These numbers aren't just coming out of thin air either. Based on rumblings we've gotten from both the players and LSU staff, these confidence levels should reflect how the Tigers feel at this point.
Below is the breakdown on LSU's top 12 targets.
**Last month's ratings are in italics
FA: First Apperance in the Confidence Levels
It's been a wild week in the recruitment of Hootie Jones. It all started when the four-star safety decided to push his commitment date back 10 days to Nov. 25, breathing new life into a LSU fan base that had all but written him off to Alabama. Now the Tigers will receive an official visit from Hootie for the Texas A&M game, two days before he's set to make his final decision. LSU has started gaining more confidence with this latest development, as Alabama was becoming a clear favorite before this week started. Ben actually considers LSU the favorite at this point, citing Hootie's mother's influence as it's widely believed she greatly favors the Tigers over the Tide. But Hunter remains a bit hesitant to put LSU in front, because at least for now, the Tigers seem to playing a little catch-up to Alabama.
CB Adoree Jackson – Ben: 4.0 (FA), Hunter: 3.5 (FA)
Five-star CB Adoree Jackson makes his first appearance on TSD's Confidence Levels after making an official visit to Baton Rouge for the Florida game. All indications are that visit went as well as it could, and though it's still early for him, LSU may very well be his leader at this point. Both Ben and Hunter are relatively confident in LSU's chances, and as he takes more visits through the remainder of the fall, these numbers will likely increase. With USC and Florida considered Jackson's leaders heading into his LSU visit, the Tigers seemed to have jumped both, especially with USC going through coaching changes. Jackson has said LSU will at least have a hat on the table when it's all said and done, and it's looking possible that it's the purple and gold hat that he dons when he announces his final decision.
LB Clifton Garrett – Ben: 8.5 (9.0), Hunter: 8.5 (9.0)
Confidence in LSU took a small hit with Garrett after his official visit to Ole Miss. Garrett's been very complimentary of his trip, and things went better than expected for the Ole Miss side. Ole Miss may have inched closer to the Tigers for now, but it's still likely he ends up in Baton Rouge when it's all said and done. Garrett still has two visits planned to LSU, with the first coming for the Texas A&M game. His parents will join him on that trip, when it will be important that LSU leaves as solid an impression this time around as it did when Garrett visited for the Spring Game. Assuming all goes well on that visit, expect LSU to jump back into a clear lead.
Kenny Young's having a great senior season as an integral part to one of the state's best defenses. Because of that, there's been a lot of clamoring that he's an absolute must-have in LSU's class. Though the original plan was to take just two LBs in 2014 (Garrett, Donnie Alexander), there's a good chance that LSU finds room for Young in the end. Based on his play, confidence is rising that Young ends up a Tiger, though it's far from certain at this point. We'll likely know more in January, once this class really starts to take shape, and with a NSD announcement expected from Young, that should leave plenty of time for LSU to decide where he fits into the plans.
CB Tony Brown – Ben: 9.0 (9.0), Hunter: 9.5 (9.5)
Tony Brown will take his first official visit this weekend to Ohio State, but that's actually a good thing for LSU. No one is arguing that the Tigers are the frontrunner for Brown's commitment, and most think it's just a matter of time before he pulls the trigger. Brown has maintained all along that he still wanted to visit some other schools before finalizing a decision. Making this trip to Columbus might signal the beginning of the end of his recruitment, and all signs continue to point to LSU.
RB Leonard Fournette – Ben: 8.5 (8.5), Hunter: 9.0 (9.0)
WR Malachi Dupre – Ben: 8.5 (8.5), Hunter: 9.0 (9.0)
WR Speedy Noil – Ben: 9.5 (9.5), Hunter: 9.5 (9.5)
DL Gerald Willis – Ben: 9.5 (9.5), Hunter: 9.5 (9.5)
Let's just keep it simple and group these four New Orleans recruits in the same boat. LSU is in better-than-great shape with each one, and it would come as an absolute shock if any decide to go elsewhere. Noil and Willis each made an official visit to Texas A&M, but that didn't seem to elevate the Aggies from longshot status. All four have been to Baton Rouge for games this season, which all points to LSU having a significant lead. Expect these confidence levels to hold steady until they announce their commitment.
DB Santos Ramirez – Ben: 5.0 (6.0), Hunter: 2.5 (6.0)
DB Russell Gage – Ben: 3.5 (4.0), Hunter 2.5 (2.5)
Both Santos Ramirez and Russell Gage entered the fall on the outside looking in. While the coaches continue to evaluate them, both likely need some spots to open up in order to make it in the class. Confidence that will happen has dropped with the emergence of Adoree Jackson as a realistic possibility for LSU. Fortunes might become brighter for either one if Hootie Jones ends up going to Alabama. Even then, both Ramirez and Gage will have to fight others for those cherished final couple scholarships, and right now, it looks like a lot will have to happen for them to make it in.
Who Dropped off this List?
DL Davon Godchaux – In last month's Confidence Levels, both Ben and Hunter dropped Godchaux a half-point because of his season-ending ACL injury. Still, both had him very highly ranked in terms of confidence, and that proved true as he eventually made his commitment official. Godchaux has since made an official visit to Ole Miss, and while the Rebels feel that they've entered the mix, it's highly unlikely that Godchaux leaves the state for college. Expect his commitment to stick.
Give us your Confidence Levels for each prospect