John Emery may not be a household name — yet — but the rising junior is largely projected to be the top tailback in Louisiana’s 2019 recruiting cycle.
The Destrehan (La.) High School running back has visited LSU twice this spring. Emery’s first trip was for “Boys From The Boot” in February. He returned on Saturday for the Tigers’ third scrimmage.
The 1-on-1 time with New Orleans area recruiter Mickey Joseph certainly caught his attention.
“The visit was awesome,” Emery told SEC Country. “I enjoyed it for my first unofficial visit. Coach Mickey Joseph led me to come, and also my father and mother inspired me to come and get the experience.”
The 6-foot, 195-pound prospect relished his return trip to Baton Rouge, spending time with not only Joseph but new running backs coach Tommie Robinson and LSU head coach Ed Orgeron.
Emery had a keen eye on the Tigers’ new-look offense, most notably the veteran backfield and, of course, the opportunities that would be available to him should he choose to commit to LSU.
“Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams are going to be heading out by the time 2019 hits, and he (Joseph) told me that he’s going to try and put me in different spots on the offense,” Emery explained. “For instance, I could be in on the jet sweep. I just feel blessed to be recognized like that.”
The offense’s tempo and speed being implemented by first-year coordinator Matt Canada made an impression on the elite running back, and so did the way that the current LSU players responded to it.
“I absolutely liked how everything was constantly moving,” Emery said. “It had a fast pace and the excitement was off the chain.”
As a sophomore, Emery amassed nearly 1,700 yards. He didn’t start, but by the end of the season the young back became a signature playmaker, particularly on the Wildcats’ postseason run to the state semifinals.
As Emery prepares to spearhead the Destrehan backfield, he has seen his recruitment begin to spike. Georgia, Auburn, Ole Miss, Arkansas and North Carolina have all extended offers his way. LSU followed suit on Jan. 31.
Emery remains in regular communication with Joseph, but also with Robinson and Orgeron. The Tigers’ coaching staff has made a clear and obvious pitch to the elite 2019 prospect, which has resulted in LSU emerging as one of the early front-runners in his recruitment.
“They think that I’m an absolute fit for the offense and that I can be a big factor with Guice and Williams leaving,” Emery said. “I agree because I could easily fit in with the offense. LSU is running back school and LSU would definitely be in my top 5.”