For the second time in as many days, LSU took a hit on the recruiting trail.
JaCoby Stevens, a 4-star athlete from Oakland High School (Nashville, Tenn.), told SEC Country that the chatter and uncertainty surrounding Les Miles’ future as head coach was the biggest factor in his de-commitment from the school Tuesday night.
“I have always envisioned myself playing under Les Miles, Corey Raymond – the defensive backs coach – having someone I can talk to there like family, which is (player personnel director) Austin Thomas, and me not knowing if these guys are going to be there is too much uncertainty. I don’t like that,” Stevens said.
Stevens said LSU coaches reached out to him before his de-commitment and told him not to worry about the rumors about Miles possibly being bought out of his contract. But in the end, not knowing 100 percent what was going to happen was the reason why he chose to reopen his recruitment.
That’s not going to stop LSU from recruiting him, though.
“Austin (Thomas) is like family to me,” Stevens said. “He has just been telling me that I need to do what’s best for me. He still thinks LSU is the right place for me, though. He is going to be recruiting me hard no matter if Les Miles is there or not.”
Now that the nation’s No. 1 athlete for 2017, according to 247Sports, is back on the market, Stevens said he is going to take a hard look at Mississippi State, USC, Arizona, Florida State and Arkansas. He doesn’t have an offer from those schools, but wants one. When he originally committed to LSU in September, he chose the Tigers over Tennessee, Alabama and Texas A&M, among others.
Just because Stevens said goodbye to LSU, it doesn’t mean the Tigers don’t have a chance anymore.
“I would just need to see if they are the best school for me when I re-evaluate every school,” he said. “I need to see if they would be a school that would get me to where I need to be athletically and academically depending on if there was a coaching change. Looking down the road, if they are the school that will provide me the best path then I will go there.”
He is rated as the state of Tennessee’s No. 1 prospect in the class of 2017, according to 247Sports.