To say that this week’s home opener is a must-win game would be an understatement.
There will be a unique feel in Death Valley on Saturday, and a bevy of future LSU Tigers plan to take it in. In the 2017 class, 4-star Texas wide receiver Mannie Netherly and 3-star pro-style Mississippi quarterback Myles Brennan are both expected to be in Baton Rouge, La. Netherly is making the short trip from Crosby, Texas, for the unofficial visit. Brennan is driving up after playing Friday night in nearby New Orleans.
Netherly has been a regular at LSU since committing. The 6-foot-2, 183-pound wide receiver made an unofficial visit there in March before de-committing from Texas A&M. Netherly pledged to the Tigers in June and was on hand at the July prospect camp and barbecue. He has emerged as one of the most solid commits and recruiters for the team, and that has continued in spite of LSU’s season-opening flop against Wisconsin. Netherly has re-affirmed his stance with LSU, and his attendance on Saturday looms large if the offense shows signs of improvement against Jacksonville State.
Brennan ended his recruitment when he committed to LSU in April. The No. 17-ranked pro-style quarterback in the class, Brennan pledged to LSU after offensive coordinator Cam Cameron requested him to visit in the spring. Brennan, a Louisiana native who moved to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, committed on the spot. He won’t even field questions about some of the other big-time schools that have offered him since. Brennan’s stock rose after a standout performance in the Elite 11 competition, LSU’s June prospect camp and The Opening Finals in Oregon. Brennan will lead St. Stanislaus (Bay Saint Louis, Miss.) against Brother Martin High School at Tad Gormley Stadium on Friday night, then make the short trek to Tiger Stadium on Saturday. Like Netherly, Brennan will be a keen observer of the LSU offense after a poor showing last weekend. Brennan, along with fellow LSU quarterback commit Lowell Narcisse, represents the future of the Tigers behind center.
It’s also worth noting that 5-star 2018 defensive back commit Kelvin Joseph is expected to be on hand for Saturday’s game. Joseph, one of the stalwarts of LSU’s 2018 class, is set to attend the home opener alongside both of his parents. Alabama was also hopefully to lure Joseph to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Tide’s home showdown with Western Kentucky, but apparently that attempt has been unsuccessful.
4-star 2019 defensive back commit Derek Stingley Jr. will also be in the stands. Stingley was LSU’s inaugural commit in the team’s 2019 haul, giving his verbal pledge upon receiving the overture during the June prospect camp. Just a sophomore, Stingley is already a hard commit in the Tigers’ class and is expected to be at numerous games in his hometown of Baton Rouge, La., down the road.
LSU’s home opener against Jacksonville State comes after a stunning loss last weekend against Wisconsin. Brennan and Netherly offered support of the team after the defeat and are eager to attend the first game this season at Tiger Stadium.
Top WR target heading to Alabama
While numerous LSU commits will be in Baton Rouge on Saturday, one of LSU’s top targets will be making his way elsewhere.
4-star Amite (La.) wide receiver Devonta Smith, the top-ranked receiver in Louisiana, will be unofficially visiting Alabama for the Tide’s home opener against Western Kentucky, according to SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner.
Smith told SEC Country that he doesn’t plan on taking official visits to either Alabama or LSU, but of course, did not rule out unofficials. His first is to Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he’s been a mainstay throughout the spring and returned as early as last month for the team’s fall scrimmage.
LSU is among three finalists for Smith, along with Alabama and Miami, and all three schools are likely to get unofficial visits at some point this fall. Smith also plans on taking officials to Southern Cal, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Miami before making his decision on National Signing Day.
Momentum has always favored the Crimson Tide based on his longstanding relationship with the members of the coaching staff, his friendship with Alabama freshman corner Shyheim Carter and, not to mention, it only helps that Alabama dropped 52 points against the Trojans last Saturday. LSU and Miami have been the dark horses playing catch up, with Dameyune Craig and Ed Orgeron leading the way. Of course, the Tigers’ showing on offense could not have helped their chances with Louisiana’s No. 1 receiver. It would seem as if LSU has a lot — and then some — to prove to Smith.
Offers out to Philadelphia, St. Louis 4-stars
LSU’s recruiting territory tends to range from Texas to Florida, plucking prospects from Georgia, Mississippi and, of course, the home state of Louisiana, as well.
The coaching staff has found some targets elsewhere this week.
LSU made offers to 4-star Missouri defensive tackle Trevor Trout and 4-star Pennsylvania safety Isheem Young on Thursday, two of the highest-rated recruits in the 2018 class.
Trout, rated as the No. 10 defensive tackle in the class and No. 3 prospect from Missouri, has been most closely connected to in-state power Mizzou and Iowa. He has also added a SEC offer from Tennessee this week during the evaluation period.
Young, the No. 6 safety in the 2018 class and No. 4 prospect from Pennsylvania, already boasts a double-digit offer sheet, which includes overtures from Florida State, Penn State, Ohio State, Alabama and Michigan, among several others. LSU’s offer on Thursday follows one from Ohio State on Wednesday. The Tigers hold commitments from two 2018 defensive backs: 5-star Kelvin Joseph and 4-star Nadab Joseph, who are capable of playing born cornerback or safety.
Honored to receive an offer from Louisiana State University! pic.twitter.com/1XuyphVRUB
— Trevor Trout™ (@totaltroutmove) September 8, 2016
— 3k (@Isheemyoung) September 8, 2016
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.
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 Tiger Stadium.