Where They Stand: The Defensive Line

The addition of Deondre Clark on Monday night is only the beginning of good news for LSU. The Tigers seem in great shape to land another stellar defensive line class, and the dominos should continue falling over the summer. But the fun doesn't stop there as July should be an exciting month for the 2014 class.

It had been more than two months since LSU last got a commitment from a four-star prospect, and on a recruitniks calendar, that's a lifetime.

But that changed Monday night, and LSU fans got one of the booms they'd been waiting for. Deondre Clark, the No. 15 DE in the country, made his commitment to the Tigers' coaching staff and became the first defensive lineman in LSU's 2014 class. His speed and athleticism off the edge will be a huge bonus as the Tigers continue to stockpile defensive lineman.

Clark's addition could signal the beginning of what should be an exciting summer for LSU. The Tigers seem well-positioned to add several marquee names over the next month as the 2014 class begins to meet the high expectations most have set for it.

And LSU's commitment train may continue rolling through the defensive line. Davon Godchaux made his first visit to campus with an official offer on Monday, spending plenty of quality time with Les Miles and the rest of the coaches. He received the purple carpet treatment, and though he didn't make a commitment, one doesn't seem too far away.

Godchaux plans to return to campus for the elite camp in July, and it would seem likely that his recruitment ends then.

LSU also appears in great shape to eventually receive a commitment from the other in-state DL the staff offered last week. Garrald McDowell picked up his offer shortly after Godchaux, and has been open in saying that was one he really cherished. McDowell had shown plenty of attention to other schools, but now that LSU is in the picture, it seems the Tigers have jumped to the top of his list.

McDowell hasn't given much indication as to when he'll put an end to the process, but whenever he does, LSU will likely be his decision.

That leaves the other in-state defensive lineman LSU fans have wanted for quite some time. Little has changed on the Gerald Willis front in recent months. The Tigers still appear to be in great shape despite a heavy push from Texas A&M in particular.

The offers to Godchaux and McDowell seemed as if the staff was putting pressure on some of the other guys atop their board. Though Willis has said he plans to announce at the Under-Armour All-American game, the staff will undoubtedly try to lock him in before that.

But regardless of when he goes public, the LSU coaches know where they stand with him, and more likely than not, Willis will be a Tiger at some point.

LSU would certainly be content with a four-man class of Clark, Willis, Godchaux and McDowell, but that won't stop the staff from continuing to pursue other highly-ranked options out-of-state.

Lorenzo Carter, Andrew Williams, Chad Thomas, Kentavius Street and Travonte Valentine all remain on LSU's radar, and the staff would consider adding a commitment from anyone in this group as lagniappe.

Valentine's an interesting name to watch. He plans to be in Baton Rouge for camp after picking up an offer from the staff earlier this spring. He has recently transferred to Champagnat Catholic School with hopes of improving his academic standing in order to qualify.

That's also the same school as LSU target, and Louisville commit, Michael Johnson, who will also camp in July. Johnson, who holds an uncommittable offer at this point, is considered a heavy favorite to pledge to LSU if his offer is upgraded.

Johnson and Valentine have become close since Valentine transferred schools, and if Valentine can get his grades his order, LSU seems to be one of the early favorites.

While there's plenty to look forward to on the defensive line, the fun doesn't end there for LSU this summer. WR Saeed Blacknall still plans to visit sometime in July with a trip to Alabama shortly after. Once he checks out the Tide, it seems likely he officially becomes a Tiger.

Things are also looking up for QB Brandon Harris, who still plans to announce his commitment on July 18. Three schools from his original top seven have now found their quarterbacks in 2014, and LSU seems to be in great shape for Harris' pledge. Auburn seems like the primary competitor here, but LSU is the definite favorite.

So hold on to your hats as the month of July is sure to bring plenty of positive news for LSU fans.


How do you see the DL class finishing?

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