LIVONIA, La. — Linebacker is a priority position in LSU’s 2017 recruiting class.
To date, the Tigers hold one LB commitment in 4-star athlete Patrick Queen, a do-it-all force for Livonia (La.) High, who spends time primarily at linebacker but also in the backfield and at safety.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound prospect is one of LSU’s longest-tenured commits, and that’s a testament to the relationship he has forged with first-year LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. The two maintain regular communication — which should come as no surprise — because both share a similar mentality in the way they view the game and prioritize parts of their lives.
“We’re real tight,” Queen told SEC Country. “He hits me up almost every single day. He asks how I’m doing and we talk about stuff outside of football. When it comes to football, he explains everything to me in great detail, so when I see what he’s talking about, it really makes sense. That’s why I trust him.”
It’s no wonder why Queen is a regular visitor on LSU’s sideline on Saturdays. He has been to nearly every home game, partly because he’s tuned into his previous conversations with Aranda.
Queen won’t enroll at LSU until this summer, but with a glaring need at linebacker, he understands he’ll have a chance to compete for a role right away. Hence, the added work he’s putting in to prepare for next fall right now.
“He shows up and shows me the game plan, so I can watch and see when I come visit,” Queen said, “and that makes it easiest on my part. That impacts me a lot because I know that I can trust him because he isn’t trying to use me like it’s a business. I can really trust him and have throughout the process.
“When I go there, I know that I’m going to have to put a lot of work in, but I know that I’ll be ready for anything because he has already started to explain it to me.”
After LSU’s 10-0 defeat at the hands of top-ranked Alabama, Queen sat down alongside Aranda in the coach’s office to break down the Tigers’ game plan.
On an unofficial visit, Queen worked side by side with his future coach, who works primarily with the linebackers. Despite the loss, it was a slight victory for Queen.
“We discussed stuff like Friday night football, the game he took his kids to see that night,” Queen recalled.
Aranda stayed in Baton Rouge as Southern Lab battled Kentwood for a district crown. Southern Lab’s marquee player is 2017 4-star linebacker Christopher Allen, a priority recruit for LSU and a potential teammate for Queen in the Tigers’ linebacking corps.
“He was at Southern Lab and Kentwood, and that’s all we talked about … the family part. Because football, sometimes that can wait,” Queen said. “That’s what I really appreciate about him. He always talks about family.”
When the topic is on football, Queen has an array of options.
He plays multiple positions on defense now but should transition to a full-time backer at LSU. Aranda has offered him the opportunity to line up on the inside or the outside, in a “rover” position much like the F-linebacker in the 3-4 scheme.
Queen has not yet decided which role he’ll assume yet as he awaits to see what other linebackers join him in LSU’s class. Nonetheless, he remains fully confident that his future coach will put him in a position where he can succeed.
“He told me that I can play inside or in the outside ‘rover’ spot,” he said. “So, whatever he has in store for me, I’ll be ready for. Everything intrigues me. Everyone now plays multiple spots, so I’m not focused on one spot, so I’m staying open to everything really.”
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.
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