The 2013 LSU Recruiting class is off to a furious start, nabbing a handful of the state's top prospects while swaying numerous others to name the Tigers their leader. If early returns mean anything (and they may not), the additions of Adam Henry and Corey Raymond add serious recruiting punch. For his part, Henry has already landed a prospect (John Diarse) that just a couple short months ago many felt was Bama bound through and through. After a seemingly endless run of bad news springing forth post 1.9.12 and through signing day, the good news hasn't stopped rolling in.
This past weekend LSU hosted a bevy of top prospects both in-state and out. A recap of all the news after the jump...
Tevin Lawson Commits!
Lawson isn't a player I know just a ton about. He's got a really nice frame (6'4, 275). I can't draw many conclusions from his tape, because honestly, it's hard to even pick him out. But from the clips I watched, he seemed to be big and athletic, and move very well for a guy his size. Looks like he'll start out on the defensive line, but it wouldn't completely shock me if he made the flip to the offensive side as an OL.
Karl Malone Jr. Commits!
Yes, it is that Malone, in case you've been under a rock. I really like what I see from Malone's tape. He's a big-bodied kid (6'4, 300), who, frankly is just bigger and badder than his competition at the HS level. Fortunately, he takes advantage of it, often blowing his opponents off the ball, driving them down the field and summarily dumping them on their asses with a little bit of nasty mixed in. He plays with a tenacity that I'm sure makes his pops proud. He flashes one of the most rugged, defining punches of any lineman we've recruited the last few years. He does play a little too high, but that's nothing a little coaching can't fix. Malone shows good knee bend and really good athleticism, so that transition should come naturally. I think he's a really natural fit at OG in our offense, but he could probably play any of the 5 OL positions, even LT, considering his really impressive wing span.
Christian Lacouture Names LSU Leader
Just a month ago, Lacouture decommited from his in-state Aggies (in city, even, as he's from College Station), and this past weekend, he left Baton Rouge with everything but a commitment. In fact, if you read the tea leaves Lacouture may very well be a commitment soon. In HS, Lacouture plays strong-side DE, but I'd be wholly shocked if he remained there if he winds up at LSU. At 6'5, 255, he's already bigger than either DE we will feature this coming season. In fact, I think Lacouture's future may be more in line with Michael Brockers, whom he shares a similar build (Brockers was also a DE in HS). Lacouture flashes a pretty quick first step. He's a really active run defender. He'll need to refine his technique, but he does seem to have good athleticism for the position.
Quantavious Leslie Names LSU No. 1
After failing to land a big WR target in last year's class, the staff is in hot pursuit of many big targets for 2013. Leslie certainly fits the bill at 6'3, 172. Leslie signed with West Virginia out of HS but failed to qualify and wound up going the JUCO route. Scout's quick and dirty evaluation says his strengths are Body Control and Red Zone Weapon with weaknesses being lack of speed of ability to beat jams. From the tape I saw, speed isn't really a question. The tape reminds me somewhat of A.J. Green. Big, fluid guy who may not time well, but doesn't ever seem to get caught either. Don't get me wrong, he doesn't have A.J. Green talent (honestly, who does? Green will be a top 5 WR in the NFL for the next decade), but that's the best visual comparison I can draw. He's a hands catcher, which I love.
He's a big, lanky target. I think he'll shoot up recruiting sites as the season wears on. The coaches obviously feel like they need to add not just size, but size that's ready to contribute immediately. Leslie likely sees that opportunity.
DeSean Smith Names LSU Leader
Perhaps even bigger than the commits this weekend was DeSean Smith naming LSU his definite leader. Smith has talked up a few different teams, namely those wicked Crimson demons from a state over. Alabama will definitely continue to press, but LSU needs to land the Barbe native. Smith said the improved passing game really impressed him at the Spring Game. He must also look at the roster and realize that the opportunity to come in and play immediately as a receiving TE is there. There isn't a TE on the roster with Smith's skillset. Smith is one of best TEs in the country, and it's a position of real need for us. This one isn't over by a long shot, but it's great to see positive news.
Other news may slowly trickle in throughout this week, but that's a general summary of the weekend. One guy to keep an eye on is Eldridge Massington. Massington also fills the big WR need. At 6'3, 205 Massington can really run. Many believe LSU is his leader, and he left tweeting positive vibes. All-in-all, a great weekend, and the 2013 class looks like it will be a special one.