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LB Shanon Reid and LSU LB Recruiting Update

NCAA Football: Louisiana State Spring Game Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow is decision day for Fort Myers, FL LB Shanon Reid. Reid is a composite 3-star player that LSU took interest in later into the process. At 6’1”, 205 pounds he’s built much more like a collegiate safety and may remind of current LSU LB Donnie Alexander, who was similarly sized coming out of HS. Reid is a nice looking program-type player that could emerge as a starter later in his career, but hardly the type of guy you would consider a roster cornerstone.

Last weekend he took in Baton Rouge and reportedly the visit went well. A handful of experts crystal balled Reid ahead of the visit, and it became clear that if he was wanted, he would wind up at LSU. Yet, over the past 48 hours, six different folks, including SB Nation’s Recruiting Director Bud Elliott, and 247’s Ryan Bartow (who is one guy I watch closely as he’s pretty guarded with his picks) have crystal balled Reid to Tennessee. Reid will chose tomorrow and I suspect he will be a Volunteer because the coaching staff let him know he was a fallback option.

What Does It Mean?

This is likely actually great news. LSU’s class is in desperate need of immediate impact ILBs. As I wrote a few weeks ago:

White has stood up and made some plays this year. I suspect he’ll lock down a starting spot. Alexander is also a key back-up. Those two make a ton of sense in the middle. Divinity could be an ILB or an OLB. I don’t think his future is set yet. He’s played decently in 2016. Corey Thompson is interesting because the staff is allowing him to take his medical RS. They aren’t trying to shuffle him out of the program, so that leads me to believe they think he can contribute.

The others are just depth. LSU needs bodies here and there is only one recruit so far.

OLB is a bit less in question, as Key will hold down one spot and Bower didn’t provide anything that should be too difficult to replace with some combination of Isaiah Washington, Sci Martin, Andre Anthony and Ray Thornton. Ultimately, we have bodies there that we simply don’t at ILB.

For recruits, Dylan Moses and Christopher Allen, two of LSU’s top targets and players from Louisiana (Moses’ move aside) both chose the Tide, somewhat surprisingly. Allen was more of an OLB, but Moses could probably play both inside and outside in Aranda’s defense and be treated more like an attacking chess piece, to take advantage of his immense athleticism.

LSU also struck out on players like Will Ignont, Anthony Hines, and Baron Browning. Now the staff has only Patrick Queen locked in and decidedly few instant impact options are available. Yet, they seemingly decide to not take the commitment from a solid player like Shanon Reid?

Reading the tea leaves here, I’m sensing the staff is growing confident in their ability to flip some currently committed players or pull off some shockers on the trail. Here’s some guys to keep an eye on.

Dylan Moses

It’s ain’t over till it’s over, they say. Moses is an early enrollee and the Tide sent a full array of visitors into visit him this past weekend, but there’s a number of folks who insist he’s privately undecided. Moses would have been at LSU if Les Miles remained the coach and his number one choice to fill the vacancy was Ed Orgeron. I don’t have high hopes, but if he backs out of early enrollment, get your bat signals ready.

Christopher Allen

Allen was considered an LSU lean throughout the process and his sudden decision to pull the trigger on Alabama was shocking. The staff is not going to give up on recruiting Allen. He still has his full array of visits in hand and made his decision coming off an unofficial visit to Bama, the day after Orgeron was announced as the new head coach. These are the types of battles you expect Orgeron to go win on the trail. It’s been a long, long time since a Baton Rouge Lab kid that LSU wanted got away. Could they lose two in a year? He and Moses are reportedly very tight...

Willie Gay

The Starkville, MS kid is expected to stay home and play for the Bulldogs, but Gay has two visits remaining, one to Mississippi State and one to LSU. It’s often tough to pluck kids from their hometowns, but LSU may offer Gay an opportunity too good to pass up. Gay is as athletic of a LB as you will find in this class:

At the opening finals he ran the fastest 40 of all LBs, including Dylan Moses. He posted the 4th highest SPARQ behind freaks Dylan Moses and Baron Browning, as well as 2019 stud Owen Pappoe. Getting Gay would be a HUGE addition.

Levi Jones

Jones hails from Austin and is reportedly 50/50 LSU/UT. However, once Strong was fired, 5 different experts crystal balled Jones to LSU, three of which write for UT publications. He’s being recruited by Dave Aranda and at 6’3”, 215 looks like the type of inside/outside LB he loves.

What Else?

Watch the LB offers carefully. There might be some in-state players the staff values about as much as a player like Shanon Reid, but they are waiting to offer. This is common practice as most HS players in the state dream of playing at LSU. Josh Clarke is an Ole Miss commit from New Orleans without an LSU offer, for example.

My guess is the staff will spend the next several weeks trying to get top flight LBs on campus for OVs in effort to flip them. Any movement on Dylan Moses should be closely monitored. It’s unlikely he flips, but if he does, it immediately turns the direction of this LB signing class.

At any rate, things seem to be trending upward.