LSU growing on J.T. Barrett

2013 Texas quarterback says Tigers made a big impression during his visit.

For the 2012 class, LSU landed a verbal commitment from Oxford, Miss., quarterback Jeremy Liggins just a couple of days before National Signing Day, an unusual timeline for college coaches to take when recruiting a quarterback.

For the class of 2013, LSU quarterbacks coach Steve Kragthorpe is hoping to have his ducks lined up in a row long before the 11th hour.

After Connor Mitch visited Baton Rouge and was offered a scholarship by the staff earlier this month, the Tigers played host to another high-profile commitment this weekend: Wichita Falls (Texas) Rider quarterback J.T. Barrett.

"I came into town on Friday and stayed through the scrimmage on Saturday," Barrett said. "We didn't do a whole lot with the coaches on Friday, but I hung out with some players and got a better feel for things. Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry hung out with me, and we had a good time. I liked everyone I met."

On Saturday, Barrett and the LSU staff got down to business.

Before the scrimmage, Kragthorpe sat Barrett - a four-star prospect and the nation's No. 6-ranked quarterback - through the quarterback position meetings before settling into Kragthorpe's office for conversation on the future.

"(Kragthorpe) was really excited about me making the visit in and being around the program," Barrett said. "I was in the quarterbacks meeting Zach (Mettenberger), (Stephen) Rivers and (Jerrard) Randall, and that was really cool for me to see. I learned a lot by listening to them.

"Then Coach Kragthorpe talked a lot about what they could do with me. He told me that if I would go to LSU then they would work more option into the offensive attack.

"Coach Kragthorpe said they don't have the option quarterback right now, and they have not used it yet with Randall. With me, (Kragthorpe) thinks they can run the option more."

After a meal off campus, Barrett returned for more conversation with the staff, and Kragthorpe gave him the hard sell on what it would mean to be under center for the Tigers on a Saturday.

"Coach Kragthorpe said more than 50% of people at the restaurant couldn't tell you who the Governor of Louisiana is, but if you go and ask them who the head coach and new quarterback at LSU is, they could all tell you.

"He said that being quarterback at LSU is big time. That stood out to me."

During the scrimmage, Barrett found his focus drifting away from the quarterbacks and onto the defensive side of the football.

"It was crazy how big those guys were," Barrett said. "When you see the team in person, it's a different look.

"All in all, it was really nice. My coach was there with me, and we really liked how they put it all together. It was a good weekend."

With offers from LSU, Ohio State, Nebraska, Texas Tech and Baylor, Barrett is still mulling his options, though he indicated the Tigers have made a significant jump up the list after the weekend.

"I am still pretty open, because I still have to take a visit to Ohio State," he said. "But they definitely have it going on down there at LSU with the way everything is set up.

"Getting the inside look at it is different. That definitely gave me a lot more to think about."

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