BATON ROUGE, La. — Dylan Moses shocked the recruiting world by making his way back home to Baton Rouge on Friday, then stopping by Tiger Stadium for LSU’s home game Saturday against Southern Miss.
The 5-star linebacker and newly-minted Alabama commit was joined by his father, Edward Moses, and numerous siblings. Naturally, Moses was received by LSU interim coach Ed Orgeron and received ample attention from top recruiter Corey Raymond and Austin Thomas, LSU’s General Manager, Director of Player Personnel and Assistant Athletic Director.
There has been a lot of questions about what exactly this visit means for the Tigers and their chances of — perhaps — flipping the all-world recruit at some point in the next few weeks.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer.
However, there are two ways to look it:
1. It’s a sign of things to come. Moses told SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner that he canceled all of his scheduled visits for the rest of the fall and shut down his recruitment. That plan was over with 13 days later during the 5-star linebacker’s homecoming and stop at LSU.
A visit is one thing, but a visit with his entire family is another — especially when his father was rocking an LSU jersey with “Moses” printed on the back. His presence was expected by the LSU coaching staff and they welcomed him with open arms. He took his time speaking with numerous coaches, members of the recruiting staff and current LSU players. After all, Moses is friendly with numerous players such as Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice, and both were surprised to see the Louisiana native spurn his hometown team by committing to their rival.
If Moses didn’t want to visit another school, then why attend an LSU game? After all, he understood that it would draw this kind of attention.
While on the sidelines during the pregame, Moses had a chance to chat with 4-star quarterback commit Lowell Narcisse, 4-star linebacker commit Patrick Queen and priority linebacker target Christopher Allen. That’s certainly worth noting since Narcisse and Queen are two of the more solid commits in the Tigers’ 2017 class, while Allen has been leaning toward LSU more and more since the summer.
One source close to the situation told SEC Country that a flip is likely. Whether that comes to fruition remains to be seen, but the source identified this visit as a major turning point in Moses’ recruitment.
Moses pledged to Alabama in the days after LSU parted ways with longtime coach Les Miles, who was the first to offer the linebacker a scholarship in the eighth grade. That overture resonated with Moses and his family, which ultimately led to his commitment soon after and eventually a de-commitment in August 2015.
Soon after LSU made its change at head coaching change, Moses reshuffled his plans. He added Houston — where potential LSU coaching candidate Tom Herman resides — to his official visits list. He also did not rule out an unofficial return to LSU at some point in the fall.
However, after his first official visit to Tuscaloosa, Ala., Moses opted to shut things down and confirm that the Tide was his top choice after Miles received the ax. That sparked Raymond, who is not only Moses’ primary recruiter but his uncle, to turn up the jets on the 5-star linebacker along with Orgeron to try and sway him back to Baton Rouge.
Again, this is merely a visit. But already, he altered his plans. I’ve stated all along that Moses would have to return to Tiger Stadium to give LSU a decent chance of making a push down the stretch. That now has occurred, meaning a greater push from LSU could eventually, just possibly, result in a flip of the nation’s No. 4 overall prospect.
2. It means nothing. This is the part many LSU fans don’t want to hear. IMG Academy played Thursday night, giving Moses a long weekend to return home to Baton Rouge. In other words, he was in town and was just stopping by … nothing more, nothing less.
In fact, Moses was mildly active on Twitter once the media discovered he was in town. He fired off a tweet that he was rooting for Alabama in the rout of Tennessee.
Perhaps he was giving in to the LSU staff’s pressure to continue to consider the Tigers. After all, Raymond is his uncle and Orgeron is a helluva recruiter, so it’s not inconceivable that Moses caved since he already was in town.
Numerous spectators made the observation that Moses was not smiling. Maybe that’s something to read into. Maybe not.
Some have suggested Moses was there to recruit prospects to Alabama. That is highly unlikely.
At worst, it was a meaningless visit where he was familiarized with Orgeron’s version of the Tigers. At least he received an idea of what LSU’s future might look like in a post-Miles era and whether he wants to keep the team in consideration moving forward.
— Sam Spiegelman (@samspiegs) October 15, 2016
Visitors react to LSU’s win over Southern Miss
Yet again, Orgeron utilized his newly-minted recruiting tactic of bringing priority recruits to the center of the field.
Against Missouri, LSU’s interim coach stood beside 4-star commits Jhamon Ausbon and Grant Delpit, 4-star junior college defensive line target Isaiah Buggs and 2018 5-star cornerback pledge Kelvin Joseph.
On this Saturday night, it was 4-star linebacker commit Patrick Queen and priority 4-star outside linebacker target Christopher Allen.
A number of recruiting prospects in attendance offered their take on the 45-10 win.
Neil Farrell, 3-star DL (LSU commit): “It was a good visit and a good game. (Coach O and the LSU defensive linemen) were explaining the drills and what they were doing and how LSU is a great school to come to. Coach O was glad I was a Tiger. I got to see the D-linemen play in person and they were balling.”
Patrick Queen, 4-star LB (LSU commit): “Hell of a game. You can tell that after halftime, LSU wasn’t playing around anymore. It was incredible (meeting with Orgeron at midfield). That’s the first time I did that. You can tell that he really cares about us with all of the effort that he gives to spend time with us.”
Todd Harris, 4-star DB (LSU target): “LSU dominated in all three phases of the game. Jamal (Adams) makes plays like that every game. I enjoy them.”
Christopher Allen, 4-star LB (LSU target): “I liked it. There was a lot more energy than before. The players looked more loose and it looked like they were having fun. It felt great (standing in the middle of the field with Coach O). It was an amazing feeling, way different than being on the sidelines.”
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, 3-star RB (LSU commit): “Visit was great. The offense cut it up in the second half and let the run game work until it opened up everything. I loved it. The atmosphere (was the biggest difference under Orgeron), but you can’t really judge that with Southern Miss. We’ll see what really happens next week (vs. Ole Miss). That’s going to tell you the difference.”
Justin Jefferson, WR (LSU target): “It was real cool. Coach O brings so much energy to the game and is a great coach, and I think he’s doing a great job. I love it (the passing offense), especially as me being a wide receiver. They throw the ball way more than they did before, and what’s what I like. We talked about it (an offer) and he (Dameyune Craig) said everyone on the staff likes me and I need to keep up with my grades and stay on top of everything.”
It’s also worth noting that 4-star dual-threat quarterback Lowell Narcisse and 3-star Mississippi State tight end commit Ravian Pierce also attended the game.
Narcisse, who is recovering from a second ACL surgery, was not sporting crutches and already has reaffirmed his commitment to the Tigers, spending time with both Orgeron and Jabbar Juluke. Pierce, who was on hand for LSU’s home game against Missouri, made his second appearance on the sidelines after talking with interim offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger earlier this month.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.
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