LSU recruiting was a marvel for a team that made a coaching change in September.
The Tigers remain solid with 21 commits as Feb. 1’s National Signing Day approaches. The final wave of official visits is underway as LSU looks to lock up its 2017 football haul.
Here’s a peek at LSU’s 2017 class snapshot.
LSU recruiting: Where it ranks
LSU’s 21-member recruiting class is cemented as one of the top collections in the country. More impressive: Its national ranking and overall talent can improve, if and when the Tigers land some of the 5-star talent remaining on their board.
LSU’s 2017 class ranks sixth overall and third in the SEC, trailing only Alabama (No. 1) and Georgia (No. 3).
For context purposes, the Tigers hold pledges from one 5-star recruit (JaCoby Stevens), 12 4-star prospects and eight 3-star players.
Most of LSU’s 2017 haul is comprised of blue-chip prospects. Even more impressive is that the Tigers are preparing to reel in elite players at key skill positions who will bolster depth at spots of need.
- JaCoby Stevens, 5-star S (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
- Austin Deculus, 4-star OT (Cypress, Texas)
- Tyler Shelvin, 4-star DT (Crowley, La.)
- Jacob Phillips, 4-star LB (Nashville, Tenn.)
- Grant Delpit, 4-star S (Bradenton, Fla.)
- Kary Vincent Jr., 4-star CB (Port Arthur, Texas)
LSU landed a pair of commitments ahead of National Signing Day to bolster its 2017 recruiting class in major ways.
First, New Orleans recruiter Jabbar Juluke convinced 3-star wide receiver Racey McMath that LSU was the right decision. McMath canceled his official visits to Texas A&M and then Mississippi State, realizing that he wanted to make Baton Rouge his home for the next few years.
“I always had in my mind that I wanted to go to LSU, but I wanted to wait until signing day,” McMath told SEC Country. “I had too much going on and I didn’t need all of it.
“Everybody knew it was coming, so it wasn’t a surprise to anybody, but it felt great because I get to start a whole other chapter of my career and go to the next level, and then possibly go to the next level from there. I’m all ready to go to college now.”
LSU’s long-winding pursuit of linebackers yielded a boom six days later, as 4-star linebacker Jacob Phillips flipped from Oklahoma to the Tigers.
The decision came on the heels of an unofficial visit to LSU, where he spent time with current linebacker commit Patrick Queen and fellow target Willie Gay.
Phillips, the top-rated inside linebacker in the Class of 2017, made the decision on Wednesday night after lengthy discussions with the LSU staff. He became the second linebacker commit in the class and the 21st overall.
Who are LSU’s top uncommitted targets?
- DeVonta Smith, 4-star WR (Amite, La.) — Hiring Ed Orgeron improved LSU’s chances of nabbing top prospect in the state of Louisiana, but don’t count out Alabama or Florida State. LSU has picked up steam with Smith, who said the team is more intriguing after the coaching change. Coming off visits to Florida State, Alabama and Miami, it would be a major surprise if the Tigers can wind up landing the 4-star receiver on signing day.
- Nico Collins, 4-star WR (Pinson, Ala.) — Dameyune Craig lured Collins to Baton Rouge for an official visit earlier this month. That relationship carries weight, but is it enough to usurp Georgia and Michigan as leaders for Collins? That’s the question. It will take a strong push from Craig to get LSU into the mix, but the Tigers have until National Signing Day to do so.
- Marlon Williams, 3-star WR (Mobile, Ala.) — Williams is emerging as another realistic wide receiver target, if a worst-case scenario takes place. Consider Williams, a one-time Southern California commit, an option if space opens for the Tigers on signing day. For now, it seems unlikely LSU adds another offensive player besides Smith or Collins, but Williams remains on the team’s radar.
Defensively, LSU has work to do to bolster its front seven. Defensive line and linebacker remain positions of need leading up to National Signing Day.
- Marvin Wilson, 5-star DT (Bellaire, Texas) — Wilson officially visited LSU on Jan. 13-15 and is one of three front runners for the top uncommitted prospect in the country. Orgeron is battling Florida State and Ohio State for the prized Texas tackle, and nobody has recruited Wilson harder or longer than the Tigers’ Cajun coach. LSU is quietly the favorite heading into a signing day announcement.
- Phidarian Mathis, 4-star DL (Monroe, La.) — It is a two-team race between LSU and Alabama for Louisiana’s top uncommitted defensive lineman. Mathis, too, has been a regular on the LSU sidelines this fall, but there is reason to believe that Alabama is the favorite. LSU and Orgeron went in-home with Mathis on Thursday ahead of his final visit to TCU this weekend, but barring a setback in Alabama’s plans, he may be the Tide’s for the taking.
- Justin Harris, 3-star DL (Gonzales, La.) — If LSU strikes out on Mathis, Harris will be next up on the board. The one-time Central Florida commitment remained in touch with Orgeron throughout the fall and is keen on the Tigers after a breakout senior campaign. Harris officially visited LSU on Jan. 20, but no offer was extended. If it does, it may come on the heels of signing day. Baylor is the presumptive front runner at this stage.
- K’Lavon Chaisson, 4-star DE/LB (Houston) — Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and Chaisson have a fantastic relationship, and Chaisson has been to LSU more than any other school since the spring. LSU was his first offer, but Tom Herman to Texas could make the Longhorns the new favorite in this race. Publicly, it appears as if Texas is the clear-cut favorite for the Under Armour All-American, but sources tell SEC Country that LSU took the lead after the Jan. 13 official visit. He, too, will announce his intentions on Wednesday.
- Markaviest Bryant, 4-star DE/LB (Cordele, Ga.) — Like Chaisson, Bryant is being courted as the next Arden Key in LSU’s 3-4 scheme. Bryant visited LSU on Jan. 20-22 and afterward raved about Orgeron and his time in Baton Rouge. Quietly, LSU has made a ton of progress with “Big Cat” and looms as the silent No. 2 school beside Georgia. LSU, Georgia and Auburn will be the hats on the table for Bryant when he makes his decision known on signing day.
- Willie Gay, 4-star LB (Starkville, Miss.) — The loss of Monty Rice opened the door for LSU to add Gay to its class. Gay has been in regular communication with Aranda and was in Baton Rouge on Jan. 20-22. He sees a ton of opportunity at LSU and believes Aranda will develop him to reach his full potential. LSU is confident it can land Gay, but Mississippi State poses a major threat for his services.
- Tyler Taylor (Buford, Ga.) — The 4-star prospect from Georgia is down to LSU and Auburn, and there is a case to be made for both sets of Tigers. LSU offers a better opportunity for Taylor, but Auburn is closer to home. Taylor has been close to announcing a decision several times and should commit at some point before National Signing Day. Give LSU a very strong chance for the Georgia linebacker.
- Todd Harris, 4-star S (Plaquemine, La.) — Harris is the top remaining defensive back on LSU’s board and is a favorite of both Aranda and defensive backs coach Corey Raymond. Harris visited LSU nearly every Saturday this fall and boasts a fantastic relationship with the Tigers’ staff. He’ll decide on National Signing Day, with LSU being the longtime favorite and Alabama lurking as a close No. 2. Expect Harris to wind up in LSU’s class.
- Amik Robertson, 3-star DB (Thibodaux, La.) — Robertson added an offer from the Tigers on Jan. 12 and will be in Baton Rouge for his official visit this weekend. Louisiana Tech and Houston are the other schools to watch in his recruitment, but LSU has quickly asserted itself as a top player. Robertson could play nickel and contribute as a returner for the Tigers, and proximity to home is a major factor.
Breakdown by position
QB: 2 of 2
RB: 1 of 1
FB: 1 of 1
WR: 3 of 3
OL: 4 of 4
DL: 4 of 7
LB: 2 of 4
CB: 2 of 2
S: 2 of 3
Louisiana (8): Tyler Shelvin, Lowell Narcisse, Aaron Moffitt, Jontre Kirklin, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Patrick Queen, Stephen Guidry, Racey McMath
Texas (4): Austin Deculus, Edward Ingram, Kary Vincent Jr., Mannie Netherly
Alabama (2): Neil Farrell, Justin Thomas
Mississippi (2): Saahdiq Charles, Myles Brennan
Tennessee (2): JaCoby Stevens, Jacob Phillips
Florida (1): Grant Delpit
Georgia (1): Tory Carter
West Virginia (1): Seth Stewart
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.
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