Originally found on CBS Sports:
LSU made a splash on the recruiting trail Saturday by landing a commitment from quarterback Bryce Underwood, the No. 1 overall prospect within the 2025 cycle, according to 247Sports. The five-star signal-caller out of Belleville High School in Michigan announced his decision to play for coach Brian Kelly during a ceremony at his high school.
“Great coaching staff, amazing coaching staff, amazing atmosphere,” Underwood told 247Sports. “The program itself is very historical. A lot of great players went in and out of Louisiana State University.
To no surprise, Underwood has been heavily pursued during his recruitment. He’s received at least 41 known offers, according to 247Sports, including the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas and even Colorado. Underwood took three unofficial visits to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in the last year — most recently in October — before pledging to LSU.
Through his junior season, Underwood’s has already built an impressive high school resume. He is 40-2 overall as Belleville’s starer and was named the 2023 Michigan High School Football Player of the Year after passing for 3,405 yards and 42 touchdowns against just three interceptions. That came after Underwood led Belleville to back-to-back state championships in 2021 and 2022, part of a 38-game win streak that was snapped in 2023 as the Tigers fell short of a three-peat. He was named MaxPreps National Sophomore of the Year in 2022.
While the phrase “generational talent” has been tossed around far more loosely in this age, there’s potential for Underwood to be just that for LSU, according to an evaluation from 247Sports national recruiting analyst Allen Trieu:
Ahead of his years physically and looks like he could be a senior or college player already. Has a strong arm with the ability to make throws to any part of the field. Throws a good deep ball and can use touch to give his receivers a chance to go make plays on the ball. Did an exceptional job of taking care of the ball as a freshman with 39 touchdowns to just four interceptions. Got rid of the ball quickly and was decisive with the ball for the most part. Very good athlete who honestly could be a high-level recruit on defense if he was not such a great quarterback. Uses those legs to escape the rush and extend plays. He looks to throw after escaping but can also take off and be dangerous as a runner.
Underwood becomes the eighth recruit in the 2025 cycle to commit to LSU. He’s the second five-star prospect to do so, joining wide receiver Dakorien Moore, who is fresh off winning back-to-back state titles with Duncanville High School in Texas. Moore is ranked the No. 5 prospect overall within the 2025 cycle, per 247Sports.
Elite quarterback play has become imperative for success in the modern era of college football. Even the SEC, which used to rely far more on smash-mouth offense and lethal rushing attacks not that long ago, has adapted on that front. The conference has produced a trio of Heisman-winning quarterbacks within the past five seasons. Two of those have come from LSU, first Joe Burrow during the Tigers’ College Football Playoff National Championship run in 2019 and then Jayden Daniels in 2023.
Daniels declared for the 2024 NFL Draft after after passing for 3,812 yards and 40 touchdowns in 2023, plus more than 1,000 yards rushing. While there’s a gap year before Underwood arrives in 2025, Underwood might just be the next superstar in that quarterback lineage for the Tigers. Rising junior Garrett Nussmeier appears to be the favorite to start under center for LSU in 2024 before Underwood enters the picture, but Underwood is bound to be a factor no matter what the quarterback competition looks like in 2025.
If Underwood does become a household name in Baton Rouge, he’d be a true developmental prospect unlike Burrow and Daniels, both of whom started their careers elsewhere. Much can change in the next 11 months before the 2024 early signing period rolls around, but for now, LSU is a big winner on the recruiting trail.