Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. In this edition, we navigate through Houston, where LSU is attempting to lure 4-star Texas cornerback commit Jalen Green to campus for an official visit. The Tigers’ coaching staff is also evaluating Class of 2019 tight end Thomas Gordon, who has several ties to the Bayou Bengals.
Jalen Green likely to take an LSU official visit
HOUSTON — Jalen Green was forced to watch his teammates face off against district rival Lamar Houston (Texas) High School from the sidelines on Saturday.
Green, the No. 6-ranked cornerback prospect in the Class of 2018, is a stalwart on both sides of the ball for Heights Houston (Texas). However, a broken collarbone kept Green off the field for the marquee showdown and another three to five weeks.
The injury occurred on Friday, Oct. 13. Green ran out of bounds and absorbed a notably late blow. Soon after, the 4-star prospect received two screws and a plate in his shoulder but is still optimistic about a return in time for the playoffs.
“When I went down, I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know what was wrong,” Green told SEC Country. “When I got up, I just thought that my high school career was gone.”
Two weeks later, Green has already begun to tease his head coach that he’s ready to return.
Green, who committed to Texas over the likes of LSU and Ohio State in July, remains in touch with the LSU staff, most notably defensive backs coach Corey Raymond, who’s been recruiting the Houston standout and Monroe, La., native since his sophomore season. Raymond’s push has centered around luring the U.S. Army All-American cornerback back to Baton Rouge for a visit.
“He’ll just text me, see how I’m doing and when the next time I’ll come visit. He just wants me to come down and see how it’s going,” Green said. “I might take an official visit, but I got to talk to my parents and the Texas coaches and see how they feel about it.”
The official visit is not yet scheduled and remains in the air.
The 6-foot, 170-pound Green maintains that he’s locked in with the Longhorns but that it was a closely contested race between LSU and Texas when he decided to commit in the summertime. Raymond had been recruiting Green longer than most college coaches and has refused to back off in his pursuit.
“I’m 100-percent committed to Texas,” said Green, who added that he remains open to hearing out Raymond.
“The loyalty,” he explained. “They never doubted me … My sophomore year, I stayed overnight [at LSU camp] and Coach Raymond taught me a lot of the stuff I’m doing. He felt like I could do it. I think about it here and then.”
If and when Green makes his way back to Baton Rouge, it will be after the season.
One thing working in Texas’ favor is the conference in which the Longhorns compete in. Part of the reason why Green chose Texas over LSU in July was to play cornerback is a more pass-happy conference, which gave the blue-chip cornerback more opportunities to showcase his coverage skills.
“It was pretty close,” Green said of the decision to commit to Texas over the Tigers. “It’s the SEC and I know they put a lot of great defensive backs in the league, but I didn’t feel like it was the right fit for me. The Big 12, they pass the ball a lot more and I can show my coverage skills more.”
LSU coaches evaluating Houston TE Thomas Gordon
LSU’s attempt to pad its depth at the newly employed H-back position in the offense has led us down a new path in the 2019 recruiting class.
Thomas Gordon, a 3-star tight end from Strake Jesuit (Texas) High School in Houston, has been a regular visitor on the sidelines during LSU’s home games this fall, most recently making the trek to the Bayou for the Tigers’ historic comeback victory against Auburn.
Gordon, ranked as the No. 17 tight end in the Class of 2019, has generated a ton of interest from the LSU coaching staff, including area recruiter Dennis Johnson and tight ends coach Steve Ensminger. Coach Ed Orgeron and GM Austin Thomas have also started to touch base with the fast-rising Houston prospect.
Is an offer on the way? Likely. Ensminger is planning to check in with Gordon during the evaluation periods to get a closer look at the H-back, who has several ties to the LSU football program.
“My father attended LSU a while back and I have a sister there now,” Gordon told SEC Country. “I’ve been going to games there since as long as I can remember. I’ve grown up a Tiger and an LSU offer would be huge for me.”
“It was a crazy experience,” he added, referring to his recent visit for the Auburn game. “I got to see the facilities and go into the locker room after a big win.”
LSU is among several notable Power 5 schools taking a close look at Gordon along with Penn State, Cal, Duke and Baylor. Duke and Baylor have already extended early offers.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder plays in a pro-style offense that mainly works in 11 and 21 personnel. Gordon shows great mechanics as a blocker and is the main target in the play-action passing game, which certainly should translate to the H-back role employed in Matt Canada’s offensive system.
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