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 newest commitment: Alabama athlete Kris Abrams-Draine. The Mobile area prospect became the first to secure a spot in the Tigers’ 2020 recruiting class.
Kris Abrams-Draine breaks down LSU commitment
To no one’s surprise, Kris Abrams-Draine’s cell phone has not stopped buzzing since midday Wednesday. Of course, that’s when he made his verbal commitment to LSU public knowledge.
Before that, the Class of 2020 athlete told his mother, his friends and, of course, members of the LSU coaching staff. All paled in comparison to the reaction he received from his grandmother.
“It’s amazing because every athlete grew up wanting to play D1. My phone has been blowing up, but my grandma, she started crying,” Abrams-Draine told SEC Country on Wednesday.
“She was so happy for me and stuff. It felt like a dream. I never thought I’d get offered as a sophomore and then commit. This has always been a dream of mine to play for LSU. Everyone in my family likes LSU. They’ve got the most people going into the league and when they came back to beat Auburn, I was there. It was crazy and that’s when I knew I wanted to go there.”
Abrams-Draine’s grandmother may have shed tears when she got word of her grandson’s decision, but it’s been a topic of discussion in his household dating back to Saturday night.
The Spanish Fort (Ala.) High School product picked up his offer six days prior. Abrams-Draine and his mother made the quick decision to attend LSU’s junior day last Saturday and then contemplated giving the staff a commitment.
Abrams-Draine is among the top group of prospects in a loaded Alabama crop for the 2020 class, but he felt that an early commitment to an out-of-state program was fine if that’s where his heart lied.
“Well, I had to talk with my mom. We started to have that conversation right after the visit after we left to go back home,” Abrams-Draine recalled. “The conversation started there. She asked why I wanted to go to that school, then out of nowhere she said she liked it and she wanted me to go there, too.
“The academic programs, the coaches and how they treated us like family. I was pretty comfortable.”
LSU junior day set bar
Abrams-Draine’s unofficial visit to Baton Rouge last weekend included campus tours, a close-up look at the academic part of the university, and time with Tigers coaches and current players.
The latter made an impression that cannot be overlooked.
Despite early offers from Arkansas, Florida, Ole Miss and Tennessee, Abrams-Draine was intrigued to learn about the daily competition at LSU between the wide receivers and defensive backs, two position groups that have routinely churned out high NFL draft picks in recent years.
“The current players were telling me that you’re going against NFL players every day at practice, so you’ll have to be good,” he said. “You have to get better unless you want to get beat into the ground every day. When they said that, my eyes opened up. My eyebrows just rolled because that’s how you compete.”
The 6-foot, 160-pound Abrams-Draine is listed as an athlete, but make no mistake: Both he and the LSU coaches plan on him lining up at wide receiver. He met with receivers coach Mickey Joseph before spending time with coach Ed Orgeron.
The Tigers’ new pass-heavy offense naturally was a much-discussed subject, as was the blueprint for how to utilize Abrams-Draine’s skill set. The LSU coaches checked off both boxes with ease during the visit.
“I had a special time with Coach Mickey. They said they have receivers that can play in the slot and outside, and I can play in the slot and outside, and their passing offense is going to get better,” Abrams-Draine said. “It’s LSU, so everyone is expecting the run anyway, but they just got some top [wide receiver] prospects.”
Turning point: LSU vs. Alabama
For prospects in Louisiana and Alabama, the possibility of being part of the LSU-Alabama rivalry is always coveted. Interestingly enough, Abrams-Draine hails from Coastal Alabama right outside Mobile, but he anxiously awaits his opportunity to suit up for the Tigers.
Perhaps the biggest catalyst in Abrams-Draine’s decision to commit to LSU early was a conversation with the staff about playing the Crimson Tide. Of course, Alabama has reeled off seven consecutive victories in the series, but the newly minted Tigers commit aims to be a difference maker when he’s a part of that game.
“The best thing they said was imagining that you’re running out of the tunnel versus Alabama and you’re the underdog. One hundred thousands fans will be screaming, watching you make one of the biggest plays in LSU history,” he said. “That motivated me. Everyone from Alabama wants to go to Alabama as kids, but I want to be different. If I beat Alabama, then they can’t say nothing.”
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