By Lee Brecheen
Texas A&M signed three impact players from Louisiana that I’ve seen play quite a bit in the last three years in person and full game tapes we covered. CB Noel Ellis (5-9,170) Edna Karr HS, has a lot of the same athletic ability and looks as former LSU player Tyrann Mathieu. Ellis, like Mathieu, played bigger, runs fast, and had great instincts when it came to covering downfield and short passes. I watched his dad play high school football also at Edna Karr HS a few years back and he was a great player. Noel Ellis SR stood
(6-2 230) and ran a 4.6/40 once he filled out at Tulane. I would be shocked if Noel Ellis is not at least one of Texas A&M top four Cornerbacks as a true Freshman, which would put him in the mix to play as a true Freshman. This kid could have an even a bigger impact and start, he’s that good. I thought LSU missed on this kid and went out of state to recruit bigger players. LB Darian Claiborne(6-0,225) ,Port Allen HS again wasn’t highly recruited by LSU in state I think for two reasons: his height and the need wasn’t there to sign many Linebackers. I will say this, this kid will be a tackling machine at A&M and play early because he’s a football player in every way. Darian played QB and LB for the team over four years and was dominant and tough nosed with great instincts every play for his team. He’s been timed in the 4.65 range in the forty, but to me he plays faster than that because he plays the game tough and has a lot of football ability you can’t coach. I can see Darian at MLB or OLB for A&M. I see this kid playing as a true freshman on special teams and maybe even starting right away over some of the more highly recruited linebackers signed. Claiborne will probably be (6-0, 240) by the time he’s filled out and still running a 4.6/40. A&M signed a big time sleeper from Louisiana by the name of Shaan Washington from Alexandria HS stands (6-3, 200) and can run on a bad day a 4.5/40. Shaan had to play both sides of the ball early in his career as a WR/FS his SO/JR seasons when I watched him in full games. His senior year was able to move to FS mostly and you can really see his upside. Shaan might grow into an OLB because he’s so lean at 200 pounds and has that tall frame to be about 230 when he’s done. This is a kid that might redshirt as a Freshman but might end up being a superstar when it’s said and done.
Nebraska signed two players from Louisiana that should be able to letter or play a lot as true freshman in 2013. TE Cethan Carter(6-3, 235) from Archbishop Rummel in New Orleans has incredible upside. I watched this kid when he was a SO in HS and he was already a polished blocker on offense and that year he did not catch many passes.
What stuck out to me was his ability to move off the snap as an athlete and destroy Defensive Ends with great form blocking, finishing blocks, and burying older players. Carter’s junior year he showed off his hands and senior year was the complete package: blocker, hands, ability to run like a WR after the catch, and played and excelled as a Defensive End for the team at times. LSU offered a Grayshirt to this kid but in my opinion he was one of the top 12 players in the state and has an NFL future. Depending on how big Cethan is when he hits Lincoln will determine how fast he plays as a TE over older players. If he’s (240-245) by the time he reports, he might have a chance to play a lot. Head Coach Bo Pellini might like him so much he might Redshirt him as a Defensive End and in another year this kid will be a super star at (6-3 255) coming off the edge as a DE or as a TE running a 4.6/40. Defensive Back Trevell Dixon(6-1,195) from West St Mary HS played QB his senior year because he was the team’s best athlete coming back of only 25 players and needed him where he could help the team. This is a kid who ran hand times of 4.4 and 4.41 in the forty at his first two camps summer before his senior year. Nebraska has a need for Defensive Backs to play early at CB or SS so if Dixon comes into camp in shape and ready to go, I don’t see him Redshirting in 2013. Dixon might have been ranked higher in recruiting if he could have concentrated on one postion in HS but played several for his team and never got to polish one. In person this kid is a very athletic lean (195) pounds and very mature kid.