ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The top-rated player in the country, Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/Saint Augustine), ended months of speculation by committing to LSU in the fourth quarter of Thursday's Under Armour All-America game.
Fournette was one of seven ESPN 300 prospects who made their decisions during the game on ESPN, with another committing hours later.
The 6-foot-1, 226-pound Fournette chose LSU over Alabama and Texas.
The five-star running back has been tight-lipped about his recruitment throughout the process, but said his relationship with LSU running backs coach Frank Wilson and head coach Les Miles led to his decision.
"I chose LSU because I felt home there," Fournette said. "I have a great relationship with both coaches, Coach Miles and Coach Frank. The decision was made yesterday when I was talking to my parents late at night about what school I wanted to attend. I was kind of going back and forth, so at the end of the day I prayed on it and I woke up and I felt that LSU was going to be the place for me."
Fournette's decision came as welcome news for the Tigers. Five players who announced their decisions at the Under Armour game had LSU as a finalist, but only two, including Fournette, chose the Tigers.
With the addition of the top-ranked player, LSU now has 18 commitments, including 14 ranked in the ESPN 300. Fournette will likely have a chance to see the field early in his career. The Tigers didn't land a running back in the 2013 class and have only one other running back commit in the 2014 class, three-star Darrel Williams (Marrero, La./John Ehret).
NOIL JOINS TALENTED TEXAS A&M CLASS: No. 8 recruit Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr) committed to Texas A&M.
Noil, a five-star athlete, said he chose the Aggies over in-state LSU largely because of the atmosphere he experienced in College Station when he went there on his official visit Sept. 13.
"It felt like home when I went on my official visit," Noil said. "I look forward to taking my talents to A&M."
With Noil's commitment, the Aggies now have 21 verbal commitments, including 11 in the ESPN 300. He joins DE Myles Garrett, a fellow Under Armour All-American, as the five-star pledges for Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin.
INJURED DB BROWN ROLLS TO TIDE: Despite missing Thursday's game because of a shoulder injury suffered earlier in the week, five-star defensive back Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen) committed to Alabama over LSU and Ohio State.
The decision by Brown, the No. 4-ranked cornerback and the No. 11 player overall in the ESPN 300, comes as somewhat of a surprise considering his older sister, Bealoved, runs track for LSU.
Alabama strengthened the nation's No. 1 recruiting class, which now has 25 commitments, including 18 ranked in the ESPN 300. Brown is the third five-star player who has committed to the Crimson Tide.
NO. 15 OVERALL CHOOSES ARIZONA OVER BAMA: Maybe the biggest surprise happened in the third quarter when Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship Academy), the No. 15 player recruit in the ESPN 300, committed to Arizona over Alabama.
Tabor had Alabama, Florida and Maryland near the top of his list for several months, but the Wildcats started to move up it after a visit on Nov. 15.