It’s the middle of the summertime, which means recruiting season is in midseason form at a boiling point.
LSU has already put together the beginnings of what should be another star-studded recruiting class, one that is already ranked in the top five nationally and has a chance to rival for the top spot by February.
Next up is a pair of camps on the Baton Rouge, La., campus, beginning Saturday with the annual 7-on-7 and linemen event followed by the elite prospect camp that runs July 21-23. Numerous top prospects will be there, including many of the top 2017 and 2018 targets, which means that the Tigers’ coaching staff may be crossing their fingers to add even more pledges by the end of the month.
Here are the five best things that can happen for LSU recruiting by the end of the summer:
LSU cracks Cam Akers’ final 4
Akers included LSU in his top 10, but plans to narrow that list down to four by the end of the summer. He’ll do that after making stops at Ohio State and Michigan, coming off visits through SEC Country at Tennessee, Georgia and Ole Miss, as well as Florida State.
LSU faces stiff competition for the 5-star running back, which would fill a major void in the Tigers’ current recruiting class. However, many of the schools pushing LSU for Akers are faced with a significant disadvantage.
With the exception of likely favorite Ole Miss, each of those schools already have a similar-style back embedded in their class. See blow:
- Tennessee: 3-star ATH Trey Coleman
- Georgia: 4-star RB Toneil Carter
- Ohio State: 4-star APB J.K. Dobbins
- Michigan: 4-star RB O’Maury Samuels; 3-star RB A.J. Dillon; 3-star RB Kurt Taylor
LSU is no exception either with 3-star talent Clyde Edwards-Helaire. However, running backs coach Jabbar Juluke has made his message clear — that Akers can play as a true freshman alongside Derrius Guice.
In other words, LSU and Ole Miss are two likely candidates to crack Akers’ top four. Juluke and Co. had an opportunity to sway Akers in their direction at the LSU spring game and again at the Bayou Picnic, and those two visits are a promising sign that the Tigers have piqued his interest.
Ole Miss’ lack of a running back puts them in an attractive position, but LSU’s Magnolia State commits are working to change that. Saahdiq Charles and Myles Brennan are on Akers about teaming up at LSU. Another visit would do wonders, but making the next cut would be an encouraging sign.
Jeremiah Holloman is the 4th WR to join LSU’s class
LSU has already secured three commitments from a trio of elite wide receivers for its 2017 class. 4-star Texans Jhamon Ausbon and Mannie Netherly are in, as is the nation’s top junior college receiver Stephen Guidry.
There were three candidates to take the fourth wide receiver slot in LSU’s 2017 class, but that’s down to two after 5-star in-state talent Devonta Smith eliminated the Tigers from contention.
Of those wide receivers left on their bond, the Tigers would love to land 4-star Georgia wideout Jeremiah Holloman. The Peach State product made a surprise appearance at camp last month and wowed the LSU coaches. Wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig shadowed Holloman, which was something no cornerback in attendance could do on the Friday morning that he competed.
Holloman will return to Baton Rouge, La., for the July camp to spend time with Brennan and Lowell Narcisse. The nation’s No. 28 wide receiver has already reached out to both quarterback commitments and could test his rapport with them in a week.
LSU is facing stiff competition from in-state power Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee for Holloman, and it has just recently made its push. Not to mention the Newton High School (Covington, Ga.) product plans on making several visits across the country before the end of the summer.
However, Craig has shown how strong of a recruiter he is in securing commitments from three elite receivers already. A fourth from Holloman would give LSU easily the deepest wide receiver class in the country. The fact that the Georgia native will again be back on LSU’s campus a month after his inaugural visit is already a positive sign for the Tigers’ chances.
July visits help LSU separate from the pack
LSU’s star-studded prospect camp next week will feature Holloman in addition to several more of the team’s top targets. That includes 5-star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson and 4-star defensive end/outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson.
Wilson is set to make his first trip back to LSU since February when he spent Sunday evening dining with coach Les Miles and Ed Orgeron in Tiger Stadium. Since then, the nation’s top defensive tackle has visited Alabama, Florida State, Texas, Oklahoma and Ole Miss.
The Texan saw the LSU coaches last month during a satellite camp at his high school, where he had an opportunity to see Orgeron yet again. Wilson has admitted that Orgeron is recruiting him the hardest out of any coach in the country, and the defensive line guru will have yet another chance to make a pitch in Baton Rouge, La., in a week’s time.
Sources close to Wilson have indicated the Tigers have long been his leader. Alabama has certainly made a strong push because of its also star-studded 2017 class and new defensive line coach. Texas is considered a darkhorse to land the 5-star tackle, but things are shaping up to be a three-team race between LSU, ‘Bama and the in-state power into the fall.
Wilson won’t be the only Texan in attendance at LSU’s camp. Chaisson will be back on campus for the second time in as many months, this visit coming after publicly naming Oklahoma as his leader.
The 4-star weak-side end, who is projected to be a fierce 3-4 linebacker in Dave Aranda’s system, will be joined by a number of Houston-area friends, including recent commits Netherly, Ausbon and Grant Delpit. All three of those pledges have quietly been recruiting other Texas prospects to team up with them at nearby LSU, and Chaisson is no exception.
Even though the elite talent named Oklahoma and Houston as leaders ahead of the Tigers, he has been to Baton Rouge, La., more often than any other school. He’s told SEC Country that because LSU was the first to offer, the school has always held a special place in his heart. He’s also stated that he feels very comfortable when he’s on campus.
If things goes according to plan, Chaisson could wind up switching around some of the schools at the top of his list. Another visit to LSU could certainly bolster their stock.
Dylan Moses makes one more trip to campus
Moses won’t be taking an official visit to LSU. That’s known, but the 5-star linebacker atop the Tigers’ wish list is certainly a candidate to make another return trip to campus before the end of the summer.
The Baton Rouge, La., native has made several visits to LSU since the spring. That includes attending a week of spring practices and team meetings, the Bayou Picnic and a recent stop at the facilities last month.
LSU has quietly asserted itself as the favorite for the nation’s top linebacker based largely on his chemistry with the coaching staff and level of comfort on the campus. After all, it is his hometown, which compelled the elite talent to pronounce he’d love to see LSU capture a national championship.
Are we not realizing the LeBron James parallels here?
Even though LSU has done an exceptional job of leading Moses back to campus and recruiting from afar now that he’s enrolled at Florida’s IMG Academy, another visit before the summer’s end would be spectacular for the team’s chances of landing the prized target. There are ample opportunities, including next week’s elite prospect camp and the start of fall camp, for the 5-star talent to make another stop by.
Moses has a storied relationship with Miles and has developed an equally strong bond with Aranda in recent months. Orgeron has made several trips to the Sunshine State to check in on the linebacker, and together they might just be able to get in Moses back on campus before the start of his senior year.
Of course, even if they don’t, Moses has an opportunity to come back in October for an unofficial visit when IMG Academy travels to Southern Lab for a game on Oct. 7.
LSU fills 2018 voids with Patrick Surtain Jr.
The Tigers’ 2018 class recently took a major hit by losing a pair of elite in-state talents in Corione Harris and Devonta Jason. The Landry-Walker High School (New Orleans) teammate rescinded their verbal pledges last weekend after realizing they wanted to go through the recruiting process without being committed after piling up double-digit offers this spring.
LSU’s 2018 class is now down to three, including 5-star cornerback Kelvin Joseph, 4-star safety Nadab Joseph and 4-star quarterback Zadock Dinkelmann.
The void left by Harris was a major hit, but could the Tigers fill it with the nation’s top-ranked corner?
Patrick Surtain Jr. named LSU his leading school after The Opening, where he spent time with a number of LSU commits and current players such as Jamal Adams and Leonard Fournette. The 5-star talent from American Heritage School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has family all over Louisiana, and his father, former Pro Bowl cornerback Pat Surtain, hails from New Orleans.
Surtain and his father will attend LSU’s elite prospect camp next week and make his first visit to LSU since last year’s July camp. He procured his offer from defensive backs coach Corey Raymond last May.
The 6-foot-2, 181-pound defensive back clocked a 4.57-second 40-yard dash, which would certainly wow Raymond, who loves speedy corners, particularly ones like Surtain with outstanding size.
Harris’ de-commitment opens the door for LSU to press Surtain for a pledge at the camp. The team is going to consider numerous cornerbacks for its 2018 class since it will likely take two — perhaps three — in 2017. Surtain is far and away at the top of Raymond’s wish list, and paired with Joseph, the state’s top corner and the No. 3-rated prospect at the position in the class, LSU could boast the top one-two punch in the cycle.
Sam Spiegelman covers LSU football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Tigers Stadium.