MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — JaCoby Stevens’ commitment to LSU remained unchanged even after the university parted ways with longtime coach Les Miles.
As close as the 5-star safety was with Miles, his pledge to the Tigers is contingent on whether there are changes to the defense or defensive personnel.
Stevens has committed to LSU twice now, which says a lot about his relationship with the program. When he committed to the Tigers again in August, it all but cemented his spot in the 2017 class.
“Everybody knows that LSU was my first love,” Stevens told SEC Country, “and I just came back to it.”
That has set the script for the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Oakland High School standout’s official visits this fall.
For a recruit with more than 30 offers and one who was the recipient of numerous phone calls and text messages upon Miles’ firing, Stevens has merely one official visit circled on his upcoming calendar.
Nov. 5: LSU vs. Alabama.
“I don’t feel like I need to take any other official visits,” he said. “I know it (LSU) is the right choice for me. I don’t need to be persuaded otherwise. All (the other schools) had their chance when I de-committed. I told them it was a big summer and I was actually leaning toward two other schools. I did my research in those two schools and they did a great job of recruiting me and persuading me otherwise, but LSU has always had a special place in my heart, and I listened to it.”
Those other schools were Georgia and Alabama.
The Bulldogs leapfrogged LSU in the spring as Stevens’ No. 1 school before a visit to Tuscaloosa, Ala., vaulted the defending national champions into the leading spot.
There are two reasons why LSU returned to No. 1 and why the Tigers will host Stevens for an official visit next month: family and Austin Thomas.
Stevens’ family hails from Crowley, La., and his cousins reside in Baton Rouge, making it an easy task to visit them as frequently as he wants next year. Second is Thomas, LSU’s newly minted general manager who oversaw Stevens’ recruitment via multiple trips to Tennessee and continued even when Thomas took a position at Southern Cal.
Thomas returned to LSU and his first phone call was to Stevens, which essentially locked up the Tigers for Stevens.
“There’s something about LSU and the program. The campus alone — there’s something about it that makes you feel like I’m supposed to be there,” Stevens said. “If Austin Thomas was still at USC, I don’t think I’d be committed (to LSU) right now. Family holds a huge part in my heart. My little cousins are right there — Chase, Jase and Brayden are in the city of Baton Rouge, but they’re more than cousins; they’re my little brothers. Them being excited about me wanting to play football, not only at LSU but in front of them …”
Nation’s No. 1 RB lands LSU offer
Noah Cain is a Class of 2019 prospect, but one LSU fans should familiarize themselves with right away.
Cain, the top-ranked running back among sophomores and the No. 2 overall recruit from Texas, pulled in an offer from LSU on Monday evening.
The 5-star back plays for Guyer High School (Denton, Texas), but hails from Baton Rouge.
Cain attended LSU’s elite prospect came in June and is coming off an amazing freshman campaign. He was named the District 5-6A Offensive Newcomer of the Year after amassing 1,000 yards in 2015.
In addition to LSU, Oklahoma, Miami, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M have all extended offers to the dynamic back. Area recruiter Bradley Dale Peveto has kept tabs on the 2019 standout. The same goes for running backs coach Jabbar Juluke, who was a close study of Cain during his visit to Baton Rouge over the summer.
Consider LSU as the early frontrunner for the Louisiana native. That connection to Baton Rouge is a major factor. It also should be noted that running back will be a position of emphasis in the 2018 and 2019 classes, as the Tigers prepare for life after Leonard Fournette beginning in 2017 and possibly Derrius Guice the ensuing fall.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.
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