After taking his official visit to LSU this weekend, Fort Lauderdale defensive tackle Maquedius Bain seems poised to end his recruitment and verbally commit to the Tigers. The one time Florida State commitment seemed to be leaning LSU's way for several weeks now, and the visit obviously went well, which has titled things heavily in LSU's favor.
Despite a flurry of news Sunday evening that Bain had indeed committed, he put on Twitter that he'll announce his decision at the Under Armour All American Game on January 4th. I fully expect LSU to receive good news that night, but it's clear Bain wants to have some intrigue surrounding his announcement in Orlando.
I love the potential pick-up, and I put Bain on par with Greg Gilmore in terms of his talent and ability. In fact, at 6'3" 310, he may be more ready to play as a true freshman than Gilmore, even though he needs some work on his technique. Bain is very strong and holds the point of attack extremely well. However, he is quick enough on his feet and athletic enough (19 points and 11 boards per game on the hardwood), to rush the passer effectively. He's not quite the man child that Michael Brockers is (even though ESPN lists him at a healthy 6'5"), but I see him as a similar player. His strength and presence will command attention and really open things up for others around him to make plays.
Bain played a lot of offensive line as a senior, showing off his versatility and his willingness to help his team wherever needed.
The recruiting sites have mixed opinions of Bain. Both Rivals and 247 rate Bain as a three star prospect. However, Scout and ESPN both give him four stars. Scout rates him as the #245 overall player in the nation while ESPN views him as elite, ranking him the #43 overall prospect nationally. Bain chose LSU over offers from Florida State, Miami, Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida, USC, West Virginia and others.
Here is some video from Bain's junior season when he played defensive tackle:
I was awfully skeptical of LSU's chances with tight-end Josh McNeil, an Alabama commitment. However, McNeil did show up for his official visit to LSU this weekend, and it sounds like the visit impacted him significantly. His status with Alabama is apparently up in the air due to some confusion over his academics and ability to enroll in January. While LSU does not have room for him to enroll in January, they apparently opened his eyes this weekend. He had this to say on Twitter on Sunday:
One Man l really respect is that man coach miles one if the realest coaches I kni— Josh McNeil (@BIBTY_12) December 16, 2012
You've also got LSU commitment Andy Dodd giving the hard sell to McNeil on Twitter on Sunday night:
@bibty_12 hey man, remember the great weekend you had at LSU with all of us! It's a special place and we want you as part of the class! #LSU— andy dodd (@A_Dodd89) December 17, 2012
If LSU were to add McNeil, they would be getting one of the nation's top tight-ends. At 6'5" 235 pounds, McNeil can obviously be a presence as an in-line blocker. But he's a fantastic receiver too. He really uses his huge frame to his advantage, and he moves awfully well for someone his size. He'd be a nice fit at LSU, and even though academics are a concern, he's one to watch down the stretch.
It sounds like Arizona defensive back Priest Willis had a great visit but then again, when does a prospect not have a great official visit? The hope is that LSU really showed him something that will stick with him come decision time and that the impact of the visit does not wear off over time. My read on the situation is that LSU is absolutely a serious player for Willis, but UCLA will be tough to beat in the end.
Safety Jamal Carter, a Miami commitment, made the trip to LSU for his official visit. I don't anticipate much happening with LSU and Carter. He seems relatively solid to Miami for the time being, and LSU seems to have their sights set on Priest Willis. If Miami gets hit with NCAA sanctions prior to National Signing Day, then perhaps LSU and Carter will get more serious about each other.
Not related to the weekend, news broke on Friday that LSU has extended a grayshirt scholarship offer to John Curtis linebacker Duke Riley. In most years, Riley would have been offered long ago. But with LSU taking six linebackers a year ago, they were only looking for one or two in this class and have identified Melvin Jones and Kendell Beckwith as their guys. Riley has some nice offers out there such as Ole Miss and TCU, and it's unclear whether Riley is considering the grayshirt or not. It's also unclear whether Riley would enroll in the fall and pay his own way and then go on scholarship in January of 2014 or whether he would just sit out the fall and show up to LSU next January. Regardless, Riley would be a fantastic addition to LSU, even though he'd be counted with the Class of 2014.
LSU obviously still has a number of balls in the air with only limited spots available. However, LSU could sort things out on January 4th, which is the date of the Under Armour All-American Game. Both Bain and Kendell Beckwith are planning on announcing their decisions during the game. Priest Willis is also playing in the game; although as of now, he does not plan on announcing there.