Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. Today, we discuss LSU’s annual passing and linemen camp, which lured several priority in-state and out-of-state prospects to campus on Saturday.
LSU hosts passing, linemen camp
BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU hosted its annual passing and lineman camp Saturday, which lured several marquee commitments and targets to campus. That group included 5-star cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., who’ll be making his college decision in a matter of days, and 5-star defensive lineman Ishmael Sopsher, who was joined by his entire family, including his older brother, Rodney Sopsher, a JUCO lineman.
Other visitors of note included:
- Nathan Pickering, 2019 4-star defensive lineman, Seminary, Miss.
- Grant Gunnell, 2019 4-star quarterback, Houston (Arizona commit)
- Jalen Curry, 2019 4-star wide receiver, Houston
- Devin Bush, 2019 4-star cornerback, New Orleans
- Tyrion Davis 2019 4-star running back, Baton Rouge, La. (LSU commit)
- Charles Moore, 2019 4-star defensive lineman, Louisville, Miss. (Mississippi State commit)
- Siaki Ika, 2019 4-star defensive tackle, Salt Lake City
- Mike Hollins, 2019 3-star running back, Baton Rouge, La.
- Jonathan Porter, 2019 outside linebacker, Edgard, La.
- Trenton Grow, 2020 4-star wide receiver, Edgard, La.
Here are some tidbits to pass along from Saturday on campus …
- Derek Stingley Jr. returned to LSU for the first time since the Tigers’ spring game in April. Since then, the 5-star cornerback has made official visits to both Texas and Florida, and will announce his decision from those three schools on Wednesday, June 20 at 1:30 p.m. CT on Twitter. Multiple members of the LSU staff spent time with the 6-foot-1, 193-pound defensive back, including secondary coach Corey Raymond, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, safeties coach Bill Busch and, of course, coach Ed Orgeron. Stingley was strong on both sides of the ball, showing off his elite athleticism and vertical abilities with his Dunham (La.) High School teammates. It is worth noting Stingley made his way back to LSU before announcing his decision, another positive sign for the Tigers.
- Ishmael Sopsher and his entire family made the trek from Amite, La., to check in with the LSU staff. Orgeron greeted the entire family, including older brother Rodney, before the 5-star defensive tackle suited up and worked out with defensive line coach Dennis Johnson. This is Sopsher’s first visit to LSU since the start of spring football, which is worth noting. Sopsher is expected back in Alabama this summer as well, as it continues to shape up to be a Tigers-Tide race to National Signing Day for the No. 1 tackle in the Class of 2019.
- Devin Bush garnered a ton of attention from the LSU staff, and he was joined by his entire family, including both his parents and his brother, Michael, who is a sophomore at the university. Bush was dominant in his reps at cornerback for Edna Karr (La.), matching up with Houston 4-star wide receiver Jalen Curry in the teams’ meeting. Both Raymond and Aranda were closely paying attention to the 6-1, 185-pound defensive back, who has lined up at corner and nickel for Karr. Bush was a mainstay at LSU throughout this spring and is expected back on campus next week for the team’s elite camp. Bush’s parents ended the camp with an exchange with New Orleans area recruiter Mickey Joseph. I feel good about where the Tigers sit with the 4-star cornerback, who named LSU, Clemson and Tennessee as his finalists and could make a commitment as early as August.
- Tyrion Davis made his way back to LSU for the first time since the Louisville debacle. The 4-star Baton Rouge native reaffirmed he is locked in with LSU and isn’t going to budge from that commitment. Davis spent the day shadowing running backs coach Tommie Robinson, and will be back on campus this time next week for the team’s elite high school camp, which is where Davis earned his offer from LSU a year ago.
- In talking to some folks about LSU’s running back board, the thought here is that 4-star Destrehan (La.) tailback John Emery Jr. remains the No. 1 uncommitted target. The goal is to reel in a 1-2 tandem of Emery and Davis by December. However, with Emery scheduled to make a commitment on July 7, the out-of-state schools may have leapfrogged LSU in recent weeks. LSU is hoping to get Emery back on campus next week for the elite camp ahead of his commitment date. The same goes for 4-star IMG (Bradenton, Fla.) back Noah Cain, who won’t make any decisions until December. Cain, a Baton Rouge native, could be on campus at the same time as both Emery and Davis before the end of the month as LSU looks for clarity on its 2019 running back haul.
- Grant Gunnell was back at LSU for the first time since committing to Arizona earlier this month. In talking to some sources close to the 4-star All-American quarterback, Gunnell spent part of Saturday morning meeting with LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger and touring through the facility and getting a close look at what is being built. Gunnell is solid in his pledge to Arizona and Kevin Sumlin, but he will be keeping close tabs on the offensive progression in Baton Rouge. LSU scheduled St. Pius X, Gunnell’s high school team, to be at this camp well in advance of Gunnell’s commitment. The expectation behind center is that the Tigers’ 2019 quarterback either does not hold an offer yet or has yet to visit campus to date.
- Jalen Curry, Gunnell’s St. Pius X teammate, was also on hand. The 4-star wide receiver was nursing a knee injury and was limited on the afternoon. Curry also got some added face time with the coaches and Ensminger was eyeing the quarterback-receiver tandem during the 7-on-7 championship game.
- Siaki Ika made the long trip from Utah to Louisiana for his first taste of LSU. Busch is spearheading the Tigers’ efforts with the massive defensive tackle, who was a spectator during the team’s linemen camp on Saturday. Ika, 6-3 and 350 pounds, drew massive praise from the LSU coaches. He arrived in Baton Rouge and stayed on Saturday, and will have more in-depth conversations with Orgeron, Busch and Johnson over the course of the weekend.
- Landry-Walker (La.) High School was one of the most talented squads to make the trip up I-10 West on Saturday and there were some notable young prospects in attendance. Dywan Griffin, a 6-foot-1, 178-pound wide receiver in the Class of 2019, was a burner. That should come as no surprise since Griffin is the younger brother of former Karr standout and Texas A&M signee Speedy Noil. Griffin will camp at LSU next week. Ramone McGrew is a 6-foot-2, 170-pound big-bodied receiver that caught some attention from the coaching staff. He, too, will camp at LSU next week. Lastly, Class of 2021 defensive back Eric Barnes was very impressive. The young hybrid safety is preparing for his first year as a starter and shined in the secondary for Landry-Walker.
- A lot of the LSU staff’s eyes were on West St. John 4-star wide receiver Trenton Grow, who is among the front-runners to be the next 2020 prospect to garner an offer. Grow is 6-3 and 180 pounds entering his junior year and hauled in 7 touchdowns in two games during pool play, while Joseph and passing game coordinator Jerry Sullivan were on the sidelines. In a 2020 Louisiana crop where only 4-star wide receiver Koy Moore holds an offer from LSU, Grow joins a select few along with Kayshon Boutte, Khi Mathieu, Jacobi Bellazin and Reginald Johnson as potential offers.
- Want a Class of 2022 name to know? Try McMain wide receiver Ajahn Johnson. He’s a long playmaker and entering his freshman year, will be the focal point of the Mustangs’ offense. Expect Johnson to be on LSU’s radar for the next couple of years.
- Warren Easton was not in attendance for LSU’s camp on Saturday, but several players will be on campus next week for the elite camp. Lance LeGendre will not be one of them, a source said, but only because he is not cleared to throw from a surgery this spring. LSU will host 2019 4-star cornerback Chester Kimbrough and 2019 3-star lineman Caleb Etienne, as well as 2020 4-star running back Ashaad Clayton and 2020 lineman Sedrick Van Pran next week. Clayton already holds an offer and named the Tigers as a leader. Kimbrough, Etienne and Van Pran will all be vying for offers.
- Joel Williams recently camped at both Texas and Texas A&M, but made a secret unofficial visit to LSU later on Saturday afternoon. The 3-star 2020 athlete camped at LSU earlier this month and will be back for the elite camp. The 6-2, 180-pound defensive back has already garnered the attention of both Joseph and Raymond, and is squarely in the mix for an offer by month’s end.
- Three-star Baton Rouge running back Mike Hollins made the visit to LSU along with teammate, 3-star offensive tackle Dylan Rathcke. Both are expected back for the elite camp next week, but an offer may not come until later in the cycle. Both University Lab (Baton Rouge, La.) prospects are on LSU’s radar, but the timing of those offers are fluid. LSU may need to lose out on Emery and Cain before Hollins grabs an offer. LSU is looking for a fifth lineman in its 2019 class, ideally a tackle, and Rathcke is a name to monitor should he impress James Cregg over the next few weeks.
- Ja’Braylon Spencer is an edge rusher to keep in the back of your mind for the stretch of the 2019 cycle. The 6-3, 200-pound standout out of New Iberia camped with the elite group on Saturday and earned high praise from Johnson. LSU has whiffed on several out-of-state Bench linebacker targets and is evaluating several in-state prospects, including Spencer, who has visited campus a handful of times in the spring.
- Class of 2021 defensive lineman Mason Smith camped on Saturday, too. The Terrebonne (La.) High School standout is very impressive at 6-foot and 280 pounds as a rising sophomore. Expect Smith to compete for an offer next week along with 2020 teammates Jahki Douglas, who turned heads at the joint LSU-Southern camp last week. Additionally, 2022 Lutcher (La.) tackle Ty Cooper and 2020 Florida edge rusher Claude Larkins were on hand.
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