Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. In this edition, we discuss the latest surrounding one of the country’s top 2019 wide receivers, Devonta Lee, who has made a handful of visits to Baton Rouge this spring, and in return, has received multiple visits from new area recruiter and offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
AMITE, La. — Devonta Lee has been a regular at LSU this spring.
The newly minted 5-star wide receiver and No. 4 overall prospect in Louisiana for the 2019 class, Lee attended the Tigers’ spring game, a handful of spring practices and “Boys From The Boot.” Lee has made other unofficial visits to rival schools in between, but the push from LSU’s coaching staff has been unparalleled.
First-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada is spearheading Lee’s recruitment. He also has taken over Tangipahoa Parish, which led to multiple stops at Amite (La.) High School during the NCAA’s evaluation period last month. Canada’s push — and his offense — have surfaced as major selling points for Lee.
“Coach Canada … we have a great relationship. Coach O [Ed Orgeron] … every time we get to talk, he tells me wants to be a part of the LSU tradition,” Lee told SEC Country. “They want me bad. I feel like I’m a priority. It means a lot and it makes me feel very excited. I’ve been impressed with all that he’s said to me. It means a lot.”
When Lee took in spring practices, showing up to the first Saturday session then returning with members of his family throughout the spring, his eyes were glued to the new-look offense. Additionally, he paid close attention to the F-position, which is where Canada and Mickey Joseph are courting Lee to play.
“They want me to play the F-position. You know, the freaky guy that makes plays and gets the ball a lot,” Lee smiled. “I like the new [offensive coordinator] and what Coach Canada is doing to open up the offense and make them a spread [attack]. Coach Orgeron works a lot with the players and gets them right, and I liked how intense he is.”
Lee has had an eventful spring, adding offers from Florida State, Auburn, Oklahoma State, North Carolina and Florida, among others. When he attended LSU’s spring game with his mother, he received ample attention from Canada and a short, but sweet message about his recruitment.
“I have seen a lot of competitiveness,” Lee stated. “Coach Canada is opening up the offense for the receivers to make plays on the offensive side of the ball. I’ve seen a lot of energy that the players have. I had a good talk with Coach Canada. He wants me to come over and be a part of LSU.”
Not long ago, Amite High School was Orgeron’s recruiting territory.
Hence, Orgeron and Lee have a long-standing relationship and remain in close communication. The head man is prioritizing the 2019 5-star wide receiver, pushing a similar message about staying in-state.
“It’s the purple and gold,” Lee said. “He wants me as a Tiger and he doesn’t want me to play for no one but LSU. I never thought that this early, any coach would tell me I would be a priority like this at their school. I was in their team meetings, standing on the sidelines and a coach even threw me a football in the team meeting. It was amazing.”
The third prong of this equation is Lee’s budding relationship with Joseph, the team’s first-year wide receivers coach.
Decades ago, Joseph — a former 5-star quarterback — elected to head to Nebraska to play in a spread offense instead of converting to defensive back for LSU. Being homesick has since been the pitch he’s made to big-time Louisiana recruits such as Lee. Hence, Joseph’s demeanors with the wideouts and his warning of leaving the state have resonated with the latest 5-star talent.
“When I was in the team meeting with the receivers, he was talking to the players and I got to know a lot about Mickey,” said Lee. “Coach Mickey is a good coach and he’s coming along. He’s got a good rapport with the receivers and I like the route tree that he has.”
“I like LSU,” he added. “I’ll never forget about my home school.”
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