It’s camp season, and LSU’s red-hot July continues on Saturday for the team’s 7-on-7 and linemen camp.
Multiple Louisiana high schools will be represented in the 7-on-7 tournament, which is broken down into different brackets. More importantly, it includes some of the Tigers’ top recruiting targets in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 classes, as well as some notable commits.
The one-day camp includes many intriguing storylines. Here are some:
Recent de-commits return to campus
It has been only a week since two of LSU’s top 2018 targets re-opened their recruitments. Last weekend, New Orleans teammates Corione Harris and Devonta Jason rescinded their verbal pledges to LSU to try and put themselves in a better position to go through the recruiting process.
Both Harris, a 4-star cornerback, and Jason, a 4-star wide receiver, committed to the in-state power early on. LSU was the first to offer both elite rising juniors, which led Jason to commit in November 2015 and Harris to follow suit during LSU’s “Boys From The Boot” event last February.
Since then, the talented New Orleans duo enjoyed productive springs, which coincided with their offer sheets blowing up. Harris, who is long and a versatile defensive back, earned offers from the likes of Florida, Auburn, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Mississippi State. Jason, at 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, has taken advantage of his physical demeanor, which translated into overtures from Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn and Miami, among others.
Both prospects committed early, and after receiving a slew of big-time offers from notable programs, felt they would be better off going through the next two years without being committed to a school. Nonetheless, both Harris and Jason remain very high on LSU, though the in-state power has its work cut out.
That’s why it’s very important to note that the Landry-Walker High School teammates will participate in LSU’s 7-on-7 tournament this Saturday.
Numerous SEC teams, particularly Florida and Mississippi State, are courting Harris. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound corner maintains a strong relationship with LSU defensive backs coach Corey Raymond, and it’s clear that the coach and prospect will get a chance to interact and clear the air when they reunite in Baton Rouge, La.
The same goes for Jason, who get a chance to speak with wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig and area recruiter Jabbar Juluke, who has known Jason since his middle school days. However, a week before de-committing, Jason told SEC Country that LSU — like every other school that recently extended him an offer — has a lot to prove. That’s an obvious signal that Jason wants to go through the recruiting process and see where he naturally gravitates toward. LSU remains a favorite at the moment, though Jason is in no rush to commit.
Newly-offered ATH back to LSU
While Jason and Harris represent two of LSU’s top 2018 targets, there is another notable prospect in the class that has garnered Raymond’s attention.
John Ehret High School (Marrero, La.) athlete Jammal Houston caught the attention of the LSU coaches last month when he clocked a 4.45-second 40 during the June prospect camp. Houston came to campus to work out as a wide receiver, but after conversing with Craig and Raymond, trotted out as a defensive back.
A month later, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound athlete earned an offer from Raymond — as a defensive back — a week before Houston was set to compete in the July prospect camp.
— Sam Spiegelman (@samspiegs) June 19, 2016
Houston exclusively told SEC Country that he’s 85-percent sure he’s going to commit to LSU, and Raymond and coach Les Miles may push the New Orleans native to 100 percent when he’s on campus this weekend.
The newly-offered defensive back could potentially be in the mix to replace Harris in LSU’s 2018 class at corner, though the team is expected to reel in a very deep and talented crop of cornerbacks in that cycle. Among the other rising junior defensive backs that LSU has already offered or is strongly targeting is 5-star Florida prospect Patrick Surtain Jr., 4-star Texas corner Anthony Cook and fellow Lone Star State native Trent Gordon.
Keep in mind that the Tigers already holds commitments from two 2018 defensive backs in 5-star corner Kelvin Joseph and 4-star Miami safety Nadab Joseph. But if LSU only takes four or five defensive backs in the 2017 class, it would look to take a greater number in 2018.
Top CB target returning to campus
It’s been a good amount of time since 3-star in-state cornerback Cheyenne Labruzza was on LSU’s campus. The Tennessee commitment was last in Baton Rouge, La., during the team’s spring practices, which followed a time in which he made several visits and earned an offer from the team.
Labruzza has remained solid in his pledge to the Vols, attending the Tennessee spring game — where he committed — and visiting again last month instead of attending LSU’s June camp.
The 6-foot, 185-pound Albany, La., native remains very high on LSU’s wish list, as he has maintained regular contact with area recruiter Ed Orgeron, who reached out to Labruzza right before recruiting’s dead period to try and lure him to camp.
Expect Orgeron, Raymond and, of course, Miles, to pay close attention to the cornerback this weekend. Labruzza sat atop LSU’s wish list at the start of the spring and Miles promised that he would not let Labruzza attend any other school. Let’s see what the Mad Hatter has up his sleeves on Saturday, as the elite in-state talent remains open to listening to what the LSU coaches have to say.
Another top 2017 target that’ll be in Baton Rouge, La., is hometown product Ben Miles who, yes, is the son of Les. Miles, and is rated as the No. 3 fullback in the country. He most recently reported an offer from Michigan State, and the 6-foot-1, 210-pound bruiser also boasts offers from Nebraska and Boston College.
Miles was once considered an LSU lean, but that was before the team landed a commitment from Georgia fullback Tory Carter. The Peach State product is expected to be in attendance for next week’s prospect camp and is solid in his pledge.
A look ahead to 2018 and 2019
One notable 2018 prospect that’ll be on campus is 4-star all-purpose back Anthony Williams. The 5-foot-8, 165-pound athlete is arguably the fastest player in Louisiana — regardless of class — and rated as the No. 4 prospect at his position in the country.
The Hahnville (La.) High School product has generated interest from the LSU coaches since he was a sophomore, but former running backs coach Frank Wilson led the charge then. Williams will surely get attention from Juluke on Saturday, and an offer could be coming as early as this weekend or next during LSU’s elite prospect camp. The Tigers could have a loaded 2018 running back class if they are unable to do so in this year’s cycle.
In the 2019 class, two highly sought-after wide receivers will both be on hand to compete in front of Craig.
Rising sophomore Trey Palmer from Kentwood (La.) High School and Devonta Lee from Amite (La.) High School both sit atop of LSU’s wish list for the 2019 class. Palmer procured an offer from Miles during last month’s camp after proving to be one of the most electric prospects on hand.
The 6-foot, 165-pound Louisiana native is already very high on LSU, which he called his “dream school.” Palmer returns to campus a month after earning the offer as he’s trying to further his relationship with Craig. Palmer also boasts a strong relationship with his area recruiter, Orgeron.
Like Palmer, Lee has also grabbed the attention of the Tigers’ coaches this spring. The in-state talent is teammates with 2017 standout Devonta Smith, who recently eliminated LSU from contention as he looks to choose from Alabama, Miami, Mississippi State and Nebraska next month.
Lee, who stands 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, met with Craig multiple times over the past few weeks. LSU has yet to offer the budding prospect, but Texas A&M, Arkansas, Tennessee and Miami all have. The LSU staff may wait until this weekend or the elite prospect camp to follow suit, but considering the amount of interest they have shown in Lee since March, it seems all but inevitable.
Notable commits in attendance
LSU’s 2017 class is already up to 15 commits, and two of the top offensive pledges will make their way back to campus for Saturday’s 7-on-7 showdown. Four-star quarterback Lowell Narcisse and 3-star running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire are both expected to compete.
Narcisse, ranked as the No. 5 dual-threat quarterback in the country, has not been to LSU’s campus since committing to the team in May. The St. James (La.) High School product missed June’s prospect camp as he competed in the Elite 11 competition in California.
Narcisse is expected to be on campus both Saturday and during next week’s camp. He has a strong relationship with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, and is going to be counted on to help recruit some of LSU’s top wide receiver targets such as Racey McMath and Jeremiah Holloman.
Edwards-Helaire was at Mississippi State’s prospect camp last month. The nation’s No. 27 running back made several visits to the nearby campus after committing in February, but returns this summer after competing in Nike’s “The Opening” Finals in Oregon last week.
Like Narcisse, the explosive 5-foot-8, 191-pound back is expected to be on hand at LSU over the next two weekends.
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 Tigers Stadium.