NEW ORLEANS — It’s been more than a week since Jamal Pettigrew landed on the LSU campus for his official visit on Jan. 15.
But that was enough to alter the rest of his plans for the month of January.
Pettigrew canceled his remaining official visits to Alabama last weekend and Florida on Jan. 29. That comes about a month after doing the same to Texas.
As the four-star tight end put it, it was always LSU.
“The official visit went very, very well,” Pettigrew told SEC Country. “I got up there with my brother D’Andre Christmas-Giles, explored the campus and got to have some fun with all of the guys, including Kristian Fulton. We had a good team.
“It definitely shored things up for me. I’m going to LSU for sure now.”
That puts an end to a potential flip, despite both Alabama and Florida putting pressure on the 6-foot-6, 229-pound tight end to visit their campuses.
After re-examining all of his options, Pettigrew couldn’t see himself anywhere but LSU.
“I was going to take official visits to Alabama last weekend and Florida this weekend, but I sat down and looked at my options,” Pettigrew said. “LSU was just the best option … for both me and my family.”
Instead of making visits, the St. Augustine High School (New Orleans) product plans to be a source of guidance for his teammates and friends, like Christmas-Giles and Fulton, as they look to make their looming college decisions on National Signing Day.
In other words, Pettigrew, the nation’s No. 9 tight end, can simply take a deep breath until Feb. 3 arrives. He credits the time he spent in Baton Rouge, La., two weekends ago as a big reason why.
“I just got a chance to get to know all of the coaches better, and I already know them very, very well,” Pettigrew said. “I was hanging out D’Andre, Fulton, Da’Monte Coxie, hanging out with those guys, who are going to be my future teammates. It was just a great experience and I can’t wait to get up there to LSU.”
Former LSU recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson played a pivotal role in luring Pettigrew to LSU. Wilson, also a St. Augustine grad, is now the head coach at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
The news came during Pettigrew’s official visit, but it didn’t change anything. Other coaches helped fill the void left behind by Wilson.
“Definitely (football player personnel coach) Austin Thomas and (tight ends coach) Steve Ensminger,” said Pettigrew. “And coach (Les) Miles. They say I’m a key piece to the 2016 class and that they need me. I believe them and I want to stay solid to LSU.”
All player ranking and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.