NEW ORLEANS — LSU’s 2018 class took a major blow nine days ago when it lost elite wide receiver Devonta Jason and his best friend, standout cornerback Corione Harris.
Jason made his way back to campus Saturday for the team’s annual 7-on-7 camp, making the case as arguably the top wide receiver in attendance.
Not only did the 4-star prospect have a chance to put on an clinic in front of the LSU coaches, but had the opportunity to speak with three of his primary recruiters. Area recruiter Jabbar Juluke, wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron all had the opportunity to re-connect with the talented New Orleans native, and in doing so, made it exceedingly clear that that the in-state power remains interested in Jason.
The Tigers still have their work cut out over the next year and change.
“They were just letting me know how many of the coaches from the school are behind me, including coach Les Miles himself,” Jason told SEC Country. “It was great to hear, and I was just all ears.”
Jason’s decision to open his recruitment came after a spring in which the nation’s No. 6 wide receiver in the Class of 2018 saw his offer sheet expand rapidly, procuring offers from the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Kentucky and Miami, among others.
As a result, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound matchup nightmare felt it was in his best interest to go through the recruiting process without being held to a verbal commitment.
In no way, shape or form does it mean Jason has cut ties with LSU. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. The wide receiver made it known that he just wants to see the coaches continue to put the effort in through his junior campaign — much as he stated earlier this month — and expects them to follow suit based on the conversations held over the weekend.
“It’s already a good relationship, but it has to get all-around better,” Jason explained. “They have been but good to me from Day 1, but I’ll make it fair until I’m showed otherwise. I just need love from them all.”
Speaking of Day 1, Cameron and former LSU running backs coach and New Orleans area recruiter Frank Wilson were the first members of the Tigers’ staff to court the Landry-Walker High School (New Orleans) product. It’s no coincidence Cameron was quick to find Jason during the LSU 7-on-7 tournament last Saturday.
Cameron, like many, were surprised by Jason’s decision to de-commit, which served as a wake-up call for many of the coaches up in Baton Rouge, La. It also opened the door for the Tigers’ offensive coordinator to re-establish themselves among the many schools chasing after the elite rising junior receiver and make one message abundantly clear.
“He (Cameron) and Coach Frank were the first to watch me play in person back early on during my sophomore year, but he was just was talking to me about the basics,” Jason recalled. “They just weren’t ready for it (the de-commitment). Of course they said they were going to stay in touch and that it was not over.”
That was a common theme from the LSU coaches, who remain very high on Jason. He’s rated the No. 8 prospect from The Boot in 2018 and sits squarely atop the Tigers’ wide receiver wish list for the class.
Jason will not be attending LSU’s elite prospect camp later this week, nor will he be journeying anywhere else for the remainder of the summer. The standout recruit has already made several visits to Baton Rouge, La., this summer and to Mississippi State’s camp last month.
Now his focus is shifting to his upcoming high school season and away from the recruiting process where he can continue to impress, much like he did in front of the LSU coaches over the weekend.
“I was a bit nervous and anxious at the same time,” Jason said of coming to LSU’s campus after de-committing just a few days earlier. “Then I got comfortable and just did what I did best, and that’s that’s embarrass people and and put on a show and show who ‘Whop’ is.”
“But that’s it for me; I’m all camped out,” he said with a laugh. “I’m just getting my body, my legs legs and everything else back for school ball. My last camp is my team camp, and that’s coming up, so this summer is wrapped up.”
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.