Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. Today, we discuss Kelvin Joseph‘s new, unique role in LSU’s 2018 recruiting class. The 4-star defensive back committed back to LSU on Jan. 6 and is set on helping the Tigers add another key piece before Signing Day.
Kelvin Joseph putting his recruiting hat on for LSU
“Bro coming to the city. Show love.”
That was a tweet fired off by newly minted LSU defensive back commitment Kelvin Joseph last week in the days leading up to the biggest official visitor weekend before National Signing Day. His bro is none other than Patrick Surtain Jr., the nation’s top-ranked cornerback and the Tigers’ other notable defensive back target in the weeks leading up to Feb. 7.
With only three spots remaining in LSU’s 2018 recruiting class, room is tight. Joseph regained his spot on Jan. 6, when Louisiana’s top-ranked defensive back committed back to the Tigers during the U.S. Army All-American Game. Now, he’s already looking ahead to his future teammates.
For the second time this recruiting cycle, Joseph has started looking toward the future of the Tigers’ 2018 haul and who will join him in LSU’s secondary this summer. Naturally, his sights are set on another blue-chip defensive back.
Joseph, who will officially visit LSU this weekend, has turned up the heat on 5-star prospect Surtain. The two All-Americans spent time together in Baton Rouge, in Oregon during The Opening Finals and most recently competed against one another in San Antonio, Texas, for the Army game.
In the process, the two have shared many conversations about both suiting up for the Tigers. And while Joseph has showed appreciation for Surtain visibly on social media, he is putting in plenty of legwork behind the scenes as well.
“That’s next on the agenda,” the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Joseph told SEC Country. “I’m going to talk to him. I ain’t going to pressure him, but I’m going to talk to him about it and see how things are going and take it from there.”
The pitch is obvious.
Corey Raymond is the architect of “DBU,” which has helped grab Joseph’s attention since he first verbally committed to LSU back in the spring of 2015. It’s the reason he opted to stay home, again, when he re-committed earlier this month.
Raymond’s coaching style and the long track record of NFL defensive backs who have passed through Tiger Stadium is equally as appealing to Surtain. Joseph is pushing that same message leading to Surtain’s signing day decision.
“We could be nice,” Joseph laughed. “We can come in and be lockdown and continue that ‘DBU’ legacy.”
During Army game week in Texas, Joseph flirted back and forth about announcing his re-commitment to LSU before finally deciding to do so on Friday evening, once Dave Aranda’s and Raymond’s fates were locked in.
In the process, he did not shy away from courting Surtain.
“Oh, of course,” Surtain said, in reference to Joseph’s continued efforts to recruit him. “Me and him talk about it. We’ve talked about it the past week, the past few months, this whole year. He’s all in my ear about it. He’s like: ‘Come on, keep building tradition’ and that him and I could make a big impact.”
LSU did not sign a defensive back during the early signing period in December. Surtain and 4-star Missouri cornerback Mario Goodrich III officially visited this past weekend and sit atop Raymond’s wish list as the team looks to close out the 2018 class.
Joseph was first to commit to LSU, but both Surtain and Goodrich could be following suit rather soon. The Tigers lead for both blue-chip cornerbacks. The fact that Joseph made the move first, though, has caught Surtain’s attention.
“I’m proud of him for making that decision,” Surtain said, “but I have to take my official visits and by signing day, the decision is going to be there.”
LSU has been Surtain’s public leader for 18 months. Should that trend continue, the Tigers will have reeled in the nation’s No. 1-ranked cornerback and No. 3-ranked safety in Surtain and Joseph.
The chemistry the two defensive backs have developed in the past year is worth noting as Raymond often pitches about the Class of 2018 standouts’ roles and how they fit into the secondary plans in the next three to four years.
“It’s a great feeling knowing that they [Raymond] call us the future,” Surtain said. “We could continue to build the tradition of ‘DBU’ and him and I would make a good contribution there.”
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