Normally, the purple and gold is well-represented between the Under Armour and Army All-America games. Unfortunately, this year just doesn’t have the same allure as previous years for Tiger fans. While Terrace Marshall was signed up to play in the Under Armour game, his leg injury will keep him out of the game as he plans to enroll early at Baton Rouge to help revitalize the LSU offense. There’s still some big names to look out for:
Under Armour Game (January 4th, 5 p.m. CT, ESPN2)
Cole Smith (Center, Team Highlight, Signed): Things got tense approaching the early signing day with the home-state Mississippi State Bulldogs making a strong late push, but Smith stuck to his commitment and signed with the Tigers. While only rated a three-star, Smith is still a top-10 center in the class and his highlights show he could easily be the top center when all is said and done.
JaMarr Chase (Receiver, Team Highlight, Undecided): JaMarr Chase officially opened things back up when he de-committed from Florida back in November, although he had been wavering from the Gators long before. While the original consensus on the four-star receiver was that he wanted to go out of state, LSU has gained some recent traction and could fill one of the final four spots with the talented wideout. Chase will be sitting out the game with injury.
Justin Watkins (Receiver, Team Highlight, Undecided): The roller coaster that is Justin Watkins continues. A number of commitments and a number of changes in recruiting momentum have made this one a whirlwind. While things were recently looking good for Watkins and LSU, the seesaw starting to switch once more when Chase began showing more interest in LSU, likely costing Watkins one of the final four spots.
Army All-America Game (January 6th, Noon CT, NBC)
Patrick Surtain Jr. (Cornerback, East, Undecided): The top cornerback in the country has been an LSU lean for some time as fans wait for being the favorite become a commitment. Other teams continue to take that spot, including Alabama, but as long as Corey Raymond is coaching the LSU secondary, expect Surtain to be a Tiger.
Micah Baskerville (Linebacker, West, Signed): The lone LSU signee playing in the game, Baskerville, a four-star inside linebacker, has been committed to the Tigers since February and shut things down then.
Kelvin Joseph (Safety, West, Undecided): After de-committing from LSU in October, most though the top-five safety was going out of state, likely Alabama bound. With Corey Raymond’s persistence, LSU appears to have held onto the lead for Joseph, who could possibly make his announcement this weekend.
UPDATE, 1/5: Per Joseph’s twitter, he will be announcing. LSU is expected to receive good news here.
While the games aren’t signee-heavy, three of the final four spots in the 2018 class are likely reserved for participants in the two games in Chase, Surtain and Joseph. Getting those three would help fill out the skill positions in this class, along with a late push on a guy like cornerback Mario Goodrich. Either way, the two games gives fans something to watch on a slow sports week until the start of the NFL Playoffs.