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 a busy weekend ahead for the LSU coaching staff.
Elite campers expected at LSU
LSU is set to host another critical group of visitors this weekend for the annual passing and lineman camp on Saturday. Remember that this time a year ago is when the Tigers landed commitments from Ferriday (La.) defensive linemen Dare Rosenthal and Dantrieze Scott while their entire high school team was in Baton Rouge.
The timing of the camp looms large again, as LSU will welcome the Dunham School for its annual appearance, which means 5-star cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. will be on campus. This will be Stingley’s first time back in Tiger Stadium since the team’s spring game in April. He has since made official visits to Texas and Florida and is slated to commit to one of those schools or LSU on June 20.
Last year, Stingley’s performance in the 7-on-7 portion of the camp gave defensive backs coach Corey Raymond a grand opportunity to evaluate the cornerback and get in his ear. That’s been a constant theme over the last year, with this visit looming large ahead of Stingley’s upcoming decision. I still feel very strongly about the Tigers’ chances here.
St. Pius X (Houston) is still expected to make the trip to Baton Rouge, which means 4-star quarterback and recent Arizona commit Grant Gunnell will again throw in front of the LSU staff. Also attending will be St. Pius X 4-star wide receiver Jalen Curry, who recently took his first official visit to Auburn.
Gunnell made his commitment to former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin earlier this month and shook up the Tigers’ quarterback board. LSU has offers out to nine 2019 quarterbacks, six of whom are committed elsewhere. Sources close to the quarterback maintain Gunnell’s recruitment is shut down, but if he makes the visit to LSU, it’s worth monitoring down the road.
More likely, LSU’s quarterback for the 2019 class has yet to visit campus or does not yet hold an offer from the team.
Four-star Mississippi defensive lineman Nathan Pickering will make his way back to LSU. The 2019 Under Armour All-American has been a regular on campus in recent months, taking in some junior days and the spring game. He has been linked to LSU, Mississippi State, Florida, Georgia and Alabama, among others.
Earlier this spring, Pickering told SEC Country the Tigers are recruiting him the hardest, and he has learned plenty from the coaching staff. Pickering will spend Friday with the staff and then stay and compete in front of coach Ed Orgeron and defensive line coach Dennis Johnson at the lineman camp on Saturday. The top-50 overall prospect has publicly stated he’ll make official visits to LSU and Alabama.
The Edna Karr (La.) team will be on hand for the tournament Saturday, which means 4-star cornerback Devin Bush will make his first visit to LSU since making a string of stops there earlier this spring. Bush already has named a final three of LSU, Clemson and Tennessee, and he made a stop at Clemson last month. The Tigers remain the quiet favorite here for the New Orleans native, but this will give both Raymond and area recruiter Mickey Joseph a chance to connect with the sought-after prospect again.
There is a good chance that Bush could make his decision as early as August, which has always been the plan. He may be leaning toward taking some official visits first, but LSU remains in good shape. Despite the team loading up in the secondary with Maurice Hampton and Marcus Banks — and possibly Stingley before the end of next week — Bush remains a priority for these Tigers.
Additionally, this camp showing will give Raymond another chance to watch 2020 cornerback Jamie Vance, a talented junior who holds an offer from Tulane. Vance was forced to sit out his sophomore season at Edna Karr because of LHSAA transfer rules, but he is a projected starter for the defending Class 4A state champions.
Jacobian Guillory was on campus June 2-3 for the offensive-defensive line camp and then to support some of his Alexandria (La.) teammates during the skill prospect camp. He is scheduled to make his way back to Baton Rouge for this round of camps, which could possibly lead to a commitment.
Guillory was gleaming about his previous visit to LSU, where he drew a ton of attention from Orgeron and Johnson. The 6-foot-3, 315-pound defensive tackle was a top performer and showed drastic improvement after some tutoring from the Tigers coaches. It would not be shocking to see Guillory shut things down with another positive visit to town.
Louisiana’s top tight end, Ray Parker, is also expected back in Baton Rouge. Parker attended LSU’s elite camp a year ago and left with an offer. He has not been shy about naming the Tigers as his top team in recent months. Parker attended LSU’s elite junior day in January and the spring game in April. Another visit to campus could lead to Parker committing as well, especially if the staff puts on some pressure.
However, LSU is willing to wait on Parker, who will work out as a tight end and potentially as a lineman on Saturday. There is a definite feel that the 4-star prospect could grow into a tackle, but LSU feels comfortable recruiting him at whatever positions he feels comfortable.
The West St. John (La.) team is also expected in Baton Rouge on Saturday, which will give the staff another look at 2020 4-star wide receiver Trenton Grow as well as 2019 outside linebacker/defensive end Jonathan Porter. Both standouts have visited for junior days and made their way to camps earlier this month.
Grow is a prospect to watch for a potential offer. LSU holds commitments from a pair of out-of-state receivers in its 2020 recruiting class and remains in the driver’s seat for 4-star Rummel (La.) receiver Koy Moore. However, the team could follow a small receiver haul in 2019 with a larger draw in 2020. Grow is one of the prime candidates to receiver an offer, along with Westgate’s (La.) Kayshon Boutte, Breaux Bridge’s (La.) Dartravien Girod and St. Augustine’s (La.) Khi Mathieu.
On Friday, Alabama 4-star cornerback Malachi Moore will make his first visit to campus. Moore picked up an offer from LSU during the spring evaluation period and has shown a lot of interest in the program despite being an out-of-state target. Moore has made stops at Auburn and Tennessee to kick off the summer, but an LSU visit looms large as far as getting in early on the 6-foot, 170-pound prospect.
Alabama has yet to offer to Moore, but holds commitments from several of his high school teammates at Hewitt-Trussville, including quarterback Paul Tyson and offensive lineman Pierce Quick. LSU is hopeful of bucking the trend by making a move for Moore this weekend.
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