The regular season is winding down in the South, which means district titles and playoff spots in the balance. In Louisiana, there were primetime showdowns in Shreveport and in Baton Rouge, which included several notable recruits from around the state.

Captain Shreve and C.E. Byrd squared off in a crosstown rivalry game on Thursday. Baton Rouge powers Woodlawn and Catholic met Friday night with LSU coach Ed Orgeron on hand. Here’s more from the games, including some analysis and recruiting storylines featuring LSU, Alabama, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Michigan and Purdue recruits.

KENDRICK’S LAW

Kendrick Law is not only one of the nation’s best athletes; his recruitment has remained largely a mystery since the summer.

From an evaluation angle, Rivals initially ranked Law as an offensive athlete with the skill-set for a running back. This offseason, he played a linebacker role in the 7-on-7 circuit, but the same spark he displayed on offense didn’t translate to the other side of the ball.

Law saw a season-high 18 touches for Captain Shreve (La.) last week — as a single back, a wing-back, slot receiver and returner on kickoffs and punts. A special athlete in space, Law is good to make a defender miss or break a tackle on any given snap, doing so on multiple occasions, which included some leaps and jumps over defenders to move the sticks.

Additionally, Law saw action in the slot where he showed off the strong hands and ability to beat bracket coverage and also hold on through contact. Factor in his verified track speed to beat defenders to the outside, the initial burst and the smoothness in and out of his breaks and the ceiling is through the roof. That’s a shared feeling by several colleges nationwide.

Law’s recruitment remains up in the air, those close to his recruitment suggest, and the Rivals250 athlete continues to seek out out the best fit both on-the-field and in the classroom. It’s worth noting Law is a 4.0 student with a 22 ACT score. He intends to major in engineering, which is a big component to his decision.

Coaches from LSU and Texas were on hand for Thursday’s contest, and Alabama coaches visited Captain Shreve last month. Law will return to Tuscaloosa for an official visit this weekend for the LSU game and sources have indicated that Alabama checks a lot of boxes for the four-star athlete. The Tide have momentum in the Boot with a Halloween weekend commitment from former LSU pledge Aaron Anderson.

Blake Gideon’s attendance at Law’s game was also no coincidence. Texas has dialed up its pursuit of the North Louisiana standout in recent weeks and Law spoke with Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian after Thursday’s game, a source told Rivals. That’ll certainly be a storyline to monitor as we inch closer and closer toward the Early Signing Period.

MANY EYES ON LOUISIANA LINEBACKER

Rivals100 hybrid linebacker Tackett Curtis is turning in a dominant junior season for Northwest power Many (La.), embracing the dual-position tag as an in-the-box safety capable of making plays at the line of scrimmage and patrolling sideline-to-sideline with authority. Curtis brings an old-school touch to a nuanced position. He’s also taken an expanded role on offense as a physical runner in the team’s power rushing attack.

Curtis has made game-day visits to Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Michigan, and thus far the Badgers have been on hand for Friday night in Many. The Sooners are expected to be in attendance this week and Michigan is scheduled to follow suit later this month. Arkansas coaches saw Curtis and his Tigers play last Friday and Fayetteville could be the move for Curtis and four-star 2024 teammate Tylen Singleton this Saturday.

BATTLE IN THE CAPITAL

Rivals250 signal-caller Rickie Collins threw for seven touchdowns and completed 16-of-19 passes a week ago, but the junior might’ve mustered up his most impressive effort in a crosstown tilt against what many consider to be Louisiana’s best team.

Collins, who consistently remains poised and cool under pressure, made smart decision after smart decision to methodically move the chains with off-schedule throws and some quarterback runs sprinkled in-between. It was reminiscent of watching five-star Walker Howard’s effort against this same defense a year ago with a similar outcome.

Collins moves around in and outside the pocket on nearly every drop-back buying time and keeps his eyes pinned downfield. He’s incredibly smooth rolling to his right and is equally as accurate throwing on the move as he is inside the pocket. He can put some zip on his throws delivered some fantastic throws throughout this contest, including a fourth-down completion to ice the win. There’s something different how he operates under stress.

The Purdue four-star pledge is decisive, confident and certainly earned a statement victory over the defending Division I state champions. Collins represents a colossal commitment for the Boilermakers in The Boot, especially for Marty Biagi, who has quietly given Purdue a presence in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Acadiana. Orgeron was on hand for the game and whoever takes over at LSU next could be primed to make a hard run at changing Collins’ mind, some sources have suggested.

Rivals100 wide receiver Shelton Sampson is several weeks back into the mix after being sidelined with a broken thumb to open his junior season. Through five games, the state’s No. 2-ranked player and nation’s No. 2-ranked receiver has 14 receptions for 359 yards and three scores, averaging better than 25 yards per catch.

Sampson not only lined up out wide, but was saw action as a kickoff and punt returner, where he was dangerous in the open field, and took an end-around 29 yards during a scoring drive. Sampson has elite speed and size to navigate in space like few others. There are shades of George Pickens to his game with the blend of top-end physical traits and rare athleticism. Sampson is a major big-play threat — one of the best in the nation — and will be in that five-star conversation. LSU, Alabama and Texas A&M are all serious contenders.

Rivals100 defensive back Jordan Matthews shared coverage responsibilities of Sampson and the array of talented pass-catchers of Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic. Matthews, who’s long and also thin, tightly shadowed receivers out wide and inside at nickel. He came up with a pass breakup in the slot and also closed quickly on two targets.

Matthews is position-versatile and disciplined in coverage. He was rarely targeted for a reason. Coaches from both LSU and Texas A&M were on hand to see the 2023 four-star. Mississippi State and Texas are two more teams in pursuit.

QUICK-HITTERS

–Five-star Lafayette (La.) St. Thomas More QB Walker Howard returned to practice on Monday after receiving the green light from doctors over the weekend. Howard has viciously been rehabbing and undergoing physical therapy treatment. A possible return for the state playoff run remains a possibility. The LSU commitment previously officially visited Notre Dame and was scheduled to see Ole Miss this weekend, multiple sources told Rivals. That visit has since been nixed.

— 2024 Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic QB Daniel Beale has a state title under his belt and engineers one of the state’s most dominant offenses. Beale continues to make strides as a passer in Year 2, throwing strikes from inside the pocket and makes accurate throws on the move. He executes his offense well and stays calm despite playing in big games on a week-to-week basis. He visited Mississippi State on Saturday.

— 2024 Many (La.) offensive lineman Jo Cryer earned a profile. The sophomore plays tackle and is a tone-setter for Many’s power rushing attack. He also was in Starkville this weekend.

— 2023 Shreveport (La.) Captain Shreve offensive lineman Chris Allen earned a profile. The 6-foot-3, 265-pound junior has quick feet and plays with a mean strike on The Boot’s top-scoring offense.



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