It’s camping season, and per tradition, LSU is gearing up for what should be a star-studded affair Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the team’s annual elite prospect camp.
Notable prospects from the 2017, 2018 and 2019 classes are expected to be in attendance each day. The camp kicks off on Thursday, July 21, followed by a double session on Friday and the final day on Saturday.
Many offers are expected to be handed out by the LSU coaching staff on each day, and commitments could certainly follow as well. Here is the latest on which commits could wind up committing:
2018 athlete ’85 percent’ there
Class of 2018 athlete Jammal Houston earned his 12th offer in a two-week span Friday when LSU defensive backs coach Corey Raymond extended one to the 6-foot-2, 180-pound prospect — as a defensive back.
Houston has amassed a rather impressive slew of offers in a short period of time. Arkansas was the first SEC school to do so, followed by LSU. Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Texas A&M are on the verge of doing so, too, according to a well-placed source.
The newly-offered LSU target clocked a 4.45-second 40 during the team’s prospect camp in June. Houston entered the camp hoping to impress wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig, but wound up earning the attention of Raymond, who challenged Houston to fine-tune his craft on the other side of the ball.
Houston has the ability to shine at multiple positions, but Raymond views him as a potential replacement for recent de-commit Corione Harris. The fellow New Orleans prospect re-opened his recruitment last weekend after feeling that he wanted to explore all of his new options without being verbally committed.
Houston may jump on the opportunity to take Harris’ spot in the 2018 class, telling SEC Country he is “85 percent” sure he’ll commit during LSU’s prospect camp this coming weekend.
LSU’s DB-heavy 2018 class
If in fact Houston commits to LSU this week, as expected, LSU will then carry a trio of highly touted defensive backs. The Tigers hold pledges from 5-star cornerback Kelvin Joseph and 4-star Miami safety Nadab Joseph.
Raymond remains focused on Harris, too, as well as a slew of other rising junior defensive backs. The top cornerback in the 2018 class, Florida’s Patrick Surtain Jr., recently named LSU his leading school ahead of Florida State. LSU may push the 5-star talent for a commitment this weekend, but it’s a bit unlikely that Surtain will decide on the spot. His father, former Pro Bowl NFL cornerback Pat Surtain, was born in New Orleans and still has family throughout Louisiana, which has played a major factor for the younger Surtain and his affinity for the Tigers.
Two other defensive backs of note that’ll be in attendance for this week are Texas corner Anthony Cook and fellow Lone Star State product Trent Gordon from Manvel (Texas) High School.
Cook, the No. 5 cornerback in the 2018 class, is already leaning toward LSU after playing at Lamar High School (Houston) with now-LSU commit Grant Delpit from the Class of 2017. The 6-foot-1, 168-pound talent boasts a double-digit offer sheet and is slated to make his first visit to LSU’s campus since procuring an offer earlier this spring. He attended the Tigers’ satellite camp in Houston last month along with Delpit, getting a chance to see Raymond, area recruiter Bradley Dale Peveto and coach Les Miles.
Gordon was a candidate to earn an offer at LSU’s prospect camp in June and caught the attention of both Raymond and Miles — so much that Peveto said that Raymond “loves you” to the 5-foot-11, 160-pound defensive back. He has the ability to play either corner or safety, which may provide some versatility in what is shaping up to be an elite collection of secondary prospects in LSU’s 2018 class.
Kary Vincent Jr. on the precipice of announcing
Reverting back to 2017, commitment No. 16 could come from 4-star Texas cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. early this week or at LSU’s camp this weekend.
Vincent is expected to attend the camp, but already filmed his announcement video last week. He told SEC Country that the video is still being edited.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Memorial High School (Port Arthur, Texas) product is down to LSU — the prohibitive favorite — as well as Auburn, Texas A&M, TCU, Florida and Ohio State. He boasts more than 30 offers, but he and his father — a former Aggies wide receiver — maintain a strong relationship with Raymond.
Sources close to the situation have indicated that fellow Texas defensive back Delpit has recruited Vincent to join him at LSU. The dots are starting to align since both are expected to be on hand for the team’s prospect camp this week. Vincent already made the trip to Baton Rouge, La., in May for the Bayou Picnic just weeks after getting the overture from Raymond. Vincent would be the third defensive back in LSU’s class along with Delpit and athlete Jontre Kirklin, and a fourth, safety Todd Harris, could follow shortly after.
That might ultimately seal the deal on LSU’s 2017 defensive back pledges, depending on what occurs with 5-star defensive back Jeffrey Okudah, who is also expected to be at LSU’s camp, as well as JaCoby Stevens, Tre’ Swilling and Cheyenne Labruzza.
Okudah did not include LSU is final six released last week, but is attending LSU’s camp likely to get in touch with Raymond about his future. Labruzza, a Tennessee pledge, was on LSU’s campus over the weekend for the 7-on-7 event and remains atop the team’s wish list at cornerback. Stevens is down to Georgia, LSU and Auburn, but the Bulldogs have maintained a lead since the spring. Swilling has kept his recruitment under wraps pretty well and is as high on LSU as he is on numerous other out-of-state powers.
Of the aforementioned blue-chip prospects, I give LSU the best odds of either flipping Labruzza or landing Swilling down the road. Okudah seems focused on too many other programs and has not been focusing much of his attention on the Tigers, while Stevens has long been favoring SEC rival Georgia and would surprise many if he committed to LSU after de-committing from the program a few months ago.
Top remaining OL target takes in LSU before Florida tour
The top remaining offensive lineman target on LSU’s board is 4-star in-state prospect Adrian Ealy. The 6-foot-7, 300-pound tackle was on the Baton Rouge, La., campus on Saturday for the Tigers’ lineman camp right before he hit the road for a tour through the Sunshine State.
Ealy, rated as the nation’s No. 31 offensive tackle in the 2017 class, visited LSU before he makes stops at Miami, Florida and Florida State. The Gators’ prospect camp takes place at the same time as LSU’s event, which led the East Ascension High School (Gonzalez, La.) product to attend the Tigers’ camp this past weekend.
LSU holds commitments from three offensive linemen in its current recruiting class, including 4-star tackle Austin Deculus, 4-star guard Edward Ingram and 3-star guard Saahdiq Charles, all of whom are expected to be in attendance at the camp this coming week. The team is projected to take four offensive linemen in this cycle — most specifically, two tackles and two interior linemen — leaving Ealy as the obvious choice for the fourth selection.
Ealy is an LSU lean but is garnering plenty of attention from both Miami and Oklahoma. He remains high on Florida, who offered him early in the process, which explains the visit to Gainesville, Fla., this week. The 4-star prospect visited LSU numerous times over the spring and again for its camp to re-connect with offensive line coach Jeff Grimes and some of the other assistants on staff. He remains high on the Tigers, but is in no rush to finalize a decision at this juncture. LSU is in a good position with the talented in-state lineman, though both former Georgia coach Mark Richt and the Sooners will pose serious threats in the process.
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.