The Opening 2014: LSU Prospect Primer

Taking a look at the top LSU prospects who will be competing at Nike's The Opening this week.

It's that time of year again, as 162 of the nation's finest prospects will descend upon Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon for "The Opening." If you aren't familiar with the event, SB Nation's Andrew Sharp went to the event in 2011 and wrote a detailed log of the experience. SB Nation's head Recruiting writer Bud Elliott has written an excellent rundown of this year's event here. Bud will be on ground in Beaverton with Wescott Eberts to cover the event. I recommend following @SBNRecruiting and @SBN_Wescott for all their live updates, as well as a bevy of interviews and other tidbits.

You can find the entire roster of competitors here.

LSU Commits

RB Nick Brossette (@NBrossette), 6'0", 207 
University Lab, Baton Rouge, LA

Brossette is a top 100 player nationally and one of the 10 best RBs in the nation. Brossette pledged all the way back in August of 2013. You can read the mothership's scouting report on Brossette here. He's compactly built and while he lacks dynamic speed, he displays a good all-around skillset and should be an excellent back to eat up carries when Fournette needs a break. Brossette's been a superstar in the Baton Rouge prep scene since his freshman year.

OL Maea Teuhema (@MaeaTeuhema), 6'4.5", 340 
Keller HS, Keller, TX

Teuhema is one of the 30 best players in America and a top 5 offensive tackle in the 2015 signing class. He committed to LSU on National Signing Day when his older brother Sione signed with the Tigers. You can read his scouting over at the mothership here. The gigantic OT delivers one of the strongest punches of any OL in this class. But he's not just a plodding pounder, he carries the weight well and can move for a big man.

DB Kevin Toliver II (@Toliver_Era), 6'2", 188
Trinity Christian HS, Jacksonville, FL

Toliver is arguably the top player in the country and widely considered the 2015 class' top defensive back. He pledged way back in November of 2012. You can read the mothership's scouting report of Toliver here. Toliver looks to be the next in a growing list of superstar DBs to make their way through Baton Rouge.

LSU Prospects of Interest

ATH Torrance Gibson (@quick_tg6), 6'4", 200
American Heritage , Fort Lauderdale, FL

Gibson is one of the most controversial prospects in the entire 2015 class. He's an exceptional natural athlete but continues to insist on playing QB at the next level. Auburn and Tennessee are considered front runners for his services, but LSU remains in the hunt as well. You can read his scouting report here.

ATH Kirk Merritt (@kirkmerritt33), 5'10", 206
Destrehan HS, Destrehan, LA

Merritt is, pound for pound, one of the most athletic members of the 2015 class. LSU extended their offer to him in February. Currently, this is considered a neck and neck battle with Texas A&M. Merritt is an intriguing prospect due to his size and athletic ability, which could project him to a number of positions. Most slot him as a RB, but he could be a WR, CB, S, or even LB.

WR George Campbell (@GeorgeCampbell0), 6'3", 184
East Lake HS, Tarpon Springs, FL

Campbell is the nation's top WR. Campbell formerly committed to Michigan, but has since re-opened his recruitment. He's largely favored to stay on the East coast, but no telling what happens once visits start unfolding. Campbell has ungodly athletic tools but struggles at times catching the football. You can read his scouting report here.

WR Tyron Johnson (@_TBJ13), 6'1", 191
Warren Easton HS, New Orleans, LA

Johnson is a silky smooth WR prospect and the best in the state of Louisiana for 2015. His offer list is lengthy, but many consider him a strong LSU lean. You can read Johnson's scouting report here.

WR Damarkus Lodge (@DamarkusLodge18), 6'2.5", 190
Cedar Hill HS, Cedar Hill, TX

Lodge is probably my favorite WR in the 2015 signing class. His HS QB, Justin McMillan, committed to LSU in June. Lodge himself then pledged to A&M a few days later. It's early yet, but his commitment seems firm at this time. You can read his scouting report here.

ATH Deionte Thompson (@playmaker_11), 6'2", 181
West-Orange Stark (Orange, TX)

Thompson committed to Alabama back in February, surprising some. He's recently stated that Bama, LSU, USC, FSU and Utah will receive his official visits this fall, so the door isn't completely closed yet. He could project to WR or ATH as Wescott notes in his scouting report here.

OT Jerry Tillery (@JerryTillery), 6'7", 312
Evangel Christian, Shreveport, LA

Tillery committed to Notre Dame in June of last year, but new OL coach Jeff Grimes remains in the hunt for his services. As the season wears on and the reality of moving away from home sets in, it'll be interesting to see if he decides to stay closer to home.

DE Terry Beckner Jr., 6'4", 290
East St. Louis HS, East St. Louis, IL

Beckner is a stud DE prospect that may project to DT at LSU. He's made mention of a visit to Baton Rouge coming, so there's reason to believe there is strong interest here. You can read his scouting report here.

DT Daylon Mack (@DaylonMack), 6'2", 310
Gladewater HS, Gladewater, TX

Mack is one of the elite DT prospects in the country. He committed to A&M in October of last year, but there remain murmurs that he can be persuaded away from College Station. LSU remains a player for his services. You can read his scouting report here.

CB Iman Marshall (@ImanMarshall), 6'1", 190
Long Beach Poly, Long Beach, CA

The California-based CB is one of the top prospects in the nation. He's widely considered a strong USC lean, but he remains interested in LSU. Look for him to officially visit in the Fall, but it will be difficult to pull him from the West coast. You can read his scouting report here.

CB Kendall Sheffield (@KS8___), 5'11", 180
Fort Bend Marshall HS, Missouri City, TX

Sheffield is an elite corner prospect from Texas with blazing speed. He recently won the Texas 4A State Championship in Hurdles, running the 3rd fastest time in the U.S. in 2014. Sheffield is considered a heavy A&M lean, but LSU remains in pursuit. You can read his scouting report here.

S Tarvarus McFadden (@Tee_Time24), 6'3", 198
American Heritage, Fort Lauderdale, FL

McFadden is a lengthy safety prospect that frequently lists LSU in his top choices. He will be tough to pry away from home state favorite FSU, but LSU remains a contender for his services. You can read his scouting report here.

There are More

These are just the players with reported serious interest in LSU. Dozens of players in attendance sport LSU offers and who knows what type of recruiting heat will turn up this fall. Check out the event on ESPNU to see them in action.

Commitment Watch

East St. John DT Xavier Lewis committed to LSU back in August of last year. In February of this year, he decommitted and re-opened his recruitment. He will announce his commitment at the Opening this week. The crystal ball currently projects him at 100% to LSU. LSU remains the odds on favorite to land his services.

Lewis' re-commitment would make him the 13th member of the 2015 class. Pairing him with stud CB Kevin Toliver and quality safety Kevin Henry and you have the makings of yet another very strong DB class heading to Baton Rouge next fall.

You can check out the Opening on ESPNU and WatchESPN. Here's the TV schedule:

  • July 8: SPARQ Championship (a combine testing competition; here are last year's drill results). 8. p.m. ET, ESPNU and WatchESPN
  • July 9: Seven-on-seven games. 8. p.m. ET, ESPNU and WatchESPN
  • July 10: Seven-on-seven semifinals/championship and Lineman Challenge finals. 8. p.m. ET, ESPNU and WatchESPN
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