds. Louisiana for many years has put more players in the NFL per capita than any other state. Many coaches have tried to lock down the state in the past and in a sense they did, as Nick Saban, Les Miles and Ed Orgeron all had great success recruiting the state of Louisiana. However, none like we are witnessing Brian Kelly doing.

Brian Kelly got to LSU in November of 2021 and he was tasked with rebuilding a decimated roster that had scholarship numbers in the 30's and had to hit the portal hard and heavily focused on returning players to Louisiana. With the program in disarray and NIL in it's infancy stages it was natural to lose some Louisiana talent. Only 4 of the states Top 10 players decided to call LSU home. In 2023 it was much of the same where only 4 of the states Top 10 players would choose LSU as their home. Many LSU faithful were starting to think "maybe these Irish fans were right".

Fast forward with two seasons in the books and the foundation we mentioned earlier being laid. LSU had a historical offense that many thought we would never see again after 2019 with Heisman Winner Joe Burrow but we were wrong. Another second year transfer QB in Jayden Daniels led a different style offense but also garnered the role of the Number one offense in the country and just like Joey B, "That Kid Jayden" also won the Heisman trophy. Meanwhile on the defensive side of the ball we witnessed the complete opposite with a defense that was statistically speaking one of the worst we had seen this side of the year 2000. Still as mentioned earlier those two 10 win seasons were achieved.

With all of this going on Kelly is on the verge of putting the bow on the 2024 recruiting class that is ranked No.3 overall by ON3 . The class features 9 of the Top 10 players in the state and 4 of the Top 5 players. The last time the Tigers have seen anything this close to instate dominance was 2016 when they landed 8 of the Top 10 players in the state and they went on to be the backbone of the 2019 National Championship Team. Before that it was the 2004-2006 classes that all had over 7 of the states Top 10 players and led to the 2007 National Championship team. You see where I am going here ?

The 2025 and 2026 cycles in Louisiana are some of the strongest classes the state has produced. The 2026 class of Louisiana boasts the Number 1 overall player in the Country out of St. Augustine in NOLA in Jahkeem Stewart, the Number 4 Overall player resides at Catholic of BR in Blaine Bradford and the Number 5 Overall player is located on the LSU campus at University Lab in Lamar Brown. We will save discussing this class for another article as 2025 is shaping up to be the best class to ever be assembled in Baton Rouge.

While LSU holds commitments from 7 of the Top 8 players in the state with the 1 missing on the verge of joining the group, I would be re-missed not to start with Keylan Moses who is the states Top Linebacker and No. 4 overall in Louisiana. Moses made a pledge to Brian Kelly to deliver him the No.1 class in the country. Right Now the class sits at No.1 Overall in the country per ON3 . To me the most impressive part of this class is the fact that they are getting all of the main players to shut it down early and they then turn into recruiters. There is a state pride among this 2024 and 2025 classes that I have never witnessed personally on this level.

Keylan Moses with his recruiting hat on with No.5 overall JD Pickett

On Top of the dominant in state recruiting the Tigers have secured commitments from the No. 1 Overall Player in 5 Star + QB Bryce Underwood from the State of Michigan and 5 Star + WR Dakorien Moore out of Texas who is the No.1 WR and No.3 Overall player in the country. In state the Tigers added another 5 Star player in Harlem Berry out of Metairie, LA the No.1 RB and No.7 Overall player in the country. They recently added a commitment from another player who is set to earn a 5 Star rating in Jaboree Antoine out of New Iberia, LA who per the on3 ranking is No.19 Overall and the No.3 CB Nationally. The Tigers are sitting in 1st place for the 2025 class and there are no signs of slowing down.

After the coaching changes in Baton Rouge this off-season expect this to be a trend that is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

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Feb 02
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