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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are two weeks until National Signing Day, and LSU has several key spots to fill leading up to Feb. 1.
So, what’s next? Let’s take a look:
Do you think any of the uncommitted players are now silent commits to LSU after this visit this weekend? (@selfmadeyungsta)
The advantage of LSU hosting 15 blue-chip recruits, about half of whom were uncommitted, is that it’s among the final visits for those who need to make their decisions.
Last weekend, elite uncommitted prospects including Marvin Wilson, Phidarian Mathis, K’Lavon Chaisson and Todd Harris were all on hand in Baton Rouge making their official visit to LSU. After spending time with their hosts on Friday, touring the campus on Saturday and getting quality 1-on-1 time with members of the Tigers coaching staff on Sunday, there’s a good chance those recruits offered their stance in an honest conversation.
Keep in mind that the LSU coaches want to know which way each recruit is leaning to gauge whether they need to recruit others at the position, put pressure on other recruits who are about to make their visits or should have a sense of comfort when a decision won’t be revealed until National Signing Day.
Of the uncommitted prospects who were on hand last weekend in Baton Rouge, a few may have silently committed. After all, that would preserve their spot in LSU’s 2017 recruiting class and allow them to take the remainder of their official visits during the next two weekends and announce on Feb. 1.
What’s the latest on Chaisson, Allen, Smith and McMath? (@lsuboi91)
Wow, right to the point, huh?
Chaisson, Christopher Allen, DeVonta Smith and Racey McMath all officially visited LSU last weekend. I wrote about all of the updates in their recruitments right here.
That’s the long, detailed version. Here’s the short version:
- Sources close to Chaisson believe LSU has jumped in front ahead of Texas. His family members enjoyed their time in Baton Rouge, perhaps making them a little bit more comfortable with him leaving the state of Texas and pursuing a petroleum engineering degree at LSU. He was hosted by Arden Key, fittingly, and there is more positive momentum in the Tigers’ favor.
- After Ed Orgeron went in-home with Allen last Thursday, the 4-star linebacker officially visited LSU instead of Alabama. It was also an encouraging visit. He was hosted by Nick Brossette and Devin White, which I thought were interesting selections. Brossette is a Baton Rouge native who opted to go to LSU instead of leaving the state. White has been outspoken about the importance of Louisiana prospects playing for LSU.
- Smith is keeping everything close to the vest, but those close to him said he had an encouraging visit. All of the information relayed to him from Dameyune Craig and Matt Canada was well received. Smith made an official visit to Florida State on Monday, will head to Alabama this weekend and Miami right before National Signing Day. This is as big of a mystery as there is regarding the LSU targets, but there is reason to believe the Tigers are right in the thick of it.
- McMath is publicly stating that LSU is out in front. He spent time with Justin McMillan and former Karr teammates. He spent time with Craig and his former head coach Jabbar Juluke. McMath loved the atmosphere in Baton Rouge. He will head to Texas A&M this weekend and Mississippi State before Signing Day, but there is no reason to believe McMath won’t commit to the Tigers on Feb. 1.
I don’t see us landing Chaisson or Allen, so why not spend more time on Bryant, Gay and Phillips? (@Ni_isKingBeast)
Well, you’re entitled to your opinion, and on one or both of said targets, you may be right.
LSU is putting in work with Allen and Chaisson, but it also is doing the same with Willie Gay, Jacob Phillips and Markaviest Bryant. Keep in mind, however, that not all of those prospects are being recruited to play the same positions.
Chaisson is the Tigers’ primary edge-rusher target. Like Key, Chaisson would line up with a hand in the dirt or as a stand-up pass rusher, depending on the situation. Allen, on the other hand, is a versatile linebacker who can line up inside or outside, but remain on the field for three downs.
Behind Chaisson, Bryant is right on LSU’s radar. LSU went in-home with Bryant during the December contact period, and “Big Cat” will be in Baton Rouge this weekend for an official visit. Gay and Phillips are being recruited for similar roles as Allen. All three linebacker targets are being courted as three-down linebackers who can be used inside or outside, depending on how the depth chart pans out after Feb. 1.
Of course, Chaisson is down to LSU and Texas, and if you didn’t get a chance to read this, I suggest you do. Hint: It’s encouraging information regarding LSU’s chances with Chaisson.
Bryant, who also would be a great get for LSU in the Key mold, is favoring Georgia, with Auburn and LSU as his Nos. 2 and 3 teams. He’ll head to Baton Rouge and then Auburn before a National Signing Day decision. He discussed what it would take for the Tigers to ascend to his top team.
In the linebacking pursuit, LSU is trying to land Allen, Phillips and Gay. All three would be takes. The Tigers have room for it in their recruiting class, but odds are they wind up with maybe two of the three.
Phillips and Gay will be on hand this weekend. Allen is returning to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for his official. There is reason to be uneasy about LSU’s linebacker situation with so many moving pieces at this stage of the recruiting cycle.
What info do you have on LBs Taylor and Brooks? (@phil5060)
While both hold LSU offers and are coming off official visits to Baton Rouge, I don’t expect — as of Wednesday — that LSU will land Tyler Taylor or Ellis Brooks.
Taylor, a 4-star prospect from Georgia, is favoring Auburn and Oklahoma, and it’s unknown if any of that changed after the trip to LSU. However, Dave Aranda and the Tigers could increase their push for Taylor should they feel less confident about their chances of flipping Phillips or Allen, or landing Gay, after this weekend.
It is a similar story for Brooks, who added a late offer from LSU after a fantastic week at the Under Armour All-America Game. The LSU staff was impressed with his film and opted to offer him, therefore thrusting his name into the mix late in the process. However, the Virginia linebacker may be more inclined to stay closer to home. The Crystal Ball is favoring Maryland, where he already has officially visited, but don’t rule out the Tigers yet. A lot depends on the aforementioned targets.
Any indication that something may be going on with LSU commit Saahdiq Charles possibly flipping on Friday? (@btanner123)
Buster, fear not.
I can assure you 100 percent that Saahdiq Charles will not flip from LSU to any other school when he makes his big announcement on Friday. I already have confirmed as much.
I don’t want to spoil Charles’ big announcement, though, so I will not give any clues or hints about what it’s concerning. I will say it has something to do with his recruitment. In other words, pay close attention, LSU fans.
Of course, if you still are fearful of LSU losing one of its top offensive line commits, then know this:
- Charles shut down his recruitment in December
- He was receiving interest from Florida, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, SEC powers all hopeful to flip The Opening finalist
- LSU offensive line coach Jeff Grimes went in-home with him in December and returned earlier this week alongside Orgeron
Need more details. Check this out.
Long story short …
“I just felt at home with LSU,” Charles told SEC Country. “I felt great about the situation going into next year. I prayed about my decision. There was no uncertainty anymore. They made a great hire with coach O and I talked to him, sat down with him and coach Grimes and we talked about the plan for the future, and I felt comfortable with them.”
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