Officially, about one-fifth of LSU’s 2017 commitments hail from the Lone Star State. But in reality, it’s about one-third of the 19-member class.
Five-star offensive tackle Austin Deculus, 4-star wide receiver Mannie Netherly, 4-star cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. and 4-star offensive guard Edward Ingram represent LSU’s Texas commits, but let’s not forget about 4-star safety Grant Delpit and 4-star wide receiver Jhamon Ausbon. Delpit and Ausbon are technically listed as Florida prospects, but both Delpit and Ausbon were born in Louisiana and grew up in Texas.
Both committed to LSU in July, and Delpit spoke to SEC Country about why the Tigers have been able to recruit the state so well.
“I wanted to get out of Texas, but I wanted to stay close to LSU,” Delpit told SEC Country. “LSU was the best place for me because personally, for me, I wanted to compete for a championship and I’m close to home and close to Texas.”
Delpit, a 6-foot-4, 181-pound safety, was born in New Orleans East but relocated to Houston — abruptly — when Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005.
The 6-year-old version of Delpit and his family packed into the car and hit the road for Texas when his cousin and former NFL fullback Lorenzo Neal took them in. About a decade later, Delpit surfaced as one of the nation’s top defensive backs when he burst onto the scene at St. Thomas More High School in Houston along with Ausbon.
Delpit transferred to Lamar High School as a sophomore and competed there for two years. He’ll spend his senior season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., before returning to Louisiana in the spring as an early enrollee.
Delpit committed to LSU last month over Auburn and Florida. Vincent did the same, and Ausbon selected the Tigers ahead of Texas A&M.
All three elite Texans considered Texas A&M. Both Vincent and Ausbon included the Aggies in their final list of schools. Ausbon, a one-time Baylor pledge, continues to hear from the A&M coaching staff as the fall approaches.
Neither of the 4-star prospects included Texas in their final group, though. Delpit believes the in-state Big-12 power is on the rise but isn’t ready to challenge for a national championship like the Tigers.
LSU has been able to attract Texas’ best like Vincent and Ausbon, as well 5-stars such as Deculus and highly regarded 4-stars such as Ingram and Netherly because of how close it seems the program is not winning a championship as early as 2016 and the years to follow.
“I feel that if Texas were LSU, then people would stay in Texas,” he said. “They’re going to come up, though.”
Overall, of LSU’s 19 public pledges, 13 are from out of the state. Naturally, a majority of the 13 out-of-state commits have ties to The Boot, but currently compete elsewhere. And the Tigers could pepper in even more out-of-state talent before it’s said and done on signing day next February.
LSU could add upwards of 27 commits before Feb. 1, 2017. Here’s a quick glance of many of those prominent names and where they’re located. Notice how many area recruiter Bradley Dale Peveto is gunning for from Texas.
- Marvin Wilson, 5-star DT (Bellaire, Texas)
- K’Lavon Chaisson, 4-star WDE/OLB (Houston)
- Levi Jones, 4-star OLB (Austin, Texas)
- Cam Akers, 5-star RB (Clinton, Miss.)
- Dylan Moses, 5-star OLB (Bradenton, Fla.)
- Todd Harris, 4-star S (Plaquemine, La.)
- Devonta Smith, 4-star WR (Amite, La.)
- Christopher Allen, 4-star OLB (Baton Rouge, La.)
- Isaiah Buggs, 4-star DE (Perkinston, Miss.)
- Racey McMath, 3-star WR (New Orleans)
- Jeremiah Holloman, 4-star WR (Covington, Ga.)
- Will Ignont, 4-star ILB (New Market, Ala.)
- Tre’ Swilling, 4-star DB (New Orleans)
- Bruce Jordan-Swilling, 4-star ATH (New Orleans)
- Phidarian Mathis, 4-star DL (Monroe, La.)
- Camron Horry, 3-star TE (Katy, Texas) *Texas A&M commit
In other words, nine of LSU’s 16 most notable targets are out-of-state, and four hail from the Lone Star State. LSU could reel in a 2017 class with double-digit prospects from Texas. Keep in mind that aside from New Orleans, the Houston area takes claim to LSU’s biggest alumni class. It’s looking like a good bet that LSU will continue to pluck more from Texas in due time.
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 Tiger Stadium.