LSU's Elite Camp certainly lived up to its name.
Though the week isn't entirely over — there's still a 7-on-7 tournament Saturday as well as a linemen camp — the bulk of the action from the four-day camp has passed. LSU added three new commitments over the last seven days and saw hundreds of players hit the facility for workouts.
The campus was brimming with highly-rated talent as every in-state player with a LSU offer attended camp at some point. Throw in all the top talent from out-of-state and players already committed to LSU, and there was quite the atmosphere at the football facility.
---We'll start with the biggest day of the four. Monday's camp sessions saw every top prospect on LSU's board hit the fields for workouts, creating a miniature version of The Opening on the Tigers' campus. Leonard Fournette, Cameron Robinson, Malachi Dupre, Tony Brown, Speedy Noil, Trey Quinn, Saeed Blacknall, Laurence Jones and more were all in attendance to compete and spend time with the coaches.
Seeing this amount of talent really gave a clear indication of how special this 2014 class can be, and seeing some of these prospects interact with coaches, current players and other recruits, fans certainly have reason for optimism. It's a long way until National Signing Day, but these prospects' comfort level with LSU certainly points to positivity to for the Tigers.
---Sticking with the 2014 class, we were able to see situations clear up a bit with some of LSU's top targets.
WR Saeed Blacknall made his long-awaited return trip to LSU with his family. Though many were expecting him to pull the trigger this week, he did not. After a visit to Alabama, it appears LSU isn't as much a lock as once thought (read Brian Dohn's full update HERE). But there's no reason to panic yet. Blacknall has mostly just taken a step back from his recruitment, reassessing what's important in his decision. LSU will still be in great shape because of his relationship with WR coach Adam Henry, but it is certainly tighter now than it was.
Another WR appears closer to pulling the trigger. Trey Quinn made a visit to campus Monday, participating in workouts the whole day. Entering the camp, there was word that the coaches were torn on whether they'd accept a commitment from him after some negative feelings toward the way some in Quinn's camp had handled his recruitment. But that appears to have been cleared up, and after a stellar performance, he seems poised to join LSU's class in the near future.
LB Kenny Young, who attended Tuesday's camp, is another in-state prospect that has shot back up LSU's board after his performance. Entering camp, it appeared that Young had slipped on LSU's priority list, but after a strong showing Tuesday, he seems to be another solid option at linebacker. He's still seriously considering heading out-of-state, but he should have LSU pressing to keep him at home.
---With the commitment of RB Sione Palelei on Wednesday, LSU has found the back it hopes to combine with Leonard Fournette. Palelei really excelled in his workout with Frank Wilson, receiving an offer and committing on the spot. He'll serve as a change-of-pace back to Fournette and showed enough ability to earn the spot over guys like Darrel Williams and Kevin Shorter.
Sticking in the backfield, LSU also had a chance to work out some 2014 fullbacks. While guys like Deldrick Canty (Scotlandville) and Raekwon McClellan (Biloxi, Miss.) worked out for Coach Wilson, it appears Jaevon Walton (Edna Karr) and Kris Harris (Tallahassee, Fla.) are the names to watch moving forward. They showed exactly what LSU is looking for in its fullback, separating themselves from the other contenders.
But after LSU took kicker Cameron Gamble on scholarship, the fullback position will likely require a greyshirt, and it may come down to which of the two will accept that offer.
---Another big position of focus for LSU at camp was in the secondary. Though the Tigers already have four players committed (Devin Voorhies worked out on both sides of the ball but spent the majority of his time on defense), the staff seems intent on adding at least one more to go with top targets Tony Brown and Hootie Jones.
And LSU apparently found its guy, offering Evangel DB Santos Ramirez after Monday's camp. A physical athlete, Ramirez could fit at either CB or S, but with his 6-2, 180-pound frame, safety is likely where he ends up. Though LSU also worked out talented players like Terrence Alexander and Donovan Wilson, the staff liked Ramirez enough to offer and it's likely only a matter of time until he makes a commitment.
---But the Elite Camp wasn't all about the 2014 class, as plenty of underclassmen showed the future is bright for LSU. The coaches extended three new offers with plenty more likely to come.
The first went to East Saint John DB Xavier Lewis, who picked up his after Sunday's camp. He'd been on LSU's radar for quite some time and showed plenty in his workout to warrant an offer.
The staff also offered 2015 OL Tyler Higby (Houston Kinkaid). At 6-foot-4, 285 pound he showed a great combination of strength and quickness to separate himself as one of the better lineman in attendance.
On Tuesday, 2016 WR Darnell Saloman (Hialeah, Fla.) picked up an offer after wowing the staff during one-on-ones. With a long frame and great speed, he'll definitely be a name to watch as he could be a top prospect in his class.
---After Brandon Harris became the first in-state QB LSU has taken since Jordan Jefferson, the future of that position in Louisiana looks bright. 2015 Jason Pellerin really impressed Cam Cameron. He was someone the staff believed is an athlete worthy of a SEC-offer, but questions remained as to whether he'd develop into a quarterback. Pellerin showed drastic improvement in the month since he last camped in June, and he could be the answer for LSU's QB class in 2015.
The 2016 class looks equally promising. The North Louisiana duo of Shea Patterson (Calvary) and Jon Randall Belton (West Monroe) impressed coaches with their workouts. Patterson, an Arizona commit who just moved to Shreveport, will stay on LSU's radar now that he's in their backyard and Belton is a big-bodied quarterback with a strong arm.
---Sticking with the skill positions, no player worked harder for an offer than RB David Ducre. He attended every session during both the June and July camps, working with Coach Wilson the entire time. Though LSU has already offered Nicholas Brossette and Derrius Guice (who both attended multiple camp sessions), Ducre seems worthy of one as well. Though he has a body that could also fit at LB, his lack of experience there has stuck him at RB for now. The staff definitely got to see plenty of his ability, now it's just up to whether they offer.
LSU also hosted 2015 RB Jacques Patrick, one of Florida's best in that class. A big-bodied back in the mold of Jeremy Hill, Patrick showed why he already has a LSU offer. He'll be a national name in next year's class, and LSU got a good look at him Tuesday.
At WR, Tyron Johnson (Warren Easton) will be one of the staff's top priorities in the 2015 class. He already has a LSU offer and showed why during Monday's camp. With plenty of attention coming his way from across the country, LSU will have its hands full trying to land him, but he's certainly worthy of the attention.
Other names to watch at WR: 2015 Jazz Ferguson (West Feliciana), 2015 Derrick Dillon (Pine), Darius Williams (McDonough 35) and 2016 Drake Davis (Dunham/St. Stanislaus).
---On defense, the most underclassmen talent appears to be in the secondary. The one-on-ones were live the entire camp. Here are the names to watch at DB following LSU's camp: 2015 Deshawn Raymond (East Jefferson), 2015 Malik Eugene (Acadiana), 2015 Shun Brown (Calvary), 2015 Henry Black (Woodlawn), 2015 Kenneth McGruder (Houston, Alief Taylor), 2016 C.J. Morgan (Parkway), 2016 Tre Jackson and Malik Antoine (U-High).
As camp was wrapping up Wednesday, LSU also got to work out Florida ATH Shawn Burgess-Becker. He went through DB drills with Corey Raymond, though his future could be on either side of the ball. He certainly looks the part and already has a LSU offer.
---There was plenty of talent in the front seven too. Calvary's T.D. Moton, who already holds an offer, was one of the top performers along the defensive line. He spent three days on LSU's campus, and already appears to be a heavy lean to the Tigers. Though he's receiving plenty of national attention, his love for LSU is clear and he could be one of the Tigers' first in-state commits for the 2015 class.
Other names to watch: DE Isaiah Washington (Edna Karr) and LB Arthur McGinnis (Warren Easton) were some of the top underclassmen on defense during camp.
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