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Recruiting Roundup: Final Sunday Before Signing Day

A quick check on how LSU moved forward this weekend, and where the Tigers stand to close on Wednesday.

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve reached the final stretch of the 2018 recruiting cycle. National Signing Day is in just four days, and LSU has come to the home stretch to fill the final four spots in its recruiting class.

As we all know by now, those four spots will come down to five names: committed defensive back Kelvin Joseph, receiver Ja’Marr Chase, cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. and either defensive back Mario Goodrich or quarterback James Foster.

Tonight, an NCAA-mandated quiet period will begin and run through Wednesday — recruits and coaches may speak over the phone/social media, but in-person meetings are only allowed on campus. No more in-home visits. So where do the Tigers sit with these final five?

  • LSU’s coaching staff did not host any official visits this weekend, but Saturday made one last in-home with Joseph, to make sure he knows he remains a priority for the close of this class. He remains committed, and has made it known that he will be signing on Wednesday.
  • Chase made one last official visit to Auburn, the only other team he says he is still considering. However, most consider Louisiana’s top remaining prospect a very strong LSU lean right now, and reading the tea leaves, plus some conversations with #sauces, that isn’t about to change right now.
  • LSU’s coaching staff made its final in-home visit to Surtain on Thursday night, and stayed in South Florida to see several prospects on Friday. In the process, Ed Orgeron and Corey Raymond made one last trip to American Heritage High School to visit Surtain before the nation’s top corner made an official visit to the University of Miami this weekend. The big thing to remember here is that Raymond and Patrick Sr., the New Orleans native, long-time NFL player and now PS2’s head coach, have a very long, personal relationship. Raymond has been recruiting Surtain Jr. for nearly his entire high school career. Ninety-nine percent of the time recruiting comes down to relationships and comfort, and LSU beats every other program in the country on that front. And that’s something Surtain himself has never been shy about discussing, even as he’s admitted interest in Alabama and Miami. I would be shocked if that didn’t carry through. And if you needed something else to think about, there’s the simple fact that Raymond has yet to seriously pursue another cornerback as any sort of contingency plan for Surtain.
  • Raymond also had one last visit with Goodrich this week. He cancelled his final official visit after last weekend’s trip to Clemson — many feel that the ACC Tigers made it known to Goodrich that he is one of their top final priorities, and that they will be the favorites to sign him. That said, LSU still led at one point for the four-star athlete...
  • As for Foster, he visits Florida State this weekend. LSU’s entire offensive staff was in the four-star quarterback’s Montgomery, Ala. home on Wednesday. It was a calculated show of force, to show Foster that he is LSU’s top priority to fill the final spot in this class. Word is the message was received, but Foster still wants to hear Willie Taggart’s pitch in Tallahassee. LSU will spend tonight through Wednesday trying to make sure they get their man.

In speaking with a source this week, LSU fully believes they will sign four of these five prospects — I remain confident that Joseph, Chase and Surtain will definitely be in that number. It’s important to note here that there’s never any 100-percent sure thing in recruiting, though. Something is true until it’s not anymore.

Whether there’s that much confidence in Foster, or that they can still reel in Goodrich nonetheless, LSU made no public efforts to keep a Glenn Beal or a Michael Williams on the back burner this weekend.

We’ll see if that confidence is rewarded on Wednesday.

In some other recruiting news, Orgeron and staff also made some very key Class of 2019 visits, trying to capitalize on five-star Kardell Thomas’ show of faith earlier this week: stud linebacker Donte Starks and cornerback Daryl Stingley, both of whom could easily commit later this spring — plus the Tangipahoa Parish trio of defensive tackle Ishmael Sopsher and receivers Trey Palmer and Devonta Lee. Additionally, LSU hosted a massive list of 2019 and 2020 prospects on campus, including four-star quarterback DJ Uiagalelei from Bellflower, Calif., and other big-time names to know like quarterback Harrison Bailey, Chris Steele and LSU legacy Brady Ward.