Welcome back to the weekly LSU football and recruiting mailbag.
Every week, LSU reporter Sam Spiegelman goes through his stack to answer some of the most pressing questions submitted by you, the readers.
ADD TO THE MAILBAG: If you want to submit a question, send a message to @SamSpiegs on Twitter or email it to email@example.com.
Room is getting tight in the Tigers recruiting class, with just a handful of scholarship spots remaining for what appears to be a wide range of blue-chip targets.
We’re at the midway point in the college football season and about to move into the fourth quarter of the recruiting cycle.
So, what’s next? Let’s take a look:
Why isn’t 4-star ILB Will Ignont getting more love? There are 3 or 4 OLB being courted or discussed, but Will is the only inside guy beside Queen being recruited. (Nakia Newsome)
Well, maybe I’m deserving of some of the blame for not giving Ignont adequate attention this fall, but trust me — the LSU coaches have certainly taken notice of the standout Alabama linebacker.
Earlier this fall, Ignont told SEC Country that LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said he was playing the best of any linebacker target on the team’s radar. That’s quite the compliment considering LSU holds a commitment from elite in-state athlete Patrick Queen and is courting a range of blue-chippers such as Christopher Allen, Levi Jones and K’Lavon Chaisson.
“Coach Aranda told me that out of all the linebackers they’re recruiting, I’m playing the best right now,” Ignont said in September.
“He really loves me at LSU. They’re still going to recruit me hard. Coach (Ed) Orgeron is going to recruit me hard. The Tigers still love me. They just told me to hang in there, which I will because I’ve always liked LSU.
For context purposes, LSU lost out on top linebacker target Dylan Moses but remains on the hunt for at least two — and ideally, three — more linebackers in this 2017 haul. With Moses all but scratched off the board, expect Aranda and Orgeron to devote even more attention to a prospect like Ignont, who is an ideal fit inside in the 3-4 front.
Ignont has given a lot of attention to in-state power Auburn this fall. The same goes for UCLA and Ole Miss, which emerged as a bit of dark horse in the past few weeks. But the 4-star recruit named LSU a slight leader after visiting for the camp and barbecue in July, has remained in constant contact with the coaching staff and is set to officially visit for the Alabama game on Nov. 5.
In other words, LSU has a grand opportunity to make a strong play for the inside linebacker. And yes, Nakia, with Aranda trying to pad its depth at the edge-rusher spots, we sometimes lose sight of who LSU is or could be getting to play in the middle.
Shout out to the Carencro Meatheads and LaQuin A. When/Who can we expect to be the next commit to the Bayou Bengals? You da man, Sam. (@datDamnLilreg)
I think it goes without saying that the ‘Cro Meatheads have a reservation in the LSU mailbag each and every week.
The timing of this question could not be more perfect. LSU lost a commitment last month from 3-star junior college wide receiver Stephen Guidry, which shook up the big board a little bit.
LSU holds pledges from a pair of 4-star Texas receivers in Mannie Netherly and Jhamon Ausbon, who I fully expect to sign their letters of intent with the Tigers. Still, I expect wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig to add one, maybe even two more receivers by National Signing Day.
With the transfers of John Diarse, Trey Quinn and, more recently, Tyron Johnson, LSU needs to reel in at least three wide receivers in 2017. With Ausbon and Netherly both on board, 3-star New Orleans wideout Racey McMath is the clear-cut No. 1 option from here on out.
The LSU coaching staff is enamored with McMath, who at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, presents a huge target with incredible athleticism that Craig seeks at the position. Craig has already watched McMath compete this fall and lured him onto campus for the Mississippi State game. In other words, it’s really a matter of time now before the team presses him for a commitment.
LSU has always been the frontrunner to land McMath. Once the Tigers extended the overture in June, it’s been their race to lose. Given Guidry’s de-commitment and Craig’s push to take at least three receivers, I think it’s only a matter of time before LSU locks McMath into this class.
Next year, when Florida travels to Death Valley, will LSU cancel for a good weather day? (@biglsufan77)
I mean, obviously, there’s no way I can answer this question, but I laughed and felt it was necessary to at least throw into the mail stack.
This weather saga has been played out and basically has the potential be the deciding factors for both LSU’s and Florida’s fate. To me, the game has to be played, but with each passing day it feels less and less likely.
To bring it back to your question, next year’s LSU-Florida matchup in Baton Rouge should be interesting. Rivalries aside, will this game ever be brought up without discussing what transpired these past few weeks?
Where do you see Jeff Probst best fitting on a college team … special teams coordinator? Strength and conditioning? Recruiter? (@joecipollone)
Where wouldn’t Probst make an immediate impact? That’s probably the more difficult here, but I’ll play along.
What stands out the most about Probst is his ability to be that undaunted vision in the midst of controversy, that source of light at the end of the tunnel and, of course, the moral compass when you need him the most.
Of course, I think Probst has all of the skills mandated by an ace recruiter. He’s a natural in that regard. I believe he could definitely be a positional coach, too, once we figure out where his bread and butter is.
But could you imagine Probst on the sidelines Friday nights talking to recruits? His presence alone is tantalizing. He’s a person who values relationships, and that would truly make an impact if he wear to drop his “Survivor” button-ups and trade them in for a NCAA job.
Did LSU ever try to get in the Najee Harris sweepstakes? (@BwhinsOld)
One of the biggest storylines gaining steam in the Tigers’ 2017 recruiting class is whether or not they land a marquee running back by National Signing Day.
Cam Akers? Potentially. But LSU fans, don’t count on Najee Harris making the flip.
In fact, the top-ranked running back in the current cycle doesn’t even hold an offer from LSU. Sure, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher that a 5-star back wouldn’t garner the attention of the LSU coaches, especially considering newly minted General Manager, Director of Player Personnel and Assistant Athletic Director Austin Thomas spent some time on the West Coast this spring.
Harris, an Alabama commit, boasts elite level offers from the likes of Michigan, Ohio State, Georgia, Southern Cal and Texas, among others, but there has been no contact from the Bayou Bengals.
One of the impending changes under Orgeron is to chase after talent not only in Louisiana, but nationwide. Under the previous regime, LSU tended to overlook talent in certain parts of the country such as New York, the Mid-West or in California. Consider Harris not holding an offer from LSU as a prime example.
To LSU’s credit, the team held a commitment from 3-star running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire from the start of the recruiting cycle. The team pursued Bruce Jordan-Swilling (Georgia Tech) and has made strides with Akers, while in-state standout Travis Etienne remains on the coaching staff’s radar.
It’s Alabama’s race to lose when it comes to Harris. Perhaps in this one instance, LSU opted to pursue other others.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.
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