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2021 Early Signing Day: Primer and Open Thread

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Follow along as we see who officially joins Brian Kelly’s first recruiting class

NCAA Football: Louisiana State-Head Coach Brian Kelly Introductory Press Conference Patrick Dennis-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday is a massive day across the college football landscape as it marks the beginning of the early signing period and for LSU, this year’s edition will be...the same but also different.

It’s a tale as old as time but a coach’s worst recruiting class is usually his first one. Nick Saban’s worst class at Alabama was his first one; Les Miles, as 104.5’s Matt Moscona has said numerous times, signed 13 players his first class at LSU; Ed Orgeron’s first full year as LSU head coach was his worst class. What I’m saying is when the dust settles and the early signing window closes, don’t be surprised if Brian Kelly’s class is sitting somewhere we’re not used to see LSU be at in regards to recruiting.

But for Kelly and staff, their eyes seem to be set towards February as there are plenty of big fish in the cycle that LSU still has legitimate chances at landing (think Ponchatoula safety Jacoby Matthews, Lafayette running back TreVonte’ Citizen, and Houston area linebacker Harold Perkins). There is also the expectation that Kelly and his staff are going to hit the transfer portal hard—the way Mel Tucker did at Michigan State—to quickly get the LSU roster up to snuff; and wouldn’t you know, LSU’s in the running for one of the biggest prizes in the transfer portal: freshman All-American tackle Miles Frazier formerly of FIU.

But instead of wondering who LSU could be getting in a few weeks or months, let’s shift the focus on who LSU should—key word should because you never assume anything with recruiting—be officially adding Wednesday.

LSU has 11 commits at the time of this writing. Late Tuesday night they added wide receiver Landon Ibieta from Mandeville; Ibieta was a Miami commit, pledging to The U back in June but finally got his LSU offer over the weekend, making him the first to commit to Brian Kelly’s LSU. But while the Tigers had one player flip to them, they had another flip away as corner Jadarian Rhym flipped to Auburn. Ibieta and 10 others expected to sign tomorrow. They are as follows:

  • Five-star OT Will Campbell (Neville)
  • Five-star QB Walker Howard (St. Thomas More)
  • Four-star CB Laterrance Welch (Acadiana)
  • Four-star OG Emery Jones (Catholic)
  • Four-star LB DeMario Tolan
  • Three-star TE Mason Taylor
  • Three-star DT Tygee Hill (Edna Karr)
  • Three-star WR Landon Ibieta (Mandeville)
  • Three-star OT Bo Bordelon (Newman)
  • Three-star DL Fitzgerald West* (Lafayette Christian Academy)
  • No. 2 K Nathan Dibert

*Reminder that West is being recruited to play center

Currently that group ranks 31st in the 247 Composite, 13th in the SEC. And yeah on the surface that looks concerning, but y’all LSU held on to the top two players in Louisiana and they just so happen to be a five-star tackle and quarterback. A program is bigger than a single recruit but let’s not kid ourselves: losing one or both of Campbell or Howard would’ve been devastating and it’s a testament to the coaches that they were able to keep them in the boat.

And there’s also a chance LSU adds to this group and one in particular could be a massive get: four-star, top-100 overall prospect Quency Wiggins, a defensive end from Madison Prep, and three-star safety Jordan Allen from Lafayette Christian Academy are both signing tomorrow and the expectation is both will pick LSU.

Keep an eye out as well on four-star athlete Kendrick Law up in Shreveport. Law’s expected to sign on Friday and it’ll be an LSU-Alabama battle till the very end. Law looked to be headed to T’Town but Kelly has really done a good job making up ground with Law, visiting him at Captain Shreve and Law made his way down to Baton Rouge for an official visit over the weekend. Law is the No. 87 prospect in the class, and No. 6 in Louisiana. I suppose you should keep an eye out on St. James receiver Shazz Preston but it feels he will almost certainly sign with Alabama along with Karr receiver Aaron Anderson, who was one of the first to de-commit after it was announced Ed Orgeron would not be returning.

Keep it locked on here as we track who will be the next future LSU football stars.