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LSU Recruiting 2018: The Big Board

National Signing Day has passed, so time to start talking about 2018.

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

Who’s ready for more recruiting? This stuff is year around nowadays. Yeah, NSD was just last week, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look ahead to the upcoming class. Ed Orgeron will be in first full year of recruiting, a mastermind at the helm of the defense and the offensive version of Aranda at the helm of the offense. If the coaching staff didn’t waste any time getting into 2018, neither will we.

Quarterbacks

Committed: None

The Skinny: With Matt Canada saving face with the 2017 class and bringing in both Myles Brennan and Lowell Narcisse, Canada has the luxury of being a little more selective with his pick. Zadock Dinkelmann was once an LSU commit, but the Texas recruit de-committed last month and seems to have regressed some and could head to UTSA. Jack Tuttle camped at LSU last summer, but his commitment to Utah in December may have closed things down. Canada could still inquire on the California product. Artur Sitkowski takes over the IMG Academy reigns from Kellen Mond, and was one of Canada’s first offers at QB. The No. 4 pro-style QB is uncommitted and could be Canada’s main target. Justin Rogers will likely be the lone in-state QB Canada will target and comes with the added bonus of five-star receiver Terrace Marshall, but both have recently stated they are leaning to going out of state and with the recent soap-boxing from Parkway coach David Feaster, LSU may have their hands full.

Running Backs

Committed: None

The Skinny: LSU dropped the ball at this position in 2017, signing only Clyde Edwards-Helaire. It resulted in the Tigers bringing in Tommie Robinson as the new running backs coach. Zamir White will likely be targeted by every school in the nation, but the North Carolina recruit has national champion Clemson at the top. Robinson could make a splash by selling White on being the next big name at LSU. Fabian Franklin is a four-star back out of Mississippi that has LSU as his leader but is missing an offer. Expect something to happen soon with a new coach at the helm. California recruit T.J. Pledger will be playing at IMG Academy in Florida, and was being recruited by Robinson while the coach was at USC, so that recruitment could carry onward at Baton Rouge now.

Wide Receiver

Committed: Kenan Jones

The Skinny: Mickey Joseph was brought in to help keep Louisiana recruits in the state for college, and for good reason. Louisiana is loaded with wide receivers this class, primarily the committed Jones, Terrace Marshall — who was noted on in the QB section — former-LSU-commit-turned-Kansas commit Devonta Jason and the speedy Lawrence Keys III. If LSU goes out of state, expect guys like Jalen Preston and Brennan Eagles from Texas, along with Brian Hightower and Joshua Moore from IMG and Jacob Copeland in Florida.

Tight Ends

Committed: None

The Skinny: Glenn Beal has LSU as his leader and will be the biggest target. He was thought to commit on NSD, but decided against it. However, something could pop at LSU’s first junior day. Recent Alabama de-commit Malcolm Epps and Mustapha Muhammad could be two names to watch in Texas.

Offensive Line

Committed: None

The Skinny: The offensive line board tends to form later than others, but it could be a light year for in-state recruits. At offensive tackle, Clemson transfer Jake Fruhmorgen could be the biggest target this summer and could be a big addition for the 2018 season after sitting out. Will Lawrence out of Tennessee has shown a lot of interest and could be the first lineman to commit to LSU. The Tigers could go next door to Texas and go after a recruit like Darrell Simpson. Of course, IMG has a target, and is a massive one in the 6’9” 390 lb. Australian Daniel Faalele. Both Verdis Brown and Curtis Dunlap could be guard targets for Grimes at IMG, while Georgia has three of the top five guards in the country.

Defensive Line

Committed: None

The Skinny: One name highlights them all on the d-line: Dare Rosenthal. The former Alabama commit has said he wants to play on the defensive line, which puts it on Orgeron to make a splash with the massive 6’7” 290 lb. recruit. After missing on Phidarian Mathis and Marvin Wilson last year, this class will need to be filled with recruits, which look to be heavy on out-of-state again, like Jarell Cherry from Dallas, Texas. Another key name to watch will be Texas Tech transfer Breiden Fehoko. He wants a bigger stage and better coaching to improve his stock, two things LSU could entice him with.

Linebackers

Committed: Damone Clark

The Skinny: Dave Aranda had himself a roller coaster ride with linebacker recruiting last year, but finished with a solid haul and even got a 2018 commit from Damone Clark. Still, he will need to continue to fill the cupboard, which will start with Teradja Mitchell. He has said LSU has been his dream school on several occasions, something LSU fans have come to dread in recent years, and will be making his first visit to Baton Rouge sometime this spring. LSU recently made two intriguing offers in high school QBs Michael Williams and Vernon Jackson, who are both likely to be recruited as OLB. I’m a huge fan of the idea and like both at that position. Other names include Dax Hollifield and Alston Orji.

Cornerbacks

Committed: Kelvin Joseph

The Skinny: Corey Raymond took only Kary Vincent and potentially Jontre Kirklin, who could play CB, in 2017 in the preparation of loading up for the 2018 class and for very good reason. Patrick Surtain Jr. may be the best corner since Patrick Peterson and has said numerous times LSU leads. Jalen Green is another marquee name that could be an LSU commit by the summer. Other big names that have shown a lot of interest in LSU include Anthony Cook, Tyson Campbell, Asante Samuel Jr., Tyreke Johnson and former LSU and current Florida State commit Justin Watkins. Raymond’s biggest challenge may be holding onto Kelvin Joseph, who has already be tempted by Alabama, but Raymond has done a great job of holding onto his commits.

Safeties

Committed: Caden Sterns, Nadab Joseph

The Skinny: Corey Raymond loaded up in 2017 with top talent in Grant Delpit, Jacoby Stevens and Todd Harris. That trend has already continued into 2018 and, just like in 2017, he has two commits from out of state. BJ Foster from Texas is likely the only other name that will be mentioned at this position as Raymond will look to keep hold of Sterns and Joseph.

The names on this list will continue to change through the spring and summer, and look for more to emerge through the various evaluation periods and camps. LSU’s roster needs and attrition may continue to evolve through the offseason as well.