Where They Stand: 2014 Positions of Focus

LSU has hit the ground running in the first month of the 2014 recruiting cycle. With so many new offers out, the staff's intentions have started to become clearer. In this week's "Where They Stand," TSD's Hunter Paniagua examines which positions have received the most attention at this stage of the season.

The couple months between National Signing Day and the start of spring practice serve as the true start of the 2014 recruiting cycle.

Though this class has been in the news for quite some time, 2014 has officially become the primary focus of coaching staffs across the country. So is the case for LSU, as the Tigers have jumped headfirst into 2014 recruiting.

With so many new offers extended over the last three or four weeks, certain positions have emerged as specific areas of focus for LSU. In this week's "Where They Stand" we examine which positions have garnered the most attention from LSU, which prospects are being targeted and which ones are the most likely to wind up at LSU.

Defensive Line

After hauling in an impressive DL class in 2013, LSU has already made it clear they intended to reload at that position in 2014. LSU had already extended offers to an impressive group of DL prospects before NSD, and the Tigers have continued that trend in the last few weeks.

The staff has added four new prospects to its offer list — Travonte Valentine, Rashawn Shaw, Blake McClain and Derick Roberson. Roberson and McClain are committed to other programs — McClain committed to Florida State this week — and neither appears likely to switch. Shaw probably has LSU the highest on his list, though his recruitment is only recently picking up steam, and the Tigers will certainly have more competition soon. Valentine, who has already decommitted twice in his recruitment, appears to be a long way from making another commitment.

Aside from those four, LSU still appears to be in great shape with Gerald Willis and Deondre Clark, who most consider one of the biggest out-of-state locks. Then there are prospects like Chad Thomas and Justin Thornton, who hopes to visit LSU this weekend, that have mentioned LSU in their top schools, but still appear to be leaning elsewhere.

But the staff doesn't appear to be done offering prospects. In-state guys like Davon Godchaux and Garrald McDowell have long been on LSU's radar, and if they excel in the spring and summer, most believe an offer would head their way. Joyan Williams is a new name to pop up recently, one of many Edna Karr prospects receiving LSU attention. He and many others could have to wait until summer camp to show the staff enough to add their name to the offer list at DL.


After LSU took two promising QBs in the 2013, few thought that position would receive much attention in 2014. But with Cam Cameron's addition to the coaching staff, QB has moved back up the pecking order as Cameron looks to add one of his own guys to the class. That's not to say Hayden Rettig and Anthony Jennings won't fit what Cameron likes to do. Both should excel in his system, but that hasn't stopped LSU from targeting several new gunslingers of the mobile variety in the last few weeks.

The biggest of those names being DeShone Kizer, a 6-foot-5 dual-threat QB from Ohio, who is the only QB to receive an offer from LSU since Cameron took over. Kizer had received plenty of interest following LSU's introduction into his recruitment, and he's been reported having said he was closing to making a commitment. But once LSU entered the picture, and Alabama a week later, Kizer has taken a step back in his recruitment. It's not yet clear where LSU stands right now, but the Tigers are certainly in the discussion.

Down the pecking order are prospects like Brandon Harris, from Shreveport's Parkway HS, Jeremy Jones (San Antonio, Texas) and Isaac Jackson (Fort Smith, Ark.). All three will likely need to excel in camp this summer to pick up an offer from the staff, though Harris appears to be the best prospect of the bunch.

A name that has interestingly stayed in the discussion at QB is Mason Rudolph, who picked up an offer from LSU early in his junior season. Rudolph has stayed in consistent contact with the LSU coaches, including Cameron, and they are encouraging him to come to camp this summer. Though he isn't as mobile as the names mentioned above, he isn't a statue in the pocket, and if he performs well, he could be a guy LSU stays on heading into the fall.


Two years removed from its elite haul of LB talent in 2012, it's always been clear LSU hoped to take a class equal in quality, but not necessarily quantity. Before NSD, most expected LSU to take only two LBs in 2014, though it seems like the Tigers may want more.

Hours after LSU extended Donnie Alexander an offer on Feb. 24, he became LSU's fifth commitment in the 2014 class and the first LB. He was a name that surprised many and led to some confusion as to LSU's new intentions at that position. Since then, LSU has continued to extend offers to LB, with several new names to keep an eye on.

Kenny Young has been LSU's top LB priority since he received an offer in January, and he still is. But with new names emerging on the radar, LSU may be looking to add some other names alongside Young. Clifton Garrett, Otaro Alaka, Sharieff Rhaheed and Zach Whitely have all picked up offers in the last couple weeks.

Garrett has long been interested in LSU and that offer was one he'd dreamed of receiving. But he's deservedly picked up a lot of attention lately, and LSU still has a long way to go to land him. Rhaheed's recruitment is in a similar situation's to Rashawn Shaw's, in that it's only getting started and though LSU is in good standing now, there will certainly be more competition coming soon. Whitely is the newest one to receive an offer, and he plays his recruitment so close to the vest it's hard to get a read where the Tigers stand. Alaka looks to be a heavy lean to Texas, who offered him the same day as LSU.


With the 2014 DB class set to be one of the best ever, LSU has kept an eye on some more safeties to add to the equation. LSU's already out to a solid start at CB, with commitments from Edward Paris and Chris Hardeman, the Tigers will hope to make an equal splash at S.

LSU has extended offers to two safeties in the last two weeks — Davion Hall and Dylan Sumner-Gardner. Hall, who is currently committed to Baylor, has expressed publicly the LSU offer has piqued his interest, and if a favorable situation arises, he'd be open to switching his commitment. Sumner-Gardner, who was considered a Texas A&M lean before he received that LSU offer, made it official and committed to the Aggies last weekend.

Though there aren't many other names on the radar for now, expect LSU to continue pressing for safety prospects like Laurence Jones and Quincy Wilson. Or even look for them to play ATH Devin Voorhies there, or begin recruiting prospects like Jabrill Peppers, who will visit April 12, or John Battle as safeties.

Wide Reciver and Pass-catching Tight Ends

For years, Les Miles has talked about opening up the passing game to tight ends and capitalizing on tall WRs downfield. Now that Cameron is aboard as the OC, and LSU looks set to bring in that type of talent, Miles may finally live up to those offensive expectations.

Though LSU already had a commitment from TE Jacory Washington, and with a historic amount of talent at WR in Louisiana, LSU has continued targeting players at both positions in the first month of the 2014 recruiting cycle. At WR, LSU has offered Keenen Brown and Josh Malone, and at TE, Anthony Jones and Koda Martin have picked up offers.

Though LSU still seems to be in great shape with in-state guys like Trey Quinn, Malachi Dupre and Devante Noil, that hasn't stopped the Tigers from targeting more out-of-state prospects. Brown, a teammate of Chris Hardeman, said LSU was already in his top three along with Oklahoma and Missouri, and having Hardeman there to sell LSU will certainly go a long way. Malone has picked up plenty of attention lately, but Chad Simmons reported that he would give LSU serious consideration moving forward in his recruitment.

Still on the radar are out-of-state guys like Tony Upchurch, who has said LSU is atop his list though he's taking his recruitment slowly, and Ermon Lane, one of the top WRs in the country. Florida State commit JoJo Robinson, who could also wind up at safety, has been high on LSU and has said he's wide-open in his recruitment. The most interesting name to watch is Ouachita standout Cameron Sims, who hasn't been offered yet. But if he does, most expect him to be a heavy LSU lean.

At TE, Martin is likely more of a blocker, and could even bulk up to play along the offensive line. That makes Jones the more interesting prospect, as it's considered he still needs to show more in the spring to make that offer committable. He's obviously high on LSU, and should the Tigers want to take him, he's almost a certain commit.

Fightin Gators Top Stories