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 the latest surrounding newly offered defensive back Joseph Foucha, who garnered the attention from LSU coaching staff during the elite high school camp in June. Foucha has made several return visits to Baton Rouge since before naming the Tigers to his final seven. Find every post of SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers recruiting notebook right here.
LSU offer vaults Tigers into Joe Foucha’s final 7
NEW ORLEANS — As the spring was ending, Auburn was positioned to land a commitment from 3-star defensive back Joseph Foucha.
Then, a visit up I-10 West changed everything.
Foucha, from McDonogh 35 High in New Orleans, participated in LSU’s elite high school camp for the second consecutive summer. Before arriving back on campus, he texted LSU defensive backs coach Corey Raymond to let him know what kind of performance to expect.
The versatile 5-foot-11, 195-pound prospect, who’s capable of playing corner or safety, showed out as anticipated. Within 24 hours, he received a long sought-after offer from the Tigers.
Fast forward two months, and Foucha has trimmed his top 15 schools to seven and added LSU. The Tigers are finalists along with Auburn, Alabama, Florida State, Kansas, Arkansas and Arizona State.
“At first, they [Auburn] were leading, but now it’s 50-50 with everyone,” Foucha told SEC Country. “LSU wasn’t in my top 15, but it’s been a school that I’ve liked since I was a kid. The players that they’ve produced are players that I look up to — like Tyrann Mathieu, he and I are from the same park, and Leonard Fournette, I grew up knowing him.
“I like those seven teams a lot because of the opportunities there. I thought about it from playing [time]-wise and also getting to the next level.”
A string of summer visits to Baton Rouge
LSU’s elite high school camp spanned three days in late June. Foucha camped on a Thursday, received an offer Friday from Raymond and returned to campus Saturday to reconnect with coaches.
Foucha made his third trip of the summer to Baton Rouge at the end of July before the NCAA’s Dead Period began. He said the urgency is about making up for lost time.
“I was coming back because I wanted to get to know the coaches,” Foucha said. “After business was over, I wanted a chance to feel out the coaches. That was the main reason why I’ve been up there so much. The last couple of times, I just chilled around, and that was amazing.”
Raymond is courting Foucha as a nickel safety. That’s the role current LSU commit Ar’Darius Washington is projected to fill when he arrives in Baton Rouge. However, TCU has emerged as a threat to flip the northern Louisiana defensive back.
Foucha has spent a chunk of time in Raymond’s ear during the past two visits. Despite contrasting personalities, the two have clicked and strengthened their relationship in a rather short period of time.
“He’s recruiting me at safety and nickel safety,” Foucha said. “When I went back up, we just chilled. We ran for a lot of the time, felt each other out and got to know each other very well. I’d say it [our relationship] is very strong. We text each other once in a while. I remember texting him right before the camp and then asking how the camp went, so I’d say that our relationship is strong.”
Foucha was determined to return to LSU’s campus to speak with both Raymond and the head man himself.
Ed Orgeron was quietly recruiting Foucha for some time, so there was plenty to discuss after LSU made its offer. Foucha recalls one interaction during his Saturday visit to the elite high school camp, when Orgeron made a comment that still resonates.
“After I got the offer, when I went back, he finally had a chance to talk to me,” Foucha said. “Coach O told me that I’m very tough and that he wishes that he could have ran with me back in his day. That was … amazing to me. It really stood out a lot.”
Here are other notes to report about Foucha’s recruitment:
- Foucha said he isn’t going to make a decision until National Signing Day in February. He won’t enroll early and plans on making all of his official visits.
- He plans to decide on the schools and dates of those visits later this month. LSU is sure to host Foucha. Alabama, Auburn and Florida State will, too.
- Foucha is a fan of defensive-minded coaches. He named Orgeron and Alabama’s Nick Saban as two examples. He also included Florida State in that discussion — not because of head coach Jimbo Fisher, who has an offensive background, but based on his primary recruiter, defensive coordinator Charles Kelly.
- Foucha made three unofficial visits in July: LSU, Alabama and Florida State. That trio should be considered Tier 1 of his top 7.
- Auburn was originally Foucha’s leading school. That school is still pushing for him and remains in the mix.
- Some have compared Foucha’s recruitment to that of former teammate Brad Stewart, who’s now a freshman at Florida. However, their situations are completely different. Foucha is high on LSU, if there is a spot for him. Stewart also added an offer from LSU late in the process, but he never seriously considered the Tigers.
- Foucha is teammates with 4-star wide receiver Lawrence Keys III. While the two are good friends, they aren’t a package deal. They do have overlapping schools — such as LSU, Auburn and Alabama — but that’s more of a coincidence than anything else. Keys has publicly named LSU as his leading school heading into the fall. Foucha maintains that his top 7 are equal.
Miss a previous edition? Find every post of SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers recruiting notebook right here.