A little over a minute into one of the many Sebastian Larue highlight reels it becomes crystal clear the young man’s going to generate some controversy at the next level. Larue, a Rivals ’13 4-star and #141 overall prospect, is a gifted 5’11 Wide Receiver. After looking thru multiple highlight compilations I’ve yet to find an example of Larue getting caught from behind by a defender, and he’s left many the would-be tackler grasping at air after a quick cutback move. Back to that potential controversy triggered at the one minute mark. Sebastian lines up on the D out of a DB position. Looks as though he’s in a zone and reading the QB’s eyes. Just as the Quarterback goes into his motion Larue leaves his area and breaks toward the would be pass catcher. The part-time DB one-hands the incoming pass and outruns the pack for an easy 6. The controversy? There’s not a D1 D-Coordinator in the country who won’t fight tooth and nail to pry LaRue from the clutches of his Offensive counterpart.
It’s probably quicker to list the schools yet to offer Sebastian Larue as opposed to all which have. PAC-12, SEC, Big 12, and Big 10 schools fill his Rivals “College Choice” tab. Asked about a front-runner/Top 5 Larue expertly replied “I look at all my offers equally and I hope to have a top 5 by the end of summer”. Appears #1 is equally skilled in handling inquiries regarding his recruitment as he in in handling opposing DB’s and WR’s. Sebastian finished up ’11-’12 with (55) Receptions, (903) Yards, and (12) TD’s. Out of context the numbers might not jump off the page. It’s important to keep in mind Santa Monica High(11-2 last season) is a run-first squad. Approximately 60% of the team’s Total Yards (’11-’12) came via the Run. On the Defensive/Special Teams side Larue generated (35) Tackles, (7) Passes Defended, (3) Interceptions, a (28.3) Kickoff Return average, (3) Kickoff Return TD’s, and (1) Punt Return TD. In short, you’re looking at a single player capable of game-changing impact within all three phases of the game.
From the WR spot Larue displays strong hands, consistently catches the ball in front (as opposed to letting it get to his body), tracks the ball very well in flight, and appears capable of adjusting his path based on the accuracy of the pass. A good portion of his routes are of the “Fly” and “Go” variety making it difficult to judge the efficiency of his route running. There is a tendency to extend his arms for separation on “Comebacks”. This may fly in front of High School refs, but at the next level will need correction. 247sports.com lists a 40 time of (4.38) , and ESPNLosAngeles.com a (4.42). More importantly the speed translates to the field and is not just the long-striding track variety. It appears the first man is rarely the one to bring down Larue and it appears he has high-end balance, body control, and vision. 5’11 is not prototypical WR height, but his leaping ability and consistency in reaching the ball at its high point allow Sebastian to “play” taller.
If there’s a glaring weakness to his game, I haven’t seen it. My guess is only his school’s run-first approach prevents Larue from a 5-star rating and a Top 50 overall ranking. The sub-6’0 frame shouldn’t hold him back, but another growth spurt of 2-3 inches would send his stock through the roof. Sebastian lists NFL DeSean Jackson as a favorite, and coincidentally Jackson comes in under 6-foot (5’11). Other NFL WR’s in the same height range include Mario Manningham, Victor Cruz, and Roddy White. The prototype may be Calvin Johnson at 6’3-6’4, but plenty make 5’11 work just fine. 10-15 lbs in muscle, without compromising speed/agility, should prep and preserve him for the College game, and his frame should carry it without issue.
Safe to surmise Sebastian Larue will play on Saturday’s and should see early playing time, regardless to Conference. Match him with an accurate, strong-armed QB, and place him in a creative offensive scheme, #1 might be straight scary, and certainly a nightmare for opposing DB’s. Larue easily projects as an impact-type contributor by his Soph/Junior season, and it wouldn’t shock me to see him producing as a Freshman. Given his frame/stature there is a good chance he serves as a Slot receiver once he hits College, but he certainly possesses the speed and hands to grab some outside duty as well. The ability to return kicks and possibly play DB, Larue comes is an exceptionally versatile prospect with an intriguing ceiling. Assuming the drive and dedication are present, and by all accounts they are, Sebastian is a high-level prospect with Sunday potential.