Recruits react to spring game

Get reactions from the recruits on hand for Saturday's LSU spring game in Tiger Stadium.

Christian Lacouture - DE - College Station (TX) A&M Consolidated

LaCouture decided to rescind his verbal pledge to Texas A&M on March 1, and since then the LSU staff - led by Steve Kragthorpe, who was assinged to LaCouture when Kragthorpe was on staff with the Aggies - has made up enough ground to pull in front.

"LSU is No. 1," LaCouture said. "I feel like I can say that after this weekend."

LaCouture arrived in Baton Rouge on Saturday morning, when he was able to meet with defensive line coach Brick Haley and head coach Les Miles before the spring game got underway.

"That was great part of the visit," LaCouture said. "I am glad I was able to get out there and see them compete and catch up with some of the other recruits and coaches."

LaCouture plans to attend Michigan's spring game on April 14, then trim his list and announce his decision soon after.

"I liked everything I saw (at LSU)," LaCouture said. "I will make a decision soon."

Quantavious Leslie - WR - Hinds CC (Miss.)

Back home after spending Saturday on the LSU campus with a pair of teammates, Leslie, who is widely considered one of the top junior college receivers in the country, is confident in calling the Tigers his top team.

"LSU is No. 1 for me, but I am going to keep letting things play out," Leslie said.

Leslie said the staff's approach has been key, identifying him as one of their top prospects in all of the 2013 class.

"Coach Miles keeps telling me I am that top guy and they need me at receiver," Leslie said. "And I liked what I saw (Saturday). It was an offense I could fit in, for sure."

Leslie circled quarterback Zach Mettenberger's 270 yards passing as the most important stat he left Baton Rouge with.

"I like the offense a lot because of how Mettenberger was not afraid to throw the deep ball," Leslie said. "That stood out to me."

Desean Smith - TE - Barbe

Mettenberger impressed more than just Leslie.

Four-star tight end DeSean Smith, tabbed as one of the elite pass-catching tight end prospects in the 2013 class, said he was also blown away by the offense he saw on display in Baton Rouge.

"I loved how they threw the ball a ton," Smith said. "The game wasn't boring at all. It was fun to watch something new instead of running the ball 1,000 times.

"I liked that they threw it and ran the ball. It really made a big impression on me."

Smith said he spent the morning with Miles before conversations with tight ends coach Steve Ensminger and first-year wide receivers coach Adam Henry at the post game picnic.

"The coaches all told me I would come in and be the perfect fit for where they want the offense to go," Smith said. "I loved hearing it. They bumped up big time from watching what they did in the spring game."

How far have the Tigers climbed in the race for Smith, who now holds 18 scholarship offers?

"LSU is definitely No. 1," Smith said.

Tim Williams - DE - University High

Williams might be one of the state's hottest prospects for 2013, adding offers from LSU, Alabama, Florida State and Southern Cal over the past two months.

While the 6-foot-4 and 230 pound defensive end goes to school on the LSU campus every day, the Tigers have made a strong push to get Williams around the football program more often, including an invitation to hang around with the staff and recruits during Saturday's spring game.

"My visit this time was really great," Williams said. "The coaches always want me to be around so that I can get comfortable with everyone, and that's what I am doing."

Williams said he kept his eye on the defensive line for much of the scrimmage, which turned into one of the focal points of the day.

"I thought the scrimmage was all about defense and the new quarterback," Williams said.

"I loved the defensive line. I had some one-on-one time with (Jermauria) Rasco afterwards, and he gave me some knowledge about recruiting and how to handle it.

"I really felt good after that."

Where does LSU currently stand in a race that has no definitive timeline in terms of a decision being rendered?

"They are way up there," Williams said. "LSU is always going to be in the mix of where I want to go to school."

Kendell Beckwith - OLB - East Feliciana

A family engagement could have kept Beckwith from attending Saturday's spring game, but the rising senior two-way star decided he needed to see LSU as much as possible - even if only for a moment.

"I had to get out there and see how they looked," Beckwith said. "I came with my mom and brother and we went out and caught a little bit of it. We knew we couldn't stay for the picnic because we had a family event to get to, but I wanted to see something."

How did Beckwith grade out the day?

"I thought those boys looked really good," he said. "It was a little hot out there, but everyone was going after it the whole time."

In a race where LSU and Alabama have led the pack, Beckwith said the staff in Baton Rouge continues to make big strides in their effort to keep him in state for college.

"The coaches at LSU keep saying I am the only linebacker they want," Beckwith said. "Right now, LSU stands pretty high on my list. I really like it down there."

Will Likely - CB - Belle Glades (FL) Glades Central

Of all the prospects in the for the spring game, Likely, a four-star cornerback out of Florida, spent the most time in Baton Rouge.

"I got up there on Thursday and left after everything was over (Saturday)," Likely said. "It's been great being at LSU. I am glad I made the trip in town, and I want to come back before I make a decision. I will probably make an official visit."

Likely watched the team practice on Thursday, which was also LSU Student Appreciation Day, meaning all students could watch the entirety of practice for the first time in the Les Miles era.

Between that and Saturday's spring game, Likely said he has a better understanding of the passion the fan base brings to the program.

"It was great to get out there at practice and in the stadium and see what Tiger Nation was all about," Likely said. "I liked it a lot.

"The atmosphere was a good one to be in."

Cameron Robinson - OT - Ouachita Parish (2014)

At 6-foot-6 and 315 pounds, Robinson is one of Louisiana's top offensive line prospects for the class of 2014.

Back in Baton Rouge for the spring game on Saturday, Robinson said the Tigers continue to impress as he evaluates the schools showing interest - which include both LSU and Alabama.

"I've liked everything about LSU, and I'm learning more on trips like this," Robinson said.

"Both the Purple and White team looked good out there (Saturday). I thought it was a great game, and the guys look real solid. They have been putting in the work."

While Robinson has yet to begin reeling in verbal scholarship offers, the massive lineman has a good sense of where he hopes his recruitment process takes him.

"I am starting to talk to a lot more schools, but LSU and Alabama have been after me the hardest," Robinson said. "No doubts about that.

"LSU has been making a big impression, and they are definitely in my top three."

Chris Hardeman - CB - Houston (TX) Taylor (2014)

Hardeman made the drive in with teammate Torrodney Prevot, who is one of LSU's top targets for the class of 2013.

"Torrodney and I had a great time," Hardeman said. "We got to hang out with Jonathan Wiggins and Maurice Smith, and it was really nice. We all enjoyed it."

Hardeman, who was also accompanied by his mother and father, was able to not only attend the spring game, but also get a tour in of the West Campus apartments and a look at the Cox Communications Center for Student Athletes.

"My dad really liked it a lot," Hardeman said. "We all liked the atmosphere. It felt like a good environment to be in."

Hardeman said he was invited into town by LSU special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey, who recruits the Houston area for the Tigers.

"I talked with Coach McGaughey last week and he told me to be sure to get into town," Hardeman said. "That's who told us all to come down.

"I got to see him after the game and we talked about my recruitment and all that. They are definitely going to be in touch, and I'm sure Coach McGaughey will be out to see me when my spring practice starts."

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