Where They Stand: The Numbers Game

In this week's edition of "Where They Stand," TSD's Hunter Paniagua predicts how many prospects LSU will take at each position, as well as which recruits are the highest priority for the LSU staff.

QUARTERBACK (1)

COMMITTED: None
PRIMARY TARGET: Mason Rudolph
OTHER NAMES TO WATCH: DeShone Kizer, Brandon Harris

BREAKDOWN: It's been made clear by those on the LSU side that the staff intends to take a quarterback in this class. After taking two in 2013, who are both now on campus, new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron wants to bring in another with that dual-threat ability he cherishes in his offense. Rudolph is the top option at this point, as interest is mutual between the two sides. He has said LSU is recruiting him the hardest and plans to make a decision before his senior season. If LSU misses on Rudolph, keep an eye on Kizer, who has mentioned LSU in his top six, and Brandon Harris, who doesn't yet have an offer from LSU. Harris is expected to camp this summer and make a commitment on July 18.

RUNNING BACK (2)

COMMITTED: None
PRIMARY TARGETS: Leonard Fournette, Darrel Williams
OTHER NAMES TO WATCH: Racean Thomas, Kevin Shorter

BREAKDOWN: The staff appears comfortable taking two RBs in this class with Fournette the obvious crown jewel. Everything behind him has been in a bit of a holding pattern, though LSU is keeping some guys close by. Williams is the next in line behind Fournette as LSU hopes to stay in-state at RB in 2014. But Williams isn't sitting on his hands, waiting for an LSU offer. He's actively entertaining his other suitors, and it would probably be in LSU's best interest to offer him sooner rather than later. If Williams does opt to go elsewhere, five-star Thomas has expressed interest in LSU, as has Shorter, though his offer from LSU isn't committable at this point.

TIGHT END (2)

COMMITTED: Jacory Washington
PRIMARY TARGETS: Anthony Jones
OTHER NAMES TO WATCH: Jakell Mitchell, Koda Martin, Derek Barnett, Kendall Ardoin

BREAKDOWN: LSU has already picked up a commitment from Jacory Washington, but the staff has continued to actively pursue other TEs, making it clear they intend to take a pair in 2014. Jones is the only other in-state TE with an offer, though it's expected he'll need to camp this summer in order to make that committable. Ardoin is a similar style TE to Jones, and he plans to camp as well in search of an offer. Both Jones and Ardoin fit the mold of an athletic, receiving TE that Cameron likes to employ — as does Mitchell, though he hails from Opelika, a town squarely in the Auburn pipeline. Martin and Barnett have each expressed interest in LSU, though they're more of the blocking variety, and it's not yet certain if LSU intends to add a TE like that in this class.

WIDE RECEIVER (5)

COMMITTED: Tony Upchurch
PRIMARY TARGETS: Malachi Dupre, Trey Quinn, Devante Noil
OTHER NAMES TO WATCH: Keenen Brown, Saeed Blacknall

BREAKDOWN: LSU will take at least four WRs in this class, though the way the staff has recruited this position to this point hints they will take as many as five. The Tigers already have Upchurch on board, and the Louisiana trio of Dupre, Quinn and Noil are heavy leans to LSU at this point. But the staff isn't finished. LSU continues to recruit a number of guys out-of-state, and are still extending new offers, Jeffery Mead the most recent. LSU already appears to be in good shape for guys like Brown and Blacknall, and expect the staff to continue pursuing another tall, X-type receiver to complement Upchurch, Dupre, Quinn and Noil.

OFFENSIVE LINE (3)

COMMITTED: William Clapp
PRIMARY TARGETS: Cameron Robinson, Garrett Brumfield
OTHER NAMES TO WATCH: Bentley Spain

BREAKDOWN: With Clapp already on board, the staff has its eyes on two more to hopefully make it a Louisiana trifecta on the offensive line. Robinson and Brumfield are the two main priorities on the OL, though each one has been considered one of the bigger flight risks among in-state prospects. Brumfield has expressed plenty of interest in other schools, though the word last week from the LSU side is that Brumfield is a heavier lean to LSU than most expected, and could actually be one of the next to make a commitment. It's a LSU/Alabama battle for Robinson, and after his trip to Tuscaloosa last weekend, it's growing harder to determine which program, if any, has the lead at this point. Spain is the top target out-of-state, and he has LSU in his list of finalists with a decision coming in the next few months.

DEFENSIVE LINE (3)

COMMITTED: None
PRIMARY TARGETS: Gerald Willis, Deondre Clark
OTHER NAMES TO WATCH: Justin Thornton, Chad Thomas, Andrew Williams, Davon Godchaux, Garrald McDowell

BREAKDOWN: I'm predicting LSU takes three DL in 2014, though that number could easily swell to four depending on how the dominos fall. Willis and Clark are the heaviest LSU leans at this point and the staff has to like where they stand with each prospect. After those two, there are a few more question marks. LSU will obviously turn its attention to some other big out-of-state prospects, though it's safe to consider the Tigers longshots for just about all of those targets. Thornton, Thomas and Williams have all expressed serious interest in LSU. If the staff is able to pull a commitment from one of those names, they may call it a class, or they could still extend an offer to Godchaux, which would bring the number to four. If LSU misses out-of-state, that would certainly free a spot for Godchaux, and possibly even McDowell if he can add enough wait to be taken as a DT.

LINEBACKER (4)

COMMITTED: Donnie Alexander, Sharieff Rhaheed
PRIMARY TARGETS: Kenny Young, Clifton Garrett
OTHER NAMES TO WATCH: Petera Wilson, Zach Whitely

BREAKDOWN: With two LB commits already on board, LSU is looking to add two more, though the staff would likely be content with just three total. Young is the top priority, and he will have a spot saved for him regardless of when he decides to pull the trigger. That leaves LSU to venture out-of-state if they want to add a fourth LB in 2014. The big name to watch is Garrett, who wants to play in the SEC and grew up watching LSU. He'll visit for the Spring Game, and if he wants to make a pledge to LSU, the staff will certainly take him.

DEFENSIVE BACKS (5)

COMMITTED: Edward Paris, Chris Hardeman, Devin Voorhies
PRIMARY TARGETS: Tony Brown, Laurence Jones
OTHER NAMES TO WATCH: Jabrill Peppers, Adoree Jackson, Davion Hall, John Battle, Quincy Wilson, Jamal Adams, Michael Johnson

BREAKDOWN: With so much secondary talent on LSU's radar in 2014, it's certainly possible for LSU to wind up taking more than five DBs in this class. For example, if LSU settles for four WRs and three LBs, those two added spots could be given to the DBs, and the staff wouldn't have any problem finding prospects to fill that hole. With the three already committed (assuming Voorhies winds up at S), two prospects are atop the priority list for now. Brown appears to be a lock for LSU, and the Tigers are certainly in great shape with Jones following his visit a couple weeks ago. If the staff lands both of those targets, they'd be able to turn their attention to landing even more talent if the numbers allow. Guys like Peppers, Jackson and Hall have all expressed interest in LSU, and if they're serious, the staff would certainly rework the numbers to make room.


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