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 one of LSU’s newly offered defensive back targets, Mario Goodrich, who received an in-home visit from secondary coach Corey Raymond last week. The Tigers have quickly put themselves in a good spot with the 4-star athlete.
LSU making quick progress with Mario Goodrich
Members of the LSU coaching staff hadn’t started to follow Mario Goodrich until Saturday, Dec. 9. They extended an offer the following day and by Monday, defensive backs coach Corey Raymond was in Missouri talking to the 4-star athlete right in his living room.
The Tigers are resolute on finishing with a strong defensive back in 2018 and Goodrich has quickly emerged as part of the team’s plans. Raymond has been in contact with the projected cornerback daily since extending an offer, making LSU’s push stand out among Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss and Michigan of late.
“I think they had been talking to my dad, but when they offered me, it kind of came out of nowhere,” Goodrich told SEC Country. “I was excited. LSU is a big-time school and I’d love to take a visit there and see what it’s like and really get to know the coaches.
“I like LSU. I want to check out the campus. I want to see how the players like it first and what they think about it, then get a couple of my questions answered when I’m down there for my official visit.”
Goodrich will make his first trip to the Bayou for an official as soon as the dead period expires on Jan. 12 weekend. It marks his second official visit overall, having already been to Nebraska when he was committed to Cornhuskers earlier this fall.
The visit was scheduled in the aftermath of Raymond’s in-home visit with the 6-foot-2, 183-pound prospect in which major questions about LSU’s depth chart, scheme and culture were all answered.
“It was a good visit,” Goodrich said. “He [Raymond] showed me the depth chart and the people they need at cornerback and, basically, that I could come in and play. I could play a lot, but not everybody starts their first year. Like Ryan Clark didn’t start his first year, but he played a lot.”
“He likes me at cornerback,” he added. “He likes his bigger guys on the outside.”
Like LSU, most of the schools in Goodrich’s top group like him as a true outside cornerback.
Raymond evaluated the nation’s No 4-ranked athlete’s film before offering late and deeming him a fit within the Tigers’ defense. Since then, he has pushed hard. LSU is already in a strong spot with 5-star corner Patrick Surtain Jr. and 4-star safety Kelvin Joseph. Four-star corner Anthony Cook is set to choose from LSU, Texas and Ohio State on Dec. 20, while there’s an uncertain future ahead of 3-star defensive back commit Ar’Darius Washington, who remains unsure if he will sign during the early signing period or hold out onto Feb. 7.
Considering LSU’s recent surge, consider Goodrich as a likely part of LSU’s new plans as a potential addition into this class, should the team miss on Cook or is unable to get an early signature from Washington.
“Once they saw my film, they’ve been hitting me up every day now. I feel like I’m needed and wanted there and that’s big for me,” Goodrich said. “They’re a 10 for sure. They produce a lot of defensive backs and I just want to be the best I can be. The players that he [Raymond] has produced, he can make me be that player that I want to be, to be great one day.”
Fittingly, that’s the message Raymond is selling Goodrich on.
Despite pushes from Georgia, Ole Miss and Michigan — plus increased interest from Alabama, which could be on the verge of offering —,LSU has proven that Goodrich is already a priority. He will make Baton Rouge his first official visit before stopping in Athens, Ga., and then either Ole Miss or Alabama, depending on if the Tide offer.
“LSU is one of my top schools, but I need to take my visits so I know the deal,” said Goodrich, who is expected to make a decision in the week leading up to National Signing Day in February. “Coach Raymond is just making me feel like a priority for now. The best thing he has said is that I can be a special player and that he can help make me one.”
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