Keeping pace with the Tide

Alabama stole headlines this past weekend with four huge commitments in the Class of 2015. While that gives the Tide a big lead in the team rankings, LSU still has plenty of targets available that would shoot them up the board as well. TSD takes a look at a handful of prospects the Tigers can land to keep pace with Alabama.

LSU's biggest rival hosted its annual Spring Game this past weekend and reaped the rewards of a mega recruiting opportunity.

Dozens of the nation's top recruits made their way to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to see the Tide cap off spring practices in front of 73,506 fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Two weeks after LSU held its Spring Game that featured an impressive visitor list in its own right, Alabama had two uncommitted 2015 five-star prospects and 21 more four-star prospects on campus, making it a big recruiting story this past weekend.

That all paid off for Nick Saban & Co., as the Tide reeled in four commitments, all considered four-star prospects and ranked in top 10 at their respective positions. That haul gives Alabama a commanding lead in the early team rankings, setting the foundation for the Tide to make another run at the nation's No. 1 class.

LSU currently ranks fourth and three of the recruits Alabama landed were being heavily recruited by the Tigers as well. While it's certainly early in the cycle and the LSU coaches won't stop recruiting these prospects, more attention can be spent elsewhere with plenty of other targets left on the board.

TSD will take a look at those recruits that LSU can land in order to keep pace with the Tide.


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LB Jeff Holland is teammates with LSU commit Kevin Toliver

LINEBACKER


Who Alabama landed: No. 7 MLB Leo Lewis
Who can LSU get instead: No. 5 OLB Jeff Holland, Three-star MLB Keaton Anderson

Lewis was considered the top MIKE backer on LSU's board prior to his Alabama commitment this past weekend. Lewis visited LSU in the fall for the Arkansas game, and received an offer from the Tigers a couple months later. Corey Raymond had led the charge in his recruitment, but Alabama seemed to always be the school that stood out for him.

Linebacker hasn't been a huge position of focus for LSU in the 2015 class, but there are a handful of other prospects with which the Tigers have a legitimate chance.

Though he projects to the outside, Holland would certainly add the necessary star boost to match that of Lewis. Holland is high school teammates with LSU commit Kevin Toliver, giving the Tigers an active recruiter in his ear at all times. Holland was at Auburn this past weekend and has made numerous visits to Florida in recent months, leaving many to consider the Gators a favorite. But considering his relationship to Toliver, LSU will hope that gets them a bigger foot in the door considering he doesn't plan to make a final decision any time soon.

Another linebacker to keep a close eye on is Anderson, and he plans to finalize his recruitment in the next couple months. He too was in Tuscaloosa this past weekend, visiting Alabama, who are in his final five along with LSU, Tennessee, Miami and Duke. Anderson checked out Baton Rouge earlier this spring, and has a relationship to John Chavis that dates back to Chief's playing days at Tennessee. Chavis and Anderson's father were teammates in Knoxville, giving LSU a connection to work with. The Vols are considered the favorite though, as Anderson has a long line of family members that suited up in Tennessee, but Chavis' reputation should play a part in this recruitment.


S Roney Elam has LSU in his top three

SAFETY


Who Alabama landed: No. 7 S Shawn Burgess-Becker
Who can LSU get instead: No. 5 S Jamal Peters, No. 20 S Roney Elam

Burgess-Becker attended a day of camp at LSU last summer as part of a tour through the Southeast. While the Tigers seemed to stand out at that point, they didn't carry much momentum in his recruitment through the fall, while Alabama and Miami separated themselves from the rest of his suitors. The Tide eventually won out, also landing Burgess-Becker's friend Calvin Ridley, the nation's No. 8 CB.

After a big haul of safeties in 2014, and with Kevin Henry already on board, LSU has its sights set on adding at least one more, likely in that rangy free safety mold.

Peters is considered the No. 2 recruit in the state of Mississippi, receiving attention from all the major players in the SEC. LSU was in on him relatively early, getting him on campus this past fall for a game. At the time, the Tigers soared near the top of his list, but he's slowed down in the months since and isn't naming any favorites at this point. He too was in Auburn this past weekend, and he hopes to narrow down his recruitment to five schools by the end of the summer. LSU seems to be in a good place to make that cut, and Peters has said he hopes to make another visit to Baton Rouge sometime soon.

LSU was the first school to offer Elam as he blew up on the recruiting scene in these last few months. He quickly narrowed down his focus to three schools, naming LSU, Texas and Texas A&M as his leaders entering the spring. Elam was expected in Baton Rouge for the Tigers' Spring Game, but a last-minute change of plans prevented him from making that trip. LSU will try to get him on campus this summer, which many feel would be a big boost for the Tigers in their pursuit of this four-star prospect.


Five-star CB Kendall Sheffield visited for the LSU Spring Game

CORNERBACK


Who Alabama landed: No. 10 CB Minkah Fitzpatrick
Who can LSU get instead: No. 2 CB Kendall Sheffield, No. 5 CB Tarvarus McFadden, No. 25 CB Xavier Lewis

LSU was in early on Fitzpatrick, offering him last November. Though he lives in New Jersey, he always had eyes on the SEC, and the Tigers hoped to capitalize on that. But Alabama seemed to be the favorite once they entered the mix, and many expected his commitment would happen this weekend.

The Tigers have plenty of other cornerbacks on their board though, so they should be just fine at that position moving forward.

Sheffield's obviously the highest ranked prospect available, and pairing him with Toliver, the nation's No.1 CB, would give LSU quite the class at that position. The Tigers offered him more than a year ago, giving them a long time to build a strong relationship with him. He visited Baton Rouge two weeks ago for the Tigers' Spring Game, and he's mentioned LSU as one of his early standouts. He isn't close to narrowing things down though, so LSU will have plenty of work left to reel in this five-star prospect.

McFadden hasn't yet visited Baton Rouge, but he consistently mentions LSU as one of his top choices based on their reputation for developing defensive backs. His teammate, five-star QB Torrance Gibson, visited earlier this spring, and those two have mentioned the possibility of them playing for the same college. That isn't a guarantee though, and LSU will try to get McFadden on campus this summer to make the full sales pitch.

Lewis remains the top in-state DB on LSU's board, and he doesn't hide the Tigers are still the team to beat in his recruitment, despite his decommitment earlier this year. Lewis has made sure to take a number of visits in recent months, so LSU does have competition, but most feel he'll rejoin the Tigers' class before it's all said and done.

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