Early look at top metro New Orleans football recruits for 2023 class

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Arch Manning: Newman vs East Jefferson 2020
(Photo: Parker Waters)

Although we are still still in the midst of the 2022 recruiting cycle, it’s never too early to look ahead to the ’23 class to see the top talent in the Greater New Orleans Metro area.

-QB Arch Manning (6-4, 210) Newman

A great place to start for this group, the latest in football’s first family is projected to be the top prospect in the nation in next year’s recruiting class. He’s thrown for 4,360 yards with 55 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions, 66% completions entering the 2021 campaign. Cooper’s son has gained some weight and strength since his freshman season with the Greenies.

Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Clemson and Ole Miss as his top five with planned visits. LSU, Tennessee, USC, North Carolina, SMU and Notre Dame are in the next tier. This recruitment will garner national attention until he signs the paperwork.

-DB Ryan Robinson, Jr. (6-0, 170) Edna Karr

He started for Cougars as a sophomore. The very confident lockdown defender took an unofficial visit to LSU in June. Florida State is putting a lot of effort in securing him. Memphis, Michigan State, Tulane, Mississippi State, Virginia, Louisville and UCF are in the mix.

– ILB Jirrea Johnson (5-11, 215) Warren Easton
Last year, he had 84 stops, 6 TFL, 3 sacks and 3 PBU. He started as sophomore. Kansas, McNeese and Louisville are his offers.

– ATH Jai Eugene (6-2, 170) Destrehan
The lefty is a QB who can also project to the slot or secondary. He has offers from Nicholls and Virginia plus looks from Fla. State, UL and La. Tech.

-QB A.J. Samuel (6-0, 180) Edna Karr

A dual threat talent, he had 3,081 yards, 37 TD passes and seven scoring runs last year. His dream school is Texas A&M. Hawaii and Northwestern State have extended offers. More are sure to come. Samuel attended the Elite 11 camp in Houston last spring and really opened eyes.

-DT Tyler Bailey (6-3, 286) Ponchatoula

The three-star holds offer from LSU that he received in March. Maryland is also keeping tabs on him.

-WR Makai Donaldson (6-4, 200) Newman

He has Florida State and Virginia offers. Ole Miss, Kansas, La. Tech, ULL, Mississippi State, Vandy, Wake Forest and TCU monitoring closely.

– TE/DE Will Randle (6-4, 235) Newman

Two-way player who also also plays basketball and baseball, Randle is a good blocker and receiver. His recruitment is gaining traction. LSU, Virginia, Tulane, Fla. State, Ga. Tech and Texas are hotly pursuing him.

-DB Michael Richard (5-11, 170) Karr

Memphis, Mississippi State, Arkansas State, Tulane, Virginia, Fla. State and South Carolina all watching the safety prospect with keen interest.

-DB Lynard Harris (6-0, 170) Destrehan

Already capable of a 265-pound bench press, 365 dead lift, 395 squat and 245 clean, he’s very strong for a secondary player. Virginia likes him a lot.

-DB Cade Middleton (5-10, 170) Riverside

The safety has Mississippi State, Virginia, Tulane, Nicholls and ULL showing interest.

-QB/WR D’Wanye Winfield (6-2, 185) Lutcher

A good passer and exciting runner, he totaled 323 yards and 5 scores with only 12 rushes last year in the playoffs versus Grant.

-ATH Torey Lambert (5-11, 190) Brother Martin

A track athletic, he runs the 300 meter hurdles. Austin Peay has offered while Fla. Atlantic, Memphis and Tulane are watching.

-CB Patrick LaBranch (5-9, 170, 4.5) John Curtis

Sporting a 3.6 GPA, 35″ vertical and 345 lbs. squat, he has state schools watching closely.

-ATH Cyler Christmas (6-1, 185) St. James

Many ar enot sure which is his best sport. He’s an excellent shortstop in baseball. Cyler shows good ball skills as cornerback who already has a two intereception game this season versus Shaw. State schools are interested.

-ATH Kaden Williams (5’9, 170, 4.5) St. James

His college position could be slot receiver, running back or a mix of both. He can bounce outside, is dangerous in space and shows an extra gear. Arkansas Baptist has offered.

-OL Carmelo Crump (6-3, 285) Warren Easton

He can play anywhere along the o-line. Known for pancake blocks but also a good pass blocker.

-WR Dorian Smith (6-0, 180) Destrehan
He’s an advanced route runner.

-DT Jace Phillips (6-2, 260) St. James

Currently has a 295 lbs. bench press, 555 dead lift and 520 squat. He beats double team blocks. Versatile as a 3 or 5 technique, he’s a very active lineman. Phillips was a starter as a freshman.

-OG Mike Greene (6’0, 285) East St. John

He gets under his pads and drives opponents. Moves well with 4.9 40-time.

-RB Cortez Fisher (5-10, 170) East St. John

He squats 415 lbs. and is also very elusive. Against Hahnville in 2020, he had 162 yards and two scores. He also holds a 3.65 GPA.

-CB Kaden Foster (5-10, 155) St. Charles Catholic

He shows good reactions to balls in the air and breaks down well in coverage to find the ball. Foster has good hips for the position and plays bigger than his size.

-OG Gaylon Fobb (6-2, 330) East St. John

State and SWAC schools are interested. He can play anywhere along the o-line. Fine student with a 3.5 GPA.

-OLB Freddie Jones (6-0, 210) East St. John

Another Honor Roll student, he has state schools in the mix.

-OT Caden Jones (6-7, 275) De La Salle

The big, projectable tackle has offers from LSU, Tulane, Colorado and ULL. The length is obvious but he also shows good agility, comfort in space and active footwork. In fact, Jones is a starting center in basketball. Currently a right tackle, he has time to learn the left side.

On a final note, it is still a ways off but keep an eye on sophomore Jermaine Mitchell, the left tackle at St. James. The 6-foot-8, 310 pounder already has top programs looking to secure his services. He will draw attention from many FBS schools before it’s all said and done.

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Rene Nadeau

CCS/Fox Sports/ESPN/WFAN

Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to be a member of the LSU football program, developing a passion for the game in even…

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