Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman.
Today, we discuss Timaje Porter‘s decision to delay his commitment.
NEW ORLEANS — Timaje Porter is not the type of recruit who you need to squeeze information out of.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
The 6-foot-2, 330-pound mammoth defensive tackle from Theodore (Ala.) High School is as easy to talk to about his upcoming college decision and he is about talking Cajun cuisine.
By the way, he’s a huge fan of crawfish etouffee and just recently stumbled upon bread pudding. More on that later.
Porter was supposed to announce his commitment between LSU and Auburn this time a week ago, but instead decided to hold off. That’s not to say he was no longer intrigued by the opportunity to be a Tiger — either in Baton Rouge or at Auburn — but he wasn’t quite ready to pull the trigger.
So, what changed? Porter had a change in heart after visiting LSU for national junior day last weekend for the second time in as many years. Sure, the food exceeded expectations. So did the time with the coaching staff and the opportunity to watch the Tigers compete in a spring scrimmage. But upon closer inspection, he saw how passionate LSU’s current players felt about their decision to don the purple and gold and be a part of — as Ed Orgeron so frequently says — one team and one heartbeat.
Porter wants to feel that same passion about either LSU or Auburn when he decides to commit, too.
“I saw some of the guys out there. They were players bouncing around and they really loved it out there,” Porter explained to SEC Country during Nike’s “The Opening” regional in New Orleans last Sunday.
“If I go up there, I want to have that same feeling. I want to talk more with the coaches about things other than football. I want to see what they’re like outside of the program. They say that they prepare you for life, how they progress you for life even after football.”
Porter announced that LSU and Auburn were his two finalists earlier in March, ahead of a scheduled decision originally set for the 24th.
When he made that PSA, he did not hold an offer from LSU yet. Florida, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Auburn are among the SEC schools to have extended overtures to Porter. LSU joined that list last weekend, though he opted not to tweet it out for personal reasons.
A week later his decision to hold off on his commitment, Porter remains firm in his top 2. Those are the two SEC West schools he expects on the top when he does finally plan to make up his mind. For now, that’s expected sometime this summer.
“Those are my top 2 and those are my only two,” Porter stated. “At the end of the day, it’s between me and God. I’ll talk to my parents about it (when to commit), and then it’s going to be final. … That visit opened my eyes that there’s more out there than what a school looks like. It’s a process. I feel like I have to get more acquainted with LSU and with Auburn.”
The LSU offer carried weight. Although he grew up cheering on the Auburn Tigers, Porter can envision continuing his college football career in the Bayou.
That’s a credit to the food in Louisiana and, more importantly, the coaching staff that LSU has in place. Porter may be a fan of crawfish and Cajun desserts, but that pales in comparison to what he thinks he could learn from defensive line coach Pete Jenkins. His visit to Baton Rouge last weekend certainly solidified that and gave him plenty to mull over in the next few months.
“I’ve been waiting on that offer since my first offer,” he added, on securing his offer from LSU. “They waited and I didn’t mind waiting. That was something special to me. The time with coach O went well and the time with Pete Jenkins went great. He’s a laid-back guy and I enjoyed that, but he also knows when to get on you, and I like that.
“I loved the food. The food here is amazing. It’s different than Alabama. Crawfish etouffee — that stuff is banging. Bread pudding — that melts in your mouth, it’s not real. … The visit … it was perfect.”
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