LSU Recruiting Heats Up

With temperatures rising, LSU remains hot on the recruiting trail, handing out several new offers, locking in visits and pressing a pair of four-stars with decisions coming soon.

The weather's getting hot and we're inching closer and closer to the summer. But the temperature isn't the only thing about to heat up. With the evaluation period coming to a close soon, the Tigers are poised for a big summer on the recruiting trail.

The LSU assistants continue to hit the road, stopping in on a number of their top prospects. The Tigers were particularly active in Florida this week, handing out several new offers. LSU has also done its part to lock in some big-time visits before the end of the month, and two more four-star prospects high on LSU's board have set dates for their commitments.

Get all the latest LSU recruiting info in this loaded update:



2016 four-star RB Devin White (North Webster) announced Wednesday that he will be making his commitment before the end of the summer. That decision will come in July and he's in talks with ESPN to have it broadcasted nationally. White and ESPN are still working on a date for the announcement, but if all goes according to plan, it will come within the next two months.

White informed TSD that he has not yet made up his mind, but he expects to be ready by that July date. He will take a number of visits between now and then and start to think it over. He hasn't locked in any of those trips yet, but LSU figures to have him on campus at least once before that decision comes.

White last met with the LSU coaches in Baton Rouge earlier this spring, when he stopped by campus on his way home from a photo shoot in New Orleans. Two weeks ago, he said he probably wouldn't be able to make it down for the Bayou Picnic on May 31, but he will definitely be in attendance for the Elite Camp in July.

Since the Tigers became his first offer last summer, White has received loads of attention from schools across the country, particularly the SEC powers. After camping at LSU last June, he took a visit to Alabama, where the Tide coaches extended him an offer. But after returning from that trip, he admitted the visit didn't quite stack up to LSU, and that's giving the Tigers loads of confidence heading into this announcement.

White is a top target for the Class of 2016, one of a number of four-star prospects in Louisiana the coaches have already offered. LSU would love to add him to the stable of running backs they've assembled, and he'd big a big-time addition this early in the 2016 recruiting cycle.


Another four-star LSU target has set a decision date. 2015 DE Arden Key announced Thursday he will be making a commitment on June 10. Key has hinted for several weeks that a decision was coming soon, and now there's a date to eye for his announcement.

Since Key decommitted from South Carolina in September, he's mentioned LSU as a school that has his interest and is recruiting him heavily. But he hasn't yet been to Baton Rouge.

That is expected to change next week as Key has said he plans to be at the Bayou Picnic on May 31. It's possible that Key has already made up his mind, and it would be too late for the Tigers to leave an impression. But if he does end up on campus next week, that would an opportunity for LSU to stand out less than two weeks before his announcement.

It seems a long shot at this point that LSU is the school he picks, but the Tigers chances would definitely increase should he actually visit for the Picnic.


LSU's recruitment of quarterbacks for the 2015 class has mostly limited to one prospect — Torrance Gibson. The only other QBs offered were either already committed elsewhere (Tucker Israel, Clemson) or made a commitment without giving the Tigers much consideration (Brandon Wimbush, Penn State).

But that changed Wednesday as LSU extended a pair of new offers to quarterbacks from the state of Florida. First it was Deon Cain (Tampa, Fla. | Tampa Bay Tech), who's actually rated as a four-star wide receiver, with most schools recruiting him for that position — but not LSU. OC Cam Cameron likes his potential as a signal caller and that might be something that weighs heavily on Cain's mind.

Nebraska, USF and Georgia Tech are some of the other schools recruiting him as a quarterback. Clemson, Florida and Florida State are all considered to be in the lead group for Cain, but they're recruiting him as a receiver, which might give LSU an opening with which to work.

The other quarterback LSU offered Wednesday was four-star Deondre Francois (Bradenton, Fla. | IMG Academy). He's the nation's No. 267 overall prospect in the 2015 class, and he'll be at The Opening this summer. That's where he plans to make his commitment, so LSU will work to get him on campus in these next couple months. Florida State is the team to beat, with Oregon, Ohio State, Auburn and Tennessee high on his list.


With Hanner Shipley already on board, LSU has continued to make a strong push for another tight end in this class. One of several names the Tigers have pressed is four-star Will Gragg (Pine Bluff, Ark.). He was one of the first LSU offered at that position, and has continued to receive plenty of attention from his would-be position coach Steve Ensminger.

The LSU TE coach was by his school earlier this week as Gragg kicked off spring practice. He's a top target for the Tigers, and they are expecting to receive a visit from Gragg soon. He has said he plans to be in Baton Rouge next week for the Bayou Picnic, and he also has an official visit scheduled for the Tigers' game against Alabama on Nov. 8.

With a decision tentatively scheduled for November, LSU should have at least two big opportunities to impress Gragg. Arkansas is considered the heavy favorite as he's made several visits to the nearby campus, but he's very open to his other SEC suitors, and LSU will soon star to make the hard sell.


LSU assistant Bradley Dale Peveto extended an offer Wednesday to Texas commit Charles Omenihu (Rowlett, Texas). He has been committed to the Longhorns for about three months, but several schools continue to press him hard. LSU is one of those as they've ramped up their interest this week.

Coach Peveto was by his school earlier this week, also there to see Andrew Galitz, a kicker/punter LSU has shown some interest in. Now Omenihu is on the Tigers' board, and they'll push to get him on campus soon.

Omenihu remains committed but he is at least open to taking some visits. He hasn't set any up yet though, and he plans to start narrowing down some of his other offers before he does. But LSU has his interest — as do Florida, Texas A&M and Oregon — so it's possible he trips down to Baton Rouge this summer.


LSU targets several prospects from the state of Florida in every recruiting cycle, and the coaches have been particularly active there this spring. Last week, TSD detailed a number of Florida prospects that LSU had checked on during the evaluation period, and there was more Sunshine State action on Wednesday.

LSU assistants Corey Raymond and Adam Henry swept through the state, checking in on a number of schools and handing out several offers.

One of their stops was Champagnat Catholic for their spring game. That's the school that produced Travonte Valentine in 2014, and the Tigers have their sights set on adding several more recruits from that Florida powerhouse. In 2015, the top target there is TE Devonaire Clarington. LSU solidified its interest in him Wednesday, and look for them to make a big push on him moving forward.

The Tigers have also been on 2016 WR Darnell Salomon since he was a standout performer at camp last summer. That was his first offer at the time, and the Tigers remain high on his list. Salomon really enjoyed his visit last summer, and he's expected to return again in a couple months, which would go a long way in solidifying LSU's standing at the top of his recruitment.

The LSU coaches also handed out at least three new offers during their sweep through the state.

One of those offers went to 2015 OLB Juwan Taylor (Hallandale, Fla.), a high school teammate of LSU signee John Battle. Taylor is still a bit of a sleeper in his class, though schools are starting to wake up to his talent. Clemson and Georgia are some of the bigger schools to extend him an offer this spring, and now LSU is in the mix. The recruiting process is only starting to heat up for Taylor, so things are still pretty wide open, but with only a handful of legitimate LB targets for LSU, look for the coaches to ramp up the heat on Taylor.

Another fast-rising prospect LSU offered Wednesday is three-star OL Jalen Merrick (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.). He's also blown up this spring with several new offers coming his way as word spreads about this 6-foot-4, 325-pound lineman. Merrick is still relatively new to football, which explains why schools are only just now starting to catch wind of his talent. He's a basketball player converted into a football player and only played his first year on the gridiron this past fall. The coaches really like his upside, and look for him to be a big name nationally moving forward.

LSU also dipped into the Class of 2017, extending an offer to Trevon Grimes (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. | St. Thomas Aquinas). He figures to be one of the nation's best prospects in his class. Already 6-foot-4, 180 pounds, Grimes has been clocked with a 40-yard dash time in the 4.5-second range. He has offers from SEC schools like Auburn, Tennessee and South Carolina, and LSU will hope that getting in the mix this early will help down the line.

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