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Recruiting: Weekend Visitor List, Jan. 12-14

Three spots left, who gets them?

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Alabama Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

The early signing period has brought new drama to recruiting. Now with most of a team’s class all signed up, things get a little hectic to fill those remaining spots. In LSU’s case, it’s too many recruits remaining with not enough space. After Kelvin Joseph committed to the Tigers at the Army All-American Game, and assuming the writing is on the wall that ArDarius Washington won’t be in this class, that leaves LSU with three more scholarship spots to fill. It would only make sense that all the major players for those last spots would be visiting on one weekend, making this one of the biggest recruiting weekends of the season. For the three spots, your visiting candidates are...

Patrick Surtain Jr.

The nation’s No. 1 cornerback is obviously guaranteed a spot. While Surtain has been a little cryptic about his recruitment lately, most believe it is just a smokescreen as LSU has a steady lead and has held that lead by a wide margin for awhile thanks in part to Corey Raymond and his dad’s New Orleans roots.

Ja’Marr Chase

The five-star, No. 4-ranked receiver according to 247 will take spot No. 2 on this list. After being committed to Florida for awhile despite their coaching situation, Chase finally de-committed from the Gators back in November. Even following the news, most still thought that Chase was dead set on leaving the state for his next step of career. However, whether it be the work of Mickey Joseph or family influence, LSU has been trending for the talented wideout and may currently be in the lead.

And here is where it gets interesting...

Mario Goodrich

Following a late evaluation after his senior year, the top-five athlete received his LSU offer on December 10th. Two days later, the likely future defensive back Mario Goodrich jumped LSU to the top of his leaders, giving the Tiger faithful reason to believe that he would round out the remaining spots. Despite other planned visits to Georgia, Ole Miss and Florida following his trip to Baton Rouge, it didn’t seem like those would factor into his decision. Until...

James Foster

Whether it was a push in recruiting attention or maybe watching the second-half performance of Tua Tagovailoa for Alabama in the National Championship, a renewed interest in LSU came from the top-15 composite, four-star dual-threat quarterback, resulting in a visit this weekend. LSU made a strong push out of the gate following its offer to Foster, but things slowed down when it seemed like home-state Alabama began its press. LSU remains among Foster’s leaders with Florida State and Alabama, along with a new push from Texas A&M with former Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher now perched in College Station, and with no quarterback in this class, Foster could secure that spot.

Lawrence Keys III

The four-star composite speedy wide receiver may have just have the bad misfortune of being in the wrong class and Jaray Jenkins taking a spot much earlier in the season. With Terrace Marshall Jr. and Jenkins already in, and assuming Chase joins this class, Lawrence may find himself the odd man out. If Chase does in fact to follow his original intuition and go out of state, Keys may be an option to take that spot.

Joseph Foucha

I wouldn’t expect the top-40 safety to make it in this class unless things go way south in a hurry. If Kelvin Joseph decided to de-commit despite his recent announcement and Goodrich decided to go to one of his other schools on his visit list, then I could see Foucha getting one of those spots.

So Who Gets That Last Spot?

Let’s just say that Joseph sticks with LSU and the Tigers nab Surtain Jr. and Chase, that would leave that final spot to go to one of Goodrich, Foster, Keys III or Foucha. If LSU gets those first three, you can cross Foucha and Chase off, leaving us with two. The problem then becomes LSU having two talented defensive backs in this class in Surtain Jr. and Joseph, a top 10 corner for 2019 in Maurice Hampton, along with other 2019 guys like former LSU commit Derek Stingley, a top-five composite corner. In the other hand, there is no QB in LSU’s 2018 class and all the eggs seem to be in the Texas A&M commit Grant Gunnell basket for 2019, leaving a void there.

If it was me, as talented as Goodrich is, I would have to go with Foster in this scenario. LSU is basically down to Myles Brennan and Lowell Narcisse Jr. (sorry, I just don’t see Justin McMillan making a real impact). You also have to take into account that Narcisse tore each of his ACLs in high school, making him a slight injury risk even before he takes a college snap. You need someone like Foster, not only to build depth at the position, but have the ultimate safety valve if things go real sour.

This weekend became paramount for LSU to finish this 2018 class before they go full steam ahead for what is mounting up to be a loaded 2019 class. If LSU can finish with Surtain Jr., Chase and either Foster or Goodrich, it will help propel this 2018 class and get some momentum going towards the new season. LSU currently sits 12th in the 247 Sports Composite Team Rankings.