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Recruiting Update: Coach O and Staff Have Their First Weekend With Some Big Names

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LSU ended the quiet period with a bang, but were there any booms?

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Louisiana State vs Louisville Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

With only three weekends until NSD following the end of the quiet period and about eight more spots to fill in the class, Coach Orgeron and the staff wasted little time in putting together one solid weekend of recruits. With that, let’s just get into it:

Marvin Wilson

Wilson, the five-star defensive tackle from Houston, came with his mom, brother, sister and close friend and high school teammate Mac Rowe, who has applied to LSU (Dear admissions, let’s work on some next-day acceptance letter mail here). From other sources, Wilson gave the visit a 12 out of 10 (recruits and their number scales), and spent a lot of time with fellow d-lineman Tyler Shelvin.

The Skinny: It’s basically down to LSU, Florida State and Ohio State. Wilson has one more visit left this coming weekend to USF out of respect to new coach Charlie Strong. LSU is sitting very pretty here and good news should come out of here.

Chris Allen

If there’s one thing that you have to admire about Coach Orgeron, it is that he will just not go down without putting up one hell of a fight. Allen, a top linebacker and in-state recruit seemed all but set on going to Alabama, but Orgeron wasn’t going to settle for that until he got one more chance. He worked his magic and got Allen to switch his visit to Tuscaloosa next weekend and got him on campus for this one. Aranda and Orgeron left their imprint and made sure he realized what he meant to them.

The Skinny: Allen was on the local radio today following the visit, and while he gave LSU high remarks, there wasn’t too much to piece together and provide a hope that a flip was coming. He seems pretty set on Alabama and is visiting there this weekend, but I still give a ton of credit to Orgeron for at least giving himself a chance when it seemed like there was none.

K’Lavon Chaisson

Chaisson, like Wilson mentioned previously, brought the same family members with him. His mother being the most important of the trio as you’ll see later. In the form of an Arden Key clone, Chaisson had a great visit and likely saw what his future would entail with Aranda at the helm, along with spending time with his buddies Wilson and LSU commit Kary Vincent.

The Skinny: It’s a Texas and LSU battle. Problem for LSU is that momma wants his boy closer to home. The two have said Chaisson wants to study petroleum engineering, and while the PERTT lab certainly made an impression, it’s also a major that the Longhorns are known for. It’s been hinted that some feel Chaisson wants to go to LSU, but with a visit to Texas this weekend, things are looking on the down slope for the Tigers.

Tyler Taylor

LSU did their due diligence in LB recruiting after losing out on Dylan Moses and Chris Allen, and then a quick commit and de-commit from Monty Rice in a two-week period. Taylor got a strong push from Aranda as the Georgia Bulldogs LB class started filling up.

The Skinny: While it may have been a good visit, it seems there’s too much ground to be made up. With a visit to Oklahoma and Georgia in the books, Taylor will visit to Auburn this weekend and possibly a trip to Ole Miss before NSD. The home-state Bulldogs likely lead with Oklahoma and Auburn nipping at their tail.

Devonta Smith

The Tigers have been adamant about adding a WR to this class to join early enrollee Mannie Netherly and current commit Stephen Guidry, and would love for that guy to be Smith. Coach Craig had his work cut out for him with LSU’s recent struggles in Amite and that area of Louisiana.

The Skinny: Smith is a quiet one in a day and age where social media reigns king. A longtime Alabama lean, Craig and new offensive coordinator Matt Canada had some ground to make up. Was it enough? It remains to be seen, but Smith visits Alabama this weekend and then Miami the following one. He also took a surprise official visit to FSU. Alabama’s numbers are getting tight, but we all know they make room if need be.

Phidarian Mathis

It’s fun to think what this d-line class could wind up being with guys like Wilson and Mathis joining the likes of Tyler Shelvin (more on him later), Neil Farrell and early enrollee Justin Thomas. Spending a lot of time with current Tiger and former Monroe teammate Rashard Lawrence, a guy that Mathis claimed to help recruit to LSU back when Lawrence was a senior, certainly helped LSU’s cause in getting the monster d-lineman. Mathis, another quiet type, is an ideal fit for a 3-4 defense, so you know where this next part is going.

The Skinny: You guessed it, we have ourselves yet another LSU and Alabama battle. I think LSU leads this one, but with a trip to Tuscaloosa this weekend, it will be a challenge for Orgeron to hold onto him.

Nico Collins

The Alabama wide receiver made a surprise unofficial visit to Baton Rouge this weekend that the LSU coaching staff did a great job of keeping quiet on until he had basically left campus. Like previously mentioned, LSU is adamant about a third receiver in this class and Collins, who officially visited back in early December, is one of the marquee options along with Devonta and Racey McMath.

The Skinny: Collins, who lists Alabama (figures right?), Michigan and Georgia to round out his top four, along with LSU obviously, is another quiet one, and with four teams up there it’s hard to tell who leads. He will be heading to Hawaii for the Polynesian Bowl this weekend, before visiting Georgia the final weekend, along with plans to possibly squeeze in a mid-week visit to in-state Alabama. But for him to visit LSU on his own dime, and in the hush-hush manner it was, it might make things interesting.

Todd Harris

The four-star safety hasn’t brought much attention to his recruiting process, but it has been apparent for awhile now that it’s been a two-horse race, and I’ll give you two guesses at the horses. Harris brought the whole family with him as Corey Raymond was looking to add even more talent to an already solid defensive back haul.

The Skinny: Yeah, yeah yeah, we get it. It’s another LSU-Alabama battle. Harris will be in Tuscaloosa this coming weekend as well before finishing his visits in Ole Miss the final weekend. I think LSU leads, but if they miss, remember LSU has early enrollees and top-10 safeties in Grant Delpit and Jacoby Stevens, along with what is already making out to be a great 2018 class.

Racey McMath

The three-star wide receiver out of Edna Karr rounded out the uncommitted recruits visiting this weekend. I won’t state the same thing I did with Smith and Collins, but you get the picture about the WR position in this class.

The Skinny: McMath stated that LSU moved into the lead following his visit and I think that will stand all the way through NSD despite visits to his other two favorites, Texas A&M this coming weekend and Mississippi State the final one. Problem will be how they handle this with Smith (albeit a small one) and Collins committing on NSD along with McMath.

The Commits

While the focus is always on the uncommitted recruits in these remaining weekends, a number of commits were there as well to take in the experience and do a little recruiting of their own. Tyler Shelvin, Kary Vincent, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Edward Ingram, Jontre Kirklin, Aaron Moffitt and Tory Carter all took their officials as well. Nothing at all to worry about with these guys, and in some great news, Shelvin stated he is ending his recruitment and that he won’t be taking an official to Alabama after all.

Ellis Brooks

The Virginia linebacker is being mentioned down here because he is currently on his official visit, sort of an unusual tactic, but is nice in that he will be the focus of the entire staff these coming few days. He is in Baton Rouge with both parents, and with an open recruitment, LSU could be in line to make a huge impression as they look add to Patrick Queen and a currently light LB class.

The Skinny: It seemed that Notre Dame had a solid lead for Brooks, but it’s being hinted that the Fighting Irish have pumped the brakes some on the LB for whatever reason. Maryland is a viable option for him to stay on the east coast, and Brooks has plans to visit Oregon this weekend and possibly Notre Dame the final weekend, but has said he wants to visit Michigan. Sounds like a kid that is still very open with not much time left.

The Aftermath

Yeah, we didn’t get a boom from these visits, although we got a surprise one later Sunday when 2018 LB Damone Clark made a quick visit and committed to the Tigers, which was already written about if you want to check that out. If you were expecting a boom this weekend, you need to temper the excitement. With only two weekends left, none of these recruits are going to truly tip their hand as to where they are going, but progress was definitely made, and this staff is far from done, especially with who is coming in this upcoming weekend. Stay tuned for that.