After some surprising coaching and recruiting news recently, we now find ourselves entering a quiet period for recruiting and the home stretch for the coaching staff. With the class sitting at 17 commits currently, leaving us eight away from the soft limit that the SEC imposes, there's still plenty of names left out there for the staff to pursue as they attempt to fill holes still left in this class. So, who might comprise the final eight? Come on in:
Dwayne Haskins: With the soap opera that is Feleipe Franks over (someone still may need to go tell Cam Cameron that), it appears it is on to the next one. Still a commit to Maryland, Dwayne Haskins has begun to look around following the coaching changes there and the Terps letting Mike Locksley look elsewhere for work. With a huge hole at QB in this class and a disappointing season at the position this year, it could give Haskins big reason to come to Baton Rouge.
Shea Patterson: Shea has recently said he wants to look at Ohio State and Alabama despite currently standing as an Ole Miss commit. However, there is not good standing between the Patterson family and Cam Cameron, so as long as Cameron is retained, Shea won't be giving us the time of day.
Tylin Oden: Currently a Louisville commit, Oden has begun to look around due to the uncertainty of his decision and LSU's name came up of course. However, it doesn't look like he has enough talent to compete in the SEC and likely won't make it in.
Deuce Wallace: Once a recruit in Louisiana, Deuce now resides in Tennessee and is currently a Vanderbilt commit. With the Franks pursuit over, Wallace might be a name that comes up, but with Wallace being an early entrant, time may be way too short for Cameron to make a mark.
Lindsey Scott: If an in-state name was added to this class, it would likely be Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year Lindsey Scott. He would likely not be a name you hear until late January when the other options have gone to the wayside, but he might be a name to watch.
Devin White: This is an easy position to write for because it starts and ends with White. Going with the same approach that was used with Leonard Fournette, Frank Wilson has assured White that he is the only RB in this class. With pressure from Arkansas and Ole Miss (with help from his buddy Shea Patterson), Frank's job may be tough, but he has been reliable since starting at LSU, so no reason to lose that trust now.
Stephen Sullivan: Once an LSU commit, Sullivan re-opened his process (and probably for good reason) and centered his focus on TCU. With an explosive offense and his family living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, it seemed pretty logical they would make it more difficult for LSU. Over the past few weeks though, it seems LSU has pulled ahead once again and may retrieve their massive redzone threat.
Drake Davis: It's been a wild journey to this senior season for Drake, but it's finally here and he is still an elite recruit. Once stopping football altogether to focus on the other futbol for a year, Davis has become a top receiver once again at IMG Academy. LSU may have Drake's mother heavily on their side, but they will have to battle Ole Miss and Shea Patterson to get his signature come February.
Willie Allen: A slight advantage over Donavaughn Campbell, the best o-lineman in the state of Louisiana has made it a tough fight to read over this season. Once again, like many of these recently, LSU will have to battle Ole Miss to reel him in (get it? He loves fishing, it's an angling joke). Alabama is lurking but it appears to be a two-horse race.
Jean Delance: Despite being a top-20 offensive tackle, Delance has been very silent throughout this process. Grimes has recently turned up the heat on Delance and even started rumors that Delance is a silent commit. Those are likely untrue, but LSU is definitely in the thick of the race and will have to beat out Texas and Michigan to get his signature.
Scott Lashley: Another top-20 offensive tackle, the Mississippi product was recently paid an in-home visit from Grimes and likely secured an official visit from Lashley in January. It will be tough to beat the in-state Mississippi State, but Grimes put on a magic show last year, so who knows if he has some more tricks up his sleeve.
John Simpson: LSU was recently announced to be in a three-way tie at the top for Simpson with Clemson and Florida. Unfortunately for LSU, they have already had their official visit with the South Carolina product, likely meaning Grimes will have an uphill battle to overcome in-state South Carolina and neighboring Florida
Rashan Gary: The top recruit in the nation, Ed Orgeron has put in his due diligence with the kid but it looks like it's going to wind up being just a bit short. Michigan is the leader in the clubhouse and with a closer proximity to home and a former high school coach of Gary's on the staff, it will still be an uphill climb for LSU to get him.
Rashard Lawrence: The top recruit in the state of Louisiana, Lawrence is the top target of Orgeron, for good reason obviously. It has been a back and forth battle against Alabama for his signature, and it looks as if LSU has the momentum in the recent weeks. It will be a nail biter until pen meets paper in February.
Shavar Manuel: Once thought to be a done deal for LSU, a very disappointing senior season for IMG Academy and a reluctance to lose the weight he gained following an injury last season, Manuel has fallen down the board for Orgeron. Ed may kick the tires again later on, but it appears Manuel will be staying in state and likely be a Gator.
Brian Burns: Brian still sticks around as an uncommitted recruit, and once thought to be a heavy Georgia lean, the emergence of the Gators and the coaching changes at Georgia have lifted the Gators' confidence in him. Maybe Orgeron can get him re-interested but it appears Burns will be staying in state as well.
Raekwon Davis: Despite being an Alabama commit since August, Ed Orgeron has not stopped his pursuit of this behemoth of a defensive tackle. While it would seem weird to try and go after a longtime Alabama commit, Davis has continued to remain open to hearing what LSU has to say and this will go down to the wire.
Ross Blacklock: Once thought to be competing with Davis for the big-DT spot in the LSU class, academic concerns and being a little too big for a guy of his height, Davis has taken the forefront between the battle. Orgeron may go after his later, but he appears to be heading to Texas A&M.
Emmitt Gooden: There has been significant interest in LSU from Gooden from the start of his senior season. So why isn't he a part of this class already? His grade concerns are worse than that of Blacklock's, so barring an unforeseen change in his academic standing following this semester, you may be hearing his name two years from now following a JuCo stop.
D'Andre Christmas-Giles: The most recent recipient of an LSU offer, an impressive senior season from D'Andre caught the attention of Orgeron enough that he received an offer. Originally committed to Tennessee, Christmas-Giles has re-opened his recruitment as of today, so expect the pressure to crank up from LSU. It wouldn't be surprising if he's in the fold by February.
Stephon Taylor: One of the more quiet recruits of this class, Taylor has kept everything close to the chest. LSU has remained in the hunt for Taylor, but it appears Taylor continues to be passed up by other names on the board. He'll continue to be pursued but the pressure may not be increased until other names come off the board.
Travez Moore: Like Gooden previously mentioned, if grades were no concern, Moore would already be in this class. Unfortunately, his grades may be around the same as Gooden's and seems he is likely JuCo bound as well. The LSU staff is keeping a close eye on the situation though and hoping the in-state recruit can pull it together in time.
Sci Martin: Like Christmas-Giles, Martin put together a solid senior season that has caught the staff's eye. Unfortunately, Martin recently committed to TCU, which seems to be a d-line feeder for kids that don't make it into the LSU class. Follow this one closely as this one may be far from done as well.
Lyndell Wilson: LSU recently came in third in Wilson's top five list, trailing Florida and Alabama in that order. Florida has gained a lot of momentum recently with the season they've had, making it real tough for LSU to compete with the Gators and the in-state Alabama to get him.
Ben Davis: Another recruit where LSU has made his favorites list, but trails too far. The son of a former Alabama player, it would appear the Tide are in the driver's seat, but Georgia's recent hiring of Kirby Smart has sent them skyrocketing up the list, and rumored to be the lead.
Rahshaun Smith: Once a Clemson commit, Smith de-committed from those Tigers in August, putting LSU in a good spot at the time with Saivion Smith (his IMG roommate) in the class and a seemingly-wide lead for Manuel as well. Manuel has fallen off and Rahshaun appears to be leaning towards Clemson again, but Steele and Saivion will continue to keep the pressure on Smith.
Jeffrey McCulloch: LSU has remained in the picture for McCulloch, who has visited LSU on a number of occasions, but it would appear he will be staying in state, making it a Texas and Texas A&M battle.
Jaleel Laguins: A visitor this past weekend, the LSU staff kept this one under wraps due to his commitment to Georgia. It will still be a challenge, especially with Kirby Smart taking over for the Bulldogs, but Steele will keep after him, likely shooting him up the board of obtainable targets.
Keion Joyner: One of the weirder stories to follow this season, it appears that Florida State remains as the only school still staying in contact with Joyner, who was kicked off his high school team even after an awful start to the season on the field, due to a former high school coach being on the Seminoles staff.
Dontavious Jackson: Another name that keeps us in his long list of favorites, but an unlikely scenario with the Longhorns having a lead over Oklahoma and Alabama right now.
Trayvon Mullen: Once thought to be a major LSU lean, in-state Florida State made a large push, even jumping into the lead for awhile according to some. The field has been leveled as Corey Raymond will take this one down to the wire with Florida State.
Kristian Fulton: While Kristian has been quiet throughout the process, his father has been cooking up some good southern cooking for visiting recruits if that tells you anything. Arkansas will continue to press, along with Florida, but this is one that will likely be a win for the good guys.
Deontay Anderson: The biggest safety target left on the board for Raymond, LSU will be going toe-to-toe with Ole Miss once again for another recruit in this class. The good news for the Tigers is they will be receiving Anderson's last official visit before NSD, which is always a good ace in the hole to have.
Nigel Warrior: The son of Tennessee standout Dale Carter, Corey Raymond knows the test that will be there to keep the now Georgia product from heading back to Tennessee. It still appears Deontay is above him on the board, but Raymond will want to be the leader in the clubhouse with Warrior too in case Anderson decides to head to Ole Miss.
Joejuan Williams: Another recruit from Tennessee that would like to be a part of LSU's class like Emmitt Gooden, but being an early entrant and further down the board caused Williams to commit to Vanderbilt while he was on his visit at LSU. If things change in the coming weeks with Anderson and/or Warrior, LSU may quickly go after Williams, but expect him to stick with Vandy.
Brandon Jones: While Jones remains a slight option for the time being, expect Jones to stay in state between Texas A&M or Texas with in-state safeties Eric Monroe already committed to LSU and Deontay Anderson likely going out of state as well.
And that is what's left on the recruiting board. Although with two months to go, there seems to always be another name or two, like Laguins recently, that comes out of left field (wrong sport, my bad), so things may change. Recruiting is always a fluid process, so things will stay interesting up until February as LSU looks to close on the top class in the nation. It will be a challenge, but with the number of key recruiters on the staff, it will be a challenge they are up for the taking.