LSU has had good fortune recruiting offensive lineman in the past year.
Last February they signed four-star Evan Washington, and the staff was also able to get the Texas native enrolled in January so that he could have an extra six-month head start on the rest of the 2010 signees.
For 2011 they already have one of the best on the board committed in five-star La’el Collins. At the two guard spots are a pair of local products – Trai Turner and Corey White - that also have plenty of promise. With four-star tackle Greg Robinson also in the mix, the line could bring in four of the best in the South.
Then there is next year’s class.
LSU is already in the lead for Florida’s Nacho Garcia and Texas lineman Curtis Riser, and both have already been offered. North Carolina’s D.J. Humphries has been offered and came on a visit, and he left with LSU among his front group.
Another name to watch: Vadal Alexander.
The Buford High standout is one of the top prospects in the Peach State for 2012, and he has already picked up offers from the likes of LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.
“Pretty much every school that I was hoping to hear from has either shown me some interest or already offered,” Alexander said. “It definitely makes things tough. I’ve been able to see some schools already, and I can tell that each place is going to have something special about it. I just have to find out in person what each school is like and then narrow it down from there.
“I am keeping a running tally at each school I visit, and I am giving points to each school after I see the campus or talk with the coaches. When I feel like I am comfortable with things, I’ll take the teams with the most points and trim the list.”
This past weekend, Alexander was in the house for LSU’s 43-36 win over Ole Miss.
How did the Tigers grade out?
“They were definitely on the high end of the 1-10 scale,” he said. “The game was unbelievable. It was back and forth the whole time, but LSU called all the right plays in the end. They found a way to win that game, and that’s what you want to see. It definitely got me pumped up. I wanted to be out there.”
Alexander, who made the trip from Buford, Ga. with his father, arrived to campus on Saturday morning.
“We got to campus and went walking around for a while, then we got into the stadium and I went straight down onto the field with the other recruits,” he said. “Me and my dad got to stand in the endzone and watch the offensive line warm up, so that was cool. Coach Stud was coaching them up, and everyone looked big. That got me excited for the game right there.”
Alexander was able to have conversations with both offensive line coach Greg Studrawa and head coach Les Miles. After talking with both coaches, Alexander said it’s evident that they will make him a top priority for 2012.
“Coach Stud was telling me that I’m one of the guys he wants most for next season, and coach Miles pretty much said the exact same thing,” he said. “They were just happy to see me in town. Coach Miles asked me to start spending more time around the coaches and players so that I could get that feel for what LSU was really about, so I told him I would come back on another visit here soon.
“The main thing he told me was to come on a weekend without any games, because he wanted to be able to take time away and just get to know me more.”
While the four-star prospect said that Alabama, Florida, LSU, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee are the schools contacting him the most, the visit to Baton Rouge should help the Tigers create distance from the pack.
“(LSU) was already way up there, but now they are even higher,” Alexander said. “Whenever I make cuts, they will still be there.
“The stadium and crowd was just what I was told it would be, and seeing the offense play well gave me confidence that LSU is headed in the right direction as a whole. They are definitely one of the best teams out there right now, and I plan to keep looking at them hard.”
After his visit to Baton Rouge, Alexander and his father spent Sunday in New Orleans. Though he moved away at age three, will the fact that Vadal is a New Orleans native help bring Alexander back home for college?
“That’s definitely a big angle for me, because with LSU I would be back around a whole lot of my family,” Alexander said. “It’s definitely something I’ve thought about.”