Welcome to the second edition of SEC Country’s LSU recruiting mailbag, which comes to you exactly two weeks before National Signing Day (Feb. 3).
LSU has certainly gone through an interesting week on the recruiting trail. Sandwich that with the fact the Tigers are expecting another talent-laden crop of visitors this weekend and that they’ll hear the verdict on the No. 1 player in Louisiana on Friday. How much more ground can they cover before prospects start turning their commitments into signed letters of intent?
Here were the five best questions in the mailbag for this week:
LSU’s underclassmen made their decision to stay in school or go to the NFL. Many of the Tigers stayed, so what does that mean for this year’s recruiting class?
Offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins was the lone LSU underclassman to officially enter his name in the 2016 NFL Draft. He joins a group including Vadal Alexander, Lamar Louis, Deion Jones and Jalen Mills, all of whom are off to the professional ranks.
With two tackle spots opening up, it gives the current players on the LSU roster a chance, as well as potential commit Willie Allen. The four-star lineman from John Curtis Christian School (River Ridge, La.) could make an announcement before signing day, and if he selects LSU, he could be in the mix for a starting job, depending on how he fares in practice.
The loss of Mills in the secondary is especially crushing since LSU is surprisingly thin at those positions. Barring some positional changes on the current roster, four-star prospects Cameron Lewis and Eric Monroe could compete for immediate playing time. Factor Deontay Anderson into the fold if LSU gains favor over Ole Miss this weekend.
The loss of Jones and Louis in the linebacking corps means Michael Divinity and Erick Fowler could earn starting jobs right away. The true freshmen will be balanced out by returning starter Kendell Beckwith. Divinity was an All-State player at John Ehret High School (Marrero, La.) his senior season, while Fowler provides a pass-rushing element from outside linebacker.
So even though all of these underclassmen are staying, there are still several incoming recruits can still come in and compete for playing time.
Rashard Lawrence is going to pledge to LSU or Ohio State on Friday. Where he does wind up?
As it stands now, Lawrence is expected to be an LSU Tiger. But it’s recruiting, so anything can happen in the next 36 hours.
Lawrence officially visited LSU last weekend, then received in-home visits from both the Buckeyes and the Tigers during the week. Even he admitted that he could make his mind up and then change it throughout the course of the week.
The five-star defensive tackle has long shown a fondness for coach Les Miles and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron. Orgeron was the first person to recruit the Neville High School (Monroe, La.) standout.
LSU and Ohio State are seemingly neck-and-neck for Lawrence, but I tend to give the edge to LSU based on the relationships the prospect has with the coaches and the chance to play for his hometown team.
Sure, anything can happen Friday morning when he makes his decision public. But I’d consider it somewhat of an upset if LSU loses out to Ohio State in the battle for Lawrence’s services.
Is LSU going to have a quarterback in its class?
This is the question we all have, isn’t it?
LSU’s top priority, Dwayne Haskins, flipped his commitment from Maryland to Ohio State on Monday, meaning the Tigers’ Plan A was ruined. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron flew to Maryland to visit with the four-star prospect, who agreed to take an official visit to LSU this weekend, but in the end LSU’s push came too late.
In the past few days, LSU has begun to put together a Plan B, which has been to offer 2015 Mr. Louisiana quarterback Lindsey Scott of Zachary High School (Baton Rouge, La.). Scott, a three-star prospect, was previously committed to Syracuse before reopening his recruitment and fielding offerings from LSU, Tulane, Rutgers and Maryland, among others.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pounder churned out more than 5,000 yards of total offense his senior campaign in Zachary’s spread offense, which as we know is far different than what Cameron is running in Baton Rouge, La. However, LSU seems resolute on adding one quarterback to its 2016 class.
The question now is whether Scott bites.
Scott could be turned off by receiving an offer from LSU so late in the recruiting process, or he could welcome it. But as we wait to see what Scott does, the chances of LSU securing a quarterback commitment continue to dissolve.
Which prospects are visiting LSU this weekend and who does LSU have the best chance at landing?
Compared to last weekend, LSU is hosting a smaller crop of players. However, that shouldn’t in any way minimize the talent that’s en route to the campus.
The two nationally renowned prospects are Trayvon Mullen, a four-star Florida cornerback, and Deontay Anderson, a four-star safety from Houston.
In other words, defensive backs coach Corey Raymond will barely have a second to breathe from Friday to Sunday.
Mullen has not shown any favoritism in the past few weeks, and LSU will be his final official visit after making stops at Louisville, TCU, Clemson and Florida State. He is most definitely atop LSU’s wish list for defensive backs, particularly if the Tigers do not secure a commitment from four-star New Orleans cornerback Kristian Fulton. Getting commitments from both Fulton and Mullen are seemingly long shots, but at least one will likely wind up donning the purple and gold.
Anderson seems to be leaning toward Ole Miss. He’ll head to Oxford, Miss. next week, but not before getting a chance to see LSU up close and personal, and meet with the LSU coaching staff.
As stated earlier in the article, LSU has a dire need at safety, and Anderson could find himself being a contributor or a starter as early as his true freshman season. However, the Houston standout may be discouraged by the fact that LSU has two safety commits already in its 2016 class.
Of LSU’s current commits, who is the most likely to flip?
This is always a concern as National Signing Day approaches, particularly as some longtime commits officially visits elsewhere and are courted by some of the nation’s other top programs.
Four-star wide receiver Drake Davis committed to LSU earlier this month over Ole Miss and Alabama, but after visiting Tuscaloosa, Ala. last weekend, he admitted to SEC Country there’s always a chance he could flip. Ole Miss was considered a close second behind the Tigers when he made his decision, and the Rebels will be the last to host Davis on an official visit before signing day.
Davis is a Baton Rouge, La. native and made his decision early in January with some confidence. However, it’s not out of the realm of possibility he could make a late switch.
Four-star defensive tackle Glen Logan is another player to keep an eye on. First-year Miami coach Mark Richt is reportedly heavily pursuing Logan, who will head to Miami this weekend for an official visit.
Long before Richt even arrived at Miami, the Hurricanes were courting Logan. There is a wealth of defensive tackle talent in LSU’s 2016 recruiting class, but Logan is a big reason why it’s considered a position of strength. He’s one of the players that could feasibly flip his commitment, depending on how this weekend plays out.
Those are the most likely candidates … for now. But with two weeks until signing day, truly anything could happen.