AMITE, La. — There have been major changes within the LSU football program under interim coach Ed Orgeron, both on and off the football field.
Certain changes have been quite evident over the past three games, most notably on the offensive side of the ball. That is part of the season why the Tigers have momentum on their side with Louisiana’s top-ranked prospect.
Devonta Smith, a 4-star wide receiver from Amite (La.) High School, has long been considered an Alabama lean. After postponing his recruitment in August, he named a top four of ‘Bama, LSU, TCU and Miami during his U.S. Army All-American Game ceremony.
Smith received his honorary jersey on Friday, then made his first visit to LSU of the fall on Saturday. It was the time he brought along his mother, brother and mentor to Baton Rouge since the spring, and to Smith, long overdue.
“I hadn’t been there yet, but they (LSU) were one of my top schools and I needed to make a visit there,” Smith told SEC Country. “I’ve visited all of the other schools in my top (four).”
Communication broke off between LSU and the state’s top-ranked recruit soon after he delayed his commitment. Primary recruiter and wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig was quick to repair the relationship, though, and has been in constant touch with Smith for much of the fall. Much of those conversations have revolved around the Tigers’ ever-evolving offense, which is a major selling point to the wide receiver.
“They’re throwing the ball more,” Smith said. “I want to see them continue to do that. He (Craig) just told me that now that the coach (Les Miles) was fired to watch the things that are going on. I have watched and he’s stuck to his word about the offense opening up.”
Smith’s relationship with Craig is uber-significant, equally as much to LSU’s improved passing attack.
LSU needs to continue to make strides in that department for the remainder of the season. The in-state power has until National Signing Day to convince Smith to stay home.
Recruits react to LSU’s 38-21 win over Ole Miss
Jhamon Ausbon, 4-star LSU WR commit: “I loved that game. The offense was so much fun to watch. I swear, if we play like that, then it’s going to be hard to lose.”
Patrick Queen, 4-star LSU LB commit: “That was just about the best game I have ever watched in Death Valley. I loved it. Since it was a way better team than what they have been playing, LSU stepped their game up, too, and that made the fans go crazy.”
Christopher Allen, 4-star LB target: “I thought LSU played a great game holding Ole Miss to 21 points. That was great. This game was as loud as it has been all season.”
Saahdiq Charles, 4-star LSU OL commit: “The environment was crazy! It was the loudest and livest, and from an opponent’s standpoint, intimidating. They looked good. It was also good to see Leonard (Fournette) have the game that he had. The energy and passion in the game was there.”
Myles Brennan, 4-star LSU QB commit: “It was awesome! It was a crazy environment like no other! Death Valley is a special place and I’m glad to see the Tigers back in action! I can’t wait to be back for ‘Bama!”
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, 3-star LSU RB commit: “It was great. The atmosphere was great. You could even see the difference in the players. I loved everything that they did, including the offensive game plan. Everything seemed to click just right.”
Aaron Moffitt, 3-star LSU DL commit: “I thought it was great! The energy in the stadium and the way that they played together was awesome. They (the defense) played well all game long. That Ole Miss offense was very good. Once they got to tweak some things at halftime, they were good to go.”
Todd Harris, 4-star LSU DB target: “It was lit out there. The crowd was in it. That was the loudest game I have been to this season in Death Valley. It was a good one, though, for sure.”
Adrian Ealy, 4-star OL target: “It was a big one and LSU played great. It was amazing (the environment), one of the best in college football.”
JaMarr Chase, 2018 4-star WR target: “It felt good to get that type of atmosphere. LSU has a great fan base and how everybody reacted from it — the players and the other prospects. (For that) offense, you have to be ready for every play, run or pass.”
Aaron Brule, 2018 3-star DB target: “It’s always fun going into Death Valley. It’s a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Everybody shows so much love and it’s very close to home. And, of course, watching the people that are there now like (Leonard) Fournette, (Jamal) Adams, etc. There’s so much talent at that school.”
Corione Harris, 2018 4-star DB target: “The game was a great game overall. It had a few sloppy moments, but they (LSU) corrected it and the environment was great. From the Ole Miss side, I liked the way they never gave up. They showed some real effort out there.”
Jammal Houston, 2018 3-star ATH target: “It was great. I like the way that LSU played Saturday night. The defense only allowed 21 points, and that’s very impressive.”
Jalen Preston, 2018 4-star WR target: “It was a great atmosphere and I like the coaches. They were excited that I was down there and they’re really trying to get me to go there.”
Trent Gordon, 2018 WR target: “The game and the visit was another great experience. With LSU taking on Ole Miss, it actually had a lot of last year’s players in it (Manvel, Texas, High School). It was great just seeing those schools interact on the field like that, especially with LSU making huge plays.”
Grant Gunnell, 2019 4-star QB target: “It was an amazing atmosphere and a good win for the team. I thought they (the coaches) called a really good game on offense. They threw the ball at the right times and moved the ball down the field.”
Chandler Fields, 2019 QB target: “I had a great time last night and I want to be back as soon as possible. I see myself out there making big plays in front of 100,000-plus people. It felt like family and I love the coaches! The best years of my life are ahead of me … LSU!”
Devonta Lee, 2019 5-star WR target: “It was a great feeling to me. I never thought I would get that much love at home. I loved the atmosphere and pride at LSU, and I felt like a football player because I was in shock how many people ask to take pictures with me and shake my hand while I was on the sideline and how I talked to the players and came in the locker room with them. That really motivated me last night at this early time. I never thought I would be in this situation, but I enjoyed myself last night. I loved LSU’s stadium and being there for my first time, it made me feel like I was at home and it was nice being around for that experience.”
Also in attendance:
- Mannie Netherly, 4-star WR (LSU commit)
- Tyler Shelvin, 4-star DL (LSU commit)
- Jontre Kirklin, 3-star ATH commit (LSU commit)
- Justin Harris, 3-star DL target (Central Florida commit)
- Adam Sparks, 3-star DB target (Vanderbilt commit)
- Kenan Jones, 2018 4-star WR target
- Tajh Brown, 2018 3-star LB target
- Ishmael Sopsher, 2019 5-star DL target
- Michael Hollins, 2019 RB target
- Byron Guillory, 2019 LB target
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.
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