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June 20, 2007

La. talent level dips slightly in 2008

Plenty of offensive talent in Ohio
N.C. talent attracts top programs
UGA locks down state's top prospects
Sandwiched between an outstanding Class of 2007 and what looks to be a loaded Class of 2009, Louisiana's Class of 2008 is down in terms of quality when you consider the state's normally lofty standards for producing lots of high-end football talent.

You can tell that the state and the talent in the Rivals.com Louisiana Top 30 is somewhat down when you look at its only BCS Conference program, LSU. The Tigers have increased their presence nationally and have hit Florida (especially South Florida), Georgia (especially Atlanta) and Texas particularly hard this year to make up for the lack of depth in their own state.

Nevertheless, there are some excellent football prospects in the Pelican State this recruiting cycle, led by Rayville wide receiver Chris Tolliver, the state's top prospect.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Tolliver has excellent speed and hands and caught 76 passes for approximately 1,500 yards and 26 touchdowns during his junior season.

LSU, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Colorado and Nebraska are among the teams that have offered Tolliver a scholarship and are vying for his services.

Versatility highlights spots 2-4.

LSU tight end/offensive line commit Matt Branch is the second big-time prospect to come out of Sterlington High near Monroe in as many years (Class of 2007 Tennessee receiver signee Ahmad Paige was the other). The 6-foot-7, 240-pounder plays tight end for his high school team, but could grow into an offensive tackle.

Branch picked the Tigers over Ole Miss, Tennessee and Arkansas.

Another LSU commit, Franklinton athlete Brandon Taylor, checks in at No. 3 on the list. The explosive prospect could be used on offense or defense at the next level. Defensive end Chase Clement of Thibodeaux follows Taylor. He also is versatile in that he could also play tight end in college.

LSU, Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Tulane, Maryland and Louisiana Tech are among the scholarship offers for Clement.

River Ridge (La.) John Curtis cornerback Robby Green is one who could rise up the list as the cycle continues. The 6-foot, 175-pounder has a reputation for being a lockdown cornerback and was impressive during his junior year, with 15 pass break-ups and four interceptions.

LSU, Southern California, Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Ole Miss, West Virginia and Arizona State are among the scholarship offers for Green.

Rounding out the top 10 are Monroe tight end Tyler Edwards, Destrehan athlete Jerico Nelson, Clinton cornerback Prentiss Waggner, LSU offensive line commit Clay Spencer and Hahnville wide receiver Laron Byrd.

Rivals.com Louisiana Top 30

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