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 where LSU stands with the nation’s No. 1 cornerback.
Patrick Surtain Jr. never has been shy about giving a state of his recruitment address.
Last summer as an underclassman at Nike’s The Opening Finals in Oregon, the 5-star corner named LSU his leading school. That remained the case through last fall and into the spring.
With a decision coming in four months or so, Surtain admitted he has been close to making known his commitment. He remains uncommitted and continues to evaluate his options, but concedes that LSU — still — stands on top.
“I’ve been thinking about [committing] for a few days. I’ve been close sometimes,” Surtain told SEC Country. “I’m still looking at some other schools, but they’re [LSU] at the top. But some other schools stick out, too.”
Those schools include Ohio State, Clemson, Florida State, Alabama, Miami and Florida. Surtain made visits to each of those campuses this spring. All those schools hope to join the Tigers in Surtain’s final five, which he plans to release later in May or in June.
Surtain made his way back to Baton Rouge in April alongside high school teammates Tyson Campbell and Andrew Chatfield, a week after junior day to take in LSU’s spring scrimmage. A 6-foot-2, 181-pound cornerback, Surtain was dialed in on his time with the coaching staff and the players. Those relationships are the ones he deems critical to his decision.
“We were there this spring to watch a little spring scrimmage,” he said. “I got to hang around the players a lot and tour the facilities. It was different in some ways. Getting around the players was the fun part. Getting to know them better was great.”
Some of those players include current LSU corners Donte Jackson and Kevin Toliver II, who likely are entering their final season in Baton Rouge.
Surtain keeps close tabs on the LSU depth chart, which he takes into consideration when he communicates with the coaching staff. Defensive backs coach Corey Raymond spearheads the effort, but Surtain is also in touch with defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and coach Ed Orgeron.
Opportunity for playing time and regular conversations are part of the reason the Tigers have maintained an edge for the nation’s top cornerback.
“It’s been great. I’ve been talking to Coach Raymond, and Coach Orgeron and Coach Aranda hitting me up,” Surtain said. “Getting hit up the most is the best thing. They talk about how much of a priority I am to them, how much it would mean to them if I get there. They’re losing some defensive backs this year, so it would be great. It makes me think: ‘Wow, it gives me a better opportunity to step up and to make me a better player.’ “
Surtain tentatively is planning to give his commitment this fall either during his senior season at American Heritage High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., or after. He plans on returning to LSU this summer for an official visit.
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