It's time for the annual "Boys from the Boot" event. The one that, I believe, Frank Wilson created when arriving in Baton Rouge in 2009. The event spawned out of LSU seeking to build an identity in the pride of being a Louisiana athlete that stays home. LSU hadn't suffered many recruiting losses from instate. Janzen Jackson notably and dramatically flipped from his commitment a couple days after signing day to ink with Tennessee. Otherwise, LSU pretty much got all the instate kids they wanted. This was more a protective measure for the future. Frank Wilson was hired, not just for his ties to New Orleans, but his connection to 5-star sensation Anthony Johnson. Regardless of how Freak's career transpired, we must remember he was Rashard Lawrence before Rashard Lawrence. The tactic worked, as that 2011 class that featured Freak, Landry, Beckham, Rasco and Hilliard were a particularly bonded group of players.
LSU's continued the event, and it typically marks the full transition to the focus on the next signing class. Sure, pre-work has already been done to establish contact with many of the players, but this is the event when you get to see a lot of offers come through. Usually this starts to better shape our idea of who the staff might heavily value. That's no different this year. Though I doubt we see any pledges coming out of the weekends, this will likely lay the groundwork with the local prospects we value.
So let's take a look at some of the big names heading into town this weekend:
This is just a sampling of the talent that will be on hand. 2017 won't exactly be a banner year in state. 2016 was an absolutely loaded cycle, with multiple guys LSU would have taken that wound up elsewhere due to space. 2017 won't be quite the same. I suspect the staff will hone in on those top 10 in-state players and slow play most of the rest. Don't be surprised if this class winds up heavily featuring OOS prospects.
Beyond LSU commit Tyler Shelvin, Lowell Narcisse is the biggest name value prospect on campus. He visited earlier this week and is returning this weekend. Narcisse will likely be a tough battle with Auburn, who he committed to last year, before later decommitting, until the end, but the strong contact with him is a strong sign.