Ball So Hard: Maquedius Bain & Greg Gilmore - (via SB Nation Recruiting)
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We're a mere hours away from the Under Armour All-American Bowl. News already dropped this week of one commitment, when Maquedius Bain unveiled the worst kept secret in recruiting. Kris did an exceptional job writing him up, so really, go read it.
Bain isn't the only LSU commit participating in this week's practice and tonight's game. One of the most athletic commitments, Jeryl Brazil is there. I haven't seen a ton of reports about his performance in practice, but there's no way you can't love the speed. Double negative style. Ditto for Ethan Pocic. Doesn't make me any less excited for their pending arrivals.
One commitment who has made a great impression is Greg Gilmore. Gilmore is ranked 237 nationally by Rivals, 104th on ESPN, 52nd on Scout and 94th on 247. After this week, I suspect he'll climb some on Rivals, particularly with a good performance tonight. On Wednesday, he made a good impression and they raved about his long arms and how he was nearly unblockable, unless being held, complete with ripped jersey to prove it. Bain and Gilmore will likely be in competition from the get go at LSU, both with the opportunity to play early. Also, GO WATCH THIS.
Commitment to Keep an Eye On
For tonight, the guy you probably will most be interested in is Kendell Beckwith. Beckwith is a super-stud LB from East Feliciana HS that is highly regarded by every service (84 on Rivals, 19 on ESPN, 125 on Scout and 99 on 247). He looks tailor made for the LSU defense, tall, sleek and speedy. Still, many thought he may depart for the nether regions of the country (Alabama) if only to have the chance to be coached by the almighty Saban.
Regardless, sentiment now seems to be that Beckwith will choose LSU tonight and wind up staying home. I can only suppose Minter's departure secures that evermore. Beckwith has a realistic chance to play a lot of MLB right away and we all know Chavis isn't afraid to play his young guys immediately. Some guys think he could be destined for the DL, and with his body type, it's not out of the question. The last guy we tried that with, Justin Maclin, hasn't been so successful thus far.
A Couple of Others to Watch
You should probably watch Robert Nkemdiche. Seriously, he's just a freak show. And we are either gonna be rooting him like hell or rooting against him. He's rumored to be down to LSU and Ole Miss as his final two choices. For a while, smart money rested with Ole Miss. His brother is there and oh god, I'm not gonna lay out the "strengths" of Ole Miss.
Nkemdiche is an NFL talent in a 19-year-old body. It really doesn't matter where he goes. He's gonna be in the league and likely as a high choice. He's the type of tour de force football player like Jadeveon Clowney before him and Julius Peppers before him. He's 6'5", chiseled from granite but moves like a cat about to take it's prey. It's ungodly. In fact, if LSU can secure his services and Mingo and Montgomery do announce as expected, don't be surprised if he's your game one starter at one of the DE spots. He's special.
Priest Willis is also hanging around. He visited and he gave good marks, but I'm not sure what the real chances are here. Willis is a helluva DB and if Tharold Simon
mistakenly goes pro, he could be in line for some early time. He could play safety. He could play corner. As far as I'm concerned, he could play whatever he wants. Experts vary in their expectation of his future landing spot, but I think the "safety" only crowd is a little too busy looking at his body type and not his skillset. Kid can run and he's got pretty good hips.
Forgive me for the relatively brief post. Kris did a far better job encapsulating the Army All-American Bowl, so y'all need to go read that and comment and all that fun stuff. If you have questions or tidbits to pass along, please do!