Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. Today, we discuss recent Kansas de-commit Devonta Jason, who has LSU as one of his three finalists ahead of a Dec. 20 commitment date. Will the Tigers be able to keep the 4-star receiver in-state?
Devonta Jason will have LSU, Mississippi State and Kansas hats on table
Devonta Jason de-committed from Kansas on Sunday evening in a pre-mediated move just days before his scheduled commitment date. Jason, a 4-star wide receiver from Landry-Walker (La.) High School in New Orleans, is just bracing for the biggest decision of his life.
By reopening his recruitment, Jason did not eliminate the Jayhawks from contention — far from it, actually. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound prospect merely wanted to remain objective when choosing from the trio of Kansas, LSU and Mississippi State on Dec. 20, the first day of the newly implemented early signing period.
“It was 10 days before just to give me 10 days for sure to think about my decision,” Jason told SEC Country. “This decision will be the hardest I’ll make in my life regarding my future and I wanted to make the best choice I could and not mess this one up.”
There will be hats, jackets and all sorts of different gear from each of the three schools on the table when Jason commits next Wednesday.
Despite recently de-committing from Kansas, he singled out the Jayhawks for pushing him the hardest of late. However, LSU and Mississippi State were among his first offers as a freshman four years ago and have established themselves as realistic options when he makes a decision from the three in eight days.
“Kansas, LSU and Mississippi State have always been my top 3,” Jason explained. “LSU was my first offer. Mississippi State and Kansas were my second and third offers. While a lot has changed in my lifetime, those were the first three schools at the beginning of my recruiting process and they started the whole thing. It’s a blessing for me and I’m not counting them out.
“It was great to have those offers early as a freshman, those big-time offers. I couldn’t count out those three and like I said, it’s a blessing.”
Breaking down LSU’s chances
As far as where each of those schools stand, that remains unclear.
Jason was committed to LSU as a sophomore prospect. He de-committed before his junior season, then verbally committed to the Jayhawks during a junior day visit with five other New Orleans-area prospects. As of today, only two of those recruits — Pooka Williams and Corione Harris — remain in Kansas’ 2018 recruiting class.
Mississippi State has remained a likely destination given his ties to the out-of-state program. Former Landry-Walker High School quarterback Keytaon Thompson is on the Bulldogs’ roster and Jason’s former high school teammate, Lamar Peters, is on the basketball team.
“Kansas is still the lead team,” Jason began. “I de-committed because I didn’t want to stay committed to Kansas and then come in with a different mindset and then not sign with Kansas. Whoever I sign with on Signing Day, that’s who I’m rolling with. I de-committed to just make sure that I could find the right fit.
Of the three finalists, Jason named Kansas as the school currently pushing the hardest. However, both LSU and Mississippi State are gearing up to put the full-court press on later this week.
Mississippi State will go in-home with Jason on Thursday. Newly minted Florida coach Dan Mullen, who recruited Jason at Mississippi State the past few years, will do the same. LSU wide receivers coach and New Orleans-area recruiter Mickey Joseph will be at Landry-Walker High School on Friday and could go in-home alongside coach Ed Orgeron later that evening.
“I’m torn right now,” Jason said. “Kansas, they never let up. All three have not let up since they offered me and began recruiting me. I could say that about all three — they never let up. It’s going to be hard. It’s hard right now and it isn’t even next week. Next week will be hard.”
What’s on the docket between now and Dec. 20?
Jason has not taken any official visits. He was supposed to go to Mississippi State and Kansas the past two weekends but has been unable to do so because of family obligations. He never made his LSU official visit because of a scheduling conflict.
That has put an added onus on the in-home visits, which he’s weighing heavily in his decision. With in-home visits scheduled with Mississippi State and LSU on the horizon, all three schools have given Jason plenty to mull over for the remaining few days.
“I wish I could’ve taken them [official visits], but I’ve had family stuff,” he said. “These in-home visits are very important. I’m counting them as officials and it’s important when schools are reaching out to my mom and building relationships with the coaching staffs. These in-home visits are very important and it’s coming down to the wire with me signing next Wednesday. It’s getting hard on me.”
LSU’s push has centered around his fit in the offense and the path to become a professional. Joseph has led the charge and the Tigers could be boosted by a push from Orgeron near the finish line.
“Mickey has been talking to me mostly about the pro-style offense and getting me ready for the NFL and this and that,” Jason said. “He texts me every day, every chance he gets just to see how I’m doing and where LSU is on my list. All I can tell him is Dec. 20.”
Additionally, Jason will make the decision alongside Harris, his teammate and best friend.
Harris, a 4-star cornerback, remains verbally committed to Kansas and will choose from the Jayhawks and Mississippi State next Wednesday. LSU is not a finalist for Harris, who was once committed to the Tigers, but Jason will not let his teammate’s decision impact his.
“I wouldn’t say that it matters much,” the 4-star receiver stated. “We want to go to school together, but we’ve been together for so long already. If LSU’s my choice, then it’s my future I need to worry about at the end of the day.”
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