LSU was in a tight-knit race with TCU for in-state defensive lineman Aaron Moffitt, but the Bayou Picnic provided instant clarity for the three-star prospect.
Moffitt, the 6-foot-4, 255-pounder out of nearby Catholic High School (Baton Rouge, La.), was a bit starstruck over the weekend with a plethora of talent on LSU’s campus.
The strong-side defensive end was quick to make friends with newly minted Tigers commits like Austin Deculus and Myles Brennan, as well as high-profile targets such as Dylan Moses, Todd Harris and the Swilling brothers.
Moffitt had been clinging to an LSU offer since mid-February, but it wasn’t until early Monday evening when it finally dawned on him: he could be a part of something very, very special.
“I spent time with Coach O (Ed Orgeron), Coach Cam (Cameron), and really I just saw how close everybody was. I thought to myself that I could see myself playing here,” Moffitt told SEC Country.
“Being here with these guys, I was really excited about it. I was looking around at all the guys, learning names. I got to hang out with the Swilling brothers, with Austin, Myles Brennan and Dylan Moses. Cam Akers was there … Todd Harris. They’re just loaded with talent, and they could all potentially be LSU players. We’d be a great class, and LSU would be set for success the next two, three, four years. I’m just excited to be a part of it, and I don’t see myself anywhere else.”
That thought remained on Moffitt’s mind through Sunday and into Monday, when he discussed it with his older brother, Clay Moffitt, and father, Tommy Moffitt, who serves as LSU’s strength and conditioning coach.
Clay, a three-star tight end in the Class of 2014, is now a sophomore pitcher for LSU-Eunice and is considering LSU, among a bevy of other SEC contenders.
Moffitt saw the opportunity to re-unite with his brother in Baton Rouge, La., an idea that certainly struck a chord with his entire family.
“He (my father) was grinning from ear to ear and my mom started crying,” Moffitt detailed. “My older brother always wanted to be a Tiger, so I was really pumped. He was telling me he could be playing baseball when I was there. That’s just awesome. It’s a big deal for me and for my family, and I think it’s the best choice for me, for now and for later on.”
LSU edged out TCU for Moffitt, who’s rated as the nation’s No. 41 strong-side end and the No. 47 overall prospect in Louisiana’s 2017 recruiting class, per the 247Sports Composite rankings.
The difference: there was no cap on Moffitt’s future with the in-state Tigers.
TCU had little wiggle room with its defensive line recruits in this year’s recruiting cycle. Moffitt estimated that the Horned Frogs would take two — if that — this year.
Closed doors were not an attractive option for the Catholic High School product. In fact, more open doors made LSU all the more attractive.
Moffitt aims to play defensive line for the Tigers, but believes he could wind up on the offensive side of the ball in due time. Either is fine with the versatile big man, so long that he does so in the purple and gold.
“I’m a pretty versatile player,” Moffitt said. “I played tight end my freshman year, so I could play tight end if that opens up. Certainly, there are athletic players that come through LSU, so you never know where you mind end up. I’m going to work on my speed, my agility and my strength this summer, and I’m going to grow as an overall player.
“For now, Coach O and Coach Cam and Coach (Les) Miles see me playing defensive tackle or end, so we’ll see how it goes. I see myself at defensive end or tackle, but I’ll do what’s best for me and I’ll trust the coaches to put me in a position I’m comfortable at, then work at whatever it is.”
Moffitt will continue to work along the defensive line his senior season as he and fellow LSU commit Clyde Edwards-Helaire look to repeat as Louisiana Division I state champions.
Winning is something that helped convince Moffitt that LSU was the right landing spot, and between high school and a future with the Tigers — not to mention a star-studded recruiting class in 2017 — he sees little reason to doubt his decision.
“Just like every year, LSU should be dominant,” Moffitt said. “They have great coaches, great athletes. You’re not going to win it all every year, otherwise there’s no reason for competition. But LSU has the team to do it this year and the teams to do it the next three or four years.
“I just want to be a part of it. Winning a state championship this year was great for me and my team, and I want that feeling three or four more times. I’m so excited.”
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.