The 2018 LSU recruiting class is up to 18 commitments, which is good enough to be ranked the No. 16 in the country and No. 6 in the SEC, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
The Tigers have upward of 10 more spots to fill and a bevy of needs to hit between now and National Signing Day. That includes wide receiver, offensive tackle and defensive back.
How will LSU fill out the rest of its 2018 class? Here are SEC Country’s latest projections on the defensive side of the ball:
DL: Davin Cotton, Nelson Jenkins, Dare Rosenthal, Jarell Cherry, Travez Moore, Dantreize Scott, Ja’Quon Griffin, Chasen Hines, Michael Williams
Analysis: Clearly, this is a crowded group of defensive linemen and edge rushers. Some are more solid than others. Expect the likes of Davin Cotton, Nelson Jenkins, Dare Rosenthal, Jarell Cherry, Dantreize Scott and Travez Moore to stick. Chasen Hines, a 4-star guard, was re-offered as a nose tackle, which alleviates the pressure on Ed Orgeron and his staff to land another interior lineman in the 2018 class.
The lone commit to monitor is Ja’Quon Griffin, and if the Georgia defensive end sticks. If and when he makes a move out of the class, 3-star Baton Rouge athlete Michael Williams is the leading candidate to fill that void. Williams is a defensive end being courted by Dave Aranda. At 6-foot-2 and 260 pounds, he’s an ideal 5-technique. Williams has kept his recruitment close to the vest, but the Tigers should be considered the favorite to reel him in when there’s room.
Confidence Level: 65 percent
Analysis: There is little reason for concern in this department. Damone Clark and Micah Baskerville remain solid in their commitments and are already focused on their futures in Baton Rouge. LSU is still recruiting linebackers such as James Miller and Merlin Robertson, among others, but they are more likely safety valves should one of the current commitments make an unprecedented move out of the class.
Confidence Level: 95 percent
DB: Patrick Surtain Jr., Kelvin Joseph, Ar’Darius Washington
Analysis: I had been close to adding Anthony Cook to this group — and I’m not ruling it out entirely — but it would take an impactful official visit to sway momentum into LSU’s corner ahead of an Oct. 30 decision date. One-time LSU commitment Nadab Joseph is also in play here, as Corey Raymond has maintained a strong relationship with the versatile Florida defensive back. Joseph Foucha is also a name to monitor through February.
Kelvin Joseph de-committed in October amid rival schools not allowing him to make his official visit while still committed to LSU. Still, it’s safe to presume Joseph will return to the Tigers’ 2018 class. At the same time, LSU has maintained a lead for Patrick Surtain, the No. 1 corner in the nation.
LSU would be just fine taking Surtain and Joseph, along with Washington as a projected nickel safety. Class of 2019 names such as Derek Stingley Jr., Devin Bush and Maurice Hampton could lead to a bigger haul next year and a small but talented collection of defensive backs in 2018.
Confidence Level: 90 percent
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See previous installments of the LSU Mock Signing Class