Year in and year out, the state of Louisiana produces some of the best talent in the entire country. Its part of the reason that LSU has such a built-in advantage. As the only major college in the state, they can get, more or less, the cream of the crop from the in-state talent each year. However, LSU only has so many scholarships, and still recruits nationally. That means that many extremely talented recruits are still out there to be found. Schools like Arkansas and TCU have made it a habit to venture into Louisiana to find under recruited prospects, who turn out to be stars in college. Matt Rhule seems to have figured this out as well, and on Friday picked up Baylor’s first commitment from the state of Louisiana in offensive lineman Princeton Pines.
THE PINES FILE
|Princeton Pines||OG||Baton Rouge
Pines is Baylor’s 21st commitment in their 2018 class. He is the fifth offensive lineman in this class, joining Connor Galvin, Casey Phillips, Jackson Kimble, and Ylijaah Hall. Pines is the only commitment from the state of Louisiana for Baylor in 2018, and only the second commitment not from the state of Texas. With this commitment Baylor’s 2018 class is now ranked 6th in the Big 12, and 30th nationally according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Pines picked Baylor over 15+ offers, including schools such as Arkansas, TCU, Texas Tech, Ole Miss, Missouri, Mississippi State, UCF, and Colorado State. With Pines being a native of Baton Rouge, LSU has shown definite interest, but have not extended an offer, and it doesn’t look as if they will at this point.
Pines excels as a run blocker. He pulls exceptionally well for someone his size. One of his best traits though is he plays through the whistle. You see it regularly on film, but Pines doesn’t stop blocking until the play is officially over. If Pines sends his guy to the ground, he is immediately trying to find the next person to block.
Pines isn’t the best pass blocker at this stage of his career, but Baylor should be able to help him in that regard by keeping him at guard or center, and not putting him out at tackle. Pines will also need to watch his weight in college. He is already 327 pounds. At a certain point that weight starts to become more burden than asset.
Overall, this is good prospect with high upside. A year or two in a college strength and conditioning program would greatly benefit Pines. This is a great first step by Matt Rhule to start building a pipeline into Louisiana.