LSU has spent the last several weeks courting five-star Clinton, Miss., running back Cam Akers in effort to woo him to being Derrius Guice’s eventual replacement. For weeks, LSU seemed in strong position given their opportunity for early playing time and proximity to his hometown. Akers has been largely mum on his recruitment. He officially visited Ohio State and Florida State only, though many believed LSU and Ole Miss remained major contenders.
Akers stated his prohibitive choices for the LSU job, after Les Miles was fired, were Jimbo Fisher and... Ed Orgeron. Had LSU elected to not hire either of those two, it’s likely they wouldn’t have even made it this far in his recruitment. Yet, it seems the indecisiveness on the offensive coordinator front may have done enough to cool Akers during a span where he was fielding the most recruiting attention. Word around is that he was concerned not just with uncertainty from the offensive coordinator position, but whether or not RB coach Jabbar Juluke would be retained. Not too unreasonable of a decision for a player looking for what should be a three-year path to the NFL.
New LSU offensive coordinator Matt Canada seems to have tried to woo Akers but unsuccessfully. All the late momentum on the crystal ball is spinning toward the Noles, though Ole Miss sources seem to have some confident that mama, and playing close to home, will win out. To me, that seems unlikely. Akers looks to be Tallahassee bound.
His commitment will be broadcast live on the High School Football Network at 7p.m. CST.
Barring Akers pulling a shocker and pick LSU, the staff will need to turn to other options. Clyde Edwards-Helaire remains committed despite a cryptic message yesterday about re-evaluating his options, that he’s since deleted — recruiting y’all.
Fellow in-state tailback Travis Etienne looks like the top option to fill the void left by Akers electing elsewhere. Etienne is the 222nd-rated player nationally, and the number 18th-rated running back. He has a litany of top tier offers from the likes of Texas A&M, Oregon, Tennessee, Alabama and Clemson. LSU has still not officially extend a scholarship offer* despite Etienne stating the Tigers are in his top 3.
Yet, I’m told by a staffer that LSU was not impressed with his abilities as a RB in a camp setting. The staff tried to work him at receiver and he couldn’t consistently catch the ball well enough for him to earn an offer there either. He told Sam Spiegelman at SEC Country LSU was recruiting him at Safety, which should give you some idea of their perception of his abilities to play on offense.
Will things change now if Akers is no longer any possibility? The remaining pool at tailback is fairly thin, but I’m told the staff has some backup options in mind in the event that Akers opts for another school.
*ED. NOTE: Just to re-hash here, this is a pretty common tactic for in-state players the staff may not prioritize over elite national targets.
Since writing this, Travis Etienne has officially been offered:
#blessed to receive a offer from LSU... #geauxtigers #nflsu pic.twitter.com/xyTigv3rTC— Travis Etienne Jr⁶ (@swaggy_t1) December 27, 2016
Writing is on the wall for Akers in this one...