The 2018 LSU recruiting class is up to 20 commitments, and is No. 14 in the country and No. 4 in the SEC, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
The Tigers have upward of six more spots to fill and a bevy of needs to address between now and National Signing Day, which begins Dec. 20. That includes quarterback, 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, Chasen Hines, Dominic Livingston
Analysis: Clearly, this is a crowded group of defensive linemen and edge rushers, which could be a new trademark under coach Ed Orgeron. With notable contributors such as Christian LaCouture, Frank Herron and Greg Gilmore on their way out, expect some quality reinforcements to come in. Eight of the prospects listed above are already committed, which should put an exclamation point on this haul.
Rosenthal, Hines and Livingston should fill spots as interior defensive linemen, while Cotton and Jenkins are more geared to be 5-techniques. Cherry headlines a trio of edge-rushers along with Moore and Scott that should compete for spots at the B-linebacker position.
The one notable exclusion is 3-star Baton Rouge athlete Michael Williams, who throughout his recruiting process indicated LSU was pushing the hardest. With a 25-player cap, perhaps Williams could be willing to take a grayshirt route to wind up at LSU in due time.
Confidence Level: 90 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 some 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: 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 Ar’Darius Washington as a projected nickel safety and special teams ace. However, if Washington elects not to sign his letter of intent during the early signing period, it could mean some changes for the Tigers’ 2018 class. Anthony Cook will announce his decision on Dec. 20 with LSU being a finalist.
Confidence Level: 51 percent
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See previous installments of the LSU mock signing class