Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
An update on how LSU looks to close out the Class of 2013 and a preview of "Boys From The Boot", a Junior Day event for the state's top junior prospects.
After adding Kendell Beckwith to the class last weekend, LSU now comfortably sits at 26 commitments for the Class of 2013. However, four of those 26 will count back to last year's numbers which leaves LSU room to add three more players this year. But will Les Miles find three more quality players to add? That remains to be seen, and I wouldn't be shocked if this class is essentially finished.
Defensive end Robert Nkemdiche continues to be the biggest prize left on the board, and he has narrowed his choices down to Ole Miss and LSU. Unfortunately, LSU is facing a serious uphill battle here due to the fact that Nkemdiche's brother plays at Ole Miss and that his mother really wants him to go there so that her sons can play together. This doesn't seem like a deal where Nkdemdiche wants LSU but is being pushed to Ole Miss by his mother. It sounds like they both want Ole Miss. He was reportedly recruiting other players to Ole Miss last weekend at the Under Armour All American game. He is planning to visit LSU and if that visit takes place, it will give LSU a fighting chance. But for now, I'm afraid LSU is simply being strung along.
Defensive back Priest Willis is a much more realistic option. Willis continues to list LSU as one of his leaders, and LSU continues to push hard for him. California safety Tahaan Goodman consistently says that he and Willis would like to play together in college and the only conceivable place they could do that would be UCLA. But lately, I've heard a few rumblings that Goodman could take an official visit to LSU sometime in January. If that happens, then LSU could be in the picture for both guys. It should be noted that the discussion of them playing together is only coming from Goodman. Willis doesn't seem to talk about it too much, and I wonder just how much he supports this idea. The odds are that these two wind up at UCLA, but LSU is very much in the picture for Willis. One thing to watch here is that the San Diego Chargers are apparently interested in UCLA head coach Jim Mora Jr. If Mora somehow left for the NFL, that would obviously help LSU's chances of landing Willis and possibly Goodman.
University High defensive end Tim Williams continues to be an option. His recruitment has been a bizarre one to follow. You've got an explosive, though undersized, defensive end who goes to high school on LSU's campus. You've got a big time need for defensive ends at LSU with the departure of Sam Montgomery, KeKe Mingo and Lavar Edwards. And you've got a pretty good track record of LSU having success with players similar to Williams. Yet Williams has been hell bent on naming Miami as his leader throughout the process while also flirting with Florida State and Alabama. A couple of months ago, LSU cooled off on recruiting Williams and it seemed that he would have to play his college ball elsewhere. But now, it seems the two sides are talking again and Williams could end up in this class after all. I can see a scenario where LSU misses on guys like Nkemdiche and Willis and pushes Williams very late in the process to add him to this class. You can never have too many guys that can rush the passer, and even though Williams may be a tad overrated nationally, he's certainly got some talent.
LSU is still recruiting defensive end Tashawn Bower, who is scheduled to visit the weekend of January 25. LSU has been consistent in recruiting Bower, despite his commitment to Auburn back in June.
Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster and Texas receiver/tight end Derrick Griffin are still on the radar as long shots. Both may take a visit to LSU in Januaury. If they do, then I'll pay more attention.
John Curtis linebacker Duke Riley and Rummel tight end Cethan Carter both have grayshirt offers from LSU right now. Depending on what happens with all of the above prospects, these guys could find themselves in this class instead of next year's. While both are considering the gray shirt, I think they'd jump on the opportunity to be a part of LSU's class of 2013. Carter seems more likely than Riley.
Lastly, you've still got tight-end Josh McNeil and junior college wide receiver Courtney Gardner who are trying to become eligible. Both have a very long way to go. But if either makes it at some point over the summer, they could be a late addition to the class. Gardner may wave the white flag on his academics and enter the draft this spring, but that has not been settled yet.
LSU is hosting its "Boys From The Boot" Junior Day for Louisiana prospects. This is an invite only event for the top prospects in the state and has been very beneficial in years past by having these players get to know each other and form friendships. The quality of players in Louisiana for the Class of 2014 is outstanding and as good as it has ever been. LSU has already offered several of these players and could offer a few more on Saturday. Here is a list of players expected to be there. Players in bold indicate those with LSU offers.
QB Donovan Isom - Destrehan
RB Leonard Fournette - St. Aug
RB Sione Palelei - East Ascension
RB Darrell Williams - John Ehret
WR Malchi Dupre - John Curtis
WR Davante Noil - Karr
WR Trey Quinn - Barbe
WR Cameron Sims - Ouchita
TE Jacory Washington - Westlake
TE Anthony Jones - Karr
OL Cameron Robinson - West Monroe
OL Will Clapp - Brother Martin
OL Garrett Brumfield - University
DL Gerald Willis - Karr
DL Davon Godchaux - Plaquemine
DL Garrold McDowell - Covington
DL Tae Thibodaux - Westgate
LB Kenny Young - John Curtis
LB Rae Juan Marbley - Destrehan
DB Laurence Jones - Neville
DB Ricky Gibson - Marksville
We should see a few new offers get handed out and some candidates to receive one are Cameron Sims, Davon Godchaux, Garrold McDowell and Kenny Young. If so, then a commitment or two is not out of the question this weekend. Guys to watch for commitments are Noil, Sims, and Godchaux.