Each month, SEC Country evaluates the best prospects in The Boot.
We have unveiled three different versions of the Class of 2018 rankings before releasing a sneak peek into the junior crop. Louisiana’s 2019 class has looked the part as one of the deepest collections of talent in some time, potentially rivaling the state’s 2016 and 2014 classes.
Midway through the fall, certain prospects have cemented spots inside the top 20, and there are others who are making a strong case to crack the top 30. Here are the top 19 prospects who have separated from the pack in the inaugural Class of 2019 prospect rankings. Expect a full, updated top-30 rankings after the season.
On the cusp:
- Bryton Constantin, 3-star OLB
- Tyreese Jackson, 3-star RB
- Gregory Brooks Jr., 3-star DB
- Travis Mumphrey, 3-star QB
19. Mikaya Tongue, ATH (6-foot-2, 208 pounds); uncommitted
Mikaya Tongue plays a handful of positions for University High, including receiver and safety. In both roles, Tongue shows great leaping ability, catch the ball at its highest point and win 50-50 balls. He’s a crisp route-runner and has sure hands. At defensive back, he’s solid in coverage and pursues the football very well in run defense. Last summer, he worked out as a linebacker at LSU, which might ultimately be an ideal fit given his size and hard-hitting nature.
18. Lance LeGendre, 3-star QB (6-foot-3, 206 pounds); uncommitted
Lance LeGendre is going to be one of the more polarizing prospects in this class. The big-bodied, uber-athletic quarterback is in his second year as Warren Easton’s starter, but has taken his game to new heights as a junior. Colleges are all wildly intrigued by what he can do now, but even more so if it will translate to the next level. LeGendre has superior arm strength and touch downfield. He buys time in the pocket but can also beat defenders around the edge on designed quarterback runs. His mechanics, anticipation and pocket presence need work, but LeGendre still has one of the most intriguing quarterback skill sets.
T-17. Thomas Perry, 3-star OL (6-foot-6, 320 pounds); LSU commitment
There are certainly some strong parts of Thomas Perry’s game at this stage. The big-bodied offensive tackle — currently playing on the left side for Teurlings Catholic — shows a quick, initial burst in his blocks. He is adept at maintaining his blocks but needs to improve his ability to drive defenders backward and create better running lanes, especially if he eventually transitions to offensive guard or right tackle. While taking snaps along the defensive line, Perry shows brute strength to overpower the competition and has a bit of a mean streak to his game.
T-17. Dylan Rathcke, 3-star OL (6-foot-5, 290 pounds); uncommitted
Dylan Ratchke is another interesting offensive line prospect. Whether he projects as a right tackle or an interior lineman remains to be seen, but he has a good frame with room to add some weight. Rathcke has drawn interest from several Power 5 schools because of his ability to open big running lanes and can block multiple layers of the defense.
16. Chandler Fields, 3-star QB (5-foot-11, 182 pounds); uncommitted
Chandler Fields is the most finely tuned quarterback in the state for 2018. If he were three inches taller, Power 5 schools would have already been lining up. Fields has a cannon for an arm but can also make every thrown on the short and intermediate routes. He’s deceptively mobile and can thrive in a variety of offenses.
15. Jarius Monroe, ATH (6-foot, 175 pounds); uncommitted
One of the hidden gems in the state for 2019 resides at East St. John. Jarius Monroe is a two-way player but will definitely play safety at the next level. He is gifted with a nose for the football and a unique ability to to be a true center fielder. Monroe is a great athlete who defends well in space and is a big-time hitter in run support. He also can cover elite receivers and has a knack for going up and grabbing the football.
14. Ray Parker, 4-star OL (6-foot-4, 280 pounds); uncommitted
Ray Parker played tight end while attending camp at LSU in June, and he still sees snaps at the position for Ruston. But make no mistake, his future is at tackle and his experience running routes should allow him to be an athletic fit for the position. Parker is still raw as a blocker but should develop with experience, added strength and some coaching.
13. Charvis Thornton, 4-star ATH (6-foot, 185 pounds); uncommitted
A shifty presence on offense and on special teams, Charvis Thornton is a spark plug for Southern Lab. He can run, catch and return kickoffs and punts. He has incredible athleticism and uses his vertical ability, elusiveness and quick change-of-direction to beat defenders with ease. Thornton is underrated as a downhill runner, too, as he does not shy away from contact. He has good burst and acceleration, making him a unique weapon on either side of the ball.
12. Chester Kimbrough, 4-star CB (6-foot, 165 pounds); uncommitted
Chester Kimbrough will be a prospect to monitor throughout the fall and spring. He has a tremendous football IQ and is quick to recognize routes. He uses violent hands and doesn’t let his size prevent him from being physical at the point of attack against bigger and fastest receivers. Kimbrough is comfortable in man or zone coverage and has good anticipation to jump routes. It’s also worth noting he does not shy away from run support.
11. Billy Sonnier, 3-star ATH (6-foot-8, 225 pounds); uncommitted
Billy Sonnier captures your attention in the limited sample size of highlights this fall. The mammoth-sized tight end/defensive end impresses with his ability to out-muscle defensive linemen as a blocker, but he can also make outstanding catches in traffic. He has sure hands and is a gifted blocker, driving defenders until the whistle blows. As a defensive end, Sonnier relentlessly gets after opposing quarterbacks and wreaks havoc around the edge. He has some room to improve as far as shedding blocks in the run game, which should be cured by adding muscle to his 6-foot-8, 225-pound frame.
10. Jordan Clark, 4-star DB (5-foot-9, 161 pounds); uncommitted
The top Swiss Army Knife defensive back in Louisiana’s 2019 class, Jordan Clark has the ability to play numerous positions in the secondary and thrive in any of them. As a corner, Clark excels due to his ability to keep his eyes on opposing quarterbacks and anticipating routes. He’s a lock for big plays thanks to his innate anticipation. Clark also excels in zone coverages and is disciplined there. As a nickel, perhaps Clark’s projected fit at a Power 5 school, his speed provides a good test for shifty slot receivers while his ability to jam effectively at the line of scrimmage shows another element of his fine-tuned game.
9. Quinton Torbor, 4-star WR (6-foot-2, 182 pounds); uncommitted
Quinton Torbor is a yards-after-catch specialist. The 4-star wideout from Destrehan is a solid route-runner with a good catch radius, but he makes his mark after the catch. Torbor is a force to bring down in the open field with elite lower-body strength, ability to run through arm tackles and elite acceleration after the catch. With good size, Torbor can out-muscle defensive backs going over the middle. He’s also a hard-nosed run blocker and has shown improvement with his pass-catching.
8. Tyrion Davis, 4-star RB (6-foot-1, 215 pounds); LSU commitment
Tyrion Davis is a prototypical downhill runner, but is equally effective as a pass-catcher coming out of the backfield. His big frame does not take away from his athleticism. Davis can run through or around would-be defenders. While he splits reps in the Southern Lab backfield, he often churns out 100-yard and multiple-touchdown efforts on a week-in, week-out basis. He runs with a head of steam and is relentless when he sees space.
7. Devin Bush, 4-star CB (6-foot, 180 pounds); uncommitted
Devin Bush is in the discussion as one of the best defensive backs in the state and perhaps one of the best prospects to come out of Edna Karr. The versatile corner thrives in man-to-man coverage and is disciplined in zone. Bush does a terrific job reading the offensive queues and following the quarterback’s eyes. He’s physical at the point of attack and refuses to get beat over the top. His most impressive trait is his anticipation and ability to take interceptions to the house. Bush can play corner, nickel or even safety at the next level.
6. Devonta Lee, 4-star ATH (6-foot-3, 193 pounds); uncommitted
Devonta Lee’s stock has risen in recent months after adding a few more positions to his resume. The 4-star receiver is a monster playmaker. He boasts incredible vertical ability and will win the majority of jump-ball scenarios. He’s equally as effective catching tough passes over the middle and taking a screen pass to the house. He plays with toughness and punishes would-be defenders. Lee has spent some time rushing the passer and seen snaps at safety, where he’s made sacks and interceptions a regular occurrence. He could play safety at the next level.
5. Trey Palmer, 4-star WR (6-foot-1, 177 pounds); uncommitted
It’s worth noting that Trey Palmer is arguably a better track runner and baseball player than he is a football player, which is scary considering how high his ceiling is as a wide receiver. Palmer’s sub-4.5 40 time shows up even faster on film. He can beat defenders over the top or around the edge on jet-sweeps and handoffs. He has deceptive yards-after-catch potential and is a handful to bring down. He’s a well-rounded receiver capable of playing inside or outside.
4. John Emery Jr., 4-star RB (5-foot-11, 202 pounds); uncommitted
John Emery Jr. is the state’s top-ranked running back in one of the deeper groups in recent memory. Emery is a true three-down back who can dominate as a runner or a pass-catcher out of the backfield. The Destrehan coaches use a backfield-by-committee, but that has not prevented Emery from posting eye-popping numbers resembling a No. 1-type ball-carrier. Emery is an explosive, tough runner who invites contact. He’s also shifty enough to make defenders miss and create big plays regularly. His three-down skill-set reminds me of Derrius Guice coming out of Catholic.
3. Kardell Thomas, 5-star OG (6-foot-3, 356 pounds); LSU commitment
Kardell Thomas is a mauler on the offensive line. That’s been the case since he was a true freshman and he has only improved with more experience and added strength. Thomas easily clears a path for his running backs and has effectively distinguished himself as not only the top offensive line prospect in the state in recent memory, but the No. 1 prospect at his position in his respective recruiting class.
2. Derek Stingley Jr., 4-star CB (6-foot-1, 185 pounds); uncommitted
A student of the game, Derek Stingley Jr. is as technically proficient a cornerback in the state as there has been in years. Midway through his junior campaign, the 4-star Baton Rouge native possesses a high football IQ and even better feel for the game. Stingley thrives in both man or zone coverages, and in the latter, has a great sense of anticipation for the play and elite acceleration to jump routes. That’s been the case a few times already this fall. He’s a home-run threat as a defensive back, receiver or return specialist.
1. Ishmael Sopsher, 5-star DL (6-foot-5, 282 pounds); uncommitted
Ishmael Sopsher is already locked in as the No. 2 overall prospect in the country for the 2019 class. His tape reveals why. The two-time All-State selection as a freshman and sophomore has yet to meet an offensive lineman who can contain him. At 6-foot-5 and 282 pounds, he has elite strength and incredible quickness to either bull-rush linemen or beat them around the edge. He’s absurdly athletic for his size and is a sure tackler. Sopsher can play multiple positions across a defensive line but is best suited as a true 3-4 defensive end or a rush-tackle in a four-man front. There are few who are as well-rounded as Sopsher.