Even the weekend prior to LSU’s spring game brought a star-studded cast of prospects to campus.
LSU hosted three of its top targets in the Class of 2017, including two potential starters along its offensive line and one of the wide receivers it has kept an eye on for some time.
The Tigers made progress with all of those prospects over the weekend, giving the school an edge as it prepares to make a push for commitments in the coming weeks.
Alex Leatherwood’s weekend in The Boot went according to the script, and the nation’s No. 9 offensive tackle saw all he needed to while visiting LSU on Saturday.
The four-star lineman took in an LSU baseball game, sat in a team meeting with offensive line coach Jeff Grimes, watched the spring scrimmage and dined with coach Les Miles at Tigers Stadium.
Even more importantly, Leatherwood received a bit of knowledge from Miles that should make his decision even easier in the coming months.
“I saw my opportunity to play early. That’s what I saw,” Leatherwood told SEC Country. “Coach Miles was telling me they don’t really have a genuine left tackle ready to play, so I’d know I’d have the opportunity to play early.”
The offensive tackle said immediate playing time is “the biggest factor,” and the Alabama commit will spend the next few weeks trying to finalize visit plans and trim down his list before he makes his final decision.
Along with LSU, Florida and Miami are both making a push to flip Leatherwood. Southern Cal and Michigan have also jumped into the fray.
It remains an uphill battle for LSU and those other schools to gain ground on the Tide, but it doesn’t appear as if Leatherwood is as locked in on Alabama as he was a few short months ago.
In just more than a month, one of the nation’s top offensive tackles will announce either LSU, Alabama or Michigan.
Only one of those schools received a visit from Austin Deculus, though.
The four-star Texas tackle made his fourth trip to LSU this past weekend and displayed his excitement about possibly joining the Tigers on Twitter.
The 6-foot-6, 323-pounder out of Cy-Fair High School (Cypress, Texas) is the nation’s No. 12 offensive tackle and is among the top linemen the Tigers are courting in the Class of 2017.
LSU is considered the favorite to land Deculus after he announces his decision on May 20, which gives the Tigers a future tackle on its rebuilding offensive line. Factor that with the team’s chances of possibly flipping Leatherwood, and LSU could potentially lock down both tackle spots for many years to come.
Deculus told SEC Country he’s a fan of the Tigers’ offensive style and believes he’s a natural fit.
Another visit this late in the process should seal the deal as LSU locks down one of the better linemen in the country with only weeks before he makes his announcement.
Devonta Smith has made no secret that if LSU were to open up its offense, then it would be hard not to consider them strongly.
After a spontaneous trip to Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday, Louisiana’s No. 1 wide receiver saw just that.
The four-star Amite High School (La.) product took in LSU’s spring scrimmage, where he was pleased to see a heavy emphasis on the passing game and some spread principles that he’s heard so much about from new wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig.
As a result, Smith told SEC Country that the in-state Tigers have climbed up his list of top schools and now face an equal playing field at this point in his recruitment.
“Everyone is equal,” Smith said. “No one is better than anyone else, and everyone is equal before I take my official visits. So LSU has as good a shot as anyone else.”
In the big picture of things, LSU still faces stark competition from both Alabama and Florida State, who have long been considered the favorites to land the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder.
However, the Craig factor is hard to ignore, as the coach and wide receiver have developed quite the relationship in recent weeks, which has led to multiple visits and a noticeably elevated interest in LSU.
LSU may still be behind Alabama and Florida State, but it has as good of a chance to make up ground in the coming months before Smith prepares to take his official visits and finalize his top schools.
LSU targets, commits make joint trip to SEC West rival over the weekend
A trio of New Orleans area prospects made the trek to Mississippi State over the weekend, a group laced with ties to LSU.
Class of 2017 wide receiver Rayce McMath along with Class of 2018 LSU commits Devonta Jason and Corione Harris all visited the SEC West school, with the latter two prospects picking up offers.
Jason and Harris are both stalwarts in the Tigers’ 2018 recruiting class, and the visit and the subsequent offers are nothing to look past.
Jason and Harris each told SEC Country that the offers meant a lot to them and other SEC schools will be considered over the next couple of months, despite being labeled as “hard commits.”
Jason has put on a layer of muscle since the end of the 2015 high school football season and is morphing into one of the nation’s premier wide receivers in the 2018 class. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound four-star prospect, affectionately nicknamed “Whop,” is being touted as the No. 4 wide receiver for the group.
Mississippi State is just the second offer Jason has earned, but more are inevitably on the way.
The Bulldogs’ offer is Harris’ fourth, and the third from an SEC school. Florida also extended an offer to the lengthy three-star cornerback recently.
Harris told SEC Country that he will also consider other schools despite being an early LSU commit. Florida has a slight edge over Mississippi State to possibly push the Tigers going forward.
McMath has yet to earn an offer from LSU, but it seems as if it’s a “when” situation more than an “if.”
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound New Orleans native is one of the area’s top talents and he hails from Edna Karr High School, where running backs coach Jabbar Juluke used to work.
McMath maintains a high level of interest in LSU, despite not holding an offer yet from the in-state Tigers. Mississippi State, on the other hand, has already offered the talented wide receiver.