Where They Stand: 5 days to NSD

Only five days remain until National Signing Day, and the world of recruiting has reached its peak level of intensity. LSU still has 10 targets remaining on the board, and TSD has the latest on each one heading into the final weekend of the 2014 recruiting cycle.

Only five days remain of the 2014 recruiting cycle, but LSU still has plenty left to accomplish. The Tigers won't be hosting any official visitors to campus this weekend, as they've already brought in each of their remaining targets.

Instead they'll spend that time shoring up any remaining loose ends and working to make a late push with the prospects left on the board. TSD has all the latest recruiting news and scoop heading into the final weekend before Signing Day.



On Wednesday I called UCLA the biggest threat to LSU's 2014 class, and that's because of this weekend. Top Louisiana targets Malachi Dupre and Kenny Young plus soft commit Davon Godchaux will all head out west for official visits to UCLA, and the Bruins have plans of raiding Louisiana for a big haul.

For the two John Curtis teammates, this will mark their fifth and final official visit with their decisions coming at 9:30 a.m. on NSD. Dupre hosted head coaches from both Alabama and LSU before he departed for Los Angeles on Thursday, with Florida State and Ole Miss still in the mix as well. The Tigers are still very confident they'll keep the five-star WR at home, but rumblings in the last couple weeks are that he isn't the LSU lock that many have assumed him to be.

While some of that's based in the paranoia caused by the positive reviews he's given his other visits, there is some truth to it as he is still very open to his out-of-state suitors, a big one being UCLA. Dupre has taken numerous unofficial visits to check out the Bruins and they're considered a real factor in his recruitment.

As they are in Young's with many considering them the leader at this late stage. He's been a difficult one to get a read on though, and LSU feels like it's done everything in its power over the last couple weeks to keep him close to home. John Chavis has done an exceptional job shoring up their relationship and selling him on playing a major role in his defense. While LSU feels they're the best fit for Dupre and Young, it's up to them to come to that same conclusion, and this weekend will be a big determinant in who gets their commitments.

With Godchaux, most feel this is simply a free trip to Los Angeles. Most feel that he's never been as open as he's let on, and the Tigers have plenty of confidence they'll keep him despite these late visits. Godchaux will make an announcement at 10:30 a.m. on NSD, but don't expect him to flip from the Tigers.

LSU's leading late for Travonte Valentine


Miami has continued to ramp up its efforts in recent weeks to try and pull Travonte Valentine back into their class. There have been rumblings and reports throughout the week that he would go ahead and take that official visit to Miami this weekend. As of Friday morning, that trip was still up in the air, and there isn't much confidence coming from the Miami side that he'll show up.

Valentine and his camp have said the recruiting process has worn on him and he wants to lay low until his announcement on NSD. Whether he does or doesn't visit Miami though, multiple sources have pegged LSU as the school he'll choose. The Tigers do have a considerable lead here, and that's been the case since long before he decommitted from Miami earlier this month. The Hurricanes are still trying to get one last opportunity to convince him otherwise, but LSU is playing with the advantage in these final few days. His announcement is set for 9:30 a.m. on NSD.


On Thursday, Emanuel Porter informed the Texas coaching staff that he would not be taking a visit to Austin this weekend, eliminating the Longhorns from his recruitment. That leaves only the Tigers to compete with TCU for this four-star prospect. LSU picked up a lot of confidence after their official visit last weekend, and they feel they've positioned themselves nicely to pull off a steal.

Porter's mother would like him to stay close to home, and TCU is the preferred choice. While that is considered an important factor, there are others close to him pushing for LSU, and Porter seems torn between the two. With him staying home this weekend, that will afford LSU another opportunity to visit him in-person and the coaches are expected to meet with him on Saturday. The odds are still with Porter sticking to TCU, but don't discount LSU's chances in this recruitment. Porter does plan to hold a ceremony on NSD to announce his final decision, but no time has been set as of Friday morning.

LSU's still pushing for Adoree Jackson


While most of the buzz around Adoree Jackson has focused on USC and Florida, LSU is still very much a factor and may just be the surprise team when it's all said and done. LSU picked up some good news when Jackson decided not take his final official visit this weekend. That leaves the Tigers as the only finalist that received an official visit from Jackson, though he did take unofficial visits to the others.

With him staying home this weekend, that also gives LSU another opportunity to meet him in-person and that visit is expected to happen Friday. While no one has a firm grasp on which direction Jackson's leaning, the general feeling is that track might just play the biggest factor. While that's led many to assume Florida has the edge, LSU feels it has every advantage the Gators do when it comes to track, and that's been a big part of the sales pitch throughout their courtship of Jackson.

Even after landing Russell Gage on Wednesday, LSU is still very much targeting Jackson and they're ramping up their efforts in these final days. It may still be a long shot, but the Tigers have done what they can to ensure they have a crack at landing one of the nation's top uncommitted prospects. He'll announce at 1:05 p.m. on NSD.


Another candidate for a late surprise is Lorenzo Carter, the nation's No. 5 DE. The Tigers locked in their spot as a finalist after a successful visit on Jan. 17, and Brick Haley has done an exceptional job of selling Carter on the Tigers. Many still feel though that Georgia is the leader, and he'll give them an official visit this weekend. Carter does have some questions though about where he'll fit in the new Georgia defense led by former Florida State DC Jeremy Pruitt. The Bulldogs will try to clear that up this weekend, and if Carter likes what he hears, that might be enough to lock him in with Georgia.

But LSU's still in the fight. Carter's spoken highly of the Tigers and their reputation for producing NFL linemen is a big plus. Coach Haley has convinced Carter and his family that he'd be taken care of in Baton Rouge, easing any concerns that may exist with the distance. While the Tigers may still be looking up at Georgia, they do feel they're in position for a late steal. But this weekend trip to Athens may be just what Georgia needs to lock up this five-star prospect. He'll announce at 2 p.m. on NSD.

It's either LSU or Oregon for Trey Lealaimatafao


LSU continues to receive all the buzz for three-star DT Trey Lealaimatafao. He's narrowed it down to Oregon and LSU with a decision set for NSD, but most everyone feels it'll be the Tigers when it's all finished. Lealaimatafao raved about his unofficial visit to Baton Rouge on Jan. 17. He was able to spend plenty of one-on-one time with the coaches and LSU has sold him on being one of their top targets along the defensive line.

Also consider that Lealaiamtafao has a lot of family in Baton Rouge, and that all just continues to point the needle in LSU's favor. He followed up that LSU trip with an official visit to Oregon on Jan. 24, but reports are that visit didn't live up to expectations. If true, then LSU should have a comfortable lead and fans should expect him to pick the Tigers on Signing Day. His announcement is set for 8:30 a.m.


Will it be LSU or Oklahoma? We should finally know in five days whether Deondre Clark will stick with his commitment to the Tigers or flip to the Sooners. Clark has a final announcement set for 2 p.m. on NSD, which will finally put an end to this dramatic recruitment.

Exiting his official visit to LSU on Jan. 24, the Tigers felt they had done everything they could to shore up this four-star commit. Clark reportedly even said as much, claiming LSU is where he's always wanted to be. If the decision was solely his, most feel LSU would be his choice, but unfortunately, it isn't that simple.

Clark's mother continues to express publicly that she wants her son to stay close to home for college and attend Oklahoma. Now the decision rests with Clark. No one will know with any certainty what his final choice will be, but we'll all find out in just five days.

LSU can expect good news from Derrick Kelly


According to his coach, Derrick Kelly is honing in on a final decision for his commitment. While schools like Georgia, Florida and Florida State have all been mentioned as a possible finalist, LSU has been the most consistent presence at the top of his leaderboard. The Tigers hold a significant advantage over Kelly's other suitors, and LSU should have all the confidence heading into his final decision, which will come on NSD.

LSU has made Kelly their top priority along the offensive line throughout their pursuit of him, and that is ultimately what's paying off. Kelly has also developed strong relationships with Coaches Miles and Grimes in recent weeks, and all that continues to work in LSU's favor. Though Florida in particular is still making a strong push, they already have six offensive linemen committed and Kelly much prefers the opportunity at LSU with the Tigers only having two guards committed for 2014. Kelly will not be taking any visits this weekend, and you can expect him to pick the Tigers when it's all over.


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