2013 Rundown: The Final Stretch

Less than a week remains until National Signing Day, and there's plenty to talk about on the LSU recruiting front. With a new commitment, some academic casualties, the final six days is sure to provide plenty of news. Come inside for the latest, including some information on the nation's top recruit.

We've reached the final week of the 2013 recruiting calendar, and as expected, the news has been heavy on the LSU recruiting front.

There was a big target that went elsewhere, some academic casualties and a new commitment all within the last 48 hours. We'll get into a rundown of the biggest storylines for the 2013 class, but first here's the list of current LSU commits:

Christian Lacouture – No. 14 DE – Enrolled

Logan Stokes – JUCO TE – Enrolled

Avery Johnson – Prep WR – Enrolled

John Diarse – No. 14 S – Enrolled (Will play WR at LSU)

Hayden Rettig – No. 19 QB – Enrolled

Anthony Jennings – No. 28 QB – Enrolled

Ethan Pocic – No. 4 OT – Enrolled

Fehoko Fanaika – JUCO OL – Enrolled

Duke Riley – No. 84 OLB

Kevin Spears – No. 53 WR

Kendell Beckwith – No. 15 DE

Maquedius Bain – No. 32 DT

Quantavius Leslie – JUCO WR

Greg Gilmore – No. 5 DT

Rashard Robinson – No. 31 CB

Desean Smith – No. 9 TE

Tre'Davious White – No. 6 CB

Rickey Jefferson – No. 24 WR (Will play DB at LSU)

Jeryl Brazil – No. 22 CB

Melvin Jones – No. 8 MLB

Frank Herron – No. 5 DE

Lewis Neal – No. 30 MLB (Will play DE at LSU)

Andy Dodd – No. 20 OG

Michael Patterson – No. 50 DE

K.J. Malone – No. 36 OG

Josh Boutte – No. 8 OG

Tevin Lawson – No. 49 DT (Not expected to sign with LSU)

Jeremy Cutrer – No. 19 S (Not expected to sign with LSU)


Wednesday started with some disappointment for LSU fans. Three-star athlete Eddie Jackson announced early in the morning that he had committed to Alabama over LSU after taking an official visit to Baton Rouge the previous weekend.

The miss for LSU served as a significant battle lost to Nick Saban and the Tide, and left LSU with some questions in the secondary for the 2013 class. With the academic futures of a pair of DBs in question (we'll get to that later), the staff could have afforded to add another body to this class.

But don't expect the staff to give up. According to reports, the LSU staff still has its sights set on a pair of committed prospects — Priest Willis and Jamal Carter. Both players have taken official visits to LSU in recent months, and the staff is expected to continue pressing these recruits until National Signing Day. Though it's unlikely either one will flip to the Tigers, they're still worth keeping an eye on as the countdown to NSD draws near.


While LSU received bad news to start the day, things picked up for the Tigers when they received their 26th commitment Wednesday night.

Duke Riley added his name to the list of future Tigers after an in-home visit with Frank Wilson and John Chavis. The staff informed him his greyshirt offer had been upgraded to a full offer for 2013, and Riley immediately called Les Miles to inform him of his commitment.

Riley had been searching for that LSU offer throughout his recruitment, and that persistence paid off after he made an official visit to Baton Rouge last weekend, instead of tripping to Ole Miss. Riley becomes the second OLB in the 2013 class, joining Kendell Beckwith at that position. Riley certainly has the motivation and enough strength and athleticism to fit in well in Chavis' system. He's likely a couple years away from seeing the field, but could serve as a solid foundation for the future of the LB position.


The academic casualties have become clearer as news broke this week that two recruits would likely not sign with LSU because of their grades.

Scout's Steve Robertson reported that Jeremy Cutrer visited Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in recent weeks, and did not make it to Baton Rouge last weekend for his scheduled official visit. The four-star safety prospect is expected to sign with MGCCC next week.

News also came out Tuesday that Tevin Lawson would also be left out of the 2013 class. The staff asked him Monday night to put off his enrollment until January 2014 due to concerns over his grades. Lawson took a pair of online classes over the summer that the staff doesn't believe will get past the NCAA Clearinghouse.

To avoid the risk of him not qualifying after signing a National Letter of Intent, the staff asked that he delay his enrollment until his grades have cleared up. That news did not sit well with Lawson and his family, according to his coach at Denham Springs. Lawson has reportedly started weighing his other options and is not expected to sign with LSU next week.

The academic watch now turns to two other commits — Rashard Robinson and Quantavius Leslie. Robinson, who has taken unofficial visits to Miami in recent weeks but is still solid to LSU, reportedly has some work left to do in the classroom to ensure qualification. Leslie failed to earn the necessary credits to graduate from Hinds Community College in December, putting his arrival to LSU on hold. He still has three classes left to pass, but by all reports is putting himself in good position to arrive in June.


With Jackson off the board, LSU's biggest remaining target has become soft Auburn commit Tashawn Bower, who visited Baton Rouge officially last weekend. Bower has said he enjoyed his trip to LSU, and the Tigers are firmly in this mix for his commitment. Bower will announce his decision on NSD with one more trip to Auburn on his schedule.


The Robert Nkemdiche watch isn't over quite yet. Despite reports that the nation's No. 1 prospect had shut down his recruitment following his official visit to Ole Miss last weekend, sources inside LSU informed TSD that the staff has been in regular conversation with both Nkemdiche and his father about getting him to campus for an official visit.

Those talks have yielded anything but certainty in regards to his visit, but that possibility remains. David Kamara, Nkemdiche's teammate and a three-star prospect, also confirmed that he would likely make the trip as well, but as we've seen over the last month, nothing is certain until either one sets foot on campus.

Though Nkemdiche has always been considered a near-lock to Ole Miss, most have felt an official visit to LSU would help push him in the other direction. While others have grown tired of the song and dance, it's certainly something worth monitoring until NSD.

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