Riding the high of receiving a commitment from the consensus No. 1 cornerback Derek Stingley, the LSU staff sat at 13 commits for the 2019 class and was looking for more entering their biggest weekend of the summer.
There Were Commits, Oh Were There Commits
Peter Parrish started things off for the Tigers as the first commitment of the weekend. Coming into the camp, everyone knew Parrish was a threat with his feet, but his arm was the unproven aspect of his game. Reports came out that he had good zip on all of his throws and was hitting different routes on the tree, helping answer those doubts enough for Ensminger to earn an offer before committing in little time. You could see this offer coming with a good camp performance, and now Ensminger has brought in three high-caliber quarterbacks within the last two months.
A virtual unknown, many were shocked when JuCo tight end T.K. McClendon. Even I was thinking in my head “Who?” Like Parrish, McClendon, who has a basketball background, had a solid camp showing with his athleticism and blocking, something that has become an endearing trait for LSU at that position. McClendon shared another trait with Parrish in not waiting much longer after earning his offer to commit. After a year at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, McClendon will have two years to play at LSU.
It had been apparent for awhile that Corey Raymond was looking to add a JuCo recruit to his defensive back class. It started with Elijah Blades before going to Ryan Payne. Dreshun Miller became the next line upon arrival at camp and did what he needed to do to earn an offer and stop Raymond’s search after committing soon thereafter. At 6-2 and 175 pounds, Miller has the size and frame that Raymond covets in his defensive backfield, and has the versatility to play corner or safety (more on that in a bit).
Even before arriving, Cordale Flott was a candidate for being an early flipmas present from one Tiger to another, going from Auburn to LSU. While the previous three made their commitments after solid camp performances, Flott was on an official visit before announcing he wanted to be with the Tigers of Baton Rouge. Flott could look to add a little weight to his 165-pound frame, but at 6-1, he explodes out of his stance and has great hip turning, proving he could be another asset for Raymond.
Then, after all the campers, all tuckered and tired, went back home to lay their weary heads to bed and dream those sweet LSU dreams, another recruit was pondering. A thumper of a linebacker, Kendall McCallum thought, “I can’t make Corey look wrong to his fanbase. He predicted five commits for the LSU faithful, and that is what I’m going to give them. Corey can spin it to say something about the camp aftermath and he’ll be fine.” McCallum, was expected to camp, but a family emergency prevented him from attending. Aranda has loved this Alabama product for some time, envisioning him as the prototypical middle linebacker for his defense. While he lacks the athleticism that Devin White possesses, McCallum comes off as a harder-hitting version of a Kevin Minter: not the fastest guy out there but finds himself always around the ballcarrier and lets him know it. With the commits rising to 17 and some spots reserved for some of the elite recruits out there, the numbers game was going to start to become a factor, meaning McCallum wasted little time in the aftermath of the four camp commits to claim his spot. Ha, I did spin it.
There Were Offers As Well
An offer a lot of fans were clamoring for finally became a realization over the weekend, as cornerback Chester Kimbrough earned his offer. While not the prototypical size Raymond looks for, Kimbrough provides athleticsm and a toughness not matched by many. Florida may still lead for now, but I think LSU will pull in the in-state recruit. What this means for others, like Devin Bush, who did not camp this weekend and had a spot on the board until Marcus Banks, Stingley and Miller all committed recently before Kimbrough earned his offer, is that time is running out for the defensive back class in 2019.
Another offer in the making, 2020 wide receiver Jakhi Douglas added his second major offer in as many weeks. Douglas, who has been timed at sub-4.4 speed, was unguardable out there with that quickness and his speed out of his breaks. Douglas was not the only 2020 wideout to earn an offer, as Kayshon Boutte, the No. 1 recruit in Louisiana for 2020, earned an offer. Boutte, like Douglas, has elite-level speed, and LSU should clearly be in the drivers seat currently.
Several other 2020 recruits earned offers during the camp in Joel Williams, who Raymond loves as a DB, defensive tackle Jaquelin Roy, a teammate of 2019 linebacker/athlete Christian Harris, Alabama linebacker Demouy Kennedy, who has offers from several other SEC schools, and cornerback Ja’Darius Clark.
While I thought LSU might get a commit from the 2020 class, it was still an impressive camp and continued this recent run of momentum. The class ranking may suffer a little due to lower star rankings for our kicker, long snapper and JuCo tight end, but this staff is doing a solid job of filling in needs, something they’ve done well recently with the transfers and grad transfers as well. With 18 commits now and an expected class of 25, the LSU staff now has the luxury of focusing on the big fish out in the pond that could secure the makings of a memorable class.