With the high school football season deep into the heart of state playoff runs, and with the NCAA’s Early Signing Period approaching from December 19-21, the nation’s top recruits begin to zero in on their new homes. While known commodities, like former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant, remain on the market, there are a ton of five-star recruits that have yet to commit to one school as well.
The LSU Tigers already have two five-star players in defensive back Derek Stingley and big offensive lineman Kardell Thomas committed to join head coach Ed Orgeron‘s team in 2019, but their latest five-star addition, someone who is being compared to legendary LSU running back Leonard Fournette, is now committed to playing in Baton Rouge next season.
Destrehan High School running back John Emery Jr. is rated as the No. 2 running back in the country by 247Sports, and he verbally committed to playing at LSU late Tuesday night via Twitter. He’s the Tigers’ second running back commit of 2019 joining four-star running back Tyrion Davis.
Emery had previously decommitted from the Georgia Bulldogs in late October, but decided he will stay home in Louisiana and compete for the starting job at LSU next season.
John Emery Jr. is the highest-ranked running back recruit to come to LSU since Leonard Fournette as the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect back in 2014. Emery’s compared his mentality as a ball carrier to Fournette, and he boasts a similar skillset and dominating style as the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“My plan going into college is starting. I don’t plan on being No. 2 or being a part of a duo. However, I’ll play my part, but my goal is eventually to be No. 1 for sure. I feel like I should be that No. 1 like Leonard Fournette and the amount of carries he got each game.
“I don’t want to be Derrius Guice when Fournette was playing. I also have to think about the long-term and making it to the league. I don’t want my body beat up, so that’s something I need to look at.” — John Emery Jr. via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
To this point in the season, the Destrehan Wildcats are 10-1. As the No. 2 seed in the Class 5A Louisiana State Playoffs, having one of the best players in the entire state in Emery on their team bodes pretty well the deeper their run continues.
LSU football now holds the No. 5 overall recruiting class for the 2019 recruiting cycle, but Emery might end up being the most important piece of the puzzle. Despite senior running back Nick Brossette leaving after this season, there’s a crowded mess behind him on LSU’s running back roster, including sophomore Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who’s second on the team in rushing in 2018.
Still, when you add one of the best players in the country at a position as critical as any in the SEC, there’s a big reason to celebrate in Baton Rouge.