Scout had wall-to-wall coverage from The Opening, which you find on the content hub located here. Our team of analysts brought plenty of fresh scoop on a handful of LSU targets, and TSD collects the most intriguing bits of information below, with a little bit of insight from recruiting analyst Hunter Paniagua to put it all in perspective.
Even though Jerry Tillery has been committed to Notre Dame for more than a year, that hasn’t prevented LSU from pursuing the state’s top-ranked offensive lineman. And to this point, he’s been receptive. Tillery’s visited Baton Rouge a number of times in recent months, and he told Scout’s Chad Simmons this week that an official visit’s in the works.
"Jerry Tillery is going to take an official visit to LSU. He may take an unofficial visit to Baton Rouge later this summer, but he will not participate in their camp. His commitment is still solid to Notre Dame, but he is still listening to other schools, LSU in particular."
That’s obviously a big positive for the Tigers, as they’ve made Tillery one of their top in-state priorities. While Tillery has said Notre Dame was his dream school growing up, citing their academic reputation as a big selling point, LSU hopes the home state appeal pays off in the end.
The Tigers have also done well to sell Tillery on the academic support he’d receive at LSU, and both Jeff Grimes and Steve Ensminger have built a strong relationship with him. Tillery does plan to enroll early wherever he ends up, so the fall seems poised to be an important time for the Tigers’ chances.
LSU may be in store for a sweat with one of its top in-state commits. Nicholas Brossette has entertained other schools since committing to LSU in August of last year, and he told Scout this week that he intends to take his full allotment of official visits.
Here’s what Chad Simmons posted on Brossette:
“There are some commits locked in on their school at The Opening this week, but is Nicholas Brossette one of those? Scout doesn't think so. Texas is a school to watch here. He is still committed to LSU, but he will take all five official visits, and he is building relationships with Longhorn coaches. Alabama, Florida State, and Texas are schools he is considering taking official visits to. LSU will definitely get one.”
Texas has been the school connected most often with Brossette since he pledged to the Tigers. He’s visited Austin multiple times and the Longhorns have made him a very big priority in their class. It certainly appears that Brossette is buying in to what they’re offering.
Brossette could be looking at the LSU backfield and see the crowd that’s forming with 2014 recruits Leonard Fournette and Darrel Williams plus 2015 commits Derrius Guice and David Ducre (a fullback). The Tigers are also actively pursuing in-state ATH Kirk Merritt, who also seems himself as a running back.
That doesn’t mean Brossette’s looking for a better situation. But he is granted the right to see what other opportunities are out there. It would still seem a long shot for him to head elsewhere, as he has a lot of personal reasons to stay home, but it does at least appear he’s willing to look at other schools.
Louisiana’s No. 1 overall prospect has received attention from schools across the country. To this point, he’s consistently mentioned one from outside the Pelican State as his leader. He maintained that notion this week to Chad Simmons. Here’s the latest:
“Tyron Johnson still lists Texas Tech high on list, but LSU is coming hard. The Tigers are an in-state school and he is very comfortable with the staff there. He is also taking a strong look at Oklahoma State and Texas A&M.”
Even though the Red Raiders may lead, LSU still have plenty of confidence in regards to Johnson, particularly because of that relationship mentioned above. Johnson’s father is extremely active in his son’s recruitment, and LSU assistants Frank Wilson and Adam Henry have done well to sell both father and son on what the Tigers have to offer. There’s a lot of comfort there, and LSU expects that will keep them in prime position throughout Johnson’s recruitment.
Texas Tech and several other schools are still a legitimate threat though, so LSU can’t let off the pedal until the very end. But the Tigers have high hopes they’ll reel in the state’s best player when it’s all said and done.
Another in-state four-star has somebody other than LSU atop his list. Donte Jackson maintained in a video interview this week that Georgia currently leads, but that LSU isn’t trailing by much. He told Scout’s Chad Simmons that those are the two schools standing out most right now.
Georgia was one of the first schools to offer Jackson, and the Bulldogs’ new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has a strong relationship with him. That’s the primary reason why Georgia is proving to be a big threat to pull Jackson from his home state.
But Jackson isn’t discounting the Tigers. If Georgia is No. 1 right now, then LSU is No. 1a, and he told Scout that other schools will have to work to pull him from Louisiana.
“It’s not going to be easy because [LSU’s] coming hard,” Jackson said. “They’re pursuing me. They’re showing that they want me, they need me and they can make me a pro like Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu.”
Jackson also spent plenty of time around LSU CB commits Kevin Toliver and Xavier Lewis this week at The Opening. They certainly encouraged Jackson to join them in Baton Rouge, and the Tigers will do their part to ensure one of the state’s top DBs stays close to home.
LSU may not have to wait long to find out where one of their top DE targets is going. Four-star Austin Bryant told Scout there’s a chance he commits before the start of his senior season. Chad Simmons considers Clemson to be his leader for now, with several other schools chasing those purple and orange Tigers.
But LSU feels they’re still in the hunt. Bryant came to Baton Rouge for the Bayou Picnic in May, and the LSU coaches came away very encouraged by his visit. Whether or not that trip is enough for the Tigers to pull this big-time prospect remains to be seen.
But it does at least appear one of the Tigers’ top names will come off the board within the next couple months.
Five-star CB Kendall Sheffield keeps his recruitment pretty close to the vest. He hasn’t publicly named any leaders, nor does he have any plans to do so.
One of the nation’s best prospects, LSU has made Sheffield a big priority. He visited Baton Rouge for the Spring Game, and came away impressed with the visit. He said at the time the Tigers were definitely one of the schools standing out to him, but how legitimate those chances are remains a bit of a mystery.
Sheffield maintained that secrecy this week at The Opening, refusing to name any top schools. But he does at least have a date in mine for when he’d like to commit.
"We have not made our plans to cut it down yet, but I am making my decision at the Under Armour game. I am very excited about that game and getting to play best against the best. I am probably going to do it with the hats, but I am not for sure yet."
So there is still a long way to go for one of the top defensive backs in the country. LSU will continue pressing to get him on campus again, likely for an official visit in the fall. If the Tigers can stay in the picture, then there’s a real chance they have one of those hats on the table when he decides at the UA game.