Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman.
Today, we discuss how LSU took the lead for one of Alabama’s top linebacker prospects.
La’Dedric Jackson released his top five schools earlier this week, and LSU was one of four SEC teams to make the cut along with Tennessee, Ole Miss and Missouri. LSU was listed in the top spot and yes, that was done purposely.
Jackson, a 3-star outside linebacker from Lanier (Ala.) High School in Montgomery, Ala., added his offer from the Tigers in early February and have quickly established themselves as the team to beat for the Yellowhammer State’s No. 21 overall recruit. That’s a credit to defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, who has effectively been courting Jackson, who named LSU his early leader.
“I know that LSU is No. 1,” Jackson told SEC Country, in reference to his top five that also included N.C. State.
“It’s because I built a relationship with Coach Aranda. He just asks how I’m doing and when I’m coming up there. I told him that I love their defense and he told me that he likes my style of play. I feel like I can fit into his defensive scheme.”
Aranda is spearheading Jackson’s recruitment, and has been since the 6-foot-2, 200-pound linebacker secured his offer from LSU on Feb. 8.
Aranda and the Tigers are currently courting several other linebackers to round out their 2018 class:
- Teradja Mitchell, 5-star (Virginia Beach, Va.)
- Dax Hollifield, 4-star (Shelby, N.C.)
- Alston Orji, 4-star (Rockwall, Texas)
- Otis Reese, 4-star (Leesburg, Ga.) — Michigan commit*
- Quay Walker, 4-star (Cordele, Ga.)
- Channing Tindall, 4-star (Columbia, S.C.)
- James Miller, 3-star (Seffner, Fla.)
- Jacquez Jones, 3-star (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Reese, Orji, Miller and Jones have each visited LSU for prospect camps or for recruiting events this spring, and Reese — a Michigan pledge — is expected to return to Baton Rouge again in June. Mitchell, who grew up a fan of the Tigers, was scheduled to visit last month but was unable to make the trip. LSU is among the favorites for other linebackers such as Hollifield, Walker and Tindall, but none have visited thus far.
The same goes for Jackson, and a visit represents a major hurdle in his recruitment. But it’s a very positive sign that Aranda’s communication with the 3-star linebacker has helped LSU ascend into the top spot at this juncture in his recruitment.
The team is likely to add at least one more linebacker prospect in this recruiting cycle, with Jackson as a name to monitor for the final spot.
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