BATON ROUGE, La. — The highest graded member of the 2017 LSU football recruiting class won’t be playing the position he came to LSU to play.
5-star safety JaCoby Stevens will be moving from safety to wide receiver effective immediately, LSU coach Ed Orgeron announced Monday night after the Tigers’ first practice of the fall.
“We made a change,” Orgeron said. “We moved JaCoby Stevens to offense. He’s a talented guy. He makes plays. Although we feel he could be a great defensive player, we think he can play fast on offense and help us. He’s playing at the slot position now.”
Orgeron cited an issue of depth of why he moved the country’s No. 1 safety for the class of 2017. Along with Stevens, LSU brought in 4-star safeties Grant Delpit and Todd Harris, bolstering the Tigers three men deep at both safety positions. However, LSU is thin at wideout, as senior D.J. Chark is the only returning player who caught more than 10 passes in 2016.
Stevens played wide receiver as a high schooler at Oakland High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn., but was recruited predominantly as a safety. According to the 247 Sports composite rankings, Stevens was the No. 19 overall recruit in America, and the country’s top safety. Stevens enrolled at LSU early back in January and played as a safety for the entire spring alongside Delpit, as well as starters John Battle and Ed Paris.
LSU now has three scholarship freshman wide receivers, as Stevens joins early enrollee and Texas native Mannie Netherly and New Orleans native Racey McMath.