LSU hosted a small-ish group of visitors last weekend, headlined by Martez Ivey. The list shifted a bit from earlier reports, as Arkansas TE commit Will Gragg wound up not making the trip, while Tyron Johnson and Donte Jackson, both originally reported to have cancelled, wound up showing up for another unofficial visit.
George Brown Jr.
As noted on Sunday, the biggest piece of news from the weekend came in the commitment of George Brown Jr. He's been hotly pursued by Grimes for a while now. Brown doesn't have any other visits scheduled to date, but he's only taken two of his five, and rest assured his pursuers will continue to try and get him on campus until the end of the period.
The other major tidbit came in the de-commitment of Daylon Charlot from Alabama. Charlot is a 4-star WR that committed to Alabama way back in February of this year. At the time, Charlot did not field an LSU offer, and many speculated about whether he was attempting to have LSU play their hand. That offer came through in June, the day he attended a camp in Baton Rouge. This follows the practice we've seen the staff take on many in-state prospects that aren't definitive takes.
Patterson is an LSU stronghold, and fellow Patterson native Kenny Hilliard hosted him during his visit. As the recruiting process wore on, it's not surprising Charlot would begin to feel more of a tug to stay in state. Charlot's been on campus three times since September, including his official visit this past weekend. To date, he has no other official visits scheduled, but similar to Brown, be sure his remaining contenders will be vying to get him on campus in these final few weeks. He fields offers from Alabama, Florida State, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and others.
Charlot also had this to say about the current state of the LSU offense:
They broke everything down for me from the film, their route tree and how their offense runs. He said the quarterbacks are young, but are going to be really good. I feel a lot better about where they're at now.
Kudos to the staff for doing a great job of pitching the offense to him, even after a rough season there.
Thomas was originally scheduled to visit LSU this weekend, but backed out since his mother couldn't make the trip. Instead, he committed to Alabama. Although he is reportedly visiting Georgia this weekend.
Not a ton to report here, but it still seems like Florida and Auburn are the top two in this race. ESPN insider alludes to the fact that we continue to hang around and the longer that goes, the better chance we stand. Keep in mind that Ivey has already officially visited both Auburn and Florida, so the advantage of getting that last visit isn't in play. Another team could jump into the mix, though that seems unlikely.
Jim McElwain is already hot on the trail after Gator targets, and you know he'll been working to the bone to shore up what's currently a class in really poor shape. Will Ivey be turned off by the coaching turnover? If Auburn hires Muschamp, will he follow him there, despite the fact that he won't be coached by him? There's some interesting variables in play that could help LSU, though I wouldn't hold my breath on this one.
Ivey also tweeted this out during his visit:
Not the same— Martez ivey (@tezivey) December 8, 2014
Make of that what you will.
Merrick is another Florida OL prospect that was in town and from all reports the visit went great. In fact, from the source himself, he loved it:
Loved it at LSU this weekend— Jalen Merrick (@Jalen_Merrick) December 7, 2014
That said, he's also already met with McElwain, and tweeted that he believes Coach Mac will change the program. Merrick is an early enrollee and has already completed visits to Wisconsin, Arkansas, Florida State and now, LSU. There's no reports of a visit to UF scheduled, yet. But his signing date is rapidly approaching, and many believe he's Florida bound.
Tyron Johnson and Donte Jackson
I took it as good news that these two cancelled and rescheduled their visits together, as they seem interested in playing together at the next level. Package deals rarely come to fruition, and I wouldn't go to that extent describing them, but it's interesting nonetheless. Johnson tweeted his top five on Friday:
Top five ❗️ Texas tech⚫️ Georgia ▪️ LSU Oklahoma st Auburn— Tyron Johnson (@_TBJ13) December 5, 2014
The two major schools that overlap between the two recruits are Georgia and LSU. The Crystal Ball tilts Jackson toward Georgia, currently, while Tyron Johnson is at 75% for LSU, and not a single pick for Georgia. Johnson's got some Odell Beckham to his game, though he's a little bigger and I don't think as explosive. Jackson is a slighter, but a top-tier athlete that could help immediately in the return game.
These will be two to keep an eye on as signing day approaches, but the staff continues to put themselves in good position. On Johnson, I feel similar to how I did on Malachi Dupre last year: you simply don't come to campus three times in a matter of months if you don't have heavy interest. Johnson also caught the game-winning TD on his playoff game last night. Here's a couple other pics of him from this weekend:
About that Odell Beckham thing...
Tigers❗️ T.bill LSU pic.twitter.com/anSnVr9ijB— Tyron Johnson (@_TBJ13) December 6, 2014
The Ole Miss commit will continue to take his visits and LSU remains in the hunt. Lewis is one of my favorite players in this class. He does acknowledge he's pretty firm to Ole Miss, so I consider a flip a long shot, but you never know what happens after visits.
Looks like the staff won't be going this route. Cameron originally requested some film on Chad Kelly, the former Clemson QB, but recently informed them he's no longer interested.
I'm in support of this decision, as none of the prospects on the radar are worthy of eating up a scholarship. Kelly probably has the talent, but his checkered past doesn't merit LSU going out on a limb. There's no point in signing a QB just to sign one, either.
Recruits are still getting everything organized for their final visits, but currently only four prospects scheduled for official visits to date. It's likely many more have dates scheduled, but the information hasn't been reported or finalized just yet. LSU remains in the mix for a number of prospects, but unless there's a heavy dosage of surprises this signing day, I expect this class to finish in the top 15 somewhere.