Eye on the Tigers: Is LSU’s top OL commit wavering?
Austin Deculus is LSU’s highest-rated offensive line commit in its 2017 class, but the team is preparing for a major loss.
Deculus, the No. 9 offensive tackle in this cycle, is wavering on his commitment in the aftermath of Les Miles’ departure from the program, a source close to the situation told SEC Country.
The 6-foot-6, 331-pound prospect was overtly solid after committing in May, largely because of his relationship with Miles. For instance, in May, Deculus told SEC Country about this birthday present LSU’s former head coach gave him.
After Miles received the ax, Deculus began to reconsider his options. The 4-star recruit has “some concerns” with the direction of the program and could be waiting to see which head coach LSU elects to hire before finalizing a decision, according to a source.
As Deculus goes over his other options, Michigan has made a strong push for the coveted tackle.
Michigan assistant Jay Harbaugh was in Texas earlier in October to court Deculus. The Wolverines currently hold commitments from four offensive tackles in their 2017 class, but continue to chase a fifth. That includes both Deculus and 5-star Alabama commit Alex Leatherwood.
However, Deculus has not yet made a move to reopen his recruitment, which remains a positive sign for LSU. That gives the team ample opportunity to close the gap with the prized recruit, who is a priority in the 2017 class as the team prepares to lose two starters along the offensive line after this season and K.J. Malone and possibly Toby Weathersby in the following year.
As Deculus considers all of his options, another source remained optimistic on the matter. “He’ll be in Death Valley,” the source said.
If not Deculus, then who?
LSU holds commitments from four offensive linemen at the moment. That remains the game plan for offensive line coach Jeff Grimes in the 2017 haul.
If the team were to lose Deculus, there is an obvious candidate to replace him within the state.
Adrian Ealy, a 4-star Louisiana tackle, has visited LSU twice in October since interim coach Ed Orgeron took over for Miles. Ealy told SEC Country he was still interested in the Tigers even after Miles was fired.
The takeaway here is Ealy was supposed to commit earlier this fall after visiting Oklahoma, which was the presumptive frontrunner. Both Oklahoma and Miami had leapfrogged LSU in the race for the prized offensive lineman, but his decision to delay his commitment, paired with multiple visits to nearby Baton Rouge, have made for an interesting plot twist.
LSU already was gaining steam with Louisiana’s top lineman. So, if Deculus were to throw a wrench in LSU’s plans, Ealy may be the replacement.
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