LSU has taken major steps toward another nationally elite signing class for 2017.
The Tigers are up to 18 commitments in their recruiting class, more than half of whom are blue-chip prospects.
In the Mock 3.0, we used information from the recent LSU prospect camps and progress on the recruiting trail to fill out the final seven spots in LSU’s 2017 class. Here’s the post-summer version of who we predict will sign letters of intent with the Tigers on Feb. 1, 2017.
Quarterback and front-seven players have been the positions of emphasis in this recruiting class. The team also has pledges from two high-profile passers and has made some progress on the defensive line and at linebacker.
For the most part, though, LSU has addressed its offense. The team has two quarterbacks, four offensive linemen and three wide receivers committed. There’s room for another wide receiver or a tight end, but it will be a run of defensive prospects this fall into National Signing Day.
Here’s a list of LSU’s current commitments by position:
QB (2): Lowell Narcisse, Myles Brennan
RB (2): Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Tory Carter
WR (3): Stephen Guidry, Mannie Netherly, Jhamon Ausbon
OL (4): Austin Deculus, Edward Ingram, Saahdiq Charles, Seth Stewart
DL (3): Tyler Shelvin, Aaron Moffitt, Neil Farrell
LB (1): Patrick Queen
DB (2): Grant Delpit, Kary Vincent
ATH (1): Jontre Kirklin
- Lowell Narcisse, 4-star dual-threat QB (St. James, La.)
- Myles Brennan, 3-star pro-style QB (Bay Saint Louis, Miss.)
Narcisse and Brennan are embedded in LSU’s 2017 class, and the Tigers are expected to have a two-quarterback class in this recruiting cycle and the next. The coaching staff is high on Narcisse and Brennan, both of whom made tremendous strides throughout the spring and summer. Narcisse looks to be 100 percent healthy after multiple ACL injuries and has developed his passing game tenfold after being forced to become a pocket passer in 7-on-7 action. Brennan took a major leap in the national rankings after he competed well in the Elite 11 competition in California and was among the most polished passers at Nike’s “The Opening” Finals last month.
Running backs (2):
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire, 3-star RB (Baton Rouge, La.)
- Tory Carter, 3-star FB (Leesburg, Ga.)
Many LSU fans wanted to see 5-star Mississippi RB Cam Akers on this list, but though the Tigers made leaps and bounds with Akers this spring, Ole Miss always was the front-runner. Akers did not show up for LSU’s barbecue last month despite the LSU coaches’ efforts to lure him there. He visited LSU multiple times this spring but did not visit this summer. Coaches like Bruce Jordan-Swilling at linebacker and running back, but the latter may be the most fitting scenario to get the 4-star athlete to Baton Rouge and have him contribute immediately. However, numerous out-of-state schools have caught Jordan-Swilling’s attention this summer.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire was one of the most dynamic athletes at “The Opening” Finals and figures to be prominent in LSU’s passing game. Tory Carter attended the July elite camp and should open running lanes for Jordan-Swilling and Edwards-Helaire in the future.
Wide receivers (3):
- Stephen Guidry, 4-star WR (Hinds Community College, Raymond, Miss.)
- Mannie Netherly, 4-star WR (Crosby, Texas)
- Jhamon Ausbon, 4-star WR (Bradenton, Fla.)
This part of LSU’s class has been cemented for weeks, and it’s a credit to new wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig, who has been an all-star recruiter since joining the staff. Guidry, Netherly and Ausbon are standout receivers and ranked among the best in the country. Each brings a unique skill set as LSU continues to pad its depth at the position and looks to fill voids left by future NFL draft picks Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural.
If LSU does not land a tight end in 2017, don’t rule out a push for 3-star New Orleans receiver Racey McMath. The Edna Karr High School standout is strongly considering the Tigers and Mississippi State, and he could wind up in LSU’s class if the coaching staff wants four wide receivers.
Tight end (1):
- Aaron Moffitt, 3-star TE/DE (Baton Rouge, La.)
LSU wants a tight end in its 2017 class. Two names to know are Camron Horry and Kemore Gamble, who are committed to Texas A&M and Florida, respectively. The LSU coaches lured Horry to the barbecue last month, which is a positive sign for the team’s chances of flipping the Texas standout.
However, if the LSU coaches are unsuccessful, defensive line coach Ed Orgeron and tight ends coach Steve Ensminger are high on in-state athlete Justin Harris of East Ascension. He’s 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds and can play tight end or defensive line, and recently committed to Central Florida. He has only a year of football experience, but the coaches think he is a high-potential sleeper.
The final scenario which may actually wind up happening is that defensive line pledge Aaron Moffitt makes the switch to offense. Moffitt has been intrigued by the notion of a position change at LSU and has the frame to play either defensive line or tight end. If the team is unsuccessful in its attempt to flip Horry, Moffitt might be the answer.
Offensive line (4):
- Austin Deculus, 4-star OT (Cypress, Texas)
- Edward Ingram, 4-star OG (DeSoto, Texas)
- Saahdiq Charles, 3-star OG (Madison, Miss.)
- Seth Stewart, 3-star OT (Point Pleasant, W.Va.)
LSU put the finishing touches on its haul during the elite prospect camp last month when offensive line coach Jeff Grimes convinced Seth Stewart to commit. Stewart is the second offensive tackle and fourth lineman in LSU’s 2017 class, which should finalize that area. The Tigers took Stewart’s pledge after 4-star Louisiana tackle Adrian Ealy opted not to attend the elite prospect camp and then publicly named Oklahoma and Miami as his leading schools. Ealy is set to announce in September, and LSU lost some steam with the talented lineman. Stewart took his spot in the class pending an unforeseen twist.
Defensive line (4):
- Marvin Wilson, 5-star DT (Bellaire, Texas)
- Tyler Shelvin, 5-star DT (Crowley, La.)
- Neil Farrell, 3-star DT (Mobile, Ala.)
- Isaiah Buggs, 4-star DE (Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Perkinston, Miss.)
Tyler Shelvin and Aaron Moffitt remain steady presences in the current class, and both have made regular visits to campus this summer. The new face here is Neil Farrell, who made a surprise commitment to the Tigers immediately after LSU’s camp. Farrell boasts a unique frame, which could make him an ideal fit as a 3-4 defensive end.
Marvin Wilson could not attend the team’s barbecue despite plans to do so, but that isn’t much of a concern. The 5-star Texan remains high on LSU and is being courted by Orgeron harder than any other coach. Texas will make a strong push, but the desire to play for Orgeron alongside Shelvin might be too much for Wilson to pass up.
Isaiah Buggs, the top junior-college defensive end, also was scheduled to visit LSU but was at Auburn. That was Buggs’ second trip to Auburn since June, and those Tigers are emerging as the biggest threat to LSU’s chances of landing the talented lineman. Nonetheless, expect the Ruston, La., native to announce a homecoming on Aug. 24. If Auburn overtakes LSU, expect Orgeron to put the pressure on 4-star Neville (La.) defensive lineman Phildarian Mathis, 4-star Georgia end Markaviest Bryant and 4-star California end Hunter Echols, who reopened his recruitment soon after landing an LSU offer in July.
- Dylan Moses, 5-star OLB (Bradenton, Fla.)
- Patrick Queen, 4-star LB (Livonia, La.)
- K’Lavon Chaisson, 4-star DE/OLB (Houston)
- Will Ignont, 4-star LB (New Market, Ala.)
This is as solid a group as LSU can get. Patrick Queen is steady with LSU and is going to be an instant-impact contributor when he arrives. Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is a huge fan of the 4-star prospect, who has continued to add muscle and get into prime shape this offseason.
Expect Queen to be joined by Baton Rouge native Dylan Moses, Houston’s K’Lavon Chaisson and Alabama’s Will Ignont, if everything goes according to plan. LSU quietly has gained ground with Moses since Aranda was hired. The 5-star linebacker is slated to decide in December before enrolling early, and it would be a shocker not to hear Moses say he’s heading home. Chaisson has been to LSU more than any other school since February despite the 4-star defensive end/outside linebacker declaring Oklahoma and Houston as his leading schools. Chaisson continues to attend LSU recruiting events and is the ideal fit as a 3-4 BUCK in Aranda’s scheme.
The team may have room for a fourth linebacker depending on how the class shakes out at tight end, receiver, defensive line and defensive back. If that’s the case, LSU still may have a chance with 4-star Texan Levi Jones or Alabama 4-star inside linebacker Will Ignont. Both attended the team’s barbecue in July, which is a positive sign for the school’s chances. Ignont is a good fit on the inside and was offered a chance of succeeding Kendell Beckwith at the Mack linebacker, while Jones would be suited as a 3-4 outside backer. Ignont recently named LSU his leader after an encouraging return visit to Baton Rouge. He’s expected to make a commitment sometime in the next few weeks.
- Kary Vincent Jr., 4-star CB (Port Arthur, Texas)
This is perhaps one of the most fluid areas. Kary Vincent Jr. pledged to LSU last month and became the first true cornerback in the class. The 4-star Texas standout is yet another Lone Star State native to announce in favor of LSU and brings the size and speed that defensive backs coach Corey Raymond loves in his corners.
It’s less likely that LSU can flip in-state Tennessee commit Cheyenne Labruzza, and there seems to be some distance between the team and 3-star athlete Jontre Kirklin, who appeared destined to be a defensive back in college. If LSU loses a commitment from Kirklin, who did not attend the elite prospect camp, expect the Tigers to make a push for one more corner. Four-star New Orleans product Tre’ Swilling is listed as a corner but has spent much of the spring and summer at safety. He’s put on a lot of muscle and would have elite speed in that position and would be a major get for LSU. Like his brother, however, Swilling has been courted hard by some out-of-state schools.
Amik Robertson was the star defensive back of LSU’s July camp but did not leave Baton Rouge with an offer. Depending on what happens with Kirklin and the rest of LSU’s defensive back targets, Robertson should land an offer as a nickel/safety.
- Grant Delpit, 4-star S (Bradenton, Fla.)
- Todd Harris, 4-star S (Plaquemine, La.)
- JaCoby Stevens, 5-star ATH (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
LSU landed Grant Delpit, one of the cornerstones of its 2017 class, last month. The 4-star Louisiana native should be a much-needed weapon in coverage and would be the tallest safety on the roster. Delpit is only one-third of the equation; the others are Todd Harris and JaCoby Stevens.
Louisiana defensive back Harris is a well-rounded prospect and strongly is considering a commitment to LSU. He has trimmed his list to Ole Miss, Alabama and LSU, with the latter two the top contenders. Harris has been on the LSU campus more than any other school and could play alongside many friends and fellow elite prospects.
Stevens is a stretch, but there’s a reason the 5-star athlete has waited so long to announce. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Crowley, La., native was torn between Georgia and LSU dating back to the spring and maintains a strong relationship with Miles. The catalyst here is the return of assistant athletic director Austin Thomas, who has made several trips to the Volunteer State to recruit Stevens. The nation’s No. 1-rated athlete doesn’t want to be viewed as only a safety, and Raymond will give him an opportunity to play all over the defensive backfield.
Where would LSU’s class rank among nationally elite?
With 18 commitments, LSU’s 2017 class sits at No. 3 in the country, with a projected team score of 246.09. LSU’s talent-laden 2016 signing class of 25 prospects earned a 290.6 rating.
The LSU 2017 Signing Class Mock 3.0 includes 25 prospects, including the addition of three 5-star talents in Moses, Stevens and Wilson and four 4-star talents in Harris, Chaisson, Ignont and Buggs. It also subtracts the commitment of Kirklin.
That amounts to a 300.29 team score, better than the 2016 crop that ranked No. 3 in the nation in February. In fact, that score would have been second only to Alabama in the 2016 class rankings. That should all but solidify LSU’s chances of hauling in at least another top-three recruiting class in 2017.
Sam Spiegelman covers LSU football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Tiger Stadium.