Leonard Fournette commits to LSU

ByDEREK TYSON via <a href="http://espn.go.com/video/sportscenter" title="SportCenter" class="espn_sc_byline">SPORTSCENTER </a>
January 02, 2014, 7:10 PM

&#151; -- 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.

"When I went on my visit, it was just about a family atmosphere," Tabor said. "They play for each other, and I believe I can provide a spark right away."

With the addition of Tabor, Arizona now has 28 commitments, including five ranked in the ESPN 300. Tabor is the team's highest-rated commit.

No. 22 OVERALL RECOMMITS TO ALABAMA: Hours after Alabama picked up the commitment from Brown, No. 22 Laurence Jones (Monroe, La./Neville) announced he again will be a part of the Crimson Tide's class.

"I just talked to my mom about it," Jones said. "I really appreciate the way Ole Miss tried to keep recruiting me, and I really appreciate the coaching staff from Ole Miss. They were like the only school I was still talking to after I decommitted from Alabama, but I just felt more at home at Alabama."

Jones, the No. 2 safety, informed the staff this week that he likely was headed back to the Crimson Tide.

"I told them there was going to be a great chance I was going to come back, but I wasn't for sure I was going to come back. They told me to take my time, go wherever I'm happy at, wished me the best of luck wherever I ended up, but they told me they hoped I came back," Jones said.

Jones first committed to Nick Saban and his staff Dec. 2, but backed off his verbal commitment Dec. 18.

NO. 3-RANKED SAFETY TO LSU: Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron), the No. 3-ranked safety in the ESPN 300 and the 23rd player overall, committed to LSU over Florida and Texas A&M during the second quarter.

The 6-foot, 204-pound Adams, a four-star prospect, said his comfort level with the Tigers was what ultimately led to his decision.

"I just felt more comfortable there," Adams said. "The opportunity at LSU is there for me. I'm just ready to go win some national championships."

As a senior, Adams had 75 tackles on defense and also totaled more than 1,000 all-purpose yards for Hebron.

MOTHER AGAIN DISAPPOINTED BY SON'S CHOICE:  Two years after she publicly disapproved of older son Landon Collins choosing Alabama over LSU, April Justin was again disappointed as younger son Gerald Willis III (New Orleans/Edna Karr) chose Florida over the Tigers.

It was much-needed good news for the Gators, who earlier in the week lost a commitment from No. 20 recruit Dalvin Cook

Willis III, the No. 3-ranked defensive tackle and the No. 29 player overall, chose the Gators over LSU and Alabama.

"I will take my talents to Gainesville, Fla.," Willis said when he announced his commitment. "Go Gators."

His mom didn't appear as upset as she did two years ago but still didn't seem thrilled.

"It is what it is," Justin said. "Florida Gators, that's where we'll be. LSU is still No. 1."

The Gators now have 19 commitments, including 11 ranked in the ESPN 300.

SEMINOLES LAND NO. 7 WR: Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) verbally committed to  Florida State in the second quarter. The No. 61 player in the ESPN 300 surprised many and committed to the Seminoles over Alabama, which he had named his leader earlier in the week.

"First day on campus, I just felt like it was the place to be," the nation's No. 7 wide receiver said. "I prayed on it and thought about it and that's where I wanted to be."

With the addition of Rudolph, FSU now has 29 verbal commitments, including 12 ranked in the ESPN 300.

The Seminoles have had a great week of recruiting. Earlier in the week, Cook switched his commitment from Florida to the Noles. Lorenzo Featherston (Greensboro, N.C./Page), the No. 27 player in the country, committed to FSU on Wednesday.

ESPN.com's Gerry Hamilton contributed to this report.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events