The Bayou Picnic, an invite-only gathering of recruits held on LSU’s campus at the end of May, helped spark the staff’s current run on the recruiting trail, a stretch from May 28 to June 20 where the Tigers nabbed six verbal commitments: two defensive backs, a pair of receivers, and offensive tackle, and a long snapper.
That brings the total number of commitments for 2012 to 15; leaving LSU around six spots short of where the final group will be next February.
And while the defensive recruiting efforts have yielded a crop of Louisiana linebackers (3) and defensive backs (3), the staff has struck on just one lineman: Woodlawn High’s Torshiro Davis, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound speed rusher.
With in-state names like Bastrop’s Denzel Devall still high on the board, LSU has continued to recruit only a handful of defensive line prospects from outside the state.
One of the select few is mammoth Long Beach, Miss. tackle Nick James, a 6-foot-5, 330-pounder who has offers from nearly every Southeastern Conference school, including LSU.
“LSU has done a really good job of keeping up with me,” said James, who is splitting his time this summer between workout sessions and a job at a local restaurant. “They will call and check up on me the most. I talk with a few coaches regularly, and coach [Brick] Haley is one of them.”
While he did not make it into town for the Bayou Picnic, James has tripped to Baton Rouge a number of times over the past year, including his most recent stop for the Spring Game.
“The game was a lot of fun because I got to be in Tiger Stadium, but now I am focused on getting back for an actual game,” James said. “I have some other schools that I want to visit for a game, too. I am not rushing anything until I see a few places.
“I might even get to a camp or two this July, but I will have to talk that all over with my dad. If we schedule some places then a visit to LSU will be on there.”
With every staff now after him solely on the defensive side, James has begun to narrow his focus. And while he might not be close to a commitment, the Tigers have set the bar going forward.
“I have a great relationship with the coaches down at Miami, and they have been recruiting me for a little while now. I’ll have to make a visit to there and to Florida.
“With Alabama, it’s a situation with academics. If my grades stay up and are in order then they said that I would have an offer.”