A week has passed since the last time I gave a rundown on what's happening with LSU's 2013 class, and it seems like a lot has changed. I'll start off with a rundown of the commitments in this class, which now sits at 26:
Christian Lacouture – No. 14 DT – Early Enrollee
Logan Stokes – JUCO TE – Early Enrollee
Quantavius Leslie – JUCO WR – Early Enrollee
Avery Johnson – Prep WR – Early Enrollee
John Diarse – No. 15 S – Early Enrollee
Hayden Rettig – No. 22 QB – Early Enrollee
Anthony Jennings – No. 31 QB – Early Enrollee
Ethan Pocic – No. 4 OT – Early Enrollee
Fehoko Fanaika – JUCO OL – Early Enrollee
Greg Gilmore – No. 8 DT
Rashard Robinson – No. 31 CB
Desean Smith – No. 9 TE
Tre'Davious White – No. 20 CB
Rickey Jefferson – No. 22 WR
Tevin Lawson – No. 51 DT
Jeremy Cutrer – No. 19 S
Jeryl Brazil – No. 19 CB
Melvin Jones – No. 8 MLB
Frank Herron – No. 16 DE
Lewis Neal – No. 31 MLB
Andy Dodd – No. 34 OG
Michael Patterson – No. 43 DE
K.J. Malone – No. 41 OG
Josh Boutte – No. 10 OG
Kennard Swanson – No. 5 FB
Chuck Baker – No. 49 WR
I gave a pretty extensive reaction when it became official that Fehoko Fanaika would qualify and enroll at LSU in January. At 6-foot-6, 340 pounds (the most recent measurement we have for him) he will provide another big body on what should be a deep offensive line in 2013. The expectation when he signed after 2012 National Signing Day was that he could potentially slide from guard to center and provide some depth there.
That still remains to be the case, and he could find his way into the mix at that position with Elliott Porter, who is slated to take over the position for senior PJ Lonergan.
The biggest question with Fanaika's addition to the team in January is how it will affect the number of early enrollees taken. The previous consensus is that LSU would cap that number at eight, and before Fanaika, LSU had reached that number (early enrollees are noted in the list above). Fanaika brings that total to nine, and it will be interesting to observe how LSU handles that situation.
Quantavius Leslie is still not a guarantee to arrive at LSU for the spring semester, so it's still possible that LSU gets back to that magic No. 8 for EEs. But if Leslie does qualify, it could leave LSU in a quandary. John Diarse has been the general consensus of speculation as to the player that would be asked to wait until the fall.
He makes the most sense as the only player in that group from the state of Louisiana. He's also not a risk to decommit as a result of this, and has stated many times that he's committed to LSU for the school, not just because of the opportunity to enroll early.
The other question that this Fanaika addition raises is how it affects the total number of recruits taken in this class. LSU can count four back to 2012, so it's been assumed that the staff can take as many as 29 in this class. That technically leaves three spots left open in this class, but news during the last couple weeks has made that number a little iffier.
First, Courtney Gardner, a JUCO WR from Sierra College, pledged his commitment to LSU after his official visit for the Ole Miss game. He still is not a public take by LSU because he still has work to do in the classroom before he can qualify to enroll. According to Gardner, he will be able to complete the necessary requirements, but he has been down this road before, failing to qualify after signing for schools (most recently Oklahoma last year). We won't know his final academic status until the coming spring semester, but if he does get his grades in order, he will wind up in this class.
Secondly, Ben Love reported this week that the LSU staff has ramped up its interest in 2013 TE Cethan Carter from Rummel. Seen as undersized leading into his senior season, Carter has shot up three inches to 6-foot-4 and has impressed many while helping lead his team to the Class 5A semifinals. It appears likely that he will receive a scholarship offer in the near future, and if he does, it's likely that he will commit.
If Gardner and Carter both wind up in the 2013 class, that would theoretically leave LSU with only one available spot, which the staff has reserved for it's No. 1 target — Kendell Beckwith. But there are still a handful of players still on the list of current commits that are appearing more and more unlikely to wind up in this class.
Kennard Swanson is one of those players. For a variety of reasons, it's doubtful that he signs with LSU come February. He did receive an offer from Florida a couple weeks ago, but we've heard that doesn't have anything to do with this change. Same goes for Chuck Baker. Academics have always been an issue with him, but we're hearing the situation is a bit murkier than that.
In regards to these two prospects, it's a very sensitive and complex situation, but there are several different factors in play that are pointing to them being left out of this class for one way or the other. I wouldn't expect either one to sign in February.
Should that be the case, it would open up at least two more spots in this class for some of LSU's uncommitted targets — Ricky Seals-Jones, Priest Willis, Maquedius Bain or someone else.
So to summarize where LSU currently is with its 2013 class, though the number of available spots appear to be dwindling, there are a lot of things that will happen between now and February that will alter that. I still expect LSU to wind up with two or three more commitments by the time this is all said and done.
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