LSU got another bit of good news yesterday in the closing days of the big camp weekend. Unanimous 5-star defensive tackle from Mansfield High School Chris Davenport has committed to LSU. Both major scouting services have him as the #2 defensive tackle in the country for the 2009 class, behind Jamarkus McFarland, who may eventually join him as an LSU commitment.
Let me join the loud chorus of LSU fans in welcoming Mr. Davenport to the program with open arms. Every major program in the country wanted this kid, and he has decided that LSU is for him.
This is huge news for LSU in that he is a great prospect, a guy who projects to be a cornerstone of the defense, and All-SEC-type player, and perhaps an All-American. Yes, that's high pressure to put on a kid who hasn't played his senior year of high school yet, but everyone is saying that about this kid. It's also huge news because this team figures to have an immediate need for defensive tackles for the 2009 season, with Charles Alexander and Marlon Favorite finishing their eligibility this year, and Ricky Jean-Francois widely expected to declare for the draft early. There is a good chance for immediate playing time at defensive tackle.
There is some thought that this commitment could cause more players to commit, but that remains to be seen.
It's minor news only in that it was widely expected to happen eventually. This is a kid who everyone knew was very likely to choose LSU. The only surprise, if there is one, is that he decided to commit before taking his visits.
When I talk about recruiting, I always try to avoid using terms that imply players are property. I avoid saying things like, "He is ours." I am sure I sometimes slip up, but I think it's very important to realize that LSU has no "right" to any particular player. Not Davenport. Not Kenny Bell. Not Reuben Randle. Not Joe McKnight. As it goes, we tend to get almost anyone we want from inside the State of Louisiana, but we need to avoid taking these kids for granted, and we definitely need to acknowledge that they are their own people and they make their own decisions for their own reasons, and we should be appreciative for any kid, no matter where he is from, who decides that LSU is the place for him.