Halloween is a festive day for many and on Oct. 31 the LSU coaching staff will be on pins and needles awaiting the decision from 2021 safety Sage Ryan. The SI99 prospect is expected to announce his commitment between the Tigers and Alabama Saturday, a big domino in the Tigers' 2021 recruiting efforts.
Growing up in nearby Lafayette, Ryan has spent his fair share of time around the program. Back in early September, he took a visit to Baton Rouge with a number of fellow 2021 committed and uncommitted players. But it’s his relationship with the coaching staff that has remained strong.
"I got a great relationship with all of those guys," Ryan told LSUCountry about his relationship with the LSU coaching staff. "They do a pretty good job of recruiting and checking in on me. I'm communicating with them every day."
With two safeties in Khari Gee and Matthew Langlois on board, there's no denying that Ryan would be a big boosts for the Tigers in the secondary. We caught up with SI All-American recruiting analyst John Garcia to gauge what a Ryan commitment would mean to the 2021 LSU class.
Sage Ryan to LSU would be massive news both geographically and competitively for the Tigers. Not only is he Louisiana-bred with family ties to the program, but they resonate on the coaching staff as well with his bloodline in the Faulk family. On the trail, any head-to-head win versus Nick Saban, especially for a defensive back, is major in its own right -- even with the ties Ryan has to Baton Rouge.
On the field this is what defensive coordinators want, big, athletic prospects who could grow into perhaps more than one role in a defense that puts plenty of pressure on the position. Ryan is most comfortable as a safety at this moment, with good range and elite linear ability and the short-area explosion that amounts to big hits. But here at SI we have him as a Nickel projection within the SI99 rankings due to his floor. He is already a great run supporter and has the makeup speed to play at the catch-point even if his coverage technique isn't quite at an All-SEC level. LSU has often used DBs as attacking sub defenders, see most recently Grant Delpit and Jamal Adams, but even the likes of the Honey Badger and others -- that's the type of company Ryan's athletic traits lean towards at this stage.
Once the polish arrives, watch out.
Here is Ryan's SI All American player profile and scouting report:
Frame: Compact frame with muscular build in upper and lower half. Developed quads with clear definition.
Athleticism: Dynamic accelerator with true conversion of speed to power. Can get to top speed in short order with sustainability. One of the fastest track sprinters in Louisiana, which says plenty at nearly 200 pounds. Sub 4.5-second timings in the 40-yard dash to boot. Strong, explosive leaper from stationary or mobile positioning.
Instincts: Mentality of an enforcer with strong downhill commitment. Great speed combines very well with lower-body power to create devastating hits in space or in traffic. Finds most success in linear game but has some lateral ability with great center of gravity.
Polish: Built to play in the box despite great speed. Impacts all three phases of the game at prep level with rover responsibility on defense. Can come off the hash with purpose and separate the ball from the intended target but lacks some coverage fundamentals. Could stand to improve hip fluidity and leverage in space.
Bottom Line: Ryan can flash in the secondary like few others in the 2021 class from a speed and power standpoint. He has the instincts of a linebacker with the build and speed of a defensive back, making him a candidate for safety or nickel type roles in a modern defense. As his coverage consistency begins to match his pursuit of ball careers and thump on contact, he will make it hard on a defensive coordinator to keep him off the field in the SEC.