Where They Stand: Texas Prospects

The talent runs deeper than the Rio Grande in Texas for 2014. LSU has made the Lone Star State a major point of focus for this class and have already picked up three commitments from the neighbor to the west. The Tigers remain in great shape with several more Texas prospects, and TSD's Hunter Paniagua breaks down who to watch in this week's "Where They Stand."

Like an old oil tycoon, LSU has tapped into the talent Texas has provided in the 2014 class. The Tigers have extended offers to 21 players from Texas and have already landed three commits from the Lone Star State, including the latest addition, WR Tony Upchurch (Pearland).

CB Chris Hardeman (Houston) was the first commit of the group and CB Edward Paris (Arlington) added his name to the list in late February. LSU has already taken three more players from Texas than they did in 2013 (when the Tigers landed zero) and are in prime position to land several more.

In this week's "Where They Stand," TSD's Hunter Paniagua breaks down some of the top remaining prospects LSU has targeted in the state of Texas.

CB Tony Brown – Beaumont – Ozen HS

I covered where things stand on the Brown front last week, and Brown remains LSU's top target in Texas, as well as the most likely of the bunch to wind up in purple and gold. Not only does he have a strong relationship with the coaches dating back to his freshman year, but Paris (his close friend) and Brown's sister (who will run track at LSU) are already on board. All those signs point directly to Baton Rouge, and LSU would love to lock up the nation's top CB in the near future.

RB Kevin Shorter – Newton – Newton HS

Shorter is a newer face on the LSU radar. He picked up an offer from LSU last Friday after making a trip to campus to check out spring practice. He's an athletic, pass-catching RB that the staff believes would be a good complement to Leonard Fournette. With the Tigers needing to take at least two RBs in this class, expect Shorter to remain a big priority. Following the offer, he mentioned LSU in a top three with Texas A&M and Arkansas, with a decision possibly coming this summer.

ATH Davion Hall – Texarkana – Liberty-Elyau HS

Hall made an early commitment to Baylor, but after picking up an offer from LSU in late February, he began weighing his options. A versatile athlete, he could wind up at WR or S, though LSU likes him on defense. Hall hasn't denied that he's serious about reconsidering his commitment to Baylor, and admits that LSU is a strong contender at this point. He includes the Tigers near the top of his list with Baylor, Alabama (who hasn't offered) and Arkansas. Texas A&M is also in the picture, and a decision is expected before his senior season.

WR Keenen Brown – Houston – Alief Taylor HS

A teammate of Hardeman, Brown picked up an offer from LSU after attending Junior Day in February. One of many WRs to receive attention from LSU in recent months, Brown mentioned LSU in his top three with Oklahoma and Missouri shortly after receiving the offer. Since then, his recruitment has really taken off as he's now well into double-digit offers. After Upchurch's commitment, it's unclear how many more, if any, out-of-state WRs LSU intends to take. But if the staff wants Brown, they'll be in good shape as he has strong interest in the Tigers, and will have Hardeman in his ear. Brown has said he intends to visit LSU again this spring.

TE Koda Martin – Manvel – Manvel HS

Martin picked up an offer from LSU in February after popping in to meet with the coaches, while he was on his way to Tuscaloosa for Alabama's Junior Day. A big TE, Martin could eventually bulk up and become an athletic OT. Martin recently mentioned LSU in his top five along with Alabama, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Baylor. He's said he'd like to make some more visits during spring practices to help narrow things down. A decision is expected this summer.

S Brandon Simmons – Arlington – Mansfield Timberview

Simmons has offers from just about every elite program in the country, including LSU. He is a teammate with Paris, and that's something that has led many fans to hope LSU has a legitimate chance. But Simmons is considering a lot of schools at this point, with USC receiving a lot of praise after offering him a couple weeks ago. LSU will have a lot of competition for Simmons should they try to land his commitment.

LB Otaro Alaka – Houston – Cypress Falls HS

A speedy OLB, Alaka picked up an offer from LSU in February. While he was excited about that offer from the Tigers, Texas extended one on that same day. The Longhorns are the consensus favorite for Alaka, but expect LSU to keep him high on their list of targets at linebacker.

LB Zach Whitely – Galena Park – North Shore HS

Whitely plays his recruitment close to the vest, but he's another LB on LSU's radar. He recently picked up an offer from the Tigers. Texas and Texas A&M have shown Whitely serious interest, as well as Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Alabama. Whitely has said he's still open at this point.

DB John Bonney – Houston – Lamar HS

A versatile DB, Bonney has really seen his recruitment take off since LSU offered him near New Year's. Bonney attended one of Texas' Junior Days a couple months ago, and came away really high on the Longhorns. He has said he was close to committing, but still wants to explore his other options, including LSU. He intends to take more visits this spring, but nothing has been set yet.

DE Solomon Thomas – Coppell – Coppell HS

LSU has an offer out to Thomas, as do many of the elite programs in the country. While the Tigers are one of his schools of interest, Thomas has not named any leaders at this point.


In other news…

---LB/DE Sharieff Rhaheed sent LSU recruitniks into a frenzy on Tuesday night when he announced his commitment to LSU. Though Rhaheed confirmed he had pulled the trigger, sources close to LSU did not acknowledge that he was a public take at this point. While Corey Raymond, his lead recruiter, has been high on this South Florida prospect since he offered him in February, the rest of the staff wants to take more time to evaluate him.

That will start on Tuesday, when Rhaheed makes a trip to LSU with his family. It's possible that LSU accepts his commitment then, but the staff may also want to wait until later in the spring or summer to gauge where things stand with other prospects.

Rhaheed could wind up at either OLB or DE depending on how he grows into his long 6-foot-3 frame. He has said LSU is still considering him at either position.

---WR Tony Upchurch became the seventh member of LSU's 2014 class when he committed to the Tigers on Friday. That's left a lot of uncertainty around LSU's plans for the WR position in 2014. The Tigers do remain in great position for the three big in-state WRs — Malachi Dupre (who visited Saturday), Trey Quinn and Devante Noil.

While it's been expected LSU would take four WRs in this class, the staff may be in line to take more, with several offers extended to out-of-state prospects in recent weeks. It should be interesting to see how things shake out, but regardless of how the rest of the dominos fall, LSU should be in great shape to take an elite WR class in 2014.

---LSU will host two big visitors on Saturday, as Vigor HS (Prichard, Ala.) teammates DeShaun Davis and Justin Thornton are planning to make a trip to Baton Rouge. Thornton has long been high on LSU, and Davis called LSU his "dream school" after picking up an offer last week. Both would be takes for LSU, though Davis is considered closer to pulling the trigger than Thornton.

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