LSU made a splash Saturday night securing a commitment from elite 4-star wide receiver Stephen Sullivan for a second time.
The Donaldsonville High School (Donaldsonville, La.) product chose to stay home rather than commit to Mississippi State or TCU, both of which made a major push for the 6-foot-5, 230-pound receiver after he de-committed from LSU in August and reopened his recruitment for his senior season.
Sullivan is rated as the No. 8 player in Louisiana and No. 17 wide receiver in the nation. He is also considered the top wide receiver in the state, meaning the Tigers have nabbed the top player at that position for a second year in a row after Tyron Johnson made the same decision in the 2015 recruiting class.
LSU continues to reel in top-tier wide receiver recruits, thanks to the astounding success its former wide receivers are having in the NFL. Consider Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry major reasons why other future pros such as Sullivan and Johnson want to be a part of LSU’s offense.
What Sullivan brings to the table
Sullivan joins fellow in-state wide receiver Da’Monte Coxie and 4-star Texas receiver Dee Anderson as the three commitments at the position. The combination of the three prospects gives LSU a versatile and differing array of talent at the position.
Sullivan brings an elite level of athleticism to the position. Also a basketball star, Sullivan takes advantage of his frame to outmuscle defenders. Sullivan uses every inch of his 6-foot-5, 230-pound build to his advantage, and with strong route-running ability, he should give whoever is under center for LSU a solid and go-to red-zone target.
Sullivan should complement Coxie, the No. 27 player in the state of Louisiana, who is a gritty receiver that excels in getting open and tracking the football. Anderson, on the other hand, has the height like Sullivan and is strong at creating separation from defenders to get open down the field.
When Sullivan will see the field
Whether or not Sullivan will be an instant impact player upon arrival at LSU remains to be seen. More importantly, though, he and the other members of the 2016 recruiting class give the team a great foundation at the wide receiver position going forward.
LSU’s current crop of starters — John Diarse, Malachi Dupre and possibly Travin Dural, pending his decision to declare for the 2016 NFL Draft or not — should start to get a lift from last year’s freshman like Johnson and Jazz Ferguson, among others.
What’s next for LSU
Sullivan and Co. should ultimately be the key contributors in the LSU’s next wave of receivers, but the Tigers may not be done adding to the class.
LSU remains very much in the mix for some other in-state receivers, including 4-stars Clyde Chriss of Warren Easton (New Orleans) and Mykel Jones of Patterson High School (Patterson, La.). Additionally, LSU could be a finalist for 4-star Drake Davis of IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), who took his official visit to Baton Rouge, La., with Sullivan on Dec. 11.
There is a strong chance LSU could wind up securing four wide receivers in the 2016 class as it continues to prioritize elite talent at the position.