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Early Signing Day Recap: Coach O Discusses The Hits And Misses

LSU gets some surprises both good and bad on Early Signing Day

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Louisiana State Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The first day of the early signing period has come and gone and LSU made plenty of headlines relating to the prospects they did and did not sign.

Recruiting is always a fluid process. No matter how locked in a kid may seem he may flip at the last moment. Nothing is official until they sign their name on their letter of intent.

LSU got an unpleasant reminder about that when a pair top-10 receiver prospects long thought to be headed to Baton Rouge spurned the Tigers on signing day. Rakim Jarrett, a four-star receiver from the D.C. area, flipped his commitment to Maryland and Jermaine Burton, another four-star from California, signed with Georgia. Both Jarrett and Burton committed to LSU in April.

Later on in the day, LSU found out they also missed out on No. 5 overall prospect Jordan Burch to his home state South Carolina Gamecocks. Burch was a tough one to read throughout his recruiting process, and LSU was thought to have made a strong push late for the five-star defensive end, especially when it looked like Clemson was out of the running. But Burch elected to stay close to home and play for Will Muschamp. Burch is the highest-rated recruit Muschamp has landed in his tenure at South Carolina and he is the Gamecocks’ most prized recruit since Jadeveon Clowney signed in 2011.

“Obviously distance was a factor with two of them, maybe three of them,” Ed Orgeron said.

While LSU lost out on Jarrett and Burton and couldn’t swing Burch, it maintains its top-five recruiting class ranking and even picked up a pair of key pieces. Buford, Georgia native Phillip Webb, a four-star outside linebacker, signed with LSU. Webb was one of Dave Aranda’s most sought after pieces and filled a need with a top-100 prospect.

“We needed more speed, we needed more pass rush,” Orgeron said. Coach O said between Webb and BJ Ojulari LSU got two of the most “dominant” edge rushers in the class.

LSU also picked up a commitment from top-100, four-star offensive tackle Marcus Dumervil from Fort Lauderdale. Per The Athletic’s Brody Miller, Dumervil is the highest-rated tackle LSU has signed since Austin Deculus in 2017.

The Tigers also maintained the services of some of their prime pieces. Five stars Arik Gilbert and Elias Ricks both signed their Letters of Intent. Ricks, the No. 2 cornerback in the 2020 class, will be an early enrollee; Gilbert, the No. 9 overall prospect on 247, is the highest-rated tight end ever listed on 247 and was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year on Tuesday, the first tight end to ever earn the honor. To date, Gilbert is LSU’s highest rated prospect in the class.

Other notable names signed their LOIs Wednesday. Koy Moore and Kayshon Boutte, a pair of four-star receivers from Louisiana, signed as did TJ Finley and Max Johnson, two four-star quarterbacks. Finley is also an early enrollee and was already at practice on Wednesday afternoon.

LSU still has six spots remaining in its 2020 recruiting class. Orgeron said that the areas he wants to focus on in this class include running back, defensive line and mentioned possibly taking another defensive back.

The early signees are as follows:

  • Kayshon Boutte
  • Marcus Dumervil
  • TJ Finley
  • Ali Gaye
  • Arik Gilbert
  • Jacobian Guillory
  • Xavier Hill
  • Max Johnson
  • Marlon Martinez
  • Koy Moore
  • BY Ojulari
  • Elias Ricks
  • Jaquelin Roy
  • Antoine Sampah
  • Eric Taylor
  • Kole Taylor
  • Jordan Toles
  • Phillip Webb
  • Josh White