LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
INSIDE THE GOLD MINE
2021's class is burning up, prospects and prodigies left and right still available for schools to target, while some of the best overall players remain on the board: freak DE J.T Tuimoloau, #1 quarterback Caleb Williams, the #1 overall player DE Korey Foreman, #9 overall player (thirsty-good) WR Emeka Egbuka, and finally O-linemen Tristan Leigh and Tommy Brockermeyer (among others) are waiting in the wings...all yet to make decisions.
Joining Caleb and Korey: the Houma, Louisiana phenom Mr. Maason Smith, Foreman's good friend who looks LSU-bound, although the top drawer DE has refrained from any concrete choice;
After seizing Michigan's Garrett Dellinger, LSU aim to solidify and expand around highly prized offensive tackle Tristan Leigh (11th rated overall player, 3rd overall OT) and Garrett's Clarkston teammate Rocco Spindler....regardless, there remains a fine number of additional options, too.
There's more targets, young men such as the 38th rated player in the country TE Thomas Fidone, or the two local top 10 WRs Brian Thomas and Chris Hilton (as we dissected yesterday), safety Sage Ryan, cornerback Ga'Quincy "Kool-Aid" McKinstry (who's two-sport preference should see the Bama native defect and join Will Wade's elite basketball program as well as Orgeron's championship squad), RB Armoni Goodwin (pursued by Alabama, Auburn and LSU)...there's still such a depth of available specimen left for Orgeron's staff to absorb.
Although the 2021 class is just beginning to find its shape, revolving around the breathtaking potential of quarterback Garrett Nussmeier, LSU's 2021 freshman class may already have their captain....a kid who didn't just feel LSU out and join in a topsy turvy bout of second guessing, this is a young man who dove headfirst into the title-winning program:
5 Star linebacker Raesjon Davis out of Mater Dei High School, once a teammate of 2020 Tiger Eli Ricks, #32 is poised for greatness as he's already become a huge fan favorite in purple and gold...without playing a down...
Davis is a fantastic defender, possessing hell bent for leather pace, side to side calculation, frenzied anticipation, robust finishing tackles, expert pre-snap visualization, protection dissection, as well as boasting a hybridized playmaker physique and football mind...
Meanwhile at 210 pounds, Davis must gain weight lest he become a new player at LSU...a prospective possibility many players either survive or wither away from.
Raesjon won't be backing down from anything...as if Coach Orgeron had a long lost son in California, Davis has the same neck-breaking, ass-kicking, grenade-launching McBain countenance as his future coach: pure, driven football vengeance.
Holding such bountiful finesse in his pursuit, Davis is a never-ending motorized death circus, flying towards the football carrier with uncontainable intensity and swagger.
He's not all about hitting an opponent as hard as he possibly can, Raesjon is about effectively taking players to the ground, which he consistently executes with sustained prejudice.
Thanks to his length, I've witnessed Raesjon affect passes over the middle or between the seams, providing adept coverage for a linebacker, picking off 2 passes, defending or deflecting 15 other throws and forcing 4 more incompletions due to #32's exceptional magnetism in the passing game.
Because of his slimmer build, angular speed and sense of timing at the line of scrimmage or in the hit, Davis could eventually become one of Bill Busch's strong safeties;
However....if linebacker is his most desired position, RJ has 13 months to balloon from 210 into a capable SEC linebacker weight, somewhere around 230...
Although a weight gain would present Davis in a far more intimidating light, his juggernaut speed already strikes fear into ball carriers all across California.
I don't feel Raesjon needs to do anything more than improve his game each day: his God given / raging bull pace means his weight rarely gets in the way of making a tackle.
Reminding many of Devin White or the Beckwiths, I actually see Raesjon Davis as a hybrid of Arden Key's finesse, outside moves and edge-holding motor combined with Patrick Queen's all-encompassing side-to-side athleticism...and with those two names, LSU have their all time sack leader and a defensive MVP of the 2019 title game...you can't get any better than those defensive comparisons...
But he's also a completely different cat to anyone else, a huge compliment considering our fanbase's love of past to present comparisons.
Think of the few LSU players who escaped or transcended the past?
Burrow, Faulk, Mathieu, Fournette & Guice, Peterson, Webster, Landry, Casanova, Hester, Collins, Stingley, White, Adams, Edwards-Helaire, Chase, Delpit...singular talents who distilled every LSU tradition before their existence and delivered this smoldering package on all opponents while cementing their own mark as a Tiger.
Before he's even stepped on the field clad in purple and gold, Davis has already made an impact, branding his name and signature #32 upon LSU's collective consciousness...forget the comparisons, Raesjon is his own man.
Following his commitment, Davis even went after other top 2021 players on Twitter or Instagram, demanding they join him as he "starts a dynasty"...many players from all over the nation have taken the Mater Dei linebacker at his word and weren't merely persuaded by LSU's recruitment:
They were excited.
Raesjon represents that "championship party in heaven" vibe, the same delirium trigger Joe Burrow squeezed and held down with reckless abandon throughout 2019. Because of this "infinite mentality", Baton Rouge has become a place where everything isn't just possible, it's happening right now...before our very eyes...and Raesjon is now a full participant.
He wants to be part of something bigger...but instead of trotting down the road on a solo odyssey, Raesjon issued a call to arms for all of 2021's biggest, baddest, meanest, toughest, hungriest players to join him down South and become born again on the bayou.
2019 MATER DEI:
91 TACKLES (73 SOLO)
-4.0 TACKLES PER GAME
37.0 TACKLES FOR LOSS
15 PASSES DEFENDED / DEFLECTED
4 INCOMPLETIONS FORCED
6 QB HURRIES
5 FORCED FUMBLES
4 FUMBLE RECOVERIES
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2020 TIGERS ALMANAC at lsuodyssey.com/shop
217 pages: every player, coach and future opponent profiled
By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
BLACK LIVES MATTER
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