The end of the final dead period leads to a non-stop rush of recruiting sort of reminiscent to the final event on Supermarket Sweep. What amounts to a little over three weeks before National Signing Day on February 5th, coaches will be racking up the phone bills, recruits head across the country to get final visits in, and coaches make last ditch efforts to close their classes with a bang (or BOOM in recruiting parlance).
With that in mind, LSU still has a number of spots open remaining in this class and even more recruits that could fill those spots. So who is left on the board? Come take a look:
Malachi Dupre (6'3" 187 lbs.)
Likely the most important recruit remaining on the board for the Tigers, Malachi Dupre is a nationally recognized top-3 wide receiver in the nation. Due to the John Curtis rule, their players aren't allowed to officially visit schools until their season is over. Dupre visited LSU a few times during the year, becoming good friends and a recruiter of Adoree Jackson (who will be mentioned later on). Florida State will be the primary competition for him and a National Title surely gives them some momentum. Dupre will be visiting LSU on the weekend of January 17th.
Frank Iheanacho (6'6" 220 lbs.)
The tall, lengthy (6'11" wingspan) wide receiver was a relative unknown until about midway into his senior season, but his recruitment caught fire quickly. Texas A&M and LSU were the firsts to jump on an offer for him, and that high-flying offense of the Aggies was enough to get a commitment from him at the Army All-American Game. But that won't stop the Tigers as they look to get another in-home visit and hope the numbers game factor into their favor come signing day.
George Rushing (6'1" 180 lbs.)
There was never much interest in Rushing throughout the season, but with Charlie Strong heading to Texas, Rushing decided to de-commit from Louisville and take a look around. A good friend of LSU safety commit John Battle will take official visits to Wisconsin, LSU (January 24th), Louisville and TCU in he coming weeks. Not sure if he would be an instant take or if the staff would wait until National Signing Day if the numbers allow them.
Melvin Holland Jr. (6'3" 200 lbs.)
A brief mention in an article by Jimmy Smith soon turned Melvin into a message board sensation, where Tiger fans (including myself) became very intrigued with his highlights. Despite being a bigger target, Holland Jr. shows good speed despite not having much starting experience. Minnesota and Rutgers lead with offers to him, but expect his recruitment to heat up intensely in the coming month.
Emanuel Porter (6'5" 190 lbs.)
A Texas commit, the LSU staff reached out to him with an offer in hopes that Porter may start looking around due to the new coaching staff. There hasn't been an official visit set up yet, but this will be a Longhorn-Tiger battle with Texas holding the advantage until Porter expresses his thoughts on the new coaches in Austin.
Derrick Kelly Jr. (6'5" 295 lbs.)
Senior Highlights (Hudl) Another late bloomer on this list, Kelly Jr. has seen his stock skyrocket after a solid senior season, growing more into his body and becoming more athletic on the line. With Will Clapp and Garrett Brumfield likely as guard candidates, the staff is looking to add a tackle in this class and Kelly Jr. is No. 1 on their board at the position. Florida State led early for his services, but momentum is trending towards LSU recently with Kentucky trying to stay in it. Derrick will be on campus for the weekend of January 17th and that visit should be a huge indicator of where LSU stands with him.
Roderick Taylor (6'4" 305 lbs.)
A high school teammate and Ole Miss commit along with Breeland Speaks, top guard in the nation Roderick Taylor will come along with his friend on the weekend of January 17th after LSU has cranked up the interest in him as well. Unlike Speaks, Taylor doesn't have any tie-ins to the state of Louisiana so switching him will be a lot tougher, but if the staff can reel in Speaks, there could be a chance that he could bring him in as we get closer to National Signing Day
Elijah Rodriguez (6'5" 275 lbs.)
A commitment to Colorado since August, Rodriguez appears to be a backup plan at tackle for the Tigers. He has yet to officially visit Baton Rouge but may be trying to set one up in the near future. He may get in if the staff misses on Derrick Kelly Jr. but it wouldn't be a sure thing even with the miss.
Bailey Granier (6'6" 315 lbs.)
Highlights A commitment to Vanderbilt since July, Granier de-committed recently due to James Franklin heading to Penn State. He is looking to visit LSU, but again, he may be in the same realm of Rodriguez and likely a back-up option if the staff even decides to pursue him at all.
Lorenzo Carter (6'5" 232 lbs.)
Highlights Once thought a long shot, an in-home visit and the work from coach Brick Haley has brought LSU up into consideration. There is still ground to make up against in-state school Georgia and competition from Florida State, but LSU will get a visit from Carter on the weekend of January 17th. A defensive end built in the mold of those that LSU enjoys to use, Chavis and Haley will try to impart the need for him to be in a 4-3 defense.
Breeland Speaks (6'3" 270 lbs.)
Despite being a commitment to Ole Miss since October, a recent offer from "dream school" LSU has got Speaks re-considering his decision. Speaks has family in New Orleans and grew up an LSU fan. He too will be visiting on January 17th, along with high school teammate and Rebel commit Roderick Taylor, and the staff will strike the importance of coming to Baton Rouge. The miss on Gerald Willis III introduces the importance to reel in guys like Speaks and....
Travonte Valentine (6'3" 338 lbs.)
A Miami commitment since July, the monster defensive tackle announced his de-commitment from the in-state college at the Army All-American Game, where he impressed those in attendance during the practices, and announced a new leader of LSU. Valentine had plans to visit Baton Rouge during the summer but plans fell through due to an academic situation. Now, he will be visiting LSU on the weekend of January 24th after originally having plans to come in on the 17th. This way, the staff will be able to focus more of their efforts on a needed recruit.
Trey Lealaimatafao (6'0" 301 lbs.)
Senior Highlights Don't worry, I'm not even going to try to pronounce that last name, but know that he is one quick defensive tackle recruit. Committed to Texas since last March, Trey de-committed from the school in November following the resignation from Mack Brown. Trey has an official visit planned to Oregon and has visited UCLA, Arizona State and Ole Miss. He plans to visit LSU sometime after his January 17th visit to Oregon and has a sister at Southern, so it will not require him to use his final official visit.
Malik McDowell (6'7" 290 lbs.)
Senior Highlights The defensive end/tackle hybrid out of Detroit has had his name brought up on a few occasions, but don't expect too much. He has a visit set up for the weekend of January 24th, but LSU will need a miracle to convince him away from Big Ten schools Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State.
Kenny Young (6'2" 220 lbs.)
Senior Highlights Another one of the John Curtis recruits required to wait until the end of their season for official visits, it appears that Young may be looking to head out of state. Young attended several LSU games during the season and likely won't set up an official visit to Baton Rouge due to seeing the campus enough times already. UCLA seems to be the hot school for him, but a late push from Texas A&M, who will get a visit from him on January 17th, will keep things interesting. LSU will continue to recruit him and will hope current Tiger Duke Riley and potential LSU commit Malachi Dupre can convince him to not leave the state borders.
Otaro Alaka (6'3" 205 lbs.)
A commitment to Texas since April of last year, Alaka has re-opened his recruitment since the coaching changes in Austin, but still has his commitment to Texas. LSU has him set to visit on the weekend of January 24th following his visit to Texas A&M the weekend before. Alaka has some ties with College Station so his process may end before he even gets to visit us, but LSU will hope they can convince him to not be quick ont he trigger and still visit.
Adoree' Jackson (5'10" 182 lbs.)
Outside of Dupre, Jackson is the second-highest rated recruit remaining on LSU's board and he is a talented player. Jackson could come in and play cornerback or wide receiver or a little of both, along with being a deadly returner in the special teams game. LSU is in his final six and the staff is trying to get an unofficial visit to Baton Rouge for him after he previously visited officially for the Florida game back in October. His recruitment has been wild and will remain wild until National Signing Day.
Russell Gage (6'0" 175 lbs.)
Senior Highlights With the commitment of Jamal Adams, that likely closed the door on Gage but the staff will maintain interest in him up to National Signing Day and may snatch him up if the numbers are right.
In terms of visits from uncommitted/other school commits, this is how it's set up currently:
Derrick Kelly Jr.
There's your remaining board. LSU still has a ton of talent out there that could be a part of this class and will make these coming weeks a little more interesting as we approach National Signing Day on February 5th. So, sit back and enjoy (or fret if that's your MO) the ride with a number of top recruits still left to finalize their college future.