John Curtis linebacker Duke Riley committed to LSU on Wednesday night when some LSU assistant coaches came to visit. LSU had previously offered Riley as a grayshirt, meaning he could go on scholarship next January; however, Riley held some full offers from schools such as TCU, Ole Miss and Tulane. After an in-home visit from TCU on Tuesday night, Riley committed to the Horned Frogs. That's when LSU countered with their own visit, and gave Riley the full offer he was seeking. He accepted immediately.
I like the addition of Riley to this class. He makes the third linebacker in the class but in a couple of years, it's not a stretch to think that he may be the only one remaining. Many think that Kendell Beckwith is better suited for defensive end. And with Melvin Jones already at the 250 pound mark, he could find himself on the defensive line or elsewhere if he keeps growing and gaining weight. Riley is on the smaller side at 6'1" 210 pounds, but he's exceptionally fast with 40 times listed in the 4.5 range. Here is one first hand account:
New LSU LB commit Duke Riley ran a 4.49 in the 40-yard dash at LSU in July.I was present at the camp.— Mike Coppage (@MikeCoppage) January 31, 2013
Not surprisingly, Riley's best asset is his quickness. He's a fast straight line runner but has good initial quickness too. Riley can quickly scoot through traffic to reach the ball carrier. He should be able to gain some additional weight at LSU and play in the 220 to 225 range. He looks like a nice fit at either of LSU's outside linebacker positions and reminds me a bit of Ryan Baker. He'll also be a natural on special teams, and I wouldn't be surprised if he contributed there right away.
I've seen a little chatter about Riley playing safety at LSU. My personal assessment of that: No Chance. Riley looks like a linebacker all the way to me. The recruiting sites all list Riley as a three star prospect with the exception of ESPN, who rates him as a four star and the #26 outside linebacker prospect in the nation.
We also learned this week that long time LSU commitment Jeremy Cutrer will not be signing with LSU next week. Instead, he'll have to go the Junior College route due to academics. Cutrer was LSU's only true safety prospect in the class, and that certainly explains why LSU was beating the bushes trying to find another one.
Denham Springs defensive tackle Tevin Lawson may be looking at a grayshirt situation due to some academic concerns. While Lawson is reportedly on track to qualify academically, there is some concern over whether the NCAA would accept a couple of his classes he took last summer. Apparently, LSU could have an answer on this before Signing Day in which case Lawson would still sign with LSU. If not, Lawson could either accept the grayshirt or sign elsewhere. We'll have to see how this shakes out.
Not much else going on as we approach the final week of this recruiting cycle. None of the big names that LSU has been targeting the last few weeks seem to be leaning LSU's way. I still think that Rummel tight-end Cethan Carter is a guy to watch over the next six days. He's currently committed to Nebraska but if LSU comes through with a full offer, he could potentially switch to the good guys. Currently, Carter has a gray shirt offer from LSU.
I don't expect any visitors this weekend, but it's possible that junior college defensive end Dontrill Hyman or Georgia cornerback David Kamara could take a trip.