LSU’s six mid-year enrollees out of their 2017 recruiting commitments have made it to campus as of this week, with classes set to begin soon.
The list includes quarterback Lowell Narisse, offensive tackle Austin Deculus, safeties Jacoby Stevens and Grant Delpit, wide receiver Manny Netherly and defensive end Justin Thomas:
Narcisse, out of St. James, La., is a composite four-star recruit and the ninth-rated dual-threat QB in the class. The Tigers beat out Auburn (to whom Narcisse was committed to for at time), Alabama, Arizona State and Clemson for his services. A left-handed passer with a strong-arm and spectacular athleticism, Narcisse is coming off two knee surgeries in his high school career, although LSU never wavered in their pursuit. Narcisse briefly decommitted in the uncertainty surrounding Les Miles’ departure and Ed Orgeron hiring, but was brought back on board after a talk with new offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Narcisse will be expected to compete for the starting position along with Danny Etling, Brandon Harris, Justin McMillan and Lindsey Scott Jr., in spring practice.
Narcisse also arrives on campus just a year removed from the surprising death of his father from campus — something The Advocate detailed in this very nice feature.
Deculus, both literally and figuratively, is one of the biggest recruits in this class, as the 6-6, four-star tackle walks on to campus with a team that is loaded with interior offensive linemen, but a bit sparse on the bookends. Last year’s left tackle, K.J. Malone, was very up-and-down, and may be a better fit inside anyway. Toby Weathersby struggled with injuries, while reserves Chidi Valentin-Okeke and George Brown have both transferred, so there will be a chance for Deculus to push for playing time this spring. The Tigers beat out Michigan and Alabama for Deculus.
Alabama fought LSU down to the roster for the nation’s top safety prospect, and with good reason — Stevens is one of the best overall athletes in this class and starred at the Under Armour All-American Game practices as both a defensive back AND a wide receiver. Look for Stevens to not only push for playing time quickly in the spring, but maybe even earn a starting spot come the fall.
Between Stevens and Delpit, LSU is probably signing the top safety class in the country, and that’s with four-star local product Todd Harris still available. Delpit is a rangy, physical type of playmaker that transferred to the IMG Academy from the Houston area, with Louisiana ties. He’ll almost certainly push for playing time early as well, on special teams at a minimum.
Four-star wideout Mannie Netherly chose the Tigers over most of the region’s major programs, and stayed true through the coaching transition. LSU is much more crowded at his position, but with the new offense a lot of players will be starting from a blank slate, so the competition should be pretty open.
As a three-star, Thomas hasn’t gotten the pub of a lot of LSU’s defensive linemen recruits in this class, but the Tigers managed to hold off Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee from his services. Thomas, as much as anything, represents a return to the Mobile, Ala., area hotbed of talent. There’s no such thing as too much defensive line depth.