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 whether LSU still leads for a pair of South Florida prospects — versatile 4-star defensive back Tyson Campbell and one of the fastest-rising edge rushers in the country, Andrew Chatfield.
LSU among leading schools for Tyson Campbell
Rumblings out of South Florida this spring suggested that 4-star defensive back Tyson Campbell was down to LSU and Miami (Fla.), and a decision could be on the way.
Campbell put a bow on said rumors when he denied being down to two, adding that a decision could come either during or following his senior season at American Heritage (Fla.) High School in Fort Lauderdale.
However, the top-30 prospect named LSU among his leading schools along with Ohio State, Miami, Florida, Florida State, Alabama and Georgia, and credited his relationship with Tigers defensive backs coach Corey Raymond as to why.
“I’ve been talking to Coach Raymond pretty much every day,” Campbell told SEC Country. “He tells me: ‘Good morning’ and things like that. It’s pretty cool. We don’t really talk football; we talk about life and off-the-field stuff. That’s what you look for in a coach, not a guy who’s just a coach on the field, but someone that can help you become a young man.”
Campbell is a 6-foot-3, 180-pound defensive back capable of lining up at either corner or safety and returning punts. He visited LSU along with 5-star secondary mate Patrick Surtain Jr. and defensive end Andrew Chatfield in late March. It was a week after national junior day during a Tigers scrimmage.
Campbell was more dialed into LSU’s environment than he was with what he needed to see on the field. He had an opportunity to develop relationships with current players, which in turn helped him get a sense of what life with the Tigers might be like.
“When I was down there, it was just a chill, laid-back [environment],” Campbell said. “They were talking about when you play, being in that stadium, that feeling that you have never felt before. It’s something that caught my eye. Also, the education perspective. They can help you with tutoring and things of that nature to keep your grades right.”
Having stopped in Baton Rouge this spring, Campbell hopes to return to Tiger Stadium for a game in the fall to see what all the buzz was about. The 4-star defensive back plans to close down his recruitment in the fall or soon after, so a visit to LSU could be a final hurdle.
“I heard that it gets real loud,” he said. “They’ve said that no other stadium is like that, so I want to see it for myself.”
‘Everything is open’ for 4-star DE Andrew Chatfield
At one point, Chatfield to LSU seemed a sure thing.
Chatfield is a top-300 recruit, 4-star prospect and the No. 14 weakside defensive end in the 2018 class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He now insists that no school is out in front in his recruitment.
He conceded that along with Oregon and Syracuse, LSU is pushing the hardest for a commitment, but in the big picture everything is even keel for the time being.
“Right now, everything is open,” Chatfield told SEC Country. “LSU, Oregon and Syracuse [are recruiting me the hardest], but any team can get me right now. It [LSU] is a big school and I like it.”
The Tigers extended an offer to Chatfield on National Signing Day 2017, which led to an unofficial visit a little more than a month later with teammates Patrick Surtain Jr. and Tyson Campbell.
More than the campus, it was the LSU coaching staff that stood out to the 6-foot-2, 221-pound edge-rusher. Most notably, head coach Ed Orgeron and area recruiter Corey Raymond.
“The environment … how they come out so rowdy, they just come out with a different vibe,” Chatfield said. “Especially, the coaching. The coaching there is really, really good.”
Chatfield remains unsure if and when he will visit Baton Rouge again, although Surtain and Campbell have indicated they will be back either in the summer or for a game in the fall. Summer seems the most likely option.
For now, Chatfield is in weekly communications with the Tigers staff.
“It’s either Coach Raymond or Coach Orgeron, and they’re always doing what they’re doing,” he said. “They always want me to come up and visit and check them out this summer.”
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