LSU football stakes claim to the No. 4-ranked recruiting class in 2017.
There are 19 members in the LSU recruiting class. Naturally, a class rated as highly as the Tigers is comprised of blue-chip prospects. However, there are a handful of underrated recruits in the mix.
Here’s a breakdown of the Tigers’ most underrated commits and why they’re names to be familiar with:
Saahdiq Charles, 4-star OL (Madison, Miss.)
It wasn’t until recently that Charles added his fourth star, an honor much overdue for the highly sought-after offensive lineman.
Charles, who is 6-foot-5 and 314 pounds, figures to be a bruising offensive guard in the SEC. After all, he’s spent time at guard, offensive tackle, defensive tackle and even tight end for Madison-Ridgeland Academy over the past two years.
This spring, Charles was an eye-opener at Nike’s “The Opening” regional in New Orleans and earned an invitation to the Finals in Oregon, where he finished with 102.93 rating.
Only two offensive linemen finished with better Nike ratings. Both are 5-stars.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, 3-star RB (Baton Rouge, La.)
With only a handful of spots remaining in LSU’s 2017 class, much of the attention has shifted to the running back position. The Tigers are in the mix for 5-star Mississippi back Cam Akers, but let’s not forget about the dangerous backfield weapon that’s already entrenched in the group.
Edwards-Helaire established himself as a household name last December in the Lousiana Division I state championships. The 3-star running back tore apart arguably the state’s top defender through the air and on the ground — and did so in front of former LSU coach Les Miles.
That resulted in an offer and a commitment a few weeks later at LSU’s “Boys From The Boot” event.
During his senior campaign, the 5-7, 191-pound Edwards-Helaire has had to battle a nagging hip injury that kept him out of the lineup through much of the early part of the schedule. Back healthy for the stretch run, the 3-star back reminded all those paying attention of why he’s the No. 25 running back in the 2017 class.
During the final five games of the regular season, Edwards-Helaire has wreaked havoc on opposing defenses. In that span, he’s amassed 446 yards rushing and another 211 receiving. Combined, he scored 12 touchdowns in that time rushing, receiving and on special teams.
The dynamic back has more than 3,000 yards for his Catholic High career, about 260 yards shy of current LSU standout Derrius Guice for third place.
His dominance as an all-purpose back should come as no surprise, though. He ranked eighth among running backs at The Opening Finals with a 121.2 rating (4.63 40; 39.8 vertical; 4.04 shuttle). A fourth star is long overdue.
Neil Farrell, 3-star DL (Mobile, Ala.)
Like the case with Edwards-Helaire, Farrell’s 3-star rating is not indicative of his production on the field during his senior season.
The 6-4, 295-pound Alabama native is labeled as a defensive tackle, but can play all over the defensive line. In fact, in LSU’s 3-4 front, Farrell is best suited to play defensive end, where he plays most of his snaps for Murphy High.
Through 10 regular-season contests, he had 85 tackles, including 25 for loss. There’s that, plus 12 sacks, 12 quarterback hurries, two passes defended and a forced fumble.
Comparatively speaking, Farrell has superior statistics than most defensive linemen in the country — in terms of tackles per game (7.6), tackles for loss per game (2.5), sacks (1.2) and quarterback hurries (1.2).
He even mustered a sack to preserve one of his team’s victories this season.
Farrell is rated as the No. 29 defensive tackle in the 2017 recruiting cycle, and position aside, there are fewer prospects at the position with better production and better offers. The LSU commit holds offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Southern Cal, Michigan, South Carolina and Tennessee, among others.
It’s almost criminal that Farrell is only a 3-star recruit after this kind of season.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.
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