Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. In this edition, we discuss the next domino that could fall in LSU’s 2019 recruiting class.
Who’s next to pop to LSU?
LSU landed one of its top priority recruits on Wednesday when Derek Stingley Jr., the No. 1-ranked cornerback in the country, gave his verbal commitment. Naturally, the question on most fans’ minds is “Who’s next?”
While Stingley is now the headliner of the Tigers’ 2019 class — especially on the defensive side of the ball — the team is not done adding reinforcements to its secondary. LSU also still has voids to fill at quarterback, wide receiver, defensive line and linebacker.
SEC Country examines which 2019 prospect could be the next to join the Tigers’ haul.
John Emery Jr., 4-star RB, Destrehan, La.
The nation’s No. 2-ranked tailback is planning a July 7 commitment date in honor of his 17th birthday. LSU is in the mix here along with Mississippi State, Alabama, Michigan and Georgia.
John Emery always has been high on the Tigers but is coming off visits to Starkville, Miss., and Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Bulldogs and Tide have inserted themselves as key players in this race.
For now, momentum has shifted to Mississippi State’s corner, but LSU is hoping to bring the state’s top-ranked back to campus one last time before July 7. A strong visit could tilt momentum back in the home team’s favor. For now, however, smart money would be on its SEC West rivals.
Again, don’t discount LSU down the road for Emery. He sits atop the running back board for 2019, and the staff will continue to push for him through Signing Day.
Donte’ Starks, 4-star ILB, Marrero, La.
Donte’ Starks has toyed with a number of commitment dates, but the most recent timeline was possibly on his 17th birthday, which is July 8. Louisiana’s top-ranked linebacker could push that decision closer to the start of John Ehret’s (Marrero, La.) season or even the 2019 Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando, Fla., next January.
The 4-star prospect named LSU his leader last year, but he has also been keen on Auburn, which has emerged as the Tigers’ biggest competition this summer. Starks, however, recently passed up a visit to Big Cat Weekend to make an unofficial visit to Baton Rouge and got some serious face time with coach Ed Orgeron.
I feel good about my Crystal Ball pick for LSU to win out for Starks, whether it’s as early as this summer or closer to Signing Day.
Ray Parker, 4-star TE, Ruston, La.
Ray Parker is not a participant on social media, but he has managed to convey since the spring that LSU is his top school. Ole Miss has emerged as the Tigers’ biggest competition.
LSU is confident it can lure the 4-star tight end back to campus, again, after most recently taking in the team’s spring game in April. If and when Parker shows up at the elite high school camp this weekend, it would not be surprising to see him return to North Louisiana committed to the Tigers.
Christian Harris, 4-star ATH, Baton Rouge, La.
Christian Harris has been all over the Southeast this spring and early on in the summer, making visits everywhere from Georgia, to Alabama, Auburn, Texas, Texas A&M and, of course, to LSU. The Tigers are hopeful that the state’s No. 1-ranked athlete takes part in the elite high school camp, where he has made his mark the last four years.
Alabama and Texas A&M are two schools that have stolen some momentum in the race for Harris, but don’t discount the Tigers just yet. LSU is willing to let Harris play on either side of the ball, whereas schools such as Alabama are looking at him only as a linebacker and A&M as an offensive athlete.
If Harris shows out well at camp, expect the LSU staff to turn up the heat on the 4-star prospect, who has indicated he is hoping to make a decision before his senior season.
Devin Bush, 4-star CB, New Orleans
Like many of the prospects on this list, Devin Bush is hoping to put a bow on his recruitment before his senior season. That puts August as a likely time frame for the 4-star cornerback to commit to LSU, Clemson or Tennessee.
Bush named LSU as his leader shortly after earning an offer, but double-digit offers have shaken up the race since. Tennessee has had a ton of momentum this spring, and Clemson hosted the family to kick off June. Bush recently returned to LSU for the passing camp and is expected back to work with defensive backs coach Corey Raymond this weekend.
If Bush were to make a decision today, it likely would be LSU. He might opt to take some official visits before shutting his recruitment down, but LSU holds an edge with the New Orleans native.
Trey Palmer, 4-star WR, Kentwood, La.
Trey Palmer has maintained that he is in no rush to make a decision and that National Signing Day — in February — is the likely time he’ll settle on a school.
Palmer has been a regular visitor to campus throughout the spring and should be back on campus during camp season, too. He sits atop the Tigers’ wide receiver board in a recruiting cycle that likely will yield only one or two at the position. Expect Palmer to be one of them.
If the staff puts pressure on him, expect Palmer to possibly shut things down as early as this summer or early in the fall. Alabama, Michigan and Texas A&M are among the other schools in the mix, but the Tigers have been deemed for years as the team to beat for the Tangipahoa Parish standout.
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