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LSU Football Recruiting Update: Dead Period Begins

How is LSU’s recruiting looking heading into dead period?

Mississippi v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Today marks the initiation of a new recruiting rule where the entire month of August is officially a “dead period” in recruiting. For a refresher, here’s a nice explainer from Bud Elliot.

Dead period

The dead period is the most restrictive. No in-person contact is allowed, even if a prospect makes a visit to the college campus. Written and electronic communications are still permitted.

Seems like a rule change supported by coaches likely looking to ease some of the burdens of starting fall camp and still keeping up with the Joneses on the recruiting trail. Heading into the dead month, let’s see where LSU stands with some of the remaining prospects on their board.

Anthony Cook Names LSU in Top Three

The five-star corner from Houston is largely considered a Buckeye lean, though Texas and LSU are still giving chase. Cook is not in Corey Raymond’s usual recruiting footprint, but it’s impossible to deny what LSU’s DB coach has accomplished on the trail in recent years. Houston has been a heavily recruited area for LSU for a number of years and that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon.

Two-Sport Star Anthony Schwartz Considering LSU?

Schwartz is a four-star wide receiver and a top-150 player in the 247 composite. He’s also a teammate to Patrick Surtain Jr., who many believe to be a heavy LSU lean. Though a strong football player, Schwartz true calling at the next level may be track, and running D1 track is a major priority in his recruitment.

He took in LSU last weekend, and received the usual red carpet tours, including meetings with track coach Dennis Shaver. LSU seems very much in play here, but it may be hard to pry Schwartz away from the hometown Gators, who can pitch a prestigious track program and early opportunities to contribute at receiver.

Top 2019 RB Takes in Baton Rouge

Reloading the depth chart at running back will be a major point of emphasis in the next two recruiting classes after LSU struck out on top targets in 2017. Sure, Clyde Edwards-Helaire is there, but the depth chart starts looking pretty thin with the imminent departures of Derrius Guice and graduation of Darrell Williams. That leaves on Nick Brossette, Lanard Fournette and the aforementioned CEH as scholarship running backs in 2018.

While LSU continues to give chase to 2018 players like James Cook and Harold Joiner, and holds commitments from 3-stars Chris Curry and Tae Provens, they may have to wait until the 2019 class to land their next star back. This past weekend, top-100 prospect from Destrehan, running back John Emery, took in the sights on an unofficial visit. Emery is one of three premier backs from the state of Louisiana for 2019, along with Tyrion Davis (already committed) and Noah Cain (now at IMG but originally from Baton Rouge). There’s a long road ahead here, but LSU is in a strong position to solidify the position in the next two signing classes.

Can LSU Get Back in the Mix with Stingley?

Last June, Stingley pulled the early trigger on LSU, before later walking back that commitment. He’s named LSU his leader at various points, though now seems to be settling deeper into the process and taking on visits. Throughout it all, Coach Raymond has remained diligent in his pursuit of Stingley, letting him know he’s a priority target.

Sam Spiegelman writes that Stingley is looking around but his relationship with LSU is strengthening. A Baton Rouge native, it would seem unlikely he’s able to get out of the shadows of Tiger Stadium to play elsewhere.

Top 250 LInebacker Trending to LSU?

2018 four-star linebacker Zakoby McClain, of Valdosta, Ga., was due to visit Auburn, then LSU and wound up seeing neither last weekend McClain has long been an Auburn lean, but recent crystal ball picks indicate LSU may be picking up some momentum in his recruitment:

247 Crystal Ball Predictions
Crystal Ball Predictions

Not only did 247’s LSU correspondent, Shea Dixon, pick for LSU, Demetric Warren, who usually has a solid pulse on Southeast recruits did as well. Perhaps most interestingly, Keith Niebuhr, of 247’s Auburn site, actually switched his pick from Auburn to “foggy.” What does it all mean? At worst, that LSU is putting themselves in strong position. It appears Meatball and Aranda are at it again. Can they close?

WR Targets Flying Off the Board

LSU continues to seek to build a top flight receiver class in 2018, with offers extended to most of the nation’s top targets. Yesterday’s news broke that five-star Jacoby Stevens has shifted from safety to receiver, a move that shocked many, but not die-hard recruitniks. Stevens is an electric, do-it-all type of athlete. Physically, he might remind you of someone like Larry Fitzgerald, built at around 6’3, 215 pounds and just silky smooth in all that he does. The receiver corps is loaded with talent but lacking proven performers. Consider Russell Gage is the second-most productive player on the current roster, with all of 5 catches and 62 yards. Both he and D.J. Chark will be gone after this season, so LSU really needs to establish the next wave of talent at this position.

There’s plenty to choose from, and all indications are that Matt Canada will more heavily utilize rotations, and should maximize creative looks to get a number of players involved. That means LSU will need even more bodies going forward. Currently, they hold commitments from Kenan Jones and Jaray Jenkins. The top target on the board remains Shreveport-Parkway five-star Terrace Marshall, who most believe will wind up in Baton Rouge — he visited campus late last week with family. Yet, the board has thinned in recent weeks as one Louisiana prospect and a trio of Texas targets all pledged elsewhere. Four-star JaMarr Chase of Metairie unexpectedly popped for Florida. Four-stars Brennan Eagles and Al’Vonte Woodard pledged to Texas, and four-star, top-100 prospect Jalen Preston wound up selecting the SEC rival Aggies.

Beyond Marshall, LSU isn’t currently in a strong position with any of their premier targets. Chase is clearly the one to watch here, and there have been rumors of back-and-forth debate between he and the Florida staff over visits to Baton Rouge. LSU will continue to press, but they are currently fighting a bit of an uphill battle against the previous staff’s lack of recruiting effort. Other schools prioritized Chase while Dameyune Craig didn’t and that still stings for him. That said, as time wears on, and the reality of leaving home, and leaving family starts to settle in, things may tilt in LSU’s favor. There’s also still Devonta Jason, Stephen Guidry, and Lawrence Keys III, all of which LSU has shown varying degrees of interest in throughout the process. Nabbing Marshall to go with Jones and Jenkins and one other player would be a formidable class.

The Path Ahead

LSU is currently sitting on 20 commits, ranking 2nd in the SEC and 7th Nationally in the 247 Team Composite Rankings. LSU’s class is currently loaded with lesser ranked prospects looking to get a bump. Seeing an eight four-star/12 three-star ratio may be discouraging on the surface, but Orgeron has earned our trust at this point. This will be Orgeron’s first chance to host official visitors during game weekends at LSU, as he bypassed that opportunity during his interim period last season. Let’s see how LSU capitalizes on their already strong position to finish the season.