LSU wrapped up arguably the most important recruiting weekend of the year.
Blue-chip targets such as Marvin Wilson, K’Lavon Chaisson, Christopher Allen, Phidarian Mathis, Tyler Taylor, Todd Harris, DeVonta Smith and Racey McMath were all on hand. As was some of the Tigers’ most notable commits like Kary Vincent Jr., Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Tyler Shelvin, Edward Ingram, Aaron Moffitt, Jontre Kirklin and Tory Carter.
LSU began the weekend with 19 commitments in its 2017 recruiting class and ended with the same number of pledges.
As the Tigers move forward, here’s an update on some of the top targets:
K’Lavon Chaisson, 4-star DE/OLB
Chaisson was hosted by Arden Key, which should come as no surprise given the fact that the 4-star Houston product is a near clone of LSU’s leading sack artist.
Prior to the visit, sources close to Chaisson told SEC Country that he favored Texas over LSU 60-40.
There is reason to believe that the Tigers have tipped things in their favor.
One source believes Chaisson will wind up at LSU after the visit. He made the trip from Houston to Baton Rouge along with his mother, who is emphasizing academics in his college decision. Chaisson aspires to major in petroleum engineering.
Edge rusher is a primary need in LSU’s 2017 recruiting class, and Chaisson sits squarely atop of the coaching staff’s big board. Sources on the ground in Baton Rouge were convinced Chaisson is now favoring LSU ahead of Texas, with an official visit to Austin scheduled for this weekend.
Todd Harris, 4-star DB
The Plaquemine (La.) High standout received an in-home visit from defensive backs coach Corey Raymond on the Thursday prior to his official visit, then spent much of the weekend speaking with Raymond. He also was surrounded by potential secondary mates Grant Delpit and JaCoby Stevens, who are hopeful to add Harris to the mix.
Harris reported that all the conversations with LSU’s coaching staff were encouraging and that he returned from Baton Rouge with a lot of positive momentum.
The 4-star safety spoke with coach Ed Orgeron and Raymond throughout the visit and discussed his intentions to announce his decision on National Signing Day. LSU is still believed to be the favorite, with Harris referring to LSU as home on several different occasions and already speaking with conviction about his future with the team.
In order to continue to keep LSU at the forefront, Raymond will go in-home with Harris and his family at some point this week before he heads to Alabama on Friday.
The Under Armour All-American still has some trepidation about how many defensive backs LSU will reel in come National Signing Day. With Delpit and Stevens already enrolled, Vincent and Kirklin firmly committed, and 3-star Louisiana nickelback Amik Robertson adding an offer on Friday, Harris’ concerns are justified.
Marvin Wilson, 5-star DT
Wilson was hosted by one of Orgeron’s biggest fans, rising senior defensive tackle Greg Gilmore, and was joined on the trip by both his mom and brother.
On several occasions, SEC Country has been told Orgeron is recruiting Wilson’s family as hard as he is the 5-star defensive tackle.
Another interesting tidbit: LSU also recruits Mac Rowe.
Many are wondering who exactly Mac Rowe is. He’s Wilson’s teammate at Episcopal (Texas) High, who like his best friend, is making top-five lists of his college destinations.
Rowe released his of Texas, Clemson, Ohio State, Florida State and LSU. Not surprisingly, the latter three are also in Wilson’s final five.
From what SEC Country has gathered, Orgeron is making a major impression on both Wilson and Rowe, potentially pairing the two friends in Baton Rouge.
Sources close to Wilson told SEC Country that he had nothing but positive reviews of his time in Baton Rouge. Without question, LSU is recruiting the nation’s top defensive line prospect harder than any other school. His last visit will be to South Florida on Friday before he works to finalize his decision, which is set for National Signing Day.
DeVonta Smith, 4-star WR
Smith was hosted by D.J. Chark, the lone veteran returning to LSU’s wide receiving unit.
Smith brought along his mother, stepfather and little brother, Christian, and SEC Country was told that “overall, it was a great weekend.”
It’s worth noting that Smith is the offensive priority remaining in the Tigers’ recruiting class, despite being joined by Nico Collins and Racey McMath on the visit. Smith was a keen observer of offensive coordinator Matt Canada, and all of the information relayed to him was “very well received.”
Like many of the Louisiana natives and LSU targets included on this weekend of official visitors, Smith will head to Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Friday.
Christopher Allen, 4-star LB
Allen made the last-minute decision to officially visit LSU instead of following his original plan to head to Alabama this weekend.
The priority linebacker target and Crimson Tide commit spent Thursday with Orgeron, then the weekend being hosted by area native Nick Brossette and star sophomore linebacker Devin White. With Brossette and White, Allen received a clear message about the importance of staying in Louisiana, a path both of his hosts followed and one White has been outspoken about.
Allen reported a great official visit weekend, and LSU’s coaches are expected to continue to capitalize on their momentum with the blue-chip linebacker before he returns to Alabama on Friday.
Of course, there is certainly trepidation that if Allen winds up in Tuscaloosa, Ala., as planned, Nick Saban could cement the Tide’s status as Allen’s leader. LSU will make every attempt to alter those plans.
Tyler Shelvin, 4-star DT
Shelvin, LSU’s longest-tenured commit in its 2017 recruiting class, was hosted by veteran defensive lineman Christian LaCouture, who is a product of Orgeron and defensive line guru Pete Jenkins.
Shelvin told SEC Country he was 95-percent locked in with the Tigers at the Under Armour All-America Game. You can push the dial to 100 percent now.
The Notre Dame (La.) High standout confirmed he no longer will officially visit ‘Bama after this weekend’s official visit. Shelvin already speaks about LSU as if he were already enrolled. That’s another encouraging sign for the Tigers and their ability to restock their defensive front with quality recruits.
Kary Vincent Jr., 4-star CB
The prized cornerback commit was hosted by former 7-on-7 teammate and fellow Texas area recruit Grant Delpit, who enrolled on campus earlier in the week.
Not that Vincent could be any more solid in his pledge to the Tigers, but this weekend certainly negated any doubt.
Vincent is firmly locked in with LSU, and said as much to SEC Country. However, he still may take another official visit to Texas next weekend. It should not be a point of concern.
The 4-star Texas corner announced he will wear No. 15 next season in place of Malachi Dupre. He spoke with Orgeron and Raymond at length, and is exceedingly confident in his future in Baton Rouge.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, 3-star RB
Edwards-Helaire, LSU’s lone running back commit, received an in-home visit from running backs coach Jabbar Juluke before coming to campus this weekend. To nobody’s surprise, Edwards-Helaire was hosted by another Catholic (La.) High School standout, Derrius Guice.
The 3-star running back briefly reopened his recruitment last month, but reaffirmed his commitment very soon after. This weekend went a long way in entrenching Edwards-Helaire in LSU’s 2017 class with National Signing Day just a little more than two weeks away.
Edwards-Helaire paid close attention to Canada’s plans for the offense, and while he did not want to reveal those talks with the offensive coach, he did feel extremely confident that LSU is about to turn a corner on that side of the ball.
“I talked to him personally about some of the offensive things,” Edwards-Helaire said. “Everyone saw what he brings to the table. He kept things simple. It should be a very great year coming up.”
Aaron Moffitt, 3-star DL
Moffitt was hosted by New Orleans native Foster Moreau, but don’t pencil in a switch from defensive end to tight end just yet.
Moffitt has a longstanding relationship with Moreau and requested the junior tight end as a host. However, tight end remains a possibility with LSU not recruiting many others at the position right now.
The Catholic (La.) High standout called his visit amazing, but perhaps the cherry on top was Tommy Moffitt, LSU’s strength and conditioning coach, getting the “dad treatment” alongside Aaron.
Racey McMath, 3-star WR
McMath was hosted by former Texas quarterback Justin McMillan, which was a bit of a surprise considering there are several former Edna Karr (La.) players on LSU’s roster. However, the LSU staff wanted to pair McMath with an offensive player.
McMath reported a positive visit, but did not commit, as some members of the coaching staff expected him to do.
However, the Tigers continue to pad their lead for the big-bodied New Orleans wide receiver as he heads to Texas A&M on Friday and Mississippi State on Jan. 27. LSU remains the team to beat and is quietly confident in its chances with McMath.
Tory Carter, 3-star FB
Louisiana native and reserve fullback Trey Gallman hosted Carter this weekend, one that the 3-star commit raved about at length.
At one point, Michigan posed a serious threat to poach the No. 1-ranked fullback as LSU’s coaching staff was being shuffled. However, this official visit cemented Carter’s path.
“I loved it and I cannot wait to be a Tiger,” Carter told SEC Country.
More so, Carter felt confident that the LSU staff convinced some of the other priority recruits making their official visit to follow that same path.
One reason why: Canada.
Canada’s presentation about the future of the Tigers’ offense left most of the recruits impressed about the direction the unit is headed. That includes the stud fullback.
“Great guy, great coach, and I can’t wait to work with him,” Carter said of the offensive coordinator. “He is a very intelligent coach.”
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