Nike’s The Opening finals has served as a unique experience for LSU offensive line commit Saahdiq Charles. Count building and developing relationships as part of it.
The 3-star Mississippi prospect has spent much of the week at the Beaverton, Ore., summer camp that features more than 160 of the top football prospects in the nation rooming with fellow LSU commit Austin Deculus and getting to better know Tyler Shelvin, but also spent time with LSU running back Leonard Fournette and safety Jamal Adams.
In between performing at the daily competitions and catching up with his future teammates, Charles has also put on his recruiting hat, making a pitch to fellow Magnolia State product Cam Akers.
“I’m working on some people, trying to get them up to LSU,” a smiling Charles told SEC Country in reference to the 5-star Mississippi running back.
“Everybody is working on somebody. I’m really good friends with Cam Akers, so I’m just saying …”
The 6-foot-5, 314-pound lineman committed to LSU in May during the team’s five-day splurge in which five prospects pledged to the Tigers.
Though he’s rated as a 3-star talent, Charles represents one of the most underrated prospects embedded in LSU’s 2017 recruiting class. He’s been working to put ratings aside of late, and The Opening has given him a grand stage to do so.
“Coming up from Mississippi, it’s just crazy here,” Charles said of the event. “There’s stuff I’ve never seen here. I’m competing against the best talents, and it’s humbling I guess, you know, just going against this type of talent instead of just being the best guy everywhere you go.
“I’m learning from the coaches out here, and it’s just crazy. I know what I need to learn so I can improve, come back and go to work. I’m just working on everything right now, working on my craft so I can be the best as possible, to work to be in shape so I’m in the best possible shape when I get there. I know my freshman year is going to be hard, but I just want to make it at least hard as I can.”
Charles, the nation’s No. 16-ranked offensive guard, plans to visit LSU’s campus later this month for the team’s annual elite prospect camp. It will be the elite talent’s first visit back to Baton Rouge, La., and his home state since he made his commitment to the Tigers over Mississippi State.
The Madison-Ridgeland Academy (Madison, Miss.) product has little business to do while on the visit other than to compete and reconnect with his primary recruiter, offensive line coach Jeff Grimes.
He also might be wearing his recruiting hat July 21-23 as well.
“I’m 100 percent with LSU,” Charles said. “I’m just trying to be great, and at LSU later this month … It’s going to be fun.”
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
Sam Spiegelman covers LSU football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Tigers Stadium.