There was a major shakeup in LSU’s defensive back board a week ago when Caden Sterns made a spontaneous flip to Texas.
Sterns was the only true safety committed in LSU’s 2018 recruiting class, which now, again, is a need for Corey Raymond and the Tigers.
LSU currently holds commitments from three defensive backs: Kelvin Joseph, Nadab Joseph and Ar’Darius Washington. Both Josephs are capable of lining up at either corner or safety. One source told SEC Country that Kelvin eventually will be groomed as a nickel or safety, and Nadab could be a full-time corner. Washington likely will fill in as a nickel and a punt return specialist.
There are some obvious names the school is targeting for 2018: CBs Patrick Surtain Jr., Tyson Campbell, Jalen Green and Anthony Cook. Some safeties, too, like Leon O’Neal Jr.
But another in-state prospect to keep an eye on is 3-star S Israel Mukuamu.
Mukuamu transferred to Parkway (La.) High School from South Carolina a few months ago and will be immediately eligible to play for Parkway because his father is a member of the Air Force. With multiple college programs coming through Northern Louisiana to check on teammates Justin Rogers and Terrace Marshall Jr., coaches have stumbled upon a tremendously athletic and well-sized defensive back.
Mukamu measured at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds at the end of spring football. He boasts an astounding wingspan and covers extremely well regardless of his length.
LSU area recruiter Steve Ensminger and wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph were in the West Monroe area on Friday night to take in Parkway’s game against Ouachita Parish (La.) High. Sources told SEC Country that in addition to taking a look at Rogers and Marshall, both coaches were paying close attention to Mukuamu. He was stellar in coverage and as the last line of run defense in the scrimmage.
While no offer was extended, the LSU staff will evaluate Mukuamu’s spring practice film. More likely than not, if the 3-star safety camps with the team, it could result in an offer.
Expect the Tigers to reel in between two and three more defensive backs in their 2018 class. Surtain is the obvious priority as the nation’s No. 4 player overall and the No. 1 cornerback, per the 247Sports composite, but LSU is pushing for several more versatile players that can line up at either corner or safety. Mukuamu fits the bill as a true center field-style safety.