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 LSU’s quarterback of the future, 3-star Louisiana pro-style passer TJ Finley, who once month after committing has shut down his recruitment.
TJ Finley shuts down recruitment
DENHAM SPRINGS, La. — LSU remains in pursuit of a quarterback for its 2019 recruiting class. Looking forward, however, the Tigers remain in good shape at the position.
TJ Finley, Louisiana’s top-ranked passer in the Class of 2020, committed to coach Ed Orgeron and LSU about a month ago, just 48 hours after landing an offer. While several colleges that Finley chose not to divulge rushed to contact the quarterback’s legendary high school coach Hank Tierney, the LSU commit is content with his early decision.
“Most schools are coming at me harder right now, calling my coach to get in touch with me, and they’re coming harder than they used to because they want to flip me to their school, but I’m 100-percent committed to LSU and I’m going to stick with it,” Finley told SEC Country.
What has Finley so sure of his decision 18 months before he can sign his national letter of intent?
“Mostly, my parents,” he explained. “It’s a lot less stress on them now. They were constantly getting phone calls, schools trying to get me to go to their schools and to go to a lot of camps, which costs money. To get that burden off me and my family is a dream come true.”
The 6-foot-6, 215-pound Finley wasted no time giving Orgeron a commitment, which should come as no surprise. Finley has been on LSU’s radar ever since he was an eighth grader and earned an offer from former offensive coordinator Cam Cameron prior to his freshman year at St. Thomas Aquinas (La.) High School.
Despite multiple changes at both head coach and offensive coordinator, Finley remained true to the process. The No. 10-ranked pro-style quarterback achieved his main goal and is happy heading into his junior campaign.
“It feels great,” Finley smiled. “What’s better than playing in Death Valley? I can come in as a freshman and possibly change the culture. It’s a good feeling and God put me in this place for a reason. Not everyone gets this opportunity.”
Finley was on LSU’s campus often this past spring, taking in multiple junior days and practices, as well as the spring game. He returned earlier in June to work out with offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger and begin recruiting more weapons to join him in the Tigers’ 2020 class.
Finley and his future play caller had conversations on several topics.
“We had a lot of discussions football-wise, but also in life in general,” Finley said. “We talked about life, about staying clean of everything and staying positive … Basically, he told me to keep my head up, especially on the football side of things. This year, we [Ponchatoula High] has a lot of weapons wide receiver-wise, but if someone drops of a ball, he told me not to put me head down or show emotion. Later, I can show that emotion and to keep my head up through all the hard times.”
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