Tigers extend nine new offers Wednesday

What better way to spend a cold, cloudy, late-February Wednesday than by watching film? That's exactly how the LSU coaches spent their day and they handed out nine new offers in the process. TSD has the news and notes on each one.

Kirk Merrit | Destrehan (La.) | | ATH

Merritt became LSU's most recent in-state offer just a few days after attending the Tigers' junior day this past weekend. Merritt mostly plays wide receiver for Destrehan, but LSU will recruit him as an athlete, that can fit in a number of different positions. The Tigers would plan to utilize him as a pass catcher, but also find some plays for him out of the backfield and get him in the return game as well. Merritt's well into double digit offers, with schools like Clemson, Florida, Ole Miss and Texas A&M, among others, pursuing this three-star athlete. Merritt said he plans to return to LSU's campus to check out the Tigers' spring practices once they begin next month. Scout's Mike Coppage caught up with Merritt for his thoughts on the LSU offer:

"Coach Miles said I remind him of Jarvis Landry," Merritt said. "I was so excited that I didn't hear everything they were saying, but the offer means a lot. LSU is the home state school. I was excited. It feels great. I like how they use Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry."

Grant Newsome | Lawrenceville (N.J.) Prep | | #32 OT

New OL coach Jeff Grimes has been extremely active on the recruiting trail since taking the job. And he'll need to be considering how important offensive line will be in the 2015 class. The Tigers offered in-state guard Adrian Magee this past weekend, and Wednesday, Grimes extended an offer to Newsome. At 6-foot-6, 280 pounds, Newsome is particularly strong in his pass protection, but also has a knack for getting to the second level on running plays. This offer marked Newsome's second from the SEC, and he has a long list of others from across the country. Scout's Brian Dohn spoke to him about the Tigers:

"I go back to the football and it's just winning," Newsome said. "If you look at LSU over the years, under Les Miles and across the board with the program, it seems like all they do is just win. They're one of the powerhouses in the SEC and across the country as well."

TE Jalen Wilkerson's had a big February
Jalen Wilkerson | Douglas (Ga.) Coffee County | | #22 TE

LSU already has one tight end committed in Hanner Shipley, but because he's more of a blocker, the Tigers are still seeking another pass-catching TE in this class. The coaches reached out to Wilkerson on Wednesday with an offer, putting him in the mix with other TEs like Hale Hentges and Will Gragg. Wilkerson's exploded in the last month after only receiving his first offer (from Michigan) on Feb. 2. Since then he's added Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, and others, to his list. LSU will have plenty of competition, but they're at least a contender for this rising prospect.

Clelin Ferrell | Richmond (Va.) Benedictine | | #20 DE

Defensive end has been a huge focus for LSU lately, and Ferrell was one of four pass rushers to pick up a LSU offer Wednesday. Ferrell's been a hot name on the recruiting trail and already holds more than 20 offers. Ferrell still seems open in his recruitment, though most consider nearby Virginia Tech the early leader. But Brick Haley isn't afraid of casting a wide net to find defensive linemen, and they'll gauge where the interest lies from Ferrell.

Michael Barnett | Dorchester (S.C.) Woodland | | #42 DE

Barnett was another new offer along the defensive line, and though he's considered only a three-star prospect, most feel his best football's ahead of him. Barnett started his high school career as an offensive lineman, so he's relatively new to the defensive side of the ball. He was originally committed to Virginia Tech, but dropped that pledge earlier this month as new schools entered the mix. At the time he still mentioned the Hokies as his leader, along with North Carolina State, Clemson, Florida State and Alabama.

Justin Dunning | Whitehouse (Texas) | | #5 S

Dunning has been committed to Texas A&M since November, but that won't prevent the Tigers from trying to pull this four-star safety. Dunning missed nearly his entire junior season with a torn ACL, but that hasn't scared away any programs as the offers still keep coming in for Dunning. He hasn't given any inclination that he'd waver in his commitment to the Aggies, so it would likely be a tough pull for LSU. But crazier things have happened, and the Tigers will try to gauge what interest does exist.

LSU DC John Chavis played at Tennessee with Keaton Anderson's father
Keaton Anderson | Florence (Ala.) | | #15 MLB

Anderson's offer from LSU marked his third from the SEC as the Tigers joined Tennessee and Alabama as well as some other smaller programs. Anderson's father, uncle and brother all played for the Volunteers, so they would seem to be the team to beat in his recruitment. But John Chavis actually was actually a Tennessee teammate of Anderson's father, so that will certainly be something that gets LSU a foot in the door. If he decided not to follow in his family's footsteps, it would seem LSU has as good a chance as any other program for this three-star linebacker.

Natrez Patrick | Atlanta (Ga.) Mays | | #12 DE

Patrick's another athletic pass-rusher that LSU has officially offered. His speed is his strong suit, but he's strong and can attack from multiple places along the defensive line. Patrick already has offers from most of the major players in the SEC, so LSU will certainly have some competition in trying to make an impression on his recruitment. He recently visited Auburn, and named them in his top three along with Alabama and Georgia.

Kyle Phillips | Nashville (Tenn.) Hillsboro Comp | | #7 DE

Phillips is another highly sought after defensive end with offers from just about every major program in the Southeast. Phillips has made numerous trips to nearby Tennessee, and the Vols seem to have an early edge in his recruitment. But Phillips does remain open to all suitors, and has said he wants to check out as many as five schools this summer. LSU will try to get one of those trips and gauge where the interest lies from there.


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