VALENTINE CLEARED TO ENROLL
2014 signee Travonte Valentine received good news this week as he's earned a qualifying score on his ACT.
According to his coach Mike Tunsil, Valentine is clear to enroll at LSU this summer after receiving a 19 on his ACT and earning the necessary credits to meet NCAA requirements. Valentine's academics were often brought up throughout his recruiting process, with many believing it might prevent him from reaching LSU.
That hesitation stemmed from his original high school, which did not offer a curriculum that measured up to NCAA requirements. For that reason, Valentine transferred to Champagnat Catholic before the start of his senior year, the same school Rashard Robinson attended the summer after he graduated high school to get through the NCAA Eligibility Center.
Once at Champagnat, Valentine began taking the necessary classes, which he completed with a satisfactory GPA combined with his standardized test score.
That's good news for LSU as they'll be glad to get the nation's No. 2 DT on campus this summer. The rotation at that position behind likely starters Christian Lacouture and Quentin Thomas is far from set, so Valentine will have an opportunity to compete for playing time along with guys like Frank Herron and Greg Gilmore.
ALEXANDER FOCUSED ON REHAB, NOT RECRUITMENT
LSU lost its first commit from the Class of 2016 on Wednesday as Ed Alexander (Hammond | St. Thomas Aquinas) decided to reopen his recruitment.
Alexander originally committed to the Tigers in late November, only a few days after LSU extended him an offer. He's already rated a five-star prospect, one of only five in the country for the 2016 class. He was an impressive get for the Tigers to kick off their recruiting efforts in 2016, but they won't be concerned that Alexander has decided to back off.
According to those close to him, Alexander still has LSU as his leader and simply wants to dial things back to explore his other options. But while many coaches will undoubtedly come by his school this spring, don't expect things to start picking back up with Alexander until this summer.
Alexander won't be able to participate in spring practices as he's still recovering from a torn meniscus he suffered during a workout earlier this year. He was able to get off crutches earlier this week, and his rehab is going ahead of schedule. He should be back to full strength by June or July, with hopes of being ready for LSU's camp.
Rehabbing his knee is Alexander's No. 1 priority for the time being, so look for him to start paying more attention to his recruitment once he's back on the field. It's understandable for a kid that commits so early to want to explore his options, but LSU will still have a great chance of locking him back up before it's all said and done.
POSSIBLE JUCO TARGET FOR LSU
LSU hasn't ruled out taking a defensive lineman from the JUCO ranks, as they're taking a hard look at Johnathan Calvin from Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, Miss.
Frank Wilson was in attendance for Calvin's practice on Wednesday, where Calvin had an opportunity to talk with the LSU recruiting coordinator. Wilson told Calvin that he plans to bring DL coach Brick Haley with him next week to check out the Co-Lin Spring Game.
The Tigers did not recruit Calvin out of high school, and have not come through with an offer yet, though that may certainly change if Calvin likes what he sees.
Calvin's been one of the hottest JUCO prospects in the country, as he's racked up 16 offers with several other schools showing interest. In an interview with Scout's Steve Robertson, Calvin said Auburn, Mississippi State and West Virginia are his top three for now with a final decision tentatively planned for this summer.
"I want to go somewhere to play where I have a good relationship with everybody and I am still figuring all of that out right now," Calvin said.
TIGERS TRACKING FOUR-STAR TIGHT END
LSU checked in on four-star TE Jackson Harris (Columbia (Tenn.) Central) on Thursday.
John Chavis, who leads recruiting in Tennessee, was on-hand for Harris' practice and spent a decent amount of time afterward talking to Harris' coaches and briefly with the prospect himself. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Harris ranks as the No. 10 TE in the country and has been heavily recruited since the summer before his junior season.
LSU has not yet offered Harris, but he said he feels the Tigers could come through with an offer before the end of spring. Harris has also kept in contact with TE coach Steve Ensminger, so there is a relationship already established.
The Tigers already have TE Hanner Shipley committed for the 2015 class, though considering he already has the body type of an offensive lineman, LSU will be looking to add a TE more adept in the passing game. The Tigers have previously offered four other 2015 TEs — Devonaire Clarington, Will Gragg, Hale Hentges and Jalen Wilkerson.
On tape, Harris has the combination of blocking and catching ability to be an ideal fit for LSU. He's previously mentioned a Top 10 of Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue South Carolina and Vanderbilt, though he's still open to options and LSU could enter the mix with an offer.