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July Recruiting Roundtable

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Recapping one crazy month in LSU recruiting.

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With what transpired through early June, we had to take a moment to catch our collective breath before we expounding on something that possibly has not occurred at LSU at this point of the sports year.

Let's include the final weekend of May so Greedy Williams is a part of this, but can you remember a three-week stretch like this before in LSU history with picking up eight commitments in that span?

Paul: It is quite the run. That's a third  of the recruiting class in one fell swoop and puts the staff in good position to focus in on a handful of high profile guys down the stretch.

What I'm interested in here is the impact of Orgeron's evaluation. Obviously Monroe, Fowler and Williams are top tier prospects, but the three defensive linemen and Jakori Savage aren't highly esteemed prospects at this point. Has O gotten out ahead of guys and simply out evaluated? This is a class that should finish in the top 3 when it's all said and done and tying up those spots to these guys is an interesting decision.

cdub: I do love the fact that we got those eight so quickly and now with 17 total, we can wittle our board down and focus on key guys to fill the final 8-10 spots.


I still have my reservations about Roddy just in the fact he doesn't appear to fall in with the rest of this defensive class, unless of course we go to a 3-4 or run more of the 4-3 under, which is where I think he could be a serviceable end.  I have to give credit to Coach O for Thornton. Most thought he just got an offer to help with Kendell Jones, but he obviously jumped the curve with him as evidenced by Thornton's recent rise in the ESPN rankings. Anthony could afford to put some weight on him, but he has that Mingo-esque potential in being a solid edge rusher.  I do find it a little odd with the number of LB takes with guys like Joyner (who I don't think we land), Divinity and McCulloch all on the board, but I'll reserve judgement on Coach O and Steele's evaluations.

With Savage, I just chalk this up to another one of Grimes' projects, like George Brown last year. With that end-of-the-season haul Grimes put together, I think he can take a chance here with holding onto Campbell and getting Willie Allen to finish the class. Most are so focused on Chidi from last year that they don't even remember Toby Weathersby joining late.

Which of these guys was the biggest surprise to you?  Doesn't have to factor in the rankings but more of just the "Did we really just get him?"
Paul: Monroe was shocking to me, mostly because I thought he'd draw out his decision longer. He'll be a tough one to hang on to, I think. That guy is maybe the best safety in the class, or at least in the top three.

I'm surprised by all the DL as well, just because we know of Coach O's recruiting clout and I figured he'd hone in on some bigger fish. That said, as I already referenced, his ability to evaluate is also well known. Bruce Feldman's book Meat Market does a great job detailing how much he could get out ahead of other teams in working kids out and knowing they are something special, even trying to conceal players like Drake Nevis, whom he believed to be better than his ranking. So I guess I should put my confidence in him in that regard?

cdub: I got less shocked with Monroe the closer we got to The Opening, his original decision date, then the day of just because things were trending our way with him and with how the month had already gone, why the hell would he not choose us?

I think I'm going to go with Fowler. He was a very quiet recruit from the start and wasn't even in Louisiana when he made the call. It definitely came out of left field.

Like I mentioned in the last question, Coach O definitely hit the ground running with Thornton. Always being the first major offer is a good thing to have in your arsenal and it paid off.  Outside of Shavar Manuel, who recently made a visit with our new version of Patrick Peterson from a recruiting standpoint in Saivion Smith, and Brian Burns at DE and then obviously Lawrence and Stephon Taylor at DT, I think he had done his due diligence.

With these 8-10 spots remaining, who do you feel is the uncommitted recruit that LSU needs the most?

Paul: From a reputation perspective, I think Willie Allen getting away would look really bad. We lost Cam Robinson two years ago. Last year, we lost Tillery. Now Allen? To lose the best offensive lineman in the state three years running wouldn't be a good thing, even if we've done a good job replacing them with out-of-state prospects. Rashard Lawrence too, though we seem to be in great standing with him.

From a depth perspective, we need to put the full court press on guys like Keion Joyner. Clifton Garrett leaving is just the latest blow to our already thin LB depth chart. We took zero last year. Fowler is a nice start. And Chattman has long term possibility there, but we need some guys that can play snaps immediately. Fowler fits that bill. Joyner would be a major get.

cdub: I'll go with yours and add one more name onto it with Keion Joyner or Jeffrey McCulloch at linebacker and Rashard Lawrence. Not just from a depth perspective but it would help Steele and O flex their muscles at their new jobs and show they are ready for their bigger roles. Don't get me wrong, Divinity is a solid player as well, but it appears he's an LSU lean and should keep the in-state recruit here

How do y'all see the rest of the summer playing out?

cdub: Unfortunately, despite the hot start, I think it dies to a cool. The July camp may bring us Fulton and Stephon Taylor but I think that may be it. You never know with Shavar Manuel though since he will be with Saivion, a guy that committed to us after just one visit, but I highly doubt he replicates that. Deontay Anderson could be another that makes his move, seeing he's basically down to us, A&M and Ole Miss and has been on each campus numerous times.

The rest of the summer will mostly be about securing our spots in the prospects' top lists and getting ready for the season and the official visits.

Paul: Agreed with Corey. I imagine the rest of the summer will be fairly quiet and ramping up to get prospects on campus for the fall. The nice thing is that the staff has put themselves in nice position. They can be selective now.