Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. In this edition, we discuss LSU’s newest commitment and why it puts the team in position for the No. 1 class in the country.
5 commitments and a flip later …
June has been kind to the Tigers.
At the beginning of the month, there was mixed sentiment about the direction of LSU’s 2019 recruiting class. On one hand, the nation’s top cornerback, Derek Stingley Jr., had announced a June 20 commitment date with the in-state program as the heavy favorite. However, LSU had just missed on its top quarterback target and was seemingly playing from behind for its short list of other options.
June came and the Tigers were found.
On the first day of LSU’s annual elite high school prospect camp, 4-star dual-threat quarterback Peter Parrish changed momentum with a fantastic performance in front of the coaching staff. Parrish, one of the top uncommitted 4-star prospects left in the 2019 class, left Baton Rouge without an offer and drove through the night to camp in Tennessee. Before the family exited their vehicle, a call came in from coach Ed Orgeron, informing the Phenix City, Ala., native that he had an offer from LSU.
Parrish committed on the spot.
LSU hosted a bevy of blue-chip defensive backs on Friday. Stingley, now the highest-ranked commitment in the Tigers’ 2019 group, worked out alongside future teammates Marcus Banks and Marcel Brooks, the team’s Texas contingent. Banks is a long, rangy cornerback who will add talent and depth to the LSU secondary beginning in January, whereas Brooks — at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds with superb athleticism — will wear multiple hats for defensive coordinator Dave Aranda when he officially steps foot on campus next summer.
LSU welcomed three of its commitments back to campus to work out and caught a glimpse of its 2019 haul. Junior college safety Dreshun Miller turned heads immediately as a plug-and-play prospect to use all over the defensive backfield. He gave the staff his commitment on Saturday before returning to Eastern Arizona College. Mississippi 3-star athlete Raydarious Jones impressed secondary coach Corey Raymond, as the Horn Lake (Miss.) prospect cemented his spot atop the board moving forward. Cordale Flott, who at the time was committed to Auburn, flashed encouraging signs, and Orgeron and Co. flipped the Alabama native before he returned home from his official visit. Orgeron also offered New Orleans 3-star cornerback Chester Kimbrough, as the Tigers made a quick impression on the in-state prospect and are preparing to make a push into the fall.
With Miller and Flott joining before the end of the weekend, LSU has five quality defensive backs with room for one more. Jones and Kimbrough are the two likeliest options to take that spot.
Tigers tight ends coach John Decoster quietly lured junior college tight end TK McClendon to campus for workouts over the weekend. The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Georgia native displayed excellent hands, then worked out privately for Orgeron and offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger before earning an offer and giving the staff another commitment over the busy weekend.
With Stingley, Banks, Flott, Miller, McClendon and Parrish all on board, LSU has 17 commits entering the dead period, which amounts to the No. 3-ranked class in the country, per 247Sports composite team rankings. Yet, the Tigers are far from done.
While several position groups have been addressed, LSU is also pursuing a second running back, a future left tackle and reinforcements in the front seven before Signing Day. This weekend, the staff welcomed blue-chip players such as Noah Cain, Trey Palmer, Devonta Lee, Christian Harris, Ray Parker, Nakobe Dean and Byron Young to campus.
The nation’s top defensive tackle, Ishmael Sopsher, was on campus only a week ago. Meanwhile, Louisiana’s top inside linebacker, Donte’ Starks, announced he’d make a decision on July 8, his 18th birthday, with the Tigers as the lofty favorite. LSU also jumped into the mix with sought-after prospects such as Jones, Kimbrough and Trikweze Bridges for the final defensive back spot.
With room for up to eight more commitments in this 2019 class, expect the major pieces to fall into place at different points between now and February. LSU is in pole position for in-state prospects such as Starks, Palmer, Lee, Parker and Sopsher, and could poach one or two of Mississippi’s best out of the Magnolia State. With a strong season this fall, the Tigers could wind up bringing Cain back to Baton Rouge in December and making a splash in Tangipahoa Parish come February.
Should certain events fall into place as the staff expects, LSU very well could overtake Texas A&M and Alabama for the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. Based on SEC Country’s projections, the 2019 class could finish with close to 290 points, which could feature a rather impressive group of in-state prospects and notable names from Texas, Mississippi and Alabama.
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