BEAVERTON, Ore. — The Opening Finals officially kicked off on Thursday from Nike World Headquarters, and Day 1 featured quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends.
Among those gathered in the Pacific Northwest for the largest annual recruiting showcase in the country are a bevy of LSU targets.
Here is what I learned from Day 1:
For much of the recruiting cycle, Justin Rogers has been the name sitting atop the Tigers’ quarterback recruiting board.
Rated a 4-star prospect and the No. 4 dual-threat QB by 247Sports, Parkway (La.) High School star committed to TCU on May 31, causing a conundrum atop the Tigers’ board.
Rogers’ out-of-state commitment, however, has not deterred Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron from continuing to press for a flip in recent weeks.
Getting the top in-state quarterback to flip will be an uphill battle for Orgeron, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Nonetheless, LSU is also attempting to make a push for the most highly sought-after quarterback in the 2018 class, 5-star prospect Justin Fields. Georgia, Florida, Florida State and Alabama seem to be the schools most in the mix right now.
Rogers may be the most likely candidate to be LSU’s quarterback in the 2018 class. Otherwise, the Tigers may be inclined to use that scholarship on a different position.
Louisiana 5-star wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr., the top-ranked receiver in the Class of 2018, unveiled his final four schools earlier this month with a notable team in the mix and one eyebrow-raising exception.
Marshall named LSU, Texas, Texas A&M and Miami as his final four schools ahead of a Dec. 22 commitment. TCU was left on the outside looking in.
The 6-foot-3, 192-pounder from Parkway (La.) High School purposely excluded TCU, which led widespread speculation about his recruitment given that Rogers, teammate and best friend, is verbally committed to the Horned Frogs.
Marshall confirmed that TCU is, in fact, out of the mix, despite some communication with members of the coaching staff in recent weeks. While Rogers is continuing to recruit Marshall to Fort Worth, Texas, the receiver is dialed in on the four finalists.
Marshall is coming off visits to both LSU and Texas A&M, the presumptive front-runners in his recruitment. Marshall and his family were in Baton Rouge earlier in June, which he deemed a different type of unofficial visit. Why did it stand out?
The staff is making an obvious case to land Marshall centered on his fit at an offensive position of need.
Marshall is the No. 1 offensive prospect on LSU’s 2018 recruiting board. The Tigers should be considered a front-runner for the elite target.
New Orleans 4-star WR Ja’Marr Chase is just days away from announcing a commitment to either LSU or TCU. It’s expected to come on Sunday during the Finals.
Chase continues to wrestle with the decision and as of Thursday has not made up his mind.
The 6-2, 200-pound playmaker hinted to SEC Country that he has one team in mind and is slightly convinced of which team he’ll choose. However, he is hoping to grow a little more confident in the next 48 hours.
Some things we learned from speaking with Chase twice in the last week include:
- Chase will not let Rogers’ commitment to TCU impact his course of action. Chase and Rogers play together on the Louisiana Bootleggers 7-on-7 squad, so they are very close friends.
- Chase is not picking his school based on the choice of his best friend, 3-star Aaron Brule’, either. Brule’ named TCU as one of his top 4 teams and the Horned Frogs are the heavy favorite in the 247 crystal ball picks.
- Chase hinted that LSU jumped out in front after camping in Baton Rouge last Thursday. He visited TCU last weekend at the Pylon 7-on-7 National Championships event, but it does not seem as if the Horned Frogs were able to effectively push the needle back in their favor.
Sources on the LSU side remain confident they will land Chase. It’s not an overwhelming confidence, but the Tigers appear to be in a strong position at this juncture. Chase continues to struggle with a clear favorite, but if the pick was made today, it would likely be LSU.
Get the scoop on LSU recruiting from Sam Spiegelman from Nike’s The Opening Finals in Oregon.
Posted by LSU Insiders on Thursday, June 29, 2017