Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. Today, we discuss why 3-star defensive lineman Nelson Jenkins has remained solid in his commitment to LSU despite garnering offers from a pair of SEC rivals this spring. We touch on Jenkins’ loyalty to the Tigers and also on 5-star Texas cornerback Anthony Cook‘s newly released top three, which included LSU.
BEAVERTON, Ore. — Nelson Jenkins was sidelined this spring during the NCAA’s evaluation period. But that didn’t prevent college coaches visiting Plaquemine (La.) High School from pulling the trigger on offers to the 3-star LSU commit.
Jenkins, who gave his verbal pledge to LSU in February, added offers from Alabama and Florida in May, despite being out of practice with an injury. Coaches from Alabama and Florida have remained in touch with Jenkins and are pushing to get him on campus, but have been unsuccessful.
LSU has continued to tighten its grip on the versatile in-state defensive lineman, who is aiming to be the next great player at the position under coach Ed Orgeron.
“When I went there [to LSU] the last time, Coach O and I were just talking about the tradition, about the ones that came before me,” Jenkins said at Nike’s The Opening Finals in Oregon. “Growing up, I would be watching the games, watching the D-line, and it’s just me always wanting to be there. I think about guys like Davon Godchaux, who came from the same [high] school as me. LSU is somewhere I can see myself playing.”
Crimson Tide defensive line coach Karl Dunbar and Gators area recruiter Brad Davis have been in contact with Jenkins since offering him in the spring. Both coaches have tried to get Jenkins to camp at their schools. Jenkins considered that possibility but has not visited another campus since committing to the Tigers.
Jenkins believes he’ll visit Tuscaloosa, Ala., at some point. Florida is an option, though it’s farther away. This fall, the 6-foot-3, 260-pound prospect will take all five of his official visits, including one to LSU.
“Coach Dunbar texted me the other day about camp. Florida wants me to come camp, too,” Jenkins said. “I’ll probably get up there and I know that I’ll take all five of my official visits. But right now, LSU is that top dog.”
Area recruiter Corey Raymond and outside linebackers coach Dennis Johnson have been key cogs in Jenkins sticking with the Tigers. Raymond has led those efforts for the bulk of Jenkins’ recruitment. Johnson has been helping out in recent weeks.
The tandem of Raymond and Johnson have kept Jenkins solid to his verbal pledge. Together, they’re in daily contact to make sure he remains on a direct path to LSU.
“Everything has been great and I love LSU,” he said. “They have been showing a lot of love. You know, all of the other colleges are going to throw themselves at you, but they [Raymond and Johnson] text me every day. They keep in contact with me and send me little edits or send messages or something, just to let me know that they’re there for me. It’s really good to keep a positive mind with stuff like that.”
LSU cracks 5-star CB Anthony Cook’s top 3
Throughout Nike’s The Opening Finals in Oregon, 5-star cornerback Anthony Cook brought up his plans to trim his list of top schools down to three before the start of his senior season.
On Monday evening, the elite Texas prospect did just that.
Cook named a final three of LSU, Ohio State and Texas. The two notable teams excluded from that group are Clemson and Notre Dame, which along with the three finalists comprised Cook’s unofficial top five.
How did the Army All-American cornerback pick LSU, Ohio State and Texas. He laid out the criteria for his decision last month.
“The school that puts itself in a position to lead … I want to make an early impact, so that has to be a factor. Where I can be developed, so where I see the most development from dudes from high school, how they developed in college and then into the league.”
“All those five schools come to mind,” Cook added. “That’s why it’s so tough.”
Based on the “DBU” argument, LSU and Ohio State hold a substantial edge over the Longhorns for developing defensive backs from the high school to college and eventually, the NFL. Texas made the cut likely because of the in-state pull.
Cook made his first visit to LSU for the Tigers’ spring game, which was a real eye-opener for the 5-star corner because he had the opportunity to sit in on one of Corey Raymond’s secondary meetings. After that, LSU began to dial up the communication to the point that Raymond is in daily contact with Cook and coach Ed Orgeron has weekly conversations.
“He hits me up every day, every single day,” Cook said of Raymond. “Not a day goes by that he doesn’t hit me up. It’s casual talk, him checking up on me and saying good morning and asking how class is going and how my summer is going and how I feel about the Tigers.”
Cook had only one visit scheduled for July — to the Clemson cookout — but that apparently did not help the defending national champions make his final group.
Cook is expected to make an official visit back to Baton Rouge. As of last month, he had only one official scheduled — to Ohio State. These visits loom large, too, as the Houston area product will be evaluating each school closely on several different aspects.
“I want to get back to LSU and Texas and Ohio State sometime before I commit,” Cook said. “I already got a feel for it [LSU], so when I go back next time, I’ll be checking things off my list about what things fit and what don’t.”
The Buckeyes hold 80-percent of the Crystal Ball picks for Cook. Texas holds the remaining 20-percent.
— Anthony Cook (@_ACook21) August 1, 2017
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