2022 LSU COMMITS & TARGETS BEGIN THEIR SENIOR SEASONS WITH A BANG



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by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips

This past weekend, focusing on Louisiana, Georgia, Florida and Texas, a host of current Tigers' commits and targets just ignited the final season of their careers:

The list is headlined by high profile "can't miss" 2022 ringleaders & intrepid talents, all stemming from a wide range of backgrounds: intriguing NFL & CFB bloodlines are at play, a Tiger Legacy who is now the undisputed #1 QB in his class (LSU Odyssey / Geaux247 & Rivals-rated), the #1 & #2 LSU Odyssey-rated pass catchers (both with unsurprising NFL bloodlines), and more, more, more as we track the goings on around the recruiting world.


WALKER HOWARD

(St Thomas More)

190 Passing Yards

4 TDs

15/22


Leading St Thomas More to a 35-0 victory over crosstown rivals Comeaux, Walker Howard took no prisoners straight out of the gates, carrying a steely eyed, magnetic presence & an efficiency which belies his young age.

During the Lafayette Jamboree, future Tigers superstar Walker Howard took control with such exacting, surgical destruction even Trent Dilfer would have to excuse himself in a rushed frenzy. Comeaux were filleted in a 35-0 bloodbath of pinpoint accuracy and consistency from America's #1 quarterback.

Howard opened proceedings in a nice rhythm through the screen game, hitting WR Connor Stelly for a 15 yard catch & scamper to set Shane Savoie's juggernaut offense on the right track.

In his first game without current LSU Tigers Jack Bech or Carter Arceneaux out wide, Walker was still quick to get in sync, ripping a few quick short yardage passes and mixing in the run; his trigger-finger release repeatedly allowed his teammates to make plays in space.

Capping off the first points of the game inside the red zone, Walker took a quick drop before scanning Barron Sawyer's separation and hit the receiver with a millimeter perfect pass over the top of helpless Comeaux coverage; the touchdown was yet another exhibition of absolute sharpsmanship from Walker, rattling off nonstop passes into an angle most high schoolers wouldn't even identify....

On a tough 2nd and 21 play, Walker escaped pressure from in front, pursuing in behind, and on both the right & left, bending his body and snaking away from their pursuit, setting up his blockers through his own brilliant manipulation of the collapsing pocket, before suddenly he checks out the space to his left and rolls in that direction, sniping a bulletproof pass to Tanner Solieau for a huge 15 yard gain......

I hate to say something so crazy, so nuts...but I'm going to:

On the field, Walker improves when everything breaks down.

His next touchdown came from the same drive, pushing deep into the red zone once again. When St Thomas More's "Captain America" rolled to his left on another big snap, he made Comeaux pay the ultimate price for allowing him to escape pressure:

.....bulleting a low 9 yard touchdown pass to WR Andrew Morse, the senior pulled off a beautiful falling catch in the corner of the end zone.

With the score at 12-0 from Walker's two red zone TD passes to Morse and Sawyer, it was only a matter of time before STM accelerated the victory process....and it would come by way of a 41 yard grab by Barron Sawyer, running the seam route, making the catch in stride, and taking the ball to the house from 25 yards out....scoring his second touchdown of the night as a defender dove at his heels.

Capping off a balanced, electric team performance, St Thomas More's quarterback dealt his 3rd red zone score of the night, this time finding WR Jacob Clark via another tight window throw.

Clark earned a few feet of separation inside the end zone, Howard rolled to his right and, with a hopping defender in his face and an incoming DB about to smash Clark from behind, the Gatorade Player of the Year nominee rocketed a pass through the fire and into Jacob's chest; Despite a raucous hit upon impact, Clark came up with the 4 yard touchdown grab, sealing the game at 28-0 before halftime....

Only the second time St Thomas More have scored less than 37 points during Walker's starting reign, the lower score was all because STM wisely took their foot off the gas & put the backups in as soon as possible:

The teams who are able to repeat as champions base everything around longevity, timing, chemistry, team health, and execution. Every player on STM knows what's at stake, they know what's expected by Head Coach Jim Hightower.....the #1 ranked team in Louisiana crave three titles in a row. Although St Thomas More enter the season with a big target on their backs, it wouldn't be right if Walker Howard were to leave STM with only 1 title as a starting quarterback.

Coming into the future LSU QB's senior year, the questions were always "how can STM replace the unreal Jack Bech or Carter Arceneaux out wide?"

After spreading around the ball to three different touchdown recipients, Barron Sawyer showcasing big play ability, Connor Stelly looking fast and deadly after the catch, while Jacob Clark and Andrew Morse held on to tight window passes through a barrage of violent hits....I believe Walker has more than enough targets.

Among those four receivers, only the latter isn't a senior and even Connor is still a junior who played for the last two STM state champion teams.....these guys all know what it takes.

The perfect way to keep your team fit and firing on all cylinders for a chance at a fourth straight title game appearance and a likely threepeat??

Kick everyone's ass.


JAKE JOHNSON

(Oconee High)

VS CEDAR SHOALS:

4 catches

36 Yards

SEASON TOTAL (2 games):

146 Yards

10 Catches

1 TD

14.6 Per Catch


During a bruising, physical game vs Cedar Shoals, LSU's 2022 pass-catching titan Jake Johnson experienced a quieter evening game than normal statistically, but while receiving only a few more targets than his overall reception haul of 3, Juker was still effective for Oconee High's 2-0 start.

Although Oconee QB Jacob Wright overthrew Johnson on a wide open touchdown early in the game, 2022's #1 ranked tight end would be harder on himself, expecting to catch everything.

Later, Johnson went tearing up the sidelines on a deep route, only to be habitually held while a safety dove at his legs....

Juker was held and interfered throughout the battle, as Shoals weren't going to be embarrassed by Oconee again:

Against Oconee's Jake Johnson-era offense, Cedar Shoals were blown off the field by an overall score of 69-0 in consecutive seasons, Juker memorably catching 2 touchdowns & 85 yards from his brother Max during the 2019 fall ....due to these past embarrassments, Cedar Shoals were giving everything this last weekend...they weren't about to roll over a third time.

Despite Oconee High's sputtering offense failing to sustain momentum, they made enough plays to pull out the 27-19 victory, the first touchdown of the game made possible by a nasty Juker block.

He's as unselfish as he is talented, but make no mistake....an athlete with his singular abilities must receive targets for Oconee to reach their ultimate goals....and throughout 4 quarters vs Cedar Shoals, the Warriors' offensive staff relied on one-dimensional conservatism.

There are tougher opponents over the next three weeks....Oconee cannot afford to leave Johnson in the shadows again.... or they may be on the wrong side of a scoreline for only the 4th time in 3 seasons.

MABREY METTAUER

(Woodlands)