- David Helman, Reporter, RecruitingNation
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- The second installment of the ESPN 150 brings about some new faces in what has been an active spring in LSU recruiting.
In what appears to be a bit of a drop in elite prospects in Louisiana, Wednesday's revised ESPN 150 still only features four players from LSU's home state -- though two of those players' positions have changed a bit since the first rankings were released earlier this spring. On top of that, a busy month on the recruiting trail has helped the Tigers reel in several members of the 150 who don't hail from the Bayou State.
Kendell Beckwith (Jackson, La./East Feliciana) still factors first among Louisiana prospects. Since the release of the initial ESPN 150, Beckwith jumped one spot to No. 15 overall. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound athlete projects as either a linebacker or defensive end, and as has been well noted, both LSU and Alabama are hot on his trail -- although he has said he hopes to hold off on a commitment until after his senior season. As one of the top 20 prospects in the country, landing Beckwith would be huge for LSU's 2013 class and its reputation of securing in-state talent. Beckwith's jump up to No. 15 comes at the expense of quarterback and Texas commit Tyrone Swoopes, who dropped from No. 9 to No. 22.
Everything that was said about Beckwith applies to Louisiana's second prospect -- Baton Rouge-area defensive end Tim Williams. Originally listed as the 33rd overall prospect and the fourth-best defensive end, Williams has made quite a jump of his own. In the second go-around, Williams checks in at 27th overall, although he still ranks fourth among defensive ends.
After the big two, uncommitted Louisiana prospects, the news gets better for LSU. Thanks to a surge of good news on the recruiting trail this May and some added evaluations on the rankings, the Tigers have two committed members of the ESPN 150. Recent offensive tackle commitment Ethan Pocic (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) factors first as the No. 75 overall prospect -- a slight drop from his previous ranking of No. 72. Pocic, at 6-foot-6, 285 pounds, was one of four out-of-state commitments for LSU in May.
The other LSU commit to make the list is Tevin Lawson (Denham Spring, La./Denham Springs), who committed on the eve of LSU's spring game at the end of March. Lawson was unrated when the first list of rankings came out, but this time around he factors in at No. 130 overall. He's graded as an offensive guard, but it's expected Lawson will play defensive tackle for Denham Springs this fall.
Following Lawson are two Louisiana tight ends who made the initial rankings, although they have each suffered a slight drop. Standish Dobard (New Orleans, La./Edna Karr), who committed to Miami in early April, fell just one spot to No. 132 from No. 131.
DeSean Smith (Lake Charles, La./Barbe) fell five spots from No. 137 to No. 142.
Smith rounds out Louisiana's representation on the ESPN 150. To this point, Pocic and Lawson are the Tigers' only current commitments on the list. Christopher Taylor (Zachary, La./Zachary), a 6-foot-2, 315-pound offensive guard, fell out of the rankings after originally cracking the list at No. 139.
The battle for the nation's best class isn't won in June, however. Despite LSU's low representation on the list, the Tigers are in the running for plenty of major prospects, including No. 1 overall player Robert Nkemdiche, Beckwith, Williams and other national names such as Priest Willis, Justin Manning and Greg Gilmore.
On top of that, a whopping four LSU commitments hang just outside the rankings, and could see themselves as ESPN 150 members before it's all said and done.
18hEthan Sherwood Strauss