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 Florida State commitment Kenyatta Watson II, one of the top safeties in the Class of 2019. Despite being committed elsewhere, are the Tigers still in play?
Kenyatta Watson II keeping an eye on LSU
SHREVEPORT, La. — Kenyatta Watson II is a top 300 prospect in the Class of 2019 and the No. 17-ranked safety.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound defensive back from Grayson (Ga.) High School plays all over the secondary — at corner, high safety and in the nickel — so it’s not surprising one bit that LSU defensive backs coach Corey Raymond has taken notice.
Raymond and LSU coach Ed Orgeron extended an offer to Watson back in January while visiting his high school. Raymond was among the LSU coaches to touch base with the Florida State commitment as early as Sept. 1.
Watson remains firm in his pledge to the Seminoles but remains set on exploring all of his options before signing his National Letter of Intent next winter.
“I’m very strongly committed to Florida State, but I’m keeping my options open,” Watson told SEC Country at Battle on the Border. “Anything can happen at any moment.”
Between texts and Twitter, Watson has maintained a relationship with different members on the LSU staff, including Raymond.
From a distance, Watson has grown fond of LSU’s secondary coach and the way he interacts with his recruits; hence, his continued interest in the out-of-state program while maintaining a solid pledge elsewhere.
“We talk a little it. I call him every so often to check in, say what’s up and see how the boys are doing,” Watson said. “He’s a cool coach. He understands that we’re growing up and that we’re college football players, but kids at the same time. He can correlate to us and teach us at the same time while also having fun with it.”
While Raymond is leading Watson’s recruitment, the 4-star defensive back also has a strong connection to Orgeron.
LSU’s coach was at Grayson when he dished out the offer to Watson. The way Orgeron carries himself has caught Watson’s attention and it’s why LSU is among an elite group of schools, along with Florida State, Ohio State and Clemson, that remain in the picture at this juncture in his recruitment.
“It’s been a long relationship with Coach O,” Watson explained. “He’s cool people; he’s cool people. He’s real vocal about a lot of stuff and I like him for that.”
Odds and ends
LSU’s conference opener at Mississippi State on Saturday evening is expected to attract several Louisiana and Mississippi State targets and commitments.
Confirmed visitors include:
- Cole Smith, 2018 LSU OL commitment
- Malik Heath, 2018 Mississippi State WR commitment
- Fabian Franklin, 2018 Mississippi State RB commitment
- James Williams, 2018 DE target
- Jacquez Jones, 2018 Ole Miss LB commitment
- Stephen Guidry, 2018 Mississippi State WR commitment
- Fabien Lovett, 2018 Mississippi State DE commitment
- Shawn Preston Jr., 2018 Mississippi State DB commitment
- Hidari Ceasar, 2018 TCU DB commitment
- Geor’Quarius Spivey, 2018 LSU target
- Jeffery Johnson, 2018 LSU DT target
- Jemaurian Jones, Mississippi DB
- Jaylon Reed, 2018 Mississippi State DB commitment
- Marcus Murphy, 2018 Mississippi State ATH commitment
- Brandon Turnage, 2019 DB target
- Devin Bush, 2019 DB target
- De’Monte Russell, 2019 DE/OLB target
- Jaren Mangham, 2019 RB target
Visitors worth noting include the lone LSU pledge, Smith, who is making the short trek to check out the Tigers in person from his hometown of Pontotoc, Miss. Smith was recently named an Under Armour All-American.
Heath, Franklin and Guidry headline the Mississippi State commitments taking in the game. Guidry is a one-time LSU commit who recently gave a verbal to the Bulldogs. Heath holds an LSU offer and has visited twice — during junior day and again for the elite high school camp in June. The LSU staff continues to monitor him. Franklin named LSU as his leading school but never pulled in the offer.
Williams, Johnson and Spivey are notable uncommitted 2018 prospects. Williams and Spivey both camped at LSU in June. Both are very high on the Tigers.
The elite 2019 prospects who will be on hand include Bush, Turnage, Russell and Mangham. Bush is an LSU lean but has connections to some of the players on both rosters. Turnage also is very high on LSU, in addition to Alabama. He has visited Baton Rouge a handful of times dating back to last fall. Russell earned an offer from LSU during a June lineman camp. He fits the mold of an edge rusher in the Tigers’ 3-4 scheme and is among the top targets at the position in the Class of 2019. Mangham, one of the top junior tailbacks, visited LSU in July but left without an offer. He remains a candidate to land an LSU offer at some point this fall.
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