LSU will be looking to close off on the right foot after a day full of turkey and everything that comes with Thanksgiving (give me mac & cheese or give me death) two days later when Texas A&M comes into town for a night game in Death Valley. Winners in five of their last six games, the Tigers can go into bowl season on a solid run. With success on the field comes success in the recruiting world as a number of key recruits will be on visit.
A Big Time Wide Receiver
Terrace Marshall, the No. 1-ranked composite wide receiver for the class of 2017, had his senior season cut short due to a fractured fibula, but make no mistake about it, Marshall would still be the most talented receiver to come to LSU in a long time, putting him above Beckham, Landry, Doucet, etc. His combination of size, speed, athleticism and ability to dominate is unparalleled. However, he won’t be alone...
A Marquee Quarterback
Justin Rogers, the No. 2 composite dual-threat quarterback, TCU commit and Marshall’s teammate, bided his time. He sat there and watched Brandon Harris, then Keondre Wudtee. When his time finally came, it was unfortunately cut short. Rogers dislocated his knee a week earlier before his Parkway teammate suffered his injury, two back-to-back injuries that decimated the Panthers. A commitment to TCU since May, Rogers has appreciated the attention LSU has given him, especially following the injury, but has remained firm in his commitment. LSU will get one more chance to gain some momentum as they look to close with a quarterback, whether it be Rogers, James Foster or Gerry Bohanon.
Two Massive JuCo O-Linemen
The two biggest possibilities on the commitment watch are also going to be the two biggest visitors on campus, literally. Badara Traore, a 6-8, 315-pound offensive tackle rated as the No.-1 junior college off. tackle, and Damien Lewis, a 6-3, 320-pound offensive guard rated as the No. 2 JUCO prospect, will be visiting this weekend.
Traore, who has stated on several occasions that LSU is his No. 1 school, would be a perfect plug-and-play candidate on the outside with his size and his surprising athleticism from that frame.
Lewis, a Louisiana native, is currently at Northwest Mississippi C.C. could follow suit to Traore and join that line that has seen freshmen like Saahdiq Charles and Ed Ingram make huge progress due to injuries.
More Top Wideouts... With Commitment Issues
If Justin Watkins was looking to set the record for the most number of commitments, he might be closing in on it. Just stay with me here. Watkins was offered by LSU on April 30, 2015, and wasted little time in committing that same day. A little over nine months later, Watkins would de-commit from the Tigers in February of 2016. Four months later, he was committing to in-state Florida State in June of 2016. Fast forward to February again, this time in 2017 and Watkins was de-committed from the Seminoles and that same day committed to Texas. He must love February and June because in June this year, he de-committed from the Longhorns and finally decided to slow his process up some, which brings us to today.
Watkins originally committed in 2015 as a defensive back, is now the target of Matt Canada, who would be able to use the speedy, shifty receiver in a variety of ways like you see with Russell Gage, D.J. Chark and Derrick Dillon. With the new attention at a new position, the Tigers have jumped up his list, and now he’ll be able to get a first-hand look at how he will be utilized at that spot. I would say he might be on commitment watch, but we’ve also seen how those commitments last. Get back to me on February with him.
Additionally, big in-state target Devonta Jason, of Landry-Walker in New Orleans, will be joining Watkins and Marshall on his official visit.
Jason has been committed to Kansas since the spring, but most believe that to just be a favor to some Crescent-City-area coaches on the Jayhawk staff. Quietly, he’s been loading up on Crystal Ball picks for the Tigers. At 6-3 and 210 pounds, Jason would fit into the Marshall class of a big, physical target.
Other un-official visitors include as follows (thanks to Sam Spiegs and SEC Country):
Jarell Cherry, 2018 4-star DE (LSU commit)
Noah Cain, 2019 5-star RB
Maurice Hampton, 2019 4-star DB (LSU commit)
Jamal Morris, 2019 4-star S
Nana Osafo-Mensah, 2019 4-star DE/OLB
Bill Norton, 2019 4-star OT/DE
Branson Bragg, 2019 4-star OL
Dylan Wright, 2019 3-star WR
Logan Compton, 2019 3-star TE
Courtland Ford, 2020 4-star OT
Branard Wright, 2020 DL
Kendrick Blackshire, 2021 ATH
Keenan Landry, 2021 DL
Cain is the obvious head-liner. A Baton Rouge native that has taken a circuitous route to the IMG Academy, Cain is currently the No. 1 tailback in the Class of 2019 in the 247 Composite. Texas and Ohio State are considered his early leaders, but the Tigers have a big need for that position in that class, and will pursue Cain along with current commit Tyrion Davis out of Baton Rouge and Destrehan High School’s John Emery, currently rated 12th and 9th in the Class of ‘19.
Speaking of running backs, 2018 four-star prospect Harold Joiner was originally slated to make his official visit this weekend, but will be attending the Iron Bowl instead. LSU still, reportedly, leads for Joiner, but with Alabama and Auburn both continuing to recruit him, the coaches want to push for a later visit in hopes of getting the last word in.
A few players may be on commitment watch, such as Lewis and Traore, and others may make it in unofficially. We’ll stay on top of things if they develop.