Much of the Tigers faithful was focused this weekend on watching their alum get drafted into the NFL on a rare slow weekend for LSU recruiting.
The LSU coaching staff, meanwhile, remained out on the road recruiting during the NCAA evaluation period.
That led to a host of good news in favor of LSU, with some of its major targets bumping the Tigers up on their list of top schools and opening the door on some other intriguing prospects.
After a spring in which Adrian Ealy visited both LSU and Miami, the four-star offensive tackle felt confident enough to release his top 12 schools.
LSU was one of six SEC teams to crack Ealy’s list, along with Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Auburn, Tennessee and Florida. Miami also made the cut, as did Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan, Arizona and Florida State.
The 6-foot-7, 280-pounder from University Lab School (Baton Rouge, La.) made a handful of trips to LSU this spring. After all, his high school is located at the doorstep of the campus, which compelled the nation’s No. 30 offensive tackle to take in a spring practice.
Ealy was intrigued by the way coaches conducted practice, among other things, which he told SEC Country would go a long way in developing a comfort with the school.
Miami was the only other school to receive a visit from Louisiana’s No. 9 overall prospect. That offer came during the trip.
Miami, Arizona, Michigan and Oklahoma have all extended offers the tackle’s way since late March, while other schools including LSU, Florida, Florida State and Texas — have been in contention for the elite lineman since they first offered after his freshman season.
Ealy named LSU his leading school early in his recruitment, but between increased interest and conducting research entering his senior year, numerous schools are clearly in the mix. He detailed to SEC Country what he likes about all the SEC powers that cracked his top 12, and made it clear the Tigers were going to be in the running until the end of his recruitment.
Late last week, one of the nation’s premier defensive line coaches was removed from his position at Alabama.
Soon after, Marvin Wilson removed the Tide from contention.
Defensive line coach Bo Davis spearheaded Wilson’s recruitment, getting the nation’s top defensive tackle to visit the campus this spring, and to presumably include Alabama among his top schools.
Davis’ departure from the school amid alleged recruiting violations opens the door for Florida State, LSU, Texas, Texas A&M and Ole Miss to gain ground on the 6-foot-4, 329-pounder.
The five-star Texan visited Florida State and LSU on the same weekend he stopped by Tuscaloosa, Ala., and previously told SEC Country he anticipated both the Tide and the Tigers would be in the mix until he finalized his decision.
Considered an unofficial top three, LSU’s and Florida State’s chances of landing Wilson both increased with Alabama pushed to the side.
The Lone Star State’s top-rated prospect told SEC Country that LSU “separated itself” after his visit to Baton Rouge, La. Wilson has an overwhelmingly strong bond with LSU defensive line coach Ed Orgeron.
You can imagine how important Wilson holds that relationship with Davis, and the impact of losing that coach in the middle of your recruitment had on him.
Fortunately for LSU, Orgeron is not going anywhere, and that bond remains firmly in place as he reconsiders his options.
Wilson is among the top prospects on LSU’s big board for the Class of 2017, and the dismissal of SEC West rival Alabama from contention for Wilson bodes well in the Tigers’ favor heading into the summer.
Nation’s top junior college wide receiver decommits from SEC rival
LSU has a short-but-talented collection of wide receiver targets in the Class of 2017, but the team has increasingly been intrigued by Stephen Guidry.
The Morganza, La., native and Hinds Community College (Raymond, Miss.) product decommitted from South Carolina on Friday about two months after committing to coach Will Muschamp.
Since that pledge, the 6-foot-4, 190-pounder took an unofficial visit to Mississippi State. But that may not have been the turning point that led the nation’s top junior college wide receiver to reopen his recruitment.
LSU has kept an eye on the four-star talent, and even visited the Louisiana native last week while traveling through Mississippi.
The Tigers have yet to extend an offer Guidry’s way, but that could become inevitable at a certain point.
LSU is in contention for a host of elite in-state wide receivers, most notably Amite (La.) five-star Devonta Smith. Additionally, LSU is considered one of the early frontrunners for New Orleans’ Rayce McMath, despite the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder also not yet holding an offer from the Tigers.
LSU’s attention shifting toward Guidry may be a sign that some of the team’s other targets are moving further away from the purple and gold. Or the team could be aiming to add a deeper collection of talent at the position to fit the new-look, spread-style offense.
All rankings reflect 247Sports Composites unless otherwise noted.
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.