Nike’s “The Opening” Finals in Oregon have coincided with a major weekend on the LSU recruiting front.
The Tigers added a premium defensive talent on Saturday evening, but also lost a pair of commits in their 2018 recruiting class. Now, the team awaits word on more potential adds in their current class that could be coming early this week.
Here’s a recruiting recap of all things LSU as we slowly inch toward the team’s annual 7-on-7 and linemen camp on Saturday, July 16 and elite prospect camp the following week.
One of the cornerstones of LSU’s 2017 class landed on Saturday when Grant Delpit, the nation’s No. 9 safety, committed to the Tigers.
The 6-foot-4, 181-pound defensive back originally hails from New Orleans, but at age 6 was displaced by Hurricane Katrina. He was raised in the Houston area, but will play at IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) for his senior season.
Delpit is on track to graduate in December and enroll early at LSU, and has all the abilities to be an instant-impact player when he arrives in Baton Rouge, La., next January, particularly at a position of need.
Speaking of which, the LSU coaches view the 4-star talent as Jamal Adams’ successor in the secondary. Like Adams, Delpit boasts outstanding range and a distinct nose for the football.
The elite talent chose LSU over SEC rivals Florida, Alabama and Auburn, as well as Clemson and Florida State. Defensive backs coach Corey Raymond and area recruiter Bradley Dale Peveto played a pivotal role in offering Delpit early, then maintaining a strong bond with the safety throughout the spring.
Delpit marks LSU’s 15th pledge in its 2017 class and the first true defensive back. The Tigers won’t be reeling in a deep class of talent, but thanks to Delpit’s commitment, they are on track to haul in an elite collection of talent.
Speaking of elite defensive backs, Texas 4-star cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. has delayed his commitment from Sunday until later this week as he prepares a video announcement.
Vincent told SEC Country that the decision has been made, which includes LSU as well as a host of other SEC powers. Auburn, Florida, TCU and Ohio State are also very much in the mix.
Sources close to the situation indicate that the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Memorial High School (Port Arthur, Texas) product is leaning toward the Tigers. Vincent picked up his offer from LSU in May when Peveto was on hand for a practice. Raymond and Peveto both paid Vincent and his father, a former Texas A&M wide receiver, a visit soon after, which led to a visit for the Bayou Picnic.
On the visit, the LSU coaches — including Les Miles — made a strong push for the Texan, which instantly put the Tigers among his favorite schools.
Since then, fellow Texas product and now LSU commit Delpit has helped recruit Vincent to join him in Baton Rouge, La. It now looks as if LSU could add the 16th commitment and first true cornerback in the next week in the form of Vincent.
LSU’s 2018 class was up to five commitments before it lost elite 4-star prospects Devonta Jason and Corione Harris this weekend.
Jason, the nation’s No. 6 wide receiver, and Harris, the nation’s No. 29 cornerback, are best friends and teammates at Landry-Walker High School (New Orleans).
Last weekend, Jason told SEC Country that he viewed LSU on a level playing field along with Alabama, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Georgia and all the schools he recently added overtures from this spring. It comes as no surprise that days later, the elite rising junior receiver elected to open his recruitment and consider some of his other options.
Jason is still high on LSU, but prefers to play for an offense that puts a greater emphasis on throwing the ball. He was impressed by the Tigers’ newly implemented system in the spring game, but wants to see even more when the fall rolls around.
“It goes hand in hand,” Jason told SEC Country in Dallas for the Pylon 7-on-7 championship. “LSU will have to work harder, and the other schools that recruiting me will too. I just want to find the right fit and do what’s best for me.”
Harris also had a productive spring that resulted in major offers from Florida, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Ole Miss, among others. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound defensive back had re-affirmed his pledge to LSU to SEC Country last weekend, but did admit that some of the other SEC powers courting him had his attention.
Like Jason, Harris maintains a great relationship with the LSU coaching staff, most notably Raymond, who was one of the first to extend an offer to the New Orleans native. And like his friend, the relationship between Harris and the Tigers is far from over with, but he would like to consider all of his options before finalizing his decision.
Jason was one of the first to commit in LSU’s 2018 class, giving a verbal commitment in November of 2015. Harris followed suit in February after attending the annual “Boys From The Boot” camp in Baton Rouge, La.
Both prospects are expected to return to the LSU campus this weekend for the annual 7-on-7 and linemen camp, where the staff will have a chance to re-connect with Harris and Jason. Both are also expected to be on hand for LSU’s elite prospect camp the following week.
LSU’s 2018 recruiting class is now down to three commitments — 5-star Louisiana cornerback Kelvin Joseph, 4-star Miami safety Nadab Joseph and 4-star Texas quarterback Zadock Dinkelmann. Jason will continue to be a priority for the LSU staff, as he and fellow in-state star Terrace Marshall Jr. are the team’s top wide receiver targets. The same goes for Harris, who is special at multiple positions in the secondary and is close friends with the aforementioned Joseph. That could come into play for both prospects as they delve into their junior seasons.
Sam Spiegelman covers LSU football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Tigers Stadium.