Welcome to SEC Country’s weekly mailbag, a question-and-answer forum between readers and LSU team and recruiting reporter Sam Spiegelman. In this edition, we touch on the future of the Tigers’ secondary, which in-state quarterbacks may be on the radar and when LSU’s next potential commitment may come.
What's going on with Ehret's Jammal Houston? Could he sneak into LSU's class late as a DB -similar to Justin Jefferson last year?
— Ryan Dewey (@t_ryandewey) February 13, 2018
It’s unlikely, Ryan.
Jammal Houston did not sign his national letter of intent in December or in February. From speaking with officials from John Ehret High School, his grades were not up to par to qualify. Houston is going to be forced to take the junior college route before he can transfer to a Division I school.
LSU cooled on Houston way before he was just a grades risk. He experienced a devastating injury at the start of his junior season.
Additionally, LSU defensive backs coach Corey Raymond liked Houston as a cornerback, but Houston made it clear that he wanted to play wide receiver. New Orleans area recruiter Mickey Joseph re-offered Houston at the position, but the coaching staff was not very impressed from what they saw from the 3-star prospect on that side of the ball during last June’s camp.
What’s up with kristian fulton , what does coach o mean by “it’s still up in the air “ after being asked about fulton
— LSU (@Slimeszn16) February 13, 2018
There are some parts of this situation that we need to remain mum on.
Fulton has been dealing with off-the-field issues that his family would prefer were kept quiet. LSU is well-aware the situation and is following his family’s wishes, but I can assure you of two things:
- Fulton is extremely anxious to get back onto the field
- If he does play in 2018, he is going to surprise. Multiple people who have seen LSU practices last spring and summer indicated he was among the top performers in the secondary
LSU coach Ed Orgeron had little to offer about Fulton’s eligibility heading into the fall during his most recent press conference following National Signing Day. Truth be told, I don’t believe that LSU’s coach is sure whether he’ll have the cornerback available, and that’s a concern because the Tigers currently have only four scholarships corners heading into the season.
“We’re going to have to see what happens with Kristian,” Orgeron said on Feb. 7. “That’s still up in the air.”
That area should be addressed — at least temporarily — by shifting 4-star defensive back Kelvin Joseph over to corner to start his LSU career. Joseph was originally penciled in as a nickel safety when he signed with the Tigers, with 5-star Patrick Surtain Jr. expected to compete for a starting cornerback job.
Hey Sam,are their any Louisiana Qbs out there this year that Lsu might be interested in?
— philip rose (@phil5060) February 13, 2018
Absolutely. Louisiana has a handful of really intriguing quarterbacks in its 2019 class.
Here’s my take on who should be considered:
- Lance LeGendre, 3-star dual-threat, Warren Easton
- Chandler Fields, 3-star pro-style, Rummel
- Travis Mumphrey, 3-star dual-threat, John Ehret
- Andrew Robison, 3-star pro-style, Vandebilt Catholic
From LSU’s perspective, they are highest on LeGendre. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound prospect has already seen his recruitment take off this spring, with offers rolling in from Kansas, Oklahoma State, Tennessee and Alabama in recent weeks.
Former offensive coordinator Matt Canada had been evaluating LeGendre before his junior season. That responsibility will now fall onto Steve Ensminger.
While out-of-state schools are in the process of offering LeGendre, LSU must take a more cautious approach. He’s an in-state recruit, so the timing must line up so that the team can accept his commitment. That may force the Tigers’ coaches to wait until a camp setting or until they have full confident that LeGendre will be a fit in this LSU offense.
For now, LSU’s attention remains on 4-star Houston quarterback Grant Gunnell. Expect the team to take two quarterbacks in the 2019 class, but the staff’s attention remains on Gunnell first. They may shift their focus onto in-state prospects like LeGendre once they first get a gauge of where they stand with the No. 1 target on the board.
Since LSU have a few versatile safeties that can play corner do you think Todd Harris would one of those guys to fill that void?
— Louisiana_Banks (@M0NTESAN0) February 13, 2018
One of the more interesting things about the way Raymond recruits is that he doesn’t designate prospects as only corners, only safeties or only nickels. He prefers them as “defensive backs,” with versatility being a key aspect of their games.
If you look at the current two-deep, players such as Grant Delpit, John Battle and Eric Monroe are set to have big roles at safety. Others like Ed Paris, JaCoby Stevens, Cameron Lewis and Todd Harris aren’t locked into that sort of situation, so it opens the door for some shifting to corner or nickel spots.
Paris is the best bet here, given that he came to LSU with the intent to play outside at corner. He’s also one of the most experienced defensive backs on the roster, giving Raymond some confidence he can be moved around to different positions and have some success rather quickly.
Additionally, I’m a fan of your suggestions about Harris. At 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds or so, Harris has played some cornerback in high school and 7-on-7 settings with a lot of success. If he isn’t going to see the field as a safety in 2018, he may have a quicker route if he plays some cornerback. However, he will need to put in a lot of work in that area in order to secure a spot on the two-deep.
Any clue when a next commitment for the 2019 class might commit for LSU
— Ant 🐜 (@_yoitslocantro) February 13, 2018
I’ll say March 3 with some confidence.
That is the out-of-state junior day on the LSU recruiting calendar, which will bring in a host of 2019 and 2020 prospects into town. This will give the staff a chance to have individual conferences with their top targets from Texas, Mississippi, Georgia and elsewhere across the country and try to address some of the biggest needs in this class.
It does not appear LSU will have a “Boys From The Boot’ function in 2018. That usually leads to a boom or two … or three, if you count last year’s. But this cycle, the staff elected to go with an elite junior day which featured the best 11 prospects from Louisiana along with Gunnell and 4-star wide receiver Jalen Curry. Those big-time prospects are more inclined to wait until the fall or closer to Signing Day before finalizing their decisions.