With Signing Day fast approaching, time is running out for LSU to add more players to this class. The coaching staff has been all over the country visiting prospects and trying to gauge their interest on a possible late commitment to LSU. They haven't hooked anyone yet, but the good news is that it doesn't really matter. LSU essentially finished this class and filled all their needs when Kendell Beckwith committed in early January. Now, the staff is taking some shots with some big time prospects in hopes they land a late surprise, similar to Sam Montgomery in 2009 or Ego Ferguson in 2010. If they do, great. If not, well then pat yourself on the back and move on to 2014. That's how I see it.
But for another week or so, they're still going to take those shots and two big names will be in Baton Rouge this weekend on official visits.
New Jersey defensive end Tashawn Bower will be in town. Bower has been committed to Auburn since June, but has been openly looking at other schools since Auburn changed coaching staffs. Bower goes 6'5" 235 and is highly thought of by the recruiting sites. He's a solid four star prospect and consistently ranked between # 100 and #200 nationally. Brick Haley has developed a very good relationship with Bower over the last several months, and Bower seems legitimately interested in what LSU has to offer. Haley and Miles visited Bower on Tuesday night, which reportedly went well. Bower is also considering Florida, Florida State, Rutgers and of course Auburn. Looking a little deeper, Florida State just lost assistant coach James Coley to Miami and Coley was one of the primary recruiters for Bower. Florida just lost their defensive coordinator. And of course, Auburn changed their entire coaching staff in December. So Brick Haley might actually have the most consistent and steady relationship with Bower of anyone out there. I've got a feeling that LSU will make a great impression on him this weekend. Will it be enough to garner a commitment? I'm not sure. The bad news is that Bower is scheduled to visit Auburn the final weekend before Signing Day. So any lead LSU may take may get lost a week later. But Bower is definitely one to keep an eye on.
Florida athlete Eddie Jackson is the other big name that will be on campus this weekend. Jackson's stock has exploded after a sensational senior season, and he could play either receiver or corner at the next level. Most schools, including LSU, seem to want him at cornerback. Jackson is also considering Florida State and Alabama. He visited Alabama last weekend and was not shy about naming the Tide as his leader after the visit. Despite an in-home visit from Nick Saban this week, Jackson will still take his official visit to LSU as planned. In my opinion, LSU would have to really blow Jackson away on this visit to put a dent in the lead that Alabama has, but the fact that he is still making the trip shows that he's interested.
Tevin Lawson and Jeremy Cutrer, a pair of LSU commitments, will be taking their official visits this weekend. Both guys have some academic hurdles to clear before being eligible, and I suspect that will be a topic of conversation this weekend. Cutrer has further to go and I wouldn't be shocked if he does not sign with LSU on Signing Day. We may find out more about that after this weekend.
LSU visited John Curtis linebacker Duke Riley this week and tried to convince him to visit LSU this weekend. As of late Thursday night, it was unclear whether Riley would visit LSU or Ole miss this weekend. Currently, Riley holds a grayshirt offer from LSU and several 2013 offers, including one from Ole Miss, TCU and Tulane.
Barring any surprises, that's it for visitors to LSU this weekend. But LSU is still hustling the recruiting trail chasing some other prospects.
Talks have not died down between LSU and a pair of Miami defensive back commitments, Artie Burns and Jamal Carter. Carter has not reciprocated that interest a whole lot, but Burns still offers a glimmer of hope. Remember that when Burns committed to Miami, he called LSU his "dream school.". I'd still be pretty shocked if Burns flipped to LSU, but he's still talking with LSU's coaches and is absolutely on the watch list. He had a terrific week of practice at the Under Armour All American game, and his stock has never been higher. Burns is a national Top 100 player in my opinion who would really flourish at DBU.
I've seen some internet chatter regarding Tennessee commitment Jason Carr, a big defensive end from Memphis. Carr has been committed to Tennessee for a year, but was starting to look around a bit. He had scheduled a visit to Ole Miss, only to cancel it and claim that his recruitment is over. However, LSU is showing some interest now and when it comes to defensive linemen, LSU is on a much different level than Tennessee or Ole Miss. Will it be enough to convince him to take a visit on the final weekend before Signing Day? Probably not, but it's worth it for the LSU coaches to find out. Carr is a 6'6" 270 pound defensive end who will likely slide inside and play tackle in college.
Junior college defensive end Dontrill Hyman was also chirping about LSU a bit on Twitter earlier this week. Hyman plays at the same junior college as LSU commitment Quantavious Leslie and is currently committed to East Carolina. On his highlights, he looks like a SEC caliber prospect to me. Honestly, a JUCO defensive lineman makes a lot of sense for LSU in this class due to the depth issues facing the 2013 team. Going this route proved very beneficial when LSU signed Ken Adams a few years back, and Hyman could be someone similar. My guess is that LSU will wait to pull the trigger on offering him until the know what's going on with Bower, Burns, and some others. But he's another guy to watch as Signing Day approaches.
Lastly, Florida defensive tackle Keith Bryant, has recently received a lot of interest from LSU and could take a visit to LSU on the final weekend before Signing Day. Bryant is a nice looking prospect.
Rummel tight-end Cethan Carter committed to Nebraska and doesn't seem to be interested in visiting LSU. He's not really considering LSU's grayshirt offer right now. If LSU were to change that to a full 2013 offer, I think they could flip him.
Junior college wide receiver Joe Morris, currently committed to Arizona State, might be a guy to keep an eye on, though it seems like LSU is focusing on the defensive line and secondary since Kevin Spears committed last weekend. Spears, by the way, was upgraded to a four star rating on both Rivals and ESPN. In fact, ESPN now rates Spears as the #297 overall player in the nation.
I will try to update any rumors or developments over the weekend in the comments of this post.