Adrian Ealy’s high school is located at the foot of the LSU campus, but last Thursday marked the first time the elite offensive tackle prospect watched the in-state Tigers up close and personal.
Ealy, a four-star prospect out of University Lab School (Baton Rouge, La.), took in LSU’s sixth spring practice session last week.
For the 6-foot-7, 280-pounder, the way a school’s practices are conducted will carry a lot of weight as he considers all of his options.
After watching LSU on Thursday, give the Tigers an edge in that department.
“I wanted to see the way they set their practices up,” Ealy told SEC Country. “It’s really similar to my practice in the way that they do it from different periods and we do the same things, the same amount of periods and the same drills that they do. It’s really the same whole practice.
“I wanted to see the way the coaches interacted during practice, the way they take it and how they have fun and things like that. This was my first real LSU practice, and because I like to compete and have fun, I saw things that I really like.”
“If I would choose to go to LSU, it wouldn’t be that hard to get familiar with the routine that they do practice,” he added. “It’s something I’m so familiar with that I’d have a head start of what to do.”
Louisiana’s No. 8 prospect in the Class of 2017 was a little bit late to the practice, so he missed out on the signature Big Cat drills. However, he did get to watch the 50-play scrimmage the Tigers conducted.
Like many preseason prognostications, Ealy was high on LSU — how the team looked, the championship aspirations — and equally as important, was impressed by how many young players were contributing already.
“I missed seeing Big Cat. I got there right after they were done, but the scrimmage was amazing,” Ealy said. “It was like a real game. There were refs out there calling penalties. They were playing and really competing hard, and I really liked seeing how they competed.
“The team looks really good. Seeing them up close for the first time, there were new freshmen coming in there with big roles. The veterans were still doing great, and the players that came back after you thought would go to the draft as a whole looked really good. They’ve got some really high chances for an SEC championship and a national championship.”
To Ealy, early playing time is among the most important factors to his college decision, as is the way the practices are conducted.
Seeing true freshman, such as Devin White, Michael Divinity Jr. and Saivion Smith, make an impact last week during the scrimmage goes to show the nation’s No. 28 offensive tackle that playing time is a real possibility, though he did not get a chance to see the 2016 offensive linemen signees yet.
“Seeing LSU play their young guys play in big roles for the team is good to see,” Ealy said. “I saw Saivion Smith out there. I didn’t get to see the offensive line commits because they were not down there yet. I want to see how they rotate in the scrimmages, though. If I choose LSU, it’s a factor to play early.”
Ealy did not get a chance to speak with many of the LSU coaches, though he has had ample opportunities to do so over the past month and change at a number of visits.
The Baton Rouge, La., native did met with the assistant offensive line coach, who he had only interacted with on Twitter thus far.
Ealy was impressed by the assistant coach and the feeling was mutual, which should go a long way as the lineman continues to establish relationships with the in-state Tigers’ coaching staff.
“The assistant O-line coach wants to meet me, and he was surprised how big I really was,” Ealy laughed. “He really wanted to catch up and know some things about me, personal things and we also talked about football.
“I felt that he is a really nice man in the way that he approached me. We clicked right there and talked for a good bit. He’s a good guy. He went through practice helping out of the offensive line. He’s one of those assistant coaches that doesn’t just look at practices; he’s in there trying to get the offensive linemen better, and that was good.”
All rankings are according to the 247Sports Composite