It’s like Christmas Day for recruiting fans. Sometimes you get that new video game system or Huffy bike that you always wanted. Other times you’re stuck with socks and that ugly shirt your grandma bought you that you’re forced to wear when you visit her. With LSU at 21 commits, 15 current and six early enrollees, there’s not too many spots to fill but a lot of names on the table. So are we getting the gift we put on our list or are we stuck with that ugly shirt?
Phidarian Mathis (4* D-Lineman, Neville, LA.)
Why Mathis: This pick may be right or wrong before NSD as Mathis will be making his selection at 4:30 PM CST. This is Ed Orgeron’s position, and for him to show his worth of receiving the head coach title, he needs to start here. It was definitely a tough battle with Alabama, but with former teammate Rashard Lawrence at LSU, there’s too much for the Crimson Tide to overcome.
Selection Time: 2/1, 4:30 p.m. CST
Marvin Wilson (5* D-Lineman, Bellaire, TX.)
Why Wilson: Like mentioned about Mathis, Marvin is an even bigger target for Orgeron, literally and figuratively, at his specialty. I think this one is a lot more in LSU’s favor than their position with Mathis. Florida State is the biggest competition for LSU, but the Tigers were invited by Wilson for the last in-home visit, the proximity of Baton Rouge to home, and the family’s love of Oregeron will be too much for the Seminoles.
Selection Time: NSD, 3:30 p.m. CST
K’Lavon Chaisson (4* DE/OLB, Houston, TX.)
Why Chaisson: Every class needs a surprise. Something that shocks you. Well, this is my pick for it. Something in my gut tells me to go with Chaisson. Like most shock picks, there’s a shot it may not pan out, but I’ve got my trust in this one. He loved his LSU visit, didn’t rave as much about his Texas visit, and Orgeron made him a priority to the point of getting one last in-home at 4:30 in the morning the Friday of his official visit to Florida (don’t worry, they aren’t in it). Chaisson and Marvin Wilson are good buddies, and while they like creating suspense, I think Marvin knows where he’s going a lot more than Chaisson does and is doing his part. Not to mention, his North Shore teammate last year Eric Monroe is at LSU, and you know he’s doing his part as well. The Longhorns are closer to home, but I think the good guys win out.
Selection Time: NSD, 11 a.m. CST
Tyler Taylor (4* LB, Buford, GA.)
Why Taylor: LSU has gained a lot of momentum with the hard-hitting middle linebacker ever since his official visit to Baton Rouge. The visit impressed both he and his family, the second part becoming very key coming up. Auburn is the biggest competitor for LSU and Taylor, but reading the tea leaves would show that Auburn is losing some confidence while LSU is increasing. He’s gone silent after an in-home from Oklahoma, who is out of the running, so it’s anyone’s guess, but the good Tigers should come away victorious.
Selection Time: NSD, 7:30 AM CST
Todd Harris (4* Safety, Plaquemine, LA.)
Why Harris: Surprise, another LSU-Alabama battle. Once again, like with Mathis, I think the good guys pick up yet another key recruit in the secondary for Corey Raymond. I think Harris favors LSU more than Mathis does at this point, but it will be yet another one that LSU fans will be holding their breath for. Thankfully, he’s early in the morning, so you will get a chance to catch your breath before the next set of announcements.
Selection Time: NSD, 9 a.m. CST
The Question Marks
With those five, that would put LSU at 26, one below the number they can take in this class. There’s still a few others out there that could fill that spot, and other things could happen that might open up one more spot.
Willie Gay: The one that told LSU fans he was coming at the Army All-American Game will announce at 9 a.m. CST on NSD. If I had to pick one more player for this class, I would go with this surprise. I think Willie wants to be at LSU, but his mom wants him at Mississippi State, and it’s always tough to pull Starkville recruits from the university that calls that city home. It will come down to who wins out in the house.
Devonta Smith: Yet another LSU-Alabama battle that I think the Tigers trail, especially after news of Smith making an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa this weekend. However, Smith moved his announcement back to 2 p.m. CST on NSD, slightly after wide receiver recruit Henry Ruggs, who could likely go to Alabama and is a very similar type to Smith, makes his intentions known. If Ruggs goes to Alabama, things get more interesting.
Markaviest Bryant: It’s a three-horse race between Georgia, LSU and Auburn with the in-state Bulldogs with a questionable short lead entering the home stretch. Bryant’s mother wasn’t with him on his trip to Auburn, which would seem to put them in third, while both he and his mom loved LSU and Orgeron. Another rush linebacker in the mold of Arden Key, Bryant makes his announcement at 10 a.m., CST on NSD, and he, like Gay, could be a pleasant surprise for the Tigers.
Nico Collins: The Alabama wide receiver is very quiet, but it is presumed that it’s a race between LSU and Michigan for his signature. The Wolverines have gained a lot of momentum, but Dameyune Craig could reel one in when Collins announces at 1:30 p.m., CST on NSD.
Neil Farrell: Like I said in the preface for this segment, things could change that add a spot. After a visit to Florida State this weekend, the LSU commit is set to make a final decision at 9:30 a.m., CST on NSD. Some are beginning to believe that what Mathis decides on Tuesday will dictate Farrell’s future. If Mathis goes LSU, Farrell might be leaning FSU, while if Mathis goes to Alabama, Farrell could make things official with the Tigers. Or he just wants a ceremony and LSU reels in Mathis and holds onto Farrell.
Oh the fun of National Signing Day. Like I’ve said at the end of my past NSD articles, sit down, buckle up because safety first and enjoy this ride for the next few days, and hope there’s that Huffy bicycle underneath that tree.