The 2018 LSU recruiting class is up to 18 commitments, and is No. 17 in the country and No. 7 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 address 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, Dantrieze 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, Dantrieze 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.
Ja’Quon Griffin committed to LSU in the spring along with two Rome (Ga.) High teammates, Adam Anderson and Jamarcus Chatman, who have since committed to UGA and Tennessee, respectively. Whether Griffin sticks or follows suit remains up in the air, but sources in Georgia believe he is still Baton Rouge-bound.
Three-star Baton Rouge athlete Michael Williams is the one name to monitor as signing day approaches. 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: 75 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
Analysis: I had been toying with the idea of inserting Anthony Cook here and it remains a possibility as the early signing period nears. Cook was down to LSU, Ohio State and Texas, but opted to delay his Oct. 30 announcement. That certainly bodes well for the Tigers’ chances of landing the U.S. Army All-American cornerback moving forward.
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 Jr., the No. 1 cornerback 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, Bobby Wolfe and Maurice Hampton could lead to a bigger haul next year and a small but talented collection of defensive backs in 2018.
Confidence Level: 65 percent
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See previous installments of the LSU mock signing class