BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU’s elite prospect camp kicked off Thursday with a number of high-profile recruits in attendance.
Among the notable commits in town were quarterback Lowell Narcisse, running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, wide receiver Mannie Netherly, cornerback Kelvin Joseph (2018) and defensive lineman Aaron Moffitt. Additionally, there were some of the team’s top targets in the 2017 class, including 4-star defensive back Brad Stewart, 4-star outside linebacker Christopher Allen, 3-star wide receiver Racey McMath, 4-star defensive end/outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson, 4-star athlete Bruce Jordan-Swilling and 4-star defensive back Tre’ Swilling.
Lastly, the 2018 class was well-represented by 5-star wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr., 3-star quarterback Justin Rogers, 4-star all-purpose back Anthony Williams and 4-star Texas quarterback Jalen Mayden.
LSU dished out three offers following camp on Thursday. Here’s what you need to know:
LSU offers in-state QB
Justin Rogers landed his ninth offer — from LSU — after a specular showing at the annual prospect camp. The 3-star dual-threat passer took reps behind LSU commit Lowell Narcisse, and took advantage in the spotlight. Time after time, the Parkway (Bossier City, La.) product made accurate throws and did not miss a beat on his deep balls. In fact, the chemistry between Rogers and high school teammate Terrace Marshall Jr. was noticeable, and there were some rumblings that the two standout prospects may be a package deal.
Nonetheless, LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was a huge fan of Rogers and gave him plenty of attention throughout the day. He even worked out with the 6-foot-4, 180-pound passer after the camp session. Rogers holds offers from Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi State, among others, but is an instant frontrunner to join LSU’s 2018 class. The Tigers’ coaches have had little contact with current quarterback commit Zadock Dinkelmann, and sources close to the situation believe that the staff is inclined to take two quarterback in that cycle. Another wrinkle: Rogers is entering his first year as the starter at Parkway, which is Brandon Harris’ alma mater.
Top remaining WR target has Tigers in top 3
Racey McMath made a visit to Baton Rouge, La., before he embarked on a road trip to Mississippi State and Texas A&M. Perhaps the three visits represent a bit more than just his summer college tour.
The 3-star wide receiver told area recruiter Jabbar Juluke that LSU was fully embedded in his top three at the moment. McMath procured an offer from the in-state Tigers during LSU’s prospect camp last month, when he impressed the coaching staff with his measurables and 40 time, not to mention a fantastic outing in one-on-one drills.
The Edna Karr (New Orleans) product has long been high on LSU. He had interest in Alabama and Florida, too, but opted not to make subsequent visits to their camps this month. It appears that the Tigers are going to be in a race with Mississippi State — which has already offered the standout wide receiver — and a third school. That might be Texas A&M, which has yet to extend him an offer — yet being the key word.
It’s still very likely that LSU makes room for a fourth wide receiver in its 2017 class if McMath opts to commit. A decision should be coming in the next few weeks before the start of his senior season. The Tigers are the subtle frontrunner — for now — and Juluke, defensive line coach Ed Orgeron and even LSU quarterback commit Lowell Narcisse spent time chatting up McMath at different points Thursday.
Louisiana’s top CB adds an LSU offer
Brad Stewart sports almost 40 offers, and you can now add LSU to that list. The Tigers extended the 4-star cornerback an offer Thursday after he clocked a 4.5-second in the 40-yard dash and excelled during one-on-one drills.
The McDonogh 35 (New Orleans) product has been on a country-wide tour this summer, making stops at Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Miami and Texas A&M, but opted to stop at LSU to try and earn the offer. A source close to Stewart told SEC Country his family is very keen on the in-state team, and the offer will certainly give the 6-foot, 194-pound New Orleans native something to ponder.
Stewart is listed as a 4-star cornerback, but plays all over the secondary. He can be a press corner, but also drop back as a safety as well. That versatility is certainly intriguing for LSU defensive backs coach Corey Raymond, who is looking for a fifth or sixth defensive back to fill out the team’s 2017 class.
Brad Stewart … Off-coverage … No problem pic.twitter.com/OMjUPCkLqg
— Sam Spiegelman (@samspiegs) July 21, 2016
LSU’s stiffest competition will come from Alabama, Florida, Miami and Texas A&M. Stewart’s mother is a big fan of former LSU coach and current Tide coach Nick Saban, and the family is en route back to Gainesville, Fla., for the Gators’ Friday Night Lights event. On the road trip, the family will have ample time to discuss where LSU now fits into the equation.
Coaches uncover a sleeper in 2018
Kenan Jones has made two visits to LSU in as many weeks, and the latter resulted in his first scholarship offer. LSU offered the Class of 2018 wide receiver from Berwick (La.) High School after first catching the coaching staff’s eyes during last week’s 7-on-7 tournament, then following up that outing with an outstanding performance during one-on-one drills and 7-on-7 action Thursday.
#LSU has offered 2018 Berwick (La.) Kenan Jones
— Sam Spiegelman (@samspiegs) July 21, 2016
Jones was one of the more unknown commodities at LSU’s prospect camp, but quickly caught the attention of wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig. He did the same in front of Miles, which led LSU’s head coach to meet with the rising junior wide receiver and his high school coach immediately following the 7-on-7 session. A smiling Craig may have uncovered a sleeper talent in Jones.
5-star WR impresses slew of coaches
Jones may have garnered an offer from LSU during the Thursday camp session, but Terrace Marshall Jr. already holds one. The 5-star wide receiver from Parkway High School (Bossier City, La.) looked the part, too, making a bevy of impressive grabs throughout the afternoon workout. Marshall, who recently visited Alabama and is scheduled to visit Texas A&M this weekend, stands 6-foot-4 and weighs in at 190 pounds. He’s rated the nation’s No. 2 wide receiver and the top prospect in Louisiana for the Class of 2018, and looked the part at LSU’s camp. That obviously led to Craig devoting a ton of attention to him. So did Cameron and Miles, who had some one-on-one face time with Marshall after the impressive performance.
Top edge-rusher target warrants lot of face time
K’Lavon Chaisson has been to both of LSU’s prospect camps, and is one of the few elite recruits that will be spending Thursday, Friday and Saturday on campus. The 4-star defensive end/outside linebacker target from Houston did not participate in the workout session on Day 1, but it did mark the one-year anniversary of the 6-foot-4, 211-pound edge-rusher earning his first scholarship offer — from LSU — at camp last July.
Chaisson was relegated to a spectator, but that did not mean that the Tigers’ coaches were not paying attention to the Lone Star State product. Orgeron was quick to greet Chaisson once he saw the nation’s No. 5 weak-side defensive end in the indoor training facility. Once defensive coordinator Dave Aranda walked outside of the locker room and made eye contact with the Texan, Aranda had a rare smile on his face. He then sat with Chaisson for upwards of 30 minutes, chatting casually until the coaches were needed to help test campers.
Per usual, Chaisson warranted a lot of attention at LSU’s camp without even rocking a pair of cleats. The LSU staff is very aware of the talent Chaisson boasts and know he has an even higher ceiling in Aranda’s 3-4 scheme. The coaches are taking full advantage of the 4-star recruit’s second visit to Baton Rouge, La., this summer and fourth this year. Sources close to the situation believe Chaisson is higher on the Tigers than he is letting on. Even though he named Oklahoma his leading school and Houston No. 2 ahead of LSU earlier this summer, his visits to Louisiana and powerful relationships with multiple coaches suggest otherwise.
4-star in-state OLB makes waves at camp
Christopher Allen has been at both of LSU’s prospect camps this summer, and was even better Thursday than last month. The 4-star Baton Rouge, La., native worked out as an outside linebacker, impressing both Aranda and linebackers coach Bradley Dale Peveto with his exceptional coverage skills. Allen nabbed an interception to go along with a handful of pass breakups against some of the quickest running backs in attendance.
Orgeron found his way over to Allen, likely trying to appeal to the Southern Lab University (Baton Rouge, La.) product that playing in LSU’s 3-4 defense would suit him well. Oh yeah, Miles had a chance to shake his hand, too. Alabama has been the known leader for Allen dating back to the spring, but the Tigers have held steady and maintained a spot in his top three.
Allen is going to finalize his decision closer to National Signing Day after he can gauge how the 2016 season plays out for the schools he’s considering the most. Along with LSU and ‘Bama, Georgia and Florida are two other teams to keep an eye on, though the Tigers and Tide are the two most likely landing spots. If Aranda’s new-look defense thrives right away, LSU has a chance to gain ground on their SEC West rival. Certainly, he has to be high on how he’s fit in Aranda’s scheme during his two camp outings this summer, where he has been a clear-cut star at both occasions.
The Swillings make a pit stop
Both Tre’ Swilling and Bruce Jordan-Swilling were expected to attend LSU’s prospect camp Saturday, but the New Orleans natives made a Thursday stop in Baton Rouge, La., as well.
Swilling, a 4-star defensive back, and Jordan-Swilling, a 4-star athlete deciding between a future as either a running back or outside linebacker, spent a little less than an hour at LSU chatting up the coaches. It’s a positive sign for LSU that the brothers continue to show attention to the in-state power after making stops at Georgia and Southern Cal earlier this summer.
There have been rumbling recently that the Brother Martin High School (New Orleans) products are leaning toward leaving Louisiana for college, giving an edge to Alabama and USC, among others, that have already extended offers to both prospects. While both have been keeping their interests close to the vest, they have regularly visited LSU at every opportunity so far. That includes the “Boys From The Boot” event, Junior Day, the Bayou Picnic and both prospect camps this summer. Raymond has maintained a strong relationship with Swilling, while Juluke has done the same with both of the brothers.
An interesting twist here: Swilling has spent a lot of the offseason working out as a safety, which is going to be a major need for LSU if Jamal Adams heads to the NFL and with Rickey Jefferson set to graduate. Swilling could join 4-star Texas safety Grant Delpit and perhaps Todd Harris in the class at the position, though he is also capable of playing corner.
Jordan-Swilling has stated that he wants to pursue outside linebacker in college, but he’s an All-State selection at running back, which becomes a glaring position of need for the Tigers if they fail to land 5-star Mississippi back Cam Akers. Jordan-Swilling could fill a second running back slot for LSU in that situation and be a part of the committee that eventually replaces Leonard Fournette.
5-star CB commit has heart-to-heart
LSU’s prized 2018 commit Kelvin Joseph wasted little time since returning home from Tuscaloosa, Ala., stopping by campus Thursday as a spectator to talk with the Tigers’ coaches. Joseph, the 5-star cornerback rated as the top player in Louisiana among rising juniors, was enamored with Alabama after his first visit to campus, naming Saban’s coaching style and the overall atmosphere of the camp as big factors.
So, is a de-commitment coming?
If it was, there were ample opportunities already. Joseph spent much of Thursday walking around campus and getting attention from the Tigers’ coaching staff. After the practice session wrapped up, Joseph was greeted by Orgeron and Miles, then walked back to the team facility with Raymond to speak privately behind closed doors.
Joseph committed to LSU in February before his junior season, before he exploded onto the scene this spring and saw his offer sheet expand to double digits. The elite defensive back is also not a huge fan of the number of elite defensive backs Raymond is courting in the 2018 class, most notably fellow 5-star corner Patrick Surtain Jr., who will be on campus this week, and 4-star Texas corner Anthony Cook.
However, there is a hometown pull keeping Joseph locked into his commitment to LSU and some natural hesitation about opening up his recruitment. Expect Alabama to be one of several schools to push for the Scotlandville Magnet High School (Baton Rouge, La.) to flip from LSU, but at the same time, expect Raymond to continue to do his best to keep Joseph as the centerpiece of the team’s 2018 class.
Joseph is expected to be on LSU’s campus for the length of this camp, which gives Raymond and the rest of the staff added time to repair any relationships or ease any of the corner’s concerns. If Joseph holds off on de-committing throughout the weekend, it will signal that LSU is in a strong position to maintain the pledge.
All ratings and ranking are from the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted