TSD has a viewer's guide to help you prepare for the game, including all the notes and scoop on the five players set to announce their college commitment.
Five-for-Five? We shall see
If you don't already know by now, Leonard Fournette, Jamal Adams, Tony Brown, Devante Noil and Gerald Willis will announce their commitments during the game. LSU fans have looked forward to this date as a huge one for the future of the program, and while the Tigers have a real chance to go 5-for-5, there's still some drama and suspense leading up to the announcements.
Let's start with the good news for LSU fans. Of the five players announcing today, sources indicate that Adams and Fournette are the biggest "locks" for LSU and all indications are that they'll announce for the Tigers. Should that be the case, LSU will land the No. 1 overall prospect in the nation in Fournette and the No. 2 safety in Adams. LSU has made Fournette its biggest priority for the last three years and that all should finally pay off. With Adams, LSU has done a remarkable job taking the lead in his recruitment the last couple months and he should serve as a major addition for a position of need.
If those two were to leave the state, it would go against the consensus that they wanted to stay home and play together. Sources are saying the two Karr teammates have shut out a lot of people from their decision process, which some are assuming is because they're leaving Louisiana. It's certainly possible that this was all just to build a little drama as neither player ever cared much for the idea that they're "LSU locks." But as one Karr coach described it to me earlier this week, you never know with these kids and anything could happen when they do finally announce.
There's also been a growing feeling that Brown is leaning toward Alabama in advance of his decision. Sources say that his parents are split on who their favorite is, with Brown's dad liking the Tide more and his mother on LSU's side. The Tigers also have his sister Bealoved already enrolled and working with the track team, which is another feather in LSU's cap. The Tigers have been considered a heavy favorite for quite some time, so them losing Brown at this point would be a surprise, but there's definitely some suspense building for his announcement as well.
Hootie joins the announcement party
Laurence Jones (aka "Hootie") informed reporters Wednesday night that he too would be making an announcement today. According to sources, he will be recommitting to Alabama. Even though as recently as Tuesday I was informed that he still wanted to go to LSU, contact between those two parties has been nonexistent. After spending a week with several Alabama commits, it sounds like Hootie has grown more comfortable with the idea of going to Tuscaloosa, and it's no secret that his mother's still on their side. Ole Miss isn't a factor at this point, according to a source, so with no attention coming from LSU, it's safe to assume that the Crimson Tide will have him back in their class.
Aside from all the announcements that will be going on, there will actually be some football to watch. Throughout the week, several LSU commits and targets have been considered the top performers, and they'll look to end the event on a high note.
QB Brandon Harris has been the No. 1 QB at the UA game in the eyes of most evaluators. He's shown all the arm strength and athleticism that we've come to expect from him, and he's been making all the right reads in passing drills and that's going against some of the best DBs in the game. Harris, who's currently ranked as the No. 6 QB, may even see a bump in his rankings with a strong performance today.
TE Jacory Washington has also been a pleasant surprise who most consider the top tight end at the UA game. Washington even won the skills competition this week, which doesn't often go to a player from his position. He and Harris have developed a lot of chemistry through the week, so look for those two to connect many times during the game.
LSU target Malachi Dupre has also drawn rave reviews during the week of practice. He's another that's considered No. 1 at his position during the UA week, and he hasn't been slowed down by the hamstring injury that kept him out of the state championship. With him finally playing in an offense that throws it more often than his John Curtis team did, it should be fun to see him at his full potential.
Other names to watch
Also keep a close eye on prospects Adoree Jackson and Lorenzo Carter. LSU's still in the mix for both five-star prospects and you can get a glimpse of why today. Though Jackson's also a highly regarded offensive prospect, LSU likes him best as a DB, where he's been excelling this week. He's also an excellent returnman and we should get to see him at both spots today.
LSU's gained a lot of momentum with Carter heading into the final month of the cycle. He has an official visit set for the weekend of Jan. 17 and the Tigers are in his final four after he dropped Alabama this week. Carter's been one of the top linemen throughout the week, and he'll show you why during the game today.
TSD's Ben Love will be live at the Under-Armour game to cover all the announcements. He'll also be commenting during the game in the official game thread, which you can find at the link below.