So with those two off the board, a pair of defensive backs moved into the top five, both of which have been offered by the Tigers within the last couple months. We'll break down the recruitments of all five highly touted Louisiana prospects below, and offer up some insight into which direction they could be leaning at this early stage.
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Tyron Johnson | Warren Easton | | #8 WR | #50 Overall
The state's top overall prospect headlines this list as one of the Tigers' biggest priorities on the offensive side of the ball. Johnson was one of the first 2015 recruits to pick up an LSU offer, landing it more than a year ago in May 2013. Johnson has since become a household name for recruitniks and would be on most wanted lists for a number of different programs.
LSU wants desperately to add Johnson to its corps of wide receivers bolstered by the big haul in 2014 that included in-state stars Malachi Dupre and Trey Quinn. While the Tigers are certainly one of the lead contenders in Johnson's recruitment, they're not without competition.
Johnson has mentioned publicly that Texas Tech is his leader, though the Tigers are right there with the Red Raiders at the top of his list. LSU recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson has a solid relationship with both Johnson and his father, who primarily handles his recruitment. That connection should carry the Tigers a long way, but it may not necessarily be the decisive factor. Tech's high-flying offense certainly has his attention, as does the one at Texas A&M, but LSU's revamped passing attack is no joke either.
Johnson doesn't plan to shut things down anytime soon, so there's a lot left to be decided. But LSU has a lot in its corner when it comes to attracting Johnson, and many consider the Tigers the favorite.
Donte Jackson | Riverdale | | #5 CB | #28 Overall
Jackson's one of the new additions to this list after picking up an LSU offer in the spring. He really emerged on the national scene during the most recent evaluation period, landing offers from many of the major programs in the country. One of the fastest players in the state, Jackson's one of several elite defensive backs Louisiana's produced in this cycle.
But like with Johnson, LSU has plenty of competition for Jackson's services. He's mentioned Georgia as an early leader, particularly because of his respect for the Bulldog's defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. But the Tigers are right there as well, with schools like Oregon, Texas A&M and Florida State rounding out his top group.
LSU's reputation for producing NFL DBs has already resonated with Jackson, and the proximity to home will certainly be a factor as well. He too isn't in a hurry to make a decision, but LSU will try to continue solidifying that relationship in order to separate from Jackson's other suitors.
Xavier Lewis | East St. John | | #27 CB | #245 Overall
This will be Lewis' final appearance on the Most Wanted list as we're about a week away from announcing his commitment. The former LSU commit will make his decision public at The Opening next week, choosing from a group of four schools that does still include the Tigers. Texas, Oklahoma State and Arkansas are also still in consideration.
Lewis didn't drop his original commitment to LSU because of any hard feelings toward the Tigers. He simply wanted to explore his other options and felt it would be disrespectful to do so while committed. So he took advantage of that opportunity over the spring and summer, visiting a number of schools to get a feel for what's best.
In that time though, LSU hasn't lost any confidence regarding its chances of bringing this four-star corner back into the mix. Most consider the Tigers a heavy favorite to regain his commitment next week, which would give LSU another highly touted corner in the class along with the nation's best Kevin Toliver.
Kirk Merritt | Destrehan | | #32 RB | #241 Overall
LSU considers Merritt the top athlete in the state and certainly one of the top offensive prospects in the state. Merritt would be an impact player at both running back and wide receiver, and all the major programs are drooling at the prospects of having him in their offense.
That's led to plenty of competition in his recruitment, with LSU just one of several schools ranking high on his list at the moment. Merritt hasn't named any favorites, and he doesn't intend to as he's mostly kept things pretty close to the vest. In addition to the Tigers though, he has mentioned Oregon, Texas A&M, Alabama and Auburn as the schools coming after him particularly hard. Those schools seem positioned best right now to pull him from Louisiana, but there's still plenty left to be decided as he doesn't plan to make a decision until after his senior season.
The most important factor in his recruitment though will be how he fits into the schools' offenses. That could pose a problem for the Tigers should Merritt see himself primarily as a running back. After signing Leonard Fournette and Darrel Williams in 2014, LSU already has Nicholas Brossette and Derrius Guice committed in 2015 plus fullback David Ducre. That could make some other destinations a bit more attractive, but that isn't stopping the Tigers from selling Merritt on the impact he'd have in a number of different spots in Cam Cameron's offense.
Deshawn Raymond | East Jefferson | | #24 CB | #223 Overall
As one of LSU's most recent in-state offers, Raymond is the other new addition to this Most Wanted list. The four-star prospect is another highly touted defensive back that LSU could add to bolster its DBU reputation. Raymond currently ranks as a cornerback according to Scout, but the Tigers are primarily interested in the versatile prospect as a safety.
He didn't make it a secret that the LSU offer was one he really wanted. He made many trips to Baton Rouge over the last year, not just to visit his brother — former LSU DB Derrick Raymond — but also to get acclimated to the LSU program, players and coaches. All that comfort has the Tigers high on his list with them being the consensus favorite to land Raymond once he decides to shut it down.
But he still has some other schools high on his list as well, particularly TCU and Mississippi State. Raymond doesn't plan to make a decision until his senior season, but most consider him a candidate to pop at any moment.