Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. In this edition, we discuss LSU’s chances of surpassing the Gators and landing Richard Gouraige, one of the country’s premier left tackle prospects in the 2018 class.
Top-100 tackle Richard Gouraige has a leader, but his recruitment is far from over.
Gouraige, a 4-star prospect from the Cambridge Christian School (Fla.) has singled out in-state power Florida as his No. 1 school — at the moment — but included LSU, Ohio State, Miami, Clemson, Auburn, North Carolina and Nebraska as the schools hovering around the top. He won’t be committing until he is 100-percent sure. As he puts it, he isn’t a “de-commitment guy.”
Even with Florida in front, LSU has made a strong push for this elite prospect. A big part of the equation is Gouraige’s relationship with Tigers offensive line coach Jeff Grimes, whose main interaction with the “The Opening” finalist is actually critiquing his game.
That is not a typo.
Gouraige stated that his bond with Gators offensive line coach Brad Davis is at the top of his list, but Grimes is a close second. In other words, if there is another team pushing Florida for the lead in his recruitment, it’s the Tigers.
“Coach Grimes is someone I can relate to,” Gouraige told SEC Country. “I like him critiquing a lot of details and being on his players to be even better. Some guys can be here and he can bring them up there, to another level that they don’t even know.”
So, what did Grimes say about Gouraige, the nation’s No. 10 tackle and No. 88 overall prospect in the 2018 class per the 247Sports composite rankings?
Well, to clarify, the critiquing came while developing a personal relationship. The offensive lineman and LSU assistant are in touch daily, which eventually led to Grimes giving advice that the blue-chip recruit admits has been helpful.
“I love Coach Grimes. He’s a real cool dude. He’s recruiting me hard and texting me every day to see how me and my family are doing,” Gouraige explained. “He’s telling me that I need to work on this and on this. He’s actually the first coach to tell me to work on something to be good for high school instead of just when I’m at the next level. He has been teaching me some whole different fundamentals.
“He critiques me and I love that because I like working and technique a lot. Coach Grimes … he’s just a real cool dude.”
Grimes alone is spearheading Gouraige’s recruitment, but that doesn’t mean the standout isn’t keeping tabs of what’s been developing in the Bayou.
As LSU transitioned from Les Miles to Ed Orgeron, Gouraige noticed the changes from afar. He is confident that the program is on the rise under Orgeron’s lead and that several elite recruits will want to play for the Tigers.
Whether that includes Gouraige remains to be determined — for now.
“They’re on the come up,” he said. “When Coach Miles left, the program had a downfall. Over the years, they’re going to be having some great recruits coming in, and they’re going to be getting that program back on top again.”
Gouraige is hoping to have a chance to connect with Grimes in person soon enough. The 6-foot-5, 271-pound tackle is planning to make his inaugural visit to Baton Rouge this summer.
He is unsure whether that will be for an official visit, but without question, it will represent a major step toward his ultimate decision.
“Hopefully, I’ll be able to take a visit this summer,” said Gouraige. “I really want to check it out. I want to see the new offensive scheme, the community, just the whole nine yards. I really just want to see everything.”
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