Bayou Picnic a big hit

LSU pulled off a major recruiting event Saturday, hosting dozens of top recruits for the annual Bayou Picnic. The Tigers picked up a new commit, handed out three new offers and made some serious headway with several other important targets.

LSU's Bayou Picnic on Saturday lived up to the billing as the Tiger coaches hosted elite prospects from not just the state of Louisiana, but from all over the country as well.

The states of Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida were all represented with some of the top recruits from those regions descending on Baton Rouge for the weekend. Below you'll see the complete list of confirmed visitors with more notes on the picnic to follow.


WR George Campbell
S Roney Elam
DE Austin Bryant
DE Kyle Phillips
CB Ugo Amadi (Ole Miss commit)
OT William Sweet (UNC commit)
S Jamal Peters
LB Leo Lewis (Alabama commit)
TE Will Gragg
WR Tyron Johnson
CB Xavier Lewis
CB Donte Jackson
CB Deshawn Raymond
RB Nicholas Brossette (LSU commit)
FB David Ducre (LSU commit)
WR Jazz Ferguson (LSU commit)
RB Derrius Guice (LSU commit)
S Kevin Henry (LSU commit)
CB Kevin Toliver (LSU commit)
DE Isaiah Washington (LSU commit)
OT Jevonte Domond (LSU signee)


DT Ed Alexander
DB Kristian Fulton
DB JoeJuan Williams
QB Feleipe Franks
WR Stephen Sullivan (LSU commit)
CB Shyheim Carter


RB/LB Dylan Moses (LSU commit)



The big news of the day come from one of LSU's top in-state targets as four-star RB Derrius Guice (Baton Rouge | Catholic) committed to the Tigers. Running backs coach Frank Wilson managed to lock up both elite running backs from LSU's backyard with Guice becoming the second Baton Rouge rusher to join the Tigers' class (U-High's Nicholas Brossette is the other).

Guice has had LSU as his leader throughout this recruitment, and it's seemed for months that he could pop at any moment. He came to the Bayou Picnic with the intention of finally shutting it down, and he delivered the message to the coaches during a one-on-one meeting late in the afternoon.

After signing the state's top two running backs in 2014 (Leonard Fournette, Darrel Williams), the Tigers are poised to do so again in 2015, and with Devin White also leaning heavily to LSU in 2016, the future's bright in Coach Wilson's backfield.

For more on what Guice's commitment means for LSU, read national recruiting analyst's Chad Simmons' breakdown, and join the discussion on the TSD Message Board.



The other big piece of in-state news went to East Jefferson DB Deshawn Raymond, who landed an offer from the Tigers. Raymond has been working for that offer for quite a while, as he's made numerous trips to campus since camp last summer. Though his brother, Derrick, transferred out of the program after this past season, Raymond still has several friends on the team and makes numerous trips to Baton Rouge.

That comfort and love for LSU will push the Tigers to the top of his list now that they've officially joined the mix. Raymond's a four-star prospect, ranked as a CB by Scout but the Tigers are taking a real look at him as a safety. Much like his brother, Raymond has big-time speed and he's really improved in his toughness and physicality throughout the last year. He certainly has the range to play safety, but he's solid in man coverage, and that versatility will suit him well.

Though Raymond didn't pull the trigger on a commitment before leaving campus, he's called LSU his dream school and the Tigers will certainly like their chances moving forward. Raymond had previously said he'd wait until after his senior season to commit somewhere, but look for that timeline to be pushed up with LSU now pressing hard for his services.


Defensive coordinator John Chavis spent plenty of time in Tennessee during the evaluation period, and that paid off this weekend as he brought in three big-time targets from Nashville for the picnic.

The headliner was four-star DE Kyle Phillips, one of several elite defensive linemen the Tigers have targeted in 2015. Ranked as the No. 16 DE in the country, the LSU coaches were thrilled to get him on campus to show what the program has to offer. He'd visited Alabama, Ole Miss and Tennessee this spring, so this weekend was important for the Tigers to keep pace with those SEC rivals.

LSU may have some ground to make up, but indications are this weekend was a big hit with Phillips, and the Tigers expect to remain in the mix moving forward. A decision could come as early as this summer, and LSU thinks it made some serious steps in the right direction this weekend.

Two fellow Nashville natives accompanied Phillips on the trip, and they also picked up offers from LSU while in town.

2015 CB Ugo Amadi, an Ole Miss commit, picked up his offer from the Tigers. He pledged to the Rebels in March and seems solid with that decision. He intends to enroll early, so he may be a tough flip for LSU, but they at least gave him something to think about this weekend.

The big target to emerge this weekend was 2016 DB JoeJuan Williams. He had a one-on-one meeting with Coach Miles before leaving campus, and that's when the Tigers extended him his offer. He's a versatile defender that LSU's interested in as either a corner or a safety, and he's got tremendous speed for his size. He said that offer from the Tigers really stands out, and they're quickly moving up his list of suitors.

"Now that LSU has offered, a lot has changed so I have to go back and think about it now," Williams said. "Before this, Vanderbilt was my No. 1, but LSU's given me a lot to think about."


Adding defensive linemen will be a tremendous priority for LSU in both the Classes of 2015 and 2016. The Tigers feel they made some serious headway in that regard this weekend with several of their top targets. We already mentioned Phillips, and LSU hosted another big one in four-star DE Austin Bryant (Thomasville, Ga. | Thomas County Central).

DL coach Brick Haley spent the majority of his day around Bryant, who has started to build that relationship with his would-be position coach throughout the last few months. Bryant measured in at 6-foot-6 this weekend, so he has big-time size rushing off the edge, and he'd be the ideal fit for LSU's defense.

The feeling is that LSU left a big impression on him this weekend, particularly Coach Haley and his reputation for producing NFL defensive linemen. The Tigers will be looking for prospects to step in immediately, and that's a selling point that really resonated with Bryant. He hasn't really started to narrow down his recruitment, so things are pretty open for the most part, and LSU is very encouraged with where they left things after the picnic.

Coach Haley also spent plenty of time with 2016 five-star Ed Alexander (St. Thomas Aquinas), the state's top prospect for his class. Though he backed off his commitment to LSU earlier this year, the Tigers are extremely optimistic they'll have him back in the fold before it's all said and done. Those close to him say Alexander absolutely loves Coach Haley and those two have a very strong relationship. Alexander just wants to take his time with things, especially while he continues rehabbing from a knee injury. But LSU is confident with where things stand after this weekend.


JUCO OT commit Jevonte Domond made his first trip to Baton Rouge since committing to the Tigers earlier this month. He was still in town Sunday morning, and that's when he officially signed his scholarship papers. The plan all along has been for him to graduate this summer and enroll at LSU in time for the 2014 season. Now that he's signed, everything is squared away for that to happen.

With LSU potentially losing both starting offensive tackles after the 2014 season, the Tigers desperately wanted to add experienced players to the mix, and that's why they made a big push for Domond. With him set to graduate this summer, he'll have three seasons of eligibility remaining. That'll give him the 2014 season to get acclimated to the SEC and OL coach Jeff Grimes' system.

Having this extra year under his built will make him all the more ready to step in for 2015, as he'll be a prime candidate to make the starting lineup as a junior.

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