In LSU’s biggest SEC win of the season, the Tigers’ coaching staff hosted a slew of high school prospects – the majority of which made the drive in from outside of Louisiana.
Sitting at 8-0 and ranked No. 1 in the country, LSU has begun to see its success pay off on the recruiting trail. With 20 commitments for the 2012 class, the Tigers are beginning to test the waters elsewhere. This weekend, they brought in six 2012 prospects that were already committed to other programs.
Though five-star defensive end Mario Edwards was supposed to make the trip but had to cancel because he was taking the ACT, three other Florida State pledges were in attendance: Five-star quarterback Jameis Winston, four-star defensive end Chris Casher and four-star defensive tackle Justin Shanks.
Winston committed to FSU on Aug. 3, but the Hueytown, Ala., native has since begun to look at programs that recruited him before his pledge. The nation’s No. 2-ranked quarterback prospect, Winston visited Tuscaloosa on Oct. 8 for Alabama’s 34-0 Homecoming victory over Vanderbilt. LSU and Alabama will both continue to recruit Winston as a quarterback, though the Major League Baseball Draft could come into play and keep him off the college football field altogether.
Casher, the nation’s No. 8-ranked defensive end, chose the Seminoles over Alabama last January. Shanks, also one of the Tide’s top defensive targets, remains committed to Florida State but will take all five of his official visits.
All three FSU pledges have offers from LSU.
Two of Shanks’ high school teammates from Prattville, Ala., were also in attendance: Four-star athlete Justin Thomas and three-star cornerback Laronji Vason. Thomas is committed to Alabama and Vason is committed to Wake Forest. Thomas – who camped in Baton Rouge the past two summers – has an offer from LSU.
East St. John cornerback Darion Monroe, who pledged to TexasA&M last February, rounded out the group of committed prospects.
Outside of Winston, the highest-rated prospect in attendance was five-star Kwon Alexander – the nation’s No. 1-ranked outside linebacker. Alexander tore his ACL earlier in the season, but the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder from Oxford, Ala., remains one of the most sought after defensive prospects in the country.
Alexander has offers from every program in the SEC, but told Scout.com’s Chad Simmons last month that his list had been narrowed to Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, LSU and Oregon. It was Alexander’s second week in a row to see Auburn in person.
Episcopal defensive end Tylor Harris returned to Tiger Stadium for the second time in two games. Outside of Harris, the 2012 in-state crop was thin – making way for the staff to bring in a number of up-and-coming talents.
From the 2013 class, highlight names in attendance from Louisiana were Barbe-Lake Charles tight end Desean Smith, Patterson tight end Deandre Skinner, East Feliciana athlete Kendall Beckwith, Port Allen athlete Darion Claiborne, Walker running back Carlton Perkins, Loreauville athlete Jermaine Antoine and Neville-Monroe athlete John Diarse.
Smith, Beckwith and Diarse already have verbal offers from LSU, and the staff is keeping a close eye on the rest of the group.
From outside the state, a group of Mobile, Ala. Underclassmen traveled to LSU for the second time this month. St. Paul’s 2013 running back Jordan Huff and 2014 linebacker Tre Williams headlined the group. Williams, a 6-foot-1, 215 pound sophomore, already has offers from Alabama, Auburn and Florida State.
Offensive tackle Jake Raulerson was the only Lone Star State underclassmen at the game. The 6-foot-5, 250 pound Celina native has over 20 scholarship offers, including one from LSU.
The LSU staff had five committed players in attendance: Hahnville defensive back Jerqwinick Sandolph, Thibodaux linebacker Trey Granier, and the Breaux Bridge trio of athlete Lamar Louis and wide receivers Travin Dural and Kavahra Holmes.
Safety Alonzo Lewis, who signed on with LSU last February but was forced to go the junior college route because of academics, made the drive in with teammates from Copiah-Lincoln. Fellow 2011 Louisiana safety T.K. Fleming was in the group, which marked his second trip to Baton Rouge this month. Both Lewis and Fleming will be recruited to LSU for the 2013 class.
Just getting better Defense doesn't miss a beat SCORING RECAP: LSU 45, Auburn 10
Defense doesn't miss a beat SCORING RECAP: LSU 45, Auburn 10
SCORING RECAP: LSU 45, Auburn 10