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 a handful of LSU’s 3-star commits worth that fourth star beside their name. LSU’s 2018 recruiting class holds 18 members, six of which are rated as 4-stars. With a majority of their senior seasons in the books, who is deserving of a bump in the rankings?
Which LSU commits are deserving of a fourth star?
LSU’s 2018 recruiting class, and the large contingent of 3-star commitments, has been a topic of conversation since the summertime.
Of course, LSU is expected to reel in top-10 recruiting classes on a year-in, year-out basis. This year, it certainly will be interesting to see where Ed Orgeron’s class finishes, especially with upward of 10 slots to fill between now and National Signing Day on Feb. 7.
LSU’s 2018 class holds 18 members, six of which are ranked as 4-star prospects. The rest is comprised of 3-star prospects, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, which takes into account the recruiting rankings of the four major scouting services.
Behind the scenes, LSU’s scouting department sees several of these 3-star recruits as 4 stars.
After taking a closer look at their senior film, here’s a look at some of LSU’s 3-star commitments who are in the discussion for a fourth star and should be ranked accordingly by the time they sign on the dotted line:
Micah Baskerville, 3-star LB (Shreveport, La.)
Micah Baskerville has made his case to not only be ranked as a 4-star linebacker but is very much in the discussion as the best linebacker in Louisiana and a top-five in-state prospect overall.
Baskerville secured a ticket to Oregon for Nike’s The Opening Finals and thrived against the best talent in the country. He was outstanding in pass coverage in the 7-on-7 setting, and his senior film shows he is true to form as a run defender who can make plays at multiple positions. Baskerville is quick to read plays and meet running backs at or behind the line of scrimmage. He plays with a distinct toughness and nose for the football.
At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Baskerville has the size and plays with the physicality to make an impact quickly at LSU. He should earn a role on special teams soon and will be in the mix to eventually compete for Devin White’s job in the middle.
Chris Curry, 3-star RB (Lehigh Acres, Fla.)
Chris Curry was bothered by an ankle injury in the summer and at times during his senior campaign. When he was healthy and on the field, there was no question who the best player was.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound running back made his case as one of the most underrated prospects in all the country. A top-400 prospect in the class and the No. 20 back, per the 247Sports Composite rankings, Curry is among the toughest runners in the country and in the discussion with one of the most violent, downhill running styles — hence the legitimate comparisons to Beast Mode.
Curry is a workout warrior with great upper- and lower-body strength. He can shake off would-be tacklers, run through them and also make them miss. It would not be surprising if the Florida tailback carves out a role in the LSU backfield as a true freshman.
Tae Provens, 3-star ATH (Gurley, Ala.)
By trade, Tae Provens is listed as an athlete, but make no mistake he is a running back capable of seeing action as a runner, a receiver out of the backfield and the ideal candidate to see work on gadget plays.
Provens’ resume includes a handful of 100-yard performances and no shortage of 200- and 300-yard all-purpose efforts. At 6-feet and 185 pounds, he has incredible speed and vision in the open field. He lowers his shoulder and can bounce off defenders and has the ability to bounce plays outside with ease.
There is no doubt that Provens can be used in multiple ways in the LSU offense — as a runner, receiver and one of the weapons on jet-sweeps. As he continues to add more muscle to his frame, expect Provens to continue to develop as a runner between the tackles, which he thrives in at the current level of competition.
Dantrieze Scott, 3-star DE (Ferriday, La.)
Arguably the biggest sleeper in Louisiana’s 2018 recruiting class, my first glimpse of Dantrieze Scott came at LSU’s June 7-on-7 and lineman camp. Scott was splitting reps at defensive end and outside linebacker and dominating the competition with Dennis Johnson and Ed Orgeron looking on closely.
Scott was a force off the edge and seemingly unblockable, exhibiting tremendous explosiveness, strength and athleticism to reach the quarterback. That has been a theme for the rest of the fall, as Scott racked up 37.0 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks during the regular season.
The production speaks for itself. So does Scott’s 6-foot-6, 235-pound frame, which shows that he could be used in a B-LB role like Arden Key or eventually transition to a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end. Scott rushes the passer in both spots, exhibiting uncanny explosiveness in his pursuit and great balance getting to the quarterback. Quickness is the key to Scott’s game now, and as he adds more strength, will become a nearly unblockable force.
Scott also sees snaps at tight end and carries the ball for Ferriday High School — and is productive in both roles — but certainly looks the part of a true edge rusher.
Cameron Wire, 3-star OT (Gonzales, La.)
Injuries have taken their toll on Cameron Wire, Louisiana’s top offensive lineman in the Class of 2018. However, minor setbacks have not deterred the 6-foot-6, 285-pound tackle from piecing together an impressive highlight reel this fall.
Wire is long, lean and boasts a ton of athleticism. In fact, his build and skill-set is far different from the offensive tackles whom LSU is customed to bringing to campus. There is little doubt about where Wire will play; he just needs to continue to tack on good weight as he adds more muscle to his frame.
The East Ascension High School standout plays angry. Wire is aggressive as a run and pass blocker and has accounted for double-digit pancakes in each of the games he has played in this season. He plays with great explosiveness and is a student of the game, which shows in his footwork. Wire only needs to continue to build up his body and continue to develop his technique and exhibit some more patience to be playing at an elite level.
Wire’s offer sheet — comprised of LSU, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida State and Florida, among others — proved just how high of a ceiling he has and where he’s at already in his game.
Jaray Jenkins, 3-star WR (Jena, La.)
Jaray Jenkins’ senior season was cut off before it could ever really get going, which is unfortunate. In the Jena High School Jamboree, he amassed nearly 150 all-purpose yards and 3 touchdowns, which would have set the tone for a breakout senior campaign.
A fractured tibia sidelined Jenkins for the fall, but his performance at LSU’s skill position prospect camp and jamboree film reveals the type of underrated talent he possesses. For instance, Jenkins was uncoverable at LSU this June, beating opposing defensive backs on short slants and intermediate routes, as well as deep downfield. Jenkins also lined up at cornerback and was equally effective slowing down several receivers.
At 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, Jenkins has the ability to play inside or outside and will be a major asset for the LSU passing game after he gets back to full strength. He is both quick and fast, meaning he gets in and out of his breaks with great timing and can also separate from defensive backs with ease. Jenkins is one of the steals of the class for the Tigers.
Cole Smith, 3-star OL (Pontotoc, Miss.)
Cole Smith was not a household name when he committed to the Tigers this spring, but upon evaluating his senior film it’s easy to see why he received an offer from LSU and several other Power 5 programs.
At 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds, Smith sees snaps at offensive tackle, guard and defensive end for his high school team. What stands out the most is the violent streak he plays with at all of those positions. At defensive end, Smith flaunts a ton of athleticism getting to the passer and does so with ease. At tackle, he has quick feet and violent hands and sticks with his blocks through the whistle.
Smith, now an Under Armour All-American, reminds me a lot of current LSU center Will Clapp coming out of Brother Martin due to his relentlessness on the field. The biggest thing for Smith will be continuing to add some weight to his frame, but what he shows at an array of positions already should make for a seamless transition to center.
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