LSU is set for arguably its biggest weekend of the year, with double-digit prospects of both national and local importance visiting Baton Rouge, La.
The Tigers will host nine current LSU commits as well as five nationally renowned prospects who are strongly considering donning the purple and gold.
So, how does LSU win the weekend?
Three of the national prospects are making their first of at least three official visits this weekend, meaning two other big-time schools will have their chance to make a pitch to prospects before National Signing Day comes on Feb. 3.
That means LSU has to send its message loud and clear.
Here are three of the best things that could happen for LSU this weekend, beginning and ending with the following blue-chip prospects:
The four-star cornerback from Archbishop Rummel (Metairie, La.) was forced to decide between LSU and Miami for his first official visit of January. Fortunately for LSU, he sided with the hometown Tigers.
Fulton has made a handful of unofficials to Baton Rouge, La. this fall, but there is definitely a feel that LSU is not the top choice for the cornerback.
Through the recruiting process, Fulton has never said that LSU was his leader. In August, before his senior campaign, he decided to delay his decision to do further contemplate the all-important college choice.
In that time, it appears that both Arkansas and Florida forged relationships with Fulton. The corner will head to those schools on Jan. 22 and Jan. 29 before announcing his decision on Signing Day.
At this point, the Gators are the presumptive leader for Fulton. However, LSU cannot be counted out, especially after he chose to take the trip to the campus this weekend.
Fulton is joining a star-studded cast with a lot of his friends, teammates and local prospects he has faced throughout his high school career. A successful trip may change his thought process, and give LSU a fighting chance.
The top uncommitted tackle in the 2016 recruiting class, Allen is down to five finalists: LSU, Ole Miss, TCU, Auburn and UGA.
Allen is heading to LSU this weekend before TCU and Ole Miss later in January. He already took official visits to UGA and TCU.
LSU remained by Allen’s side as he fought through injuries between his junior and senior years at John Curtis Christian School in River Ridge, La., which should be considered a positive for the Tigers.
Also, with Vadal Alexander and Jerald Hawkins out of the mix for 2016, there’s a chance for early playing time at LSU.
Allen has close ties with many of LSU’s players, as well as the early signees. LSU should be among his top two choices, if not No. 1.
There’s a feeling that Allen is favoring LSU — some going as far as to say that he may have already made up his mind. If it’s LSU, then this weekend could potentially seal the deal. If not, the LSU coaching staff has one last chance to sell Allen on staying close to home and following the pipeline from Baton Rouge to the NFL.
Lawrence is down to two: LSU and Ohio State. More pressing, the five-star defensive tackle is planning to announce his decision five days after taking his official visit to LSU.
There are a few schools of thought when it comes to Lawrence, but the most logical is that he’s leaning toward the Tigers.
Lawrence has maintained a very strong relationship with defensive line coach Ed Orgeron, the first person who contacted the Neville High School (Monroe, La.) star and the person who has made numerous in-home visits, most recently on Thursday.
Ohio State is very much in the mix for Lawrence and also had coaches visit him this week.
Lawrence told SEC Country he’ll make a decision whenever he makes up his mind. He has already taken an official visit to Columbus, Ohio, so there would be no need to visit LSU if he were leaning toward the Buckeyes.
However, LSU needs to solidify this commitment this weekend. All four of LSU’s defensive linemen are returning in 2016. Compound that with the fact that a five-star prospect like Lawrence could be a part of the rotation and up front the Tigers become that much more formidable.
Lawrence is key to ensuring that LSU maintains its No. 1 ranked recruiting class. Defensive linemen are an emphasis in the 2016 class, and that begins and ends with a commitment from Lawrence.
Click here to see the entire list of LSU’s official visitors for Jan. 15 weekend.
All player ranking and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.