Weekend Reset: Junior Day
TSD had you covered throughout the weekend, and I'm here to provide you with a handy recap of the day's festivities.
Despite having an estimated 300 prospects on campus, the biggest storyline probably revolved around three players that didn't make it to campus.
As of late Friday night, Gerald Willis, Leonard Fournette and Devante Noil were all expected to make the trip to Junior Day together. When the trio didn't arrive Saturday morning, it caused a bit of concern among the message boards, especially with a left-field rumor emerging that Fournette had gone to Florida State's instead.
That worry was all erased by Saturday afternoon though, as word came out that the LSU coaches had encouraged the trio to stay home. The staff proposed a different scenario, one in which they host a special get together of the three New Orleans standouts later this spring.
The group accepted and it's starting to look even more positive for LSU that they land this highly-ranked trio of prospects. With Noil widely regarded as the securest lock to commit to LSU, the fact that these three players have grown very close in the recruiting process can only help LSU. Beginning with this upcoming visit, it's likely the staff begins their press to get all three on board early and hopefully set off the rest of the in-state dominos.
Fournette, Willis and Noil were in the majority of elite in-state prospects to stay home this weekend, as most of LSU's top in-state targets opted not to attend.
But two of Louisiana's best linemen — Cameron Robinson and Garrett Brumfield — decided to head to campus, which LSU fans will hope is a positive sign. Of the state's top prospects, most analysts consider Robinson and Brumfield two of the more likely recruits to leave Louisiana, but their decision to attend Junior Day will reassure many that LSU is still squarely in the mix.
With so many kids on campus, Robinson and Brumfield obviously didn't get the amount of facetime with the coaches they received at "Boys from the Boot," but the more time spent at LSU will only serve to help the staff down the road. Also having OL commit William Clapp there to help the recruiting efforts can go a long way as well.
Brumfield and Robinson most recently attended Alabama's Junior Day, and both have the Tide high on their list. Brumfield has also mentioned Florida, Florida State and Texas A&M as some schools standing out.
LSU's biggest out-of-state visitor was Texas CB Edward Paris.
Paris made the trip from Arlington, Texas, and told TSD's Austin Cooper he enjoyed his informative visit to LSU. Most considered him the likeliest candidate to commit this weekend, but with more visits on his schedule (he'll see Florida this weekend), he said no decision has been made yet.
He did say his discussions with the LSU coaches were "confidential," which will certainly lead to some speculation that he made a silent commitment to the staff, looking ahead to a March 29 announcement.
Paris said he plans to enroll early, and that announcement date may be moved up.
As I referenced earlier, LSU had all four of its 2014 commits on campus this weekend to aid in the recruiting efforts.
Clapp, Jacory Washington, Devin Voorhies and Chris Hardeman all made the trip, and all have been very vocal in their hopes of helping bring talent into the class. The staff still feels very solid that they keep all four commits with LSU. Despite Washington having said he's still open to other schools, his appearance shows the strength of his interest in LSU. And though Voorhies will undoubtedly receive plenty of attention from his in-state schools — Mississippi State and Ole Miss — he's still as solid as ever to LSU.
The LSU staff did not extend any offers to prospects during the weekend, despite one claiming they did.
LB Greg Miclisse announced on Twitter Saturday evening, and confirmed through text, that LSU had offered him a scholarship during Junior Day. That turned out to not be the case. As we understand it, if an offer was made, it was not a committable one.
Some reports said grades will be an issue for Miclisse and coaches need to see more from him on the field before advancing in the process. Miclisse did not respond to any phone calls made throughout the weekend.
While LSU added no offers or commitments for the 2014 class, some names did emerge as candidates to watch over the coming months.
Several prospects got valued time with the LSU coaches, who laid out plans to continue evaluating them through the spring and summer. Prospects like Trey Marshall, Noah Westerfield and Jeremy Jones all heard positive things from the staff, and impressive offseasons could certainly lead to offers in the future.
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