We'll breakdown both the offensive and defensive prospects, starting today with the offense. Be sure you check out the full Big Board on the TSD Message Board by clicking the link below before reading the complete rundown:
Offered: Torrance Gibson, Brandon Wimbush, Tucker Israel
Cam Cameron's fingerprints are all over LSU's recruitments of quarterbacks in the Class of 2015, and it's obvious at this point what mold of signal caller he wants — a player that will throw first but run if he needs to. All three of the quarterbacks LSU has offered to this point fit into that "dual-threat" category, and that will clearly be the Tigers' focus so long as Cameron's at the helm.
Gibson has been on LSU's radar the longest of this group. The Tigers first offered him back in the fall, about 10 months after the five-star prospect emerged on the national radar. Since then, Cameron has made several trips to the Miami-area to meet with him in-person, and LSU feels it has as good a chance as any program to get in the mix. Gibson isn't anywhere near making a final decision, and has said he'll take all five of his official visits before deciding. LSU will try to receive one of those, as will many other programs that will certainly wait as long as they have to for the nation's No. 3 QB.
Wimbush is a relatively new name on the target list as he was only offered by LSU last week. The New Jersey native has received plenty of attention from schools along the East Coast, but LSU wanted to gauge where his interest might lie. At this point though, Penn State's considered the early favorite, and he has said before he was close to making a commitment. Ohio State and Miami also appear to be real contenders as well.
LSU offered Israel a few days after he made a commitment to Clemson. The three-star prospect does seem firm to the ACC Tigers, but as always, anything can happen. But at this point, Gibson would be the Tigers' primary target, followed by Wimbush.
In Louisiana, LSU has kept a close eye on Catholic-New Iberia's Jason Pellerin and Helen Cox's Dion Ray. While both definitely fit the "athlete" criterion, the coaches still aren't quite sold on either as a quarterback and will continue to evaluate both throughout the spring.
Committed: Nicholas Brossette
Offered: Derrius Guice, Jacques Patrick
LSU likely won't need to leave Baton Rouge to satisfy its running back desires in the 2015 class. Two of the nation's best reside right in the Tigers' backyard, and LSU already has the No. 7 back committed in Brossette. There's nothing to worry about with the U-High standout, as he's about as firm as can be and should solidify that pipeline from the high school on LSU's campus.
For a long time, LSU was the only school mentioned in Guice's recruitment. He made no secrets about that being his favorite school, and has spent plenty of time on campus. Guice is seemingly at the LSU football facility multiple times a week, and has said in the past he'd like to make an early decision. But he's received a lot of attention in the last few months, including an offer from Alabama a few weeks back. If anyone's going to compete with LSU, it would be the Tide, but it does still seem like he's LSU's to lose.
Outside of these two, LSU hasn't spent much effort in recruiting out-of-state RBs. Patrick visited campus for camp last summer, but hasn't mentioned LSU much since. There have been some other offers to guys like Traveon Samuel, Jordan Scarlett (FAU commit) and Tristian Houston, but those are all a year old at this point, and like with Patrick, LSU hasn't been mentioned with any of those prospects for quite some time.
Committed: David Ducre
LSU's recruitment of a fullback was a pretty short and sweet process. The Tigers first identified Ducre as a target last summer, after he was a standout during both camp sessions. LSU waited to offer the big-bodied back until "Boys from the Boot" last month, and a few days later he made his commitment. Ducre is a large running back, and he expects to be more than 250 pounds by the time he gets to college. He'll bring a running back's mentality in a fullback's body and should step in immediately as Melvin Jones' backup.
Committed: Jazz Ferguson
Offered: Tyron Johnson, John Burt, Carlos Strickland, DaMarkus Lodge, George Campbell, Devante Peete, Cordell Broadus
After a strong WR haul in 2014, the Tigers have big aspirations for the 2015 class as well. They're already off to a solid start with Ferguson, who ranks as the nation's No. 20 WR, a four-star prospect. Ferguson absolutely fits the X-type receiver, a tall, big-bodied receiver that can stretch the field. An impressive basketball player in his own right, Ferguson should become that big red zone target LSU has sought for quite some time.
Staying in Louisiana, Johnson is the No. 1 priority. The state's top prospect, LSU has made him a huge focus in the 2015 class, and feel they're in good shape after his visit for "Boys from the Boot." Johnson was a top standout at the Nike SPARQ Combine last weekend, and is one of two players from the state to earn an invite to The Opening. Plenty of other programs are still coming hard after him though, particularly Texas A&M, and LSU will have work to do in order to ensure he stays in the state.
Out-of-state, the Tigers have their eyes on a number of highly rated prospects. The Dallas-area duo of Strickland and Lodge are definitely two to keep an eye on. LSU WR coach Adam Henry has strong relationships in the Metroplex, and he'll work to get both guys on campus as soon as possible. Both have mentioned LSU on an early short list of favorites, and the Tigers would really feel confident if they can get them down to Baton Rouge.
The state of Florida's also been a big area of focus for LSU at WR. Burt's already made one visit to campus last fall, and the Tigers will continue to position themselves for a possible official visit down the line. Campbell's one of the most highly recruited receivers in the country, and LSU first started recruiting him last summer. Since his decommitment from Michigan a few months back, most programs have a renewed sense of optimism they can get in the mix, and LSU will be one of many trying to secure a visit.
If LSU needs to fill out its WR class down the line, there should be plenty of talent available in the state. Louisiana's producing an absurd amount of WRs, and guys like Stanley Morgan, Jaquel Gant, Terrell Chatman and many others are all guys LSU has monitored and will continue to evaluate moving forward.
Committed: Hanner Shipley
Offered: Devonaire Clarington, Will Gragg, Hale Hentges Jalen Wilkerson
With one tight end already committed, LSU still has its sights set on adding another pass-catcher at the position. Shipley is certainly more of a blocking TE, and he may even grow into an offensive tackle down the line. For now, he's a TE, and the Tigers want to get one more that can factor into the passing game.
All four of LSU's other TE targets rank in the top-12 at the position, so the Tigers are certainly looking for a big hit after landing Desean Smith and Jacory Washington in the last two classes. Clarington's the highest ranked, coming in at No. 2 in the country. He comes from Champagnat Catholic near Miami, the same school that produced 2014 signee Travonte Valentine. His coach, Mike Tunsil, will speak at the LSU coaches' clinic later this month, and Clarington might come along for the visit. If he doesn't, the Champagnat crew (which also features 2016 target Darnell Saloman) is expected this summer as well.
Gragg, the No. 2 prospect from the state of Arkansas, has an official visit to LSU set for Nov. 8. He also plans to visit Ole Miss, Alabama and Florida State before announcing on Nov. 18. Although he doesn't have a visit set with Arkansas, they're considered the favorite at this point as he's made numerous visits to the nearby campus, including this past weekend for their Junior Day. Assuming he sticks with his current timetable, LSU would have the final opportunity to impress him before his decision, which usually does go a long way.
Hentges and Wilkerson are the two most recent offers, landing them in the last few weeks. Hentges plans to visit a number of schools this spring, though most feel Missouri has the early edge. Wilkerson's mentioned Florida State and Auburn as early leaders, and LSU will look to get both on campus to show what they have to offer.
Offered: Kirk Merritt, Lanard Fournette
LSU's recruiting both Merritt and Fournette as "athletes" considering they can fit into a number of roles on the offensive side. Merritt received his LSU offer after visiting for the Tigers' Junior Day two weekends ago. Last weekend, he posted one of the nation's top SPARQ scores, earning an invite to The Opening. He plans to make at least one visit to LSU for spring practices, and has a number of other schools — like Florida State, Texas, Texas A&M and others — on his list. A decision could come before the summer, and LSU will work to secure him as he can fit in the backfield, as a receiver and in the return game.
The younger brother of 2014 signee Leonard Fournette has big shoes to fill, but LSU considers him a real prospect in his own right. Though Lanard mostly played behind his brother at running back, he could also factor into the passing game. He certainly isn't on his brother's level, but he's a decent player and it's safe to assume LSU has the lead here.
Offered: Jerry Tillery, Matthew Burrell, Chuma Edoga, Jake Fruhmorgen, Drew Richmond, Grant Newsome, George Brown
Because LSU did not sign a tackle in the 2014 class, it will be a huge priority in 2015. Les Miles said as much during his NSD press conference, and new OL coach Jeff Grimes has been hard at work trying to identify his guys. The Tigers are still looking for their first OT commit, but there are several targets LSU has its eyes on.
In Louisiana, Tillery, a Notre Dame commit, is the top priority. Though he's been committed to the Irish for quite some time, LSU hasn't let off in its pursuit of him, and got him on campus for "Boys from the Boot" last month. While he's said Notre Dame was his dream school, Grimes has brought some new excitement to the program that Tillery wanted to check out. A flip is a long shot, but LSU will make sure to put in its due diligence.
Grimes has cast a wide net out of the state. Burrell, a Virginia native, was the first one to receive an offer from Grimes, coming two days after he was officially announced as the Tigers' OL coach. He's primarily paid attention to nearby schools like Penn State, Virginia, North Carolina and others, but he's still wide open and considering all options.
Grimes offered both Fruhmorgen and Edoga on National Signing Day, and both fit the long, lean, mobile mold of tackle that Grimes likes. Neither seem to be leaning a certain way at this point, so LSU will work to get them on campus. Newsome's the most recent offer, receiving his last week. The New Jersey native spoke highly of the Tigers after they offered, and they'll try to get him down to the South for a visit.
Richmond was actually offered by LSU when Greg Studrawa was still on staff, but Grimes likes him too and he's a big target for the Tigers. LSU's familiar with the Memphis area, and Richmond seems to be giving equal consideration to all his suitors, though many still feel it will be hard to take him out of Tennessee.
Brown, a three-star prospect, is an interesting one to keep an eye on, as he has a visit to LSU set for April. Grimes has been recruiting Brown since before he arrived at LSU, so there's a strong relationship there. Brown is also cousins with former LSU RB Spencer Ware, so there are some connections present for LSU to work.
Committed: Maea Teuhema
Offered: Adrian Magee, Conner Dyer, Luke Hiers, Javon Patterson, Richie Petitbon
While tackle is certainly the bigger need along the defensive line, LSU has plans for a big class of interior linemen as well. The Tigers already have one of the best on board, in Teuhema, who committed along with his brother, Sione, who signed with the Tigers for 2014. Maea's an absolute behemoth of a prospect, measuring about 6-foot-5, 345 pounds. Some evaluators consider him a tackle, and LSU will gauge where he is once he arrives to campus, but he's likely a guard at this stage.
Magee, a Franklinton standout, is one of LSU's more recent in-state offers, landing his during Junior Day two weekends ago. That offer marked Magee's biggest one yet, but he's taking his time with his recruitment and wants to wait until all his options are known. That being said, LSU will likely be in great shape once he starts to take a hard look at things.
Dyer and Hiers each received their offers from LSU in early February. Hiers is considered one of the nation's top center prospects, and Grimes made him one of his first targets. He's mentioned Kentucky as a leader, with schools like Mississippi State State and South Florida also in the mix, but LSU will definitely be a factor once he seriously begins weighing his options. Dyer has a number of major offers, particularly from the Big 12, and he plans to visit LSU for spring practices.
Petitbon and Patterson each received their LSU offers before Grimes came on board, but are still targets for the Tigers. Petitbon's been to campus before, visiting this past summer, and with a lot of family in Louisiana, he's one to keep an eye on.