Friday notebook

Go inside to get the latest from the recruiting trail in Baton Rouge.

Noah Spence, a five-star recruit and the nation’s No. 1-ranked defensive end prospect from the class of 2012, has long been considered a lean to Penn State.

But with the recent news out of State College leading to the abrupt departure of coach Joe Paterno, Spence, a Harrisburg, Pa., native, may begin looking harder outside the state for college.

LSU, Florida and Maryland are three schools to keep an eye on.

The Tigers sent defensive coordinator John Chavis to visit Spence during the team’s bye week, and sources close to the program told the TigerSportsDigest.com staff that LSU would begin to turn up the heat on Spence now that he appears more open to leaving the state.

The No. 2-ranked defensive end prospect on Scout.com also has interest in LSU.

Mario Edwards, a five-star out of Ryan High in Denton,Texas, remains committed to Florida State, where his father, Mario Edwards Sr., played in the 1990s. But Oklahoma and LSU have crept into the picture, and last month Edwards told the TigerSportsDigest.com staff that he was going to visit Baton Rouge in either December or January.

Certainly the Tigers’ defensive effort, particularly on the line, in a 9-6 win over No. 2 Alabama was enough to catch the attention of both prospects. A source told the TigerSportsDigest.com staff that the LSU coaches are increasing contact with not just Spence, but also Edwards and Florida defensive end Dante Fowler – who, like Edwards, is also committed to Florida State.

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Tigers fans are always trying to guess the next name in the class.

With the team sitting at 20 commitments, could the answer be David Perkins?

The South Bend, Ind., two-way standout was committed to Notre Dame, but dropped the hometown school on Oct. 31. He immediately scheduled a visit to LSU, and while Perkins said he is wide open, he hasn’t scheduled any other trips.

The offer from Les Miles came as an athlete.

Here is a breakdown from Scout.com’s Allen Trieu on Perkin safter South Bend-Washington’s latest playoff win: {could we just link it here?}

Leading the way for the Panthers was linebacker-running back David Perkins. He rushed for 211 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns. He also had a number of big hits and tackles on defense, where we project him in college. He showed great pursuit ability and tracked plays down that went to the opposite side of the field and to the sidelines. He showed really good effort and a motor tonight, more so than any other time we've seen him. When he got to the ball carrier, he made an impact, laying some vicious hits. Perkins has always been a high potential guy, and if he can continue to channel the type of aggressiveness and effort we saw in this game, the sky is the limit for him. He also was good on offense and for certain schools, he could definitely play tailback.

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It’s playoff time in Louisiana, and here are some things to watch for from the LSU perspective:

- In a matchup between the 28th seed and the fifth seed, Hahnville travels to West Monroe with high hopes of pulling an upset. This could be a prime opportunity for defensive back commitment Jerqwinick Sandolph to make a big impression on a big stage.

- If you want to get an eye on another LSU defensive back commitment, check out Derrick Raymond in East Jefferson's home bout against Alexandria – which will be televised statewide. Raymond is in his first full year of football, but the speedy cornerback – who took home the 100 and 200meter state titles in track last spring – has caught on quick and landed some big offers. AHS loves to pass, so this could be a chance for Raymond to show off his coverage skills.

- For those that want to get a jumpstart on the future, checkout 2013 athlete Ronald Lewis. The West Jefferson wide receiver has been hard to bring down this year, and he could play a huge role on Friday night when his squad gets a crack at Byrd. The seeding – No. 30 vs. No. 3 – shows Byrd should win. But Lewis is the type that could break a game wide open with his speed on offense.

- In 2A, No. 32 East Feliciana has the chance to upset No. 1Farmerville – but that hinges in large part on whether or not Kendell Beckwith starts at quarterback for East Feliciana. The Clinton native is being recruited heavily by LSU, but as a defensive lineman. If healthy, Beckwith will likely go both ways on Friday night.

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The TigerSportsDigest.com staff will check out Landon Collins during Friday night’s 5A playoff game between No. 29 Ponchatoula and No. 4 Dutchtown.

Collins is the No. 1 player left on the Louisiana board, and the five-star safety prospect was in Tuscaloosa for LSU’s 9-6 win last weekend. Collins has maintained that the Tigers and Tide lead for his services, and he doesn’t plan to announce his choice until January’s Under Armour All-American Game.

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Raymond, who committed to LSU on May 28, recently took an official visit to Nebraska, where assistant coach Corey Raymond, also a Louisiana native, is recruiting him. Scout.com listed Raymond as a soft verbal because of the trip.

But Raymond recently told Scout.com’s Mike Coppage that visits were complete and he was firm with his commitment.

“I want to be switched to a solid verbal,” said Raymond, who is evidently done taking trips that don’t lead to Baton Rouge. “LSU and Alabama last week involved two great defenses. Both teams are great and have amazing defenses, but I knew LSU would win. I figured it would come down to special teams.

“I'm proud to be an LSU commit.”


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