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 the latest surrounding the verbal commitments of Micah Baskerville and Davin Cotton to LSU. Both Evangel (La.) High School defenders committed to Ed Orgeron at the same time, along with teammate and 3-star defensive back Ar’Darius Washington, and they updated the state of their pact.
Baskerville 100 percent locked in, aiming to enroll early
BATON ROUGE, La. — Life as an LSU commit worked out well for 3-star linebacker Micah Baskerville, who pulled the trigger on a commitment three months ago along with teammates and fellow Evangel (La.) Christian defenders Davin Cotton and Ar’Darius Washington.
Earlier this spring, Baskerville told SEC Country that while he was firm in his commitment to the Tigers, his recruitment remained open. Fast forward to his spring game and much has changed.
Baskerville, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound linebacker, enjoyed increased communication with the LSU coaching staff, most notably defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and area recruiter Steve Ensminger. He visited Baton Rouge for the spring game in April, where he got an inside look at his future position on the defense.
Consider Baskerville locked in for the long haul.
“I’ve been experiencing some other things and seeing what’s out there, and [my commitment] is 100 percent,” Baskerville told SEC Country. “It’s really been the same. Every day, I’m talking to them here and there, building a relationship.”
When asked what would it take for him to consider his other options, Baskerville was quick to wipe away any doubt.
“I don’t think there’s anything that could happen,” he said, referring to a de-commitment.
In fact, Baskerville has been working extra hard in the classroom to qualify for early enrollment at LSU. If he continues to bolster his grades, that could be an option. If possible, he would also be in favor of signing his letter of intent during the newly implemented early signing period that will last from Dec. 20-22.
The eagerness to relocate to Baton Rouge from Shreveport is a result of the strong push from the LSU coaching staff, which catered to Baskerville’s family-first appeal.
“Coach Aranda and Coach Ensminger will say: ‘Hey, how you doing?’ and check up on me,” he said. “It means a lot. They really care for me. They’re really looking out for me and I appreciate that a lot.”
Both coaches checked on Baskerville during the NCAA’s Evaluation Period, which followed the linebacker’s return to Tiger Stadium in April for the annual spring game.
Baskerville, who previously told SEC Country that Aranda envisions him as a Kendell Beckwith-like prospect, kept close tabs on new LSU middle linebacker Devin White. That’s the role that Baskerville will be groomed for beginning next spring.
“It was really intense,” he said of the April scrimmage. “They were competing and going 100 percent, and I really liked that. I watched Devin White, which is where I’ll be playing. He did a pretty good job. I’ll have to put a lot of work in first, get stronger, but I think I’ll [eventually] do pretty good there.”
Cotton provides an update on his commitment
Davin Cotton had a gut instinct that he would wind up with the Tigers.
A 4-star defensive lineman, Cotton knew that heading into LSU’s “Boys From The Boot” function when he, Baskerville and Ar’Darius Washington committed and sounded a three-way boom in Baton Rouge.
The Evangel (La.) Christian threesome aimed to play together in college, an opportunity that only Tigers coach Ed Orgeron provided. For Cotton, it was an end to a recruitment so that he could focus on more important things such as his senior season.
“To be honest, we had just known each other for a long and we just felt like that was the best place for us,” Cotton told SEC Country. “It’s very important. We’ve been playing together since the sixth grade and we just wanted to keep that up. It is what it is, and of right now, I just wanted to focus on my season and my last year with my team.”
Aranda and Ensminger held Cotton’s commitment steady since he gave his verbal pledge in February. They preached a family-first mantra, which has helped to keep the 4-star defensive lineman on board.
Communication was steady and conversations were less about football and more about off-the-field priorities. Consider Cotton a pleased man.
“It’s been pretty great. I stay in touch with all the coaches and they stay in touch with me. It’s more like family,” he said. “Mostly, they check up on me. We talk about how I’m doing and how I’m just ready to get there. I feel like there’s more to it than me being a football player. They see it differently. They are more like: ‘I’m going to look out for you’ even if I’m not on campus, so I look at it like that.”
At 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds, Cotton remains unsure of where exactly he will line up in the LSU defense. He is Evangel’s 3-technique, the pass-rush tackle that lines up on the interior and generates pressure. That will likely translate to a 5-technique in the Tigers’ three-man front.
Cotton and the LSU coaching staff will figure out what position suits the All-State defensive lineman best. However, Cotton promised that no matter where he winds up, he’ll be bringing energy to Aranda’s front seven.
“Honestly, we’re just going to have to wait until I get there. It just depends,” he said. “I’m just going to bring energy.”
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