In the span of three days, LSU hosted three of Louisiana’s top 10 prospects at spring practices.
Not bad at all.
Afterwards, each of the three prospects provided SEC Country with encouraging reviews of the visits and touched on conversations they had with the Tigers’ coaches.
Here’s a recap of all the week’s action and LSU’s status with some premier in-state talent:
Christopher Allen took in LSU’s spring practice session on Saturday along with elite Albany (La.) cornerback Cheyenne Labruzza and Texas four-star running back Toneil Carter.
Louisiana’s No. 4 prospect in the Class of 2017 focused his attention on the coaches’ style, which he told SEC Country would play a major role in making his decision.
Though he does not have a list of top schools yet, the four-star outside linebacker said LSU would definitely rank somewhere near the top.
“They’re definitely like top three,” Allen told SEC Country. “I haven’t made a list yet, but I know that LSU, at worst, is going to be top five. They’re going to be in the mix for sure, you know.”
“It’s for a lot of reasons,” the Baton Rouge, La., native added. “Just because this is my hometown, my home state where I grew up watching and loving LSU football, and I’m really intrigued with the coaching staff. I like them and I like Coach (Les) Miles, and (I liked) just going to their practice and being able to learn more about how they coach and what type of people they were.”
The nation’s No. 7 outside ‘backer, Allen is a major target on LSU’s big board as first-year defensive coordinator Dave Aranda looks to collect prospects that fit in his defense.
Aranda told Allen he envisions him as a three-down player that would spend time in the middle on early downs and switch to the outside or defensive end in passing situations.
LSU is already in good shape with the 6-foot-4, 222-pounder but will have to stave off the likes of Alabama and Auburn to eventually land him.
Elite defensive end Bryan Jones has yet to receive his offer from LSU, but that’s truly more of a “when” proposition than an “if.”
On Tuesday, Jones, the state’s No. 10 prospect, attended LSU’s spring practice, where he was instantly greeted by offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron, who are spearheading the four-star prospect’s recruitment.
Jones was impressed by the “Big Cat” drills he witnessed in person and paid close attention to LSU’s 40 front, another way to referring to a 4-3 defense in the defensive line shift toward the offense’s strong side, which is what four-star prospect thrives in at Madison Prep (Baton Rouge, La.)
“As soon as I walked in the door, Coach Cam (Cameron) and Coach O (Ed Orgeron) came and greeted me,” Jones recalled to SEC Country. “Coach Miles grabbed me when they were getting ready to go on the field outside.”
“Coach O was asking me if I was ready to hit some drills with him,” he added.
Orgeron maintains a strong relationship with the nation’s No. 7 strongside defensive end, and LSU should be in good hands when it ultimately extends an offer Jones’ way.
Jones has been to LSU’s campus three times since February, attending the “Boys From The Boot” event, Junior Day and now one of the spring practice sessions.
Asked why Devonta Smith decided to attend LSU’s spring practice session on Tuesday, the state’s No. 3 prospect simply said, “Why not go?”
Smith made a good point, but there is more depth to the situation.
The elite wide receiver is in the process of developing a relationship with new LSU wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig. Smith told SEC Country that his relationship with the position coach will play an important role in the Tigers’ chances of landing him, particularly because he knows the first-year LSU coach will help open up their offense.
“It’s been going good, and that means a lot because it’s your position coach,” Smith said to SEC Country in regards to his bond with Craig. “I like the way he pushes the receivers.”
“The offense has to open up,” he said. “It would (change my perception) a lot.”
It’s now a wait-and-see sort of situation with Smith and whether LSU does in fact live up to all the offseason hype regarding its new-look offense.
Smith is a speedy wide receiver that is currently favoring the likes of Alabama, Ole Miss and Miami, but he won’t rule out LSU’s chances just yet.
LSU would be remiss not to do all it can to keep one of The Boot’s elite talents in the state and away from a rival SEC power.
New Orleans tight end Damien Degruy does not yet hold an offer from LSU, but he has certainly garnered attention from the coaching staff.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound three-star prospect out of West Jefferson High School (Harvey, La.) is one of the handful of tight ends that the LSU coaches are aiming to watch in person to determine if he’s a fit in the new offense.
Degruy served as an athlete during his junior season and was an All-District selection in that role. He lined up at tight end, but could also move out wide and play receiver or in the slot.
The tight end would instantly favor the Tigers should he earn an offer, and he remains focused on impressing the coaches whenever they see him in person.
“They were just saying that they are going to be looking at me,” Degruy told SEC Country. “They want to see me be more explosive, but that’s about it. It means a lot to be receiving interest from one of the top programs in the nation. I’ve always thought about that offer since my freshman year.”
Degruy is still a raw product, but one with a lot of athleticism and upside. He possesses the same sort of skill set as 2016 LSU signee Jamal Pettigrew, but still has a long ways to go in terms of sharpening his overall game.
He is certainly a prospect to keep an eye on and see if the Tigers show him more attention later this spring and into the fall.