LSU will kick off the start of the new recruiting cycle when it welcomes several of Louisiana and the surrounding area’s top prospects to campus for this weekend’s annual “Boys From The Boot” event.
Last year, the event resulted in marquee offers being extended and four commitments.
The Tigers already hold five commits in their 2018 recruiting class and could certainly bolster that group before the end of the weekend. Remember, after signing 23 players to the 2017 class, LSU has room for upwards of 30 spots in this upcoming recruiting cycle.
Here are SEC Country’s five early predictions for LSU’s 2018 class:
Another 2-QB haul
LSU brought in two of the nation’s best quarterbacks in 2017. Lowell Narcisse was among the top dual-threat prospects in the country and Louisiana’s No. 1. Myles Brennan emerged as one of the top pro-style passers and the starter for the Under Armour All-America Game.
With four veterans already on LSU’s 2017 roster, expect Danny Etling or Lindsey Scott Jr. to wind up getting the nod behind center. That should open up the door for Narcisse or Brennan to start further down the road.
Both Harris and Etling will be seniors this upcoming season, and depending on possible transfers, LSU may have to find two quarterbacks to restock the depth chart. Justin Rogers is Louisiana’s top quarterback for 2018 and one of the premier dual-threat prospects in the country. LSU will make a strong push for him, but likely will follow the blueprint from 2017 and try to add a pro-style passer as well.
Multiple 5-star DBs
One of the strengths of the Tigers’ 2017 recruiting class was five outstanding defensive backs.
LSU reeled in JaCoby Stevens, Grant Delpit and Todd Harris at safety, and Kary Vincent Jr. and Jontre Kirklin at corner. Some of these prospects could find their way into the secondary rotation as early as next season, while others represent the future of LSU’s defensive backfield.
Nonetheless, Corey Raymond’s unit could lose several contributors after the 2017 season. That includes seniors Ed Paris and John Battle, as well as potential early departures from Donte Jackson and Kevin Toliver II.
Cornerback will be a major emphasis in the 2018 recruiting class. The Tigers hold a commitment from Kelvin Joseph, but are very much in the mix for 5-star Anthony Cook, 5-star Pat Surtain Jr. and 4-star Jalen Green. Additionally, prospects such as Verone McKinley III and Trent Gordon remain on the team’s radar.
A shift in WR
LSU had three wide receiver commits in its class heading into National Signing Day, but 4-star junior college standout Stephen Guidry failed to qualify academically, leading to a scheduled enroll date in December.
With that in mind, the Tigers need at least four receivers to bolster the depth chart in 2018. They will lose veterans D.J. Chark and Russell Gage, and assuming Guidry enrolls will have only six receivers remaining on the roster.
LSU needs to up that number closer to 10, explaining why four is the target goal in 2018.
Many of the receivers on the roster are above 6-feet tall and look like they can double on the basketball team, too. I’m sure Johnny Jones would welcome them with open arms. But expect new receivers coach Mickey Joseph and offensive coordinator Matt Canada to mix in a few smaller, shiftier wideouts into the fold to diversify the skill-sets.
Not 1, not 2 but 3 RBs
We already know that Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams won’t return to LSU for the 2018 football season. Running back is a glaring position of need in the upcoming recruiting cycle after the Tigers signed only one tailback, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, in 2017.
LSU will need to find one, if not two blue-chip backs capable of being a part of the backfield rotation right away. With upwards of 30 scholarships to dish out, that also opens the door for a third developmental back or one with a different set of skills to be included as well.
New running backs coach Tommie Robinson may not have to look much further than his home state of Alabama for targets, either. 4-star Asa Martin and 3-star Tae Provens hold LSU offers. 4-star Mississippi back Fabian Franklin has LSU interest, and the Tigers can also make their way through the rest of the state to see some underrated tailbacks in Vinton (La.) High’s Tony St. Julien, Many (La.) High’s A.J. Carter and Hahnville (La.) High’s Anthony Williams, who recently committed to Kansas.
With two of its top backs set to leave after 2017, LSU needs to find two blue-chip prospects to pad the depth chart and possibly a third to groom down the road.
A national scope
LSU’s 2017 signing class featured players from its typical recruiting territory and beyond.
The Tigers reeled in signatures from Louisiana and Texas, but also Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and West Virginia. That’s eight different states, the most in an LSU signing class since 2014.
In contrast, Les Miles’ final two signing classes from 2015 and 2016 featured signees from five different states.
Expect more of the recent trend to continue in Ed Orgeron‘s first full recruiting class as the Tigers’ head coach. With the additions of Canada and Robinson on offense, and Raymond’s pursuit of the top defensive backs nationwide, we could see eight, nine or even double-digit states represented by the time the fax machines turn back on next February.
LSU’s early 2018 commits are from Louisiana, Texas and Florida — the usual recruiting grounds. However, expect the Tigers’ coaches to really ramp up their efforts in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and even out toward the desert under Robinson. They could also look for contributors closer to the East Coast thanks to Canada and the Pacific Coast because of Dave Aranda.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.
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