I did not realize when I did my Big Weekend In Recruiting series that the weekend lasts until Wednesday. It's like I'm back in college, only instead of the weekend starting on Wednesday night and ending Sunday, it begins on Friday and ends Wednesday. The news is mostly good.
Big offensive guard Josh Williford is the newest LSU commitment. He is out of Dothan, Alabama. Scout has him listed as a 3-star and Rivals has yet to evaluate him. Williford is a huge kid at 6'7" 345#, and is definitely a project. The coaches simply saw him in camp a few weeks ago and liked what they saw. He is athletic and flexible, and extremely strong, but very very raw. He is described as a Herman Johnson clone.
Yes, it is true that he is an Alabama kid that neither Bama nor Auburn had offered as yet. Bama, for one, had a couple of guards committed by the time they evaluated Williford, and their small class precludes them from loading up on offensive linemen. They did not, at that time, have room for Williford unless he was a tackle, and they did not like him at tackle (neither did we for that matter). I do know that the Alabama coaches had not and still have not completely written off Williford. They just weren't ready to go after him at that time. Les Miles and OL coach Greg Studrawa were.
I think this is a simple case, mostly, of one program (LSU) coming to a different conclusion from some other programs. LSU was not the only program that liked him, as Ole Miss had also offered, but I simply think LSU likes the kid more than Bama or Auburn do. There's nothing wrong with that, and it will be years before it is determined who is right.
Williford becomes the 6th offensive lineman to commit to LSU for the 2009 class, but it appears we will lose one of those at some point soon. What's more, we may not be done at OL yet. One thing about Les Miles, he does not mess around when it comes to offensive linemen. He wants numbers. He is willing to use a large proportion of those 85 scholarships on offensive linemen. I guess he figures each one is a crap shoot, and he wants a lot of chances to shoot.
Probably the most disappointing news of the camp is that Lufkin, Texas 5-star defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland was not able to make it. Every trip Mr. McFarland has taken has been with his mother, and his mother could not accompany him to LSU, so he was not able to attend. He remains very interested in LSU, and many say LSU even leads. It's a minor setback in LSU's efforts to recruit him, but not a fatal one.
This is a good kid, and a good player. I for one have no problem if his mother wants to take an active role in his recruitment. These recruiting things can be manipulative, and unscrupulous coaches can fill a kid's head with all sorts of bizarre notions. Urban Meyer, for one, is famous for what is called "negative recruiting", wherein he gets a kid on campus and proceeds to trash all the schools the kid is considering other than his own. An inexperienced, unworldly kid could be easy to manipulate, and if Ms. McFarland wants to guard her son against that sort of thing, by all means do it.
The Seminole Trio all have come and gone, and they reportedly had a great time. The Seminole Trio is, left to right, DE Dyron Dye, Safety Ray Ray Armstrong, and WR Andre Debose. All reportedly looked really good, like they are all true D-1 athletes, and reportedly had a great time in Baton Rouge. None of these guys are ready to commit to LSU or to anyone yet, and ultimately we may not get any of them, but whoever gets them will be happy. I don't know where these guys fit in our plans at this time, and space is getting tight. Andre Debose in particular appears to be a real playmaker at the next level, and I think every school in the country would make room for him no matter what.
Aldine, Texas 5-star safety Craig Loston, a current Clemson commit, made it into town with his cousin 5-star QB Russell Shepard and 4-star running back Dexter Pratt, both of whom are LSU commitments. At this point, things look good for LSU, but he remains committed to Clemson at least for the time being. If we can convince Loston that LSU is where he needs to be, this starts becoming a really special class. Add McFarland, Davenport, Barkevious Mingo, Kenny Bell, and Reuben Randle, and it may become the stuff of legend. If Darrington Sentimore gets his grades in order and gets his offer, it gets even better. What's more, it appears every one of those kids with the possible exception of Jamarkus McFarland is at least a 50-50 or better shot of committing to LSU.
Numbers are getting tight, and LSU is probably only going to take the best of the best from here out unless we experience some disappointments.
As more information comes available, I will definitely give you my take on what it all means.