Harlem Berry, top RB in 2025 ESPN 300, commits to LSU

Top RB in Class of 2025 Harlem Berry commits to LSU (0:46)

Harlem Berry, the top running back in the Class of 2025, announces his decision to stay home and play at LSU. (0:46)

For several reasons, recruiting was going to be an easier chore for coach Brian Kelly upon leaving Notre Dame for LSU ahead of the 2022 season.

Louisiana's reputation for being a fertile recruiting ground is well established, and Kelly and LSU struck on Wednesday with a pledge from in-state running back Harlem Berry, the best player in the state for the 2025 class.

Berry (No. 16 overall in 2025 ESPN 300), the top running back in the 2025 cycle, committed while at the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando.

He gives the Tigers a second top-20 prospect in that class, joining Duncanville High School (Texas) wide receiver Dakorien Moore (No. 4 overall).

"It's a great feeling, just being a 'stay at home' kid -- a state hero -- I guess you could say and having my family close to home and everything," Berry told ESPN.

He plans on enrolling early in January 2025 and he also considered Florida and Texas.

The 6-foot, 185-pound Berry ran 158 times for 2,080 yards, added in 20 receptions for 401 yards and accounted for 44 total touchdowns (37 rushing) in 11 games for St. Martin's Episcopal School (Louisiana) this past season.

"I definitely feel I'll be a game changer for LSU's offense, especially with the backs that they have produced," he said. "A lot of them, most of them, have not been like me. A lot of them are power backs, more between the tackle type backs, so I'm excited to see how I fit into that offense."

Behind Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jayden Daniels, the Tigers (10-3) were electric on offense all season, averaging FBS highs in both total yards (543.5) and points (45.5). Daniels, the SEC's third-leading rusher, helped pace a running game (204.5 yards per game) that was 10th nationally.

From the running back spot, junior Logan Diggs' 652 rushing yards and seven touchdowns led the team.

"The speed and my [capabilities on the] outside, my shiftiness," Berry said. "Things like that, I feel like will help them and be a change in the running back room."

LSU's 2024 class, which added Acadiana High School (Louisiana) defensive tackle Dominick McKinley (No. 33 overall in 2024) -- the top player in the state in the 2024 cycle -- on Sunday from Texas A&M, is 13th in ESPN's latest team rankings.

Kelly secured a top-10 class in 2023 (No. 6).

"I think we're going to be real good," Berry said. "Real nice. [The 2025 class] definitely [is] going to be something special at LSU."