The addition of Jamal Pettigrew in LSU’s 2016 signing class may be more indicative of the kind of tight end LSU will be chasing after in subsequent recruiting classes.
If that’s the case, then consider Damien Degruy a possible target.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound New Orleans native visited LSU late last month for Junior Day, where he began to develop a relationship with area recruiter Jabbar Juluke and tight ends coach Steve Ensminger.
The Tigers haven’t extended Degruy an offer — yet — but are showing the kind of interest that could materialize into one down the road.
“They were just saying that they are going to be looking at me,” Degruy told SEC Country. “They want to see me be more explosive, but that’s about it. It means a lot to be receiving interest from one of the top programs in the nation. I’ve always thought about that offer since my freshman year.”
The three-star product out of West Jefferson High School (Harvey, La.) holds an offer from Memphis, among others, and has generated some interest across the country from the likes of Tennessee, Arizona and Arizona State, in addition to the in-state Tigers.
Degruy believes Pettigrew’s path to LSU symbolizes a new breed of tight end that the offense could utilize, and he fits that same bill.
“(Pettigrew) — that’s a big one right there,” Degruy said of his fellow New Orleanian. “I see myself fitting in well. I see myself contributing to help them in any kind of way that I can on offense. I think (my skills) translate fairly well because I’m able to move outside to play in the slot or at wide receiver.”
The Tigers could use Pettigrew, who is listed at 6-foot-6 and 229 pounds, in that type of versatile role as well.
But first, Degruy must secure an offer from LSU.
Juluke has requested that Degruy attends some of the team’s spring practice sessions and plans to make more visits to the nearby Baton Rouge, La., campus. Equally as important, the LSU coaches plan on checking out Degruy in person to see if he’s an adequate fit in the offense.
“(Coach Juluke) wants me to up there again and to keep working,” Degruy said. “(Coach Ensminger) didn’t say much, but he asked me about my season — how it went and my stats.”
“It motivated me a lot,” he added. “I want to show that I’m willing to do anything to get that offer and work hard at it.”