LSU suffered its first loss under the direction of interim coach Ed Orgeron.
It did so with a host of blue-chip prospects and several more current commits in the house, too.
Without question, there was a star-studded list of visitors on hand Saturday night for the LSU-Alabama tilt, which featured a dozen 5-star prospects, major targets from the 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 classes, and some priority recruits the Tigers are hoping to land before National Signing Day.
Here’s what those key commits and targets had to say about No. 1 Alabama’s 10-0 defeat of LSU in Tiger Stadium:
Myles Brennan, 4-star QB commit (17): “The atmosphere was insane. The game was a hard-fought battle until the last snap. We have to bounce back, but I can’t wait to be back home!”
JaCoby Stevens, 5-star S commit (17): “I liked it a lot. The guys played hard and they played smart. It’s encouraging (as a defensive player) because you know that we have to take that one more step.”
Kary Vincent Jr., 4-star CB commit (17): “Man, I loved it all. There’s nothing better than Death Valley. We will overcome. That was a brilliant defensive scheme executed by the defense and called by coach (Dave) Aranda.”
Tory Carter, 3-star FB commit (17): “It was the most electric atmosphere I have ever been a part of. Definitely, a memory I will never forget. I thought that the game was battled in the trenches. The game was determined by who made more big plays!”
Patrick Queen, 4-star LB commit (17): “It was a great game, you know. The defense held it down, holding them to 10 points. If the offensive part starts clicking, then I don’t see why LSU couldn’t be No. 1.”
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, 3-star RB commit (17): “It was an amazing game. Yeah, the offense just seemed the same as last year. As far as being at the game, it lived up to the hype. It was good, the best college football game this year, no doubt.”
Mannie Netherly, 4-star WR commit (17): “The game was awesome. We showed that we can play with the best. Just got to do something with that offense.”
Neil Farrell, 3-star DL commit (17): “It was a great game to watch. (The LSU defense) is why I thought it was a great game to watch.”
Saahdiq Charles, 4-star OL commit (17): “The game was awesome. It was a good atmosphere, and if we make a few more plays and score before the fourth (quarter), that game rolls either way. I don’t know if it was a fatigue issue, but if it was, I feel like more O-line depth is needed in those situations.”
Todd Harris, 4-star S target (17): “The defense’s performance was outstanding all night long.”
Glenn Beal, 4-star TE target (18): “It was crazy last night (Saturday). They played their hearts out.”
Kelvin Joseph, 5-star CB commit (18): “It was a good visit. The defense had an excellent game, and it (the atmosphere) was good. I liked it.”
Terrace Marshall Jr., 5-star WR target (18): “It was a great atmosphere.”
Justin Rogers, 4-star QB target (18): “The visit was great. My mom really enjoyed herself and the atmosphere was electric, like always. This was her (my mom’s) first time coming to a game with me, so she was impressed with the atmosphere. … ‘Bama has a great defense just like LSU. It’s always going to be a night where the offenses just aren’t clicking, so it doesn’t change the way I look at the school. Both offenses really struggled because their defenses are so good.”
Verone McKinley III, 4-star CB target (18): “It went well. That was one of the loudest games I have ever been to. I really enjoyed the game and loved watching the defensive backs. They can cover and communicated well. You can tell that film really helped them be a step ahead.”
Jalen Green, 4-star CB target (18): “I had a good time last night (Saturday) in Death Valley.”
Maurice Hampton, 5-star CB commit (19): “Well, obviously, I wish we could have came out with the win. I thought the team played really well. The offensive side just couldn’t get going like they needed to, but the atmosphere was great and I can’t wait to play in Death Valley.”
Also in attendance
There were even more high-profile figures on the sidelines and in the stands on this Louisiana Saturday night.
That included 4-star dual-threat quarterback commit Lowell Narcisse. For the first time this fall, Narcisse and fellow LSU quarterback pledge Brennan were in Tiger Stadium at the same time.
Keeping with the quarterback theme, 2018 5-star quarterback Trevor Lawrence made the trek to LSU. The Georgia native took in his first Death Valley experience, which included the pregame Tiger Walk and sideline pregame festivities. He made the trip with his family.
Alabama was represented by 5-star offensive tackle commit Alex Leatherwood. The elite lineman took in the game with LSU and ‘Bama target Todd Harris. Leatherwood has been firmly entrenched in Alabama’s class for some time but flirted with the Tigers earlier in the spring. LSU has fallen out of the race for Leatherwood, who may have been recruiting Harris for the Tide.
Also there: 3-star commit Jontre Kirklin, 3-star defensive line commit Aaron Moffitt and 4-star defensive tackle commit Tyler Shelvin.
Priority linebacker/defensive line target K’Lavon Chaisson made the trip, too. The 4-star Houston product took in LSU-Alabama alongside Vincent. Aranda is very high on Chaisson as a potential Arden Key successor. Chaisson has made several visits to LSU since the spring, including the spring game and three-day stays for both prospect camps. This was his first trip to Baton Rouge this fall.
4-star defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis made the trek from Monroe, La., to Baton Rouge. He was joined by 4-star linebacker Christopher Allen, who has been a mainstay on the Tiger Stadium sidelines this fall. Like many of the prospects in attendance, Mathis and Allen are strongly considering both the teams on display. Mathis should be deciding sometime next month once his senior season ends. Allen will decide on National Signing Day, but consider LSU as the team with the most momentum for the elite linebacker at this juncture.
Some of the Tigers’ priority junior targets were on hand as well. 5-star Florida cornerback Pat Surtain Jr. returned home along with his entire family and reconnected with defensive backs coach Corey Raymond for much of the pregame activities. With Green, McKinley and Surtain all on the sidelines, we saw the defensive back targets LSU is courting for next year’s class. That’s in addition to Kelvin Joseph and Nadab Joseph, who already are entrenched in the ’18 class.
Among the youngest crop of recruits in attendance was ’19 New Orleans quarterback Chandler Fields, who now has made consecutive visits to Baton Rouge. The same goes for 2019 wide receivers Trey Palmer and Devonta Lee, who visited twice in as many games. Also, 2020 St. Thomas Aquinas (Hammond, La.) tight end Dustin Dyson made his first visit to LSU since landing his offer during the team’s satellite camps this summer.
Noticeably absent was 5-star Texas defensive tackle Marvin Wilson. A source told SEC Country that his teammate and fellow 5-star recruit, Walker Little, was unable to make the trip from Houston to Baton Rouge, so neither did Wilson. However, the No. 3 overall prospect in the ’17 cycle fired off a tweet at halftime that he was impressed by both the LSU and Alabama defenses. Nonetheless, LSU has lost a lot of steam with Wilson, evident by his decision not to visit on this Saturday.
Also to note: 5-star running back and priority target Cam Akers didn’t make the trip either. Akers has canceled his last two scheduled visits — to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the A&M game and now to LSU. Akers’ high school team is preparing for the first week of the playoffs next week, so that may be a factor. He is still expected to visit LSU — perhaps for an official visit — before announcing his commitment.
Travel plans got in the way for a slew of ’18 prospects. Miami safety commit Nadab Joseph missed a flight, but should return to LSU for the Florida game later this month. The Moore twins — 4-star wideout Joshua Moore and 4-star safety Jordan Moore — faced rough weather en route to Louisiana and were unable to make the drive. They, too, are expected to return to LSU in the near future. Other notable ’18 targets include New Orleans 4-star receiver Ja’Marr Chase and 3-star defensive backs Aaron Brule’ and Joe Foucha.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.
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