Recruiting: Metro New Orleans late risers in 2020 class

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Karr QB Leonard Kelly
Edna Karr’s Leonard Kelly has been too successful and productive for college recruiters to miss (Photo: Parker Waters).

I posted my top 50 prospects from the greater New Orleans area for the 2020 recruiting class awhile back. As you know, the pecking order is forever changing.

Several prospects that weren’t included on the top 50 list have improved their standing, some on the field and others in the classroom. Still others demonstrated enough to wet the appetites of the recruiters who may not have recognized their considerable abilities previously. Many could eventually be bargains on national signing day.

The early signing period is less than three weeks away, and many programs look to start securing signatures to wrap up the bulk of their classes as soon as possible. Here are some players that may not have grabbed the headlines early but the college recruiters know who they are.

K/P Austin McCready (6-1, 175) John Curtis

Strong leg and a very good punter, Also has been backup QB for the Patriots. McCready has a 3.9 GPA. Attended Kohl’s kicking camp. Holds offers from Memphis, Louisville. State schools watching closely. Could accept a preferred walk on spot. Reminds me some of former Curtis QB/K/P Chris Jackson, who became a two-sport standout at LSU.

WR Will Sheppard (6-2, 180) Mandeville

Finished the 2019 regular season atop the Metro lists as the most productive receiver with 62 grabs for 1,300 yards and 24 touchdowns. Soft hands, smooth routes, capable of monster games. Had nine catches for 288 yards and three touchdowns vs. Ponchatoula plus 13 catches for 346 yards and six scores against Poplarville (Miss.). Sheppard is also a dynamic basketball player for the Skippers. Alcorn, Richmond, UTSA, Nicholls, Texas State, Army, McNeese and Grambling are all very interested.

QB D’Andre Gaudia (6-0, 170) West St. John

Dual threat is a three-year starter. Had 342 yards and three touchdowns vs. Lusher this season. May play slot receiver in college. Good baseball fielder. 3.4 GPA. Tulane and state schools monitoring.

QB Sean Shelby (6-1, 188) East St. John

Has grown a couple of inches and added 15 pounds in the past 12 months. Could play on either side of the ball. State schools watching.

RB Shane Goins (5-8, 170) John Curtis

Run a 4.5 forty. Excellent baseball player. Could play in the slot. Strong and reaches second level quickly as a north/south runner. Long jump and 4 X 100 relay. Mississippi College and Louisiana College interested.

QB Grant Jordan (6-2, 190) Jesuit

Runs 4.6 forty. Competitor who is very smart, he has elevated his game. Team captain. Nicholls, SLU, Northwestern State watching.

CB Dante Thomas (6-0, 178) John Curtis

Has a high football IQ plus good closing speed and makes good breaks on balls in the air. SLU, McNeese, Northwestern State, Southern like him. Arizona State and Arkansas interested.

QB Quincy Curry (5-11, 190) Carver

Has 3.0 GPA and is an excellent runner. SWAC schools monitoring.

ATH Kentrell Harris (5-9, 190) Booker T. Washington

Cousin is Lionel Washington, ex-Tulane/NFL CB now in Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. ULL, La. Tech, Nichools, SLU, UTSA all interested. Could be slot WR or RB.

WR Spencer Jordan (6-3, 200) Lakeshore

Uses body well to make catches and runs good routes. Has strong hands and creates mismatches with smaller defenders. He breaks tackles and is a willing blocker. Could become a TE.

WR/CB D’Kyri Jackson (5-10, 165) West St. John

Long jump, 100 meters. Plays with energy and shows good ball skills. State and SWAC schools interested.

RB/WR Zahn Diaz (5-9, 185) Mandeville

Quick jumps cuts, good hands, elusive, shows vision and patience. Good upside. State schools looking.

RB/DB Max Lowery (5-9, 175) Lakeshore

Has vision, physical style and desire. State schools interested. Is someone who could excel on special teams.

CB/WR Da Vonn Moore (5-6, 174) Brother Martin

Point guard in basketball is a good athlete. Diminutive but explosive. Don’t underestimate him. All District Player. State / SWAC schools.

OG Rudolph Bolds (6-1, 275) John Curtis

Plays with a good base. Uses hands well. Mississippi College and Louisiana College interested.

LB Marquis Martin (6-1, 235) John Curtis

Runs a 4.83 forty. Physical at point of attack.

ATH Wantrell Williams (5-11, 175) West St. John

Has offer from Southern Miss. As a runner this past season, he totaled 1,039 yards with 15 touchdowns while averaging an impressive 9.7 yards per carry. Could line up in backfield, slot or even secondary. Rushed for 253 yards with three touchdowns on 19 carries vs. Country Day.

QB Leonard Kelly (5-11, 183) Edna Karr

Proven winner. Northwestern State and Nicholls see great value.

RB Darryl Evans (5-11, 181) Hahnville

Has 4.55 speed and a 36″ vertical. Very productive and impressive yards after contact. SLU, Nicholls, Southern, Northwestern State recruiting him.

OT Robert Pizzolato (6-3, 290) John Curtis

Very good run blocker who has improved technique. SLU, McNeese, Northwestern State interested.

WR Chandler Washington (5-10, 155) Covington

Plays well up to his 4.4 speed. Good return man whi can break game open. Gets behind coverage as a deep threat but will run between tackles. State / SWAC schools.

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Rene Nadeau

Rene Nadeau


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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