Last year’s camp was compared to The Opening because of the amount of talent assembled in Baton Rouge, and this year’s edition won’t be far off. LSU expects upwards of 700 campers for the three-day event, but the focus from a recruiting standpoint will be on the big names.
The list below is just a glimpse at the elite prospects that are expected to camp at LSU this weekend. The activities begin Thursday, and TSD will have wall-to-wall coverage throughout. To get you started, here’s an in-depth preview on what to expect for LSU’s recruiting efforts.
Before we even get into the amount of in-state talent that’ll be on-hand for the Elite Camp, let’s look at the prospects that are coming from outside Louisiana’s borders.
The defensive line is a unit in the 2015 class that LSU has spent a significant amount of time recruiting out-of-state. This weekend, the Tigers will get a chance to host several of those big-time DL targets.
Cece Jefferson is the nation’s No. 2 DE, a five-star prospect LSU has recruited heavily since early in the spring. Though he’s long been considered a heavy lean to Florida, he does plan on taking his recruitment late to the cycle, providing ample opportunity for other schools to make a push. LSU will get their first crack at him this weekend, and a positive visit will give the Tigers a real chance to be a serious contender moving forward.
Du’Vonta Lampkin (pictured above) is set to make his commitment shortly after this trip to Baton Rouge. The four-star DT from Houston has narrowed down his recruitment to Texas, LSU and Oklahoma with the Longhorns considered the favorite heading into his July 28 announcement, though the Tigers will get their chance to leave one last impression before he makes that call. Fletcher Adams is another DT whose decision could come within the next few weeks. He’s long had LSU in his top group of schools because of their reputation along the defensive line. He wants to make a decision in August, and LSU will need a big visit to compete with Ole Miss.
Arden Key has committed twice to South Carolina, most recently in early June. But LSU’s been on him for quite some time. The Tigers tried to get him on campus for the Bayou Picnic on May 31, but he was unable to make the trip. He’s set to be in Baton Rouge on Thursday though, and LSU will get a chance to sway him from the Gamecocks.
Key won’t be the only out-of-state prospect committed elsewhere that LSU will host this weekend. North Carolina commits Ronnie Harrison and William Sweet are expected to arrive Wednesday and will spend a couple days in Baton Rouge.
S Ronnie Harrison
Harrison last visited for the Spring Game, and LSU has made him a major priority ever since. He’s also picked up a lot of interest from Alabama, and most feel one of those two schools will ultimately flip him from the Tar Heels when he announces a final decision on July 29.
He and Sweet aren’t necessarily a package deal, though LSU feels that if they can flip Harrison, they’ll have a much better chance with Sweet. He visited for the Bayou Picnic, so getting him on campus twice in such a short span has the Tigers encouraged.
Two more Bayou Picnic visitors that will return for camp are Leo Lewis and Roney Elam.
This will be Lewis’ third trip to Baton Rouge in a year’s time. He attended a game in the fall before he had an offer from the Tigers, and he came for the Bayou Picnic while still committed to Alabama. He dropped that pledge though over the weekend, so he’ll have an open mind coming into this weekend’s camp, and LSU hopes to make a big push up his leaderboard.
LSU was the first school to offer Elam back in the early spring. He has since narrowed his focus to just LSU, Texas and Texas A&M, and he’s expected to make his final decision shortly after returning from Baton Rouge. The Tigers have felt since the beginning they have a real chance with Elam, and they’ll hope this weekend solidifies that.
Kendall Sheffield is another big-time Texas DB that LSU expects to host this weekend. The five-star corner is set to arrive on Friday a week after visiting Alabama. He remains quiet publicly in terms of leaders in his recruitment, but LSU remains optimistic as he’s now made multiple trips to Baton Rouge within the last few months.
Four-star ATH Jaason Lewis will make his first trip to LSU this weekend. He has the Tigers in his final five along with Oregon, Ole Miss, Miami and Arizona State. Those close to him have said he has a real desire to play in the SEC, which is good news for the Tigers. He’s set to make a commitment in October, and LSU will get its first big crack at him this weekend.
Houston native Tyler Higby has been to LSU multiple times since being offered last summer. He was at the June camp, and he’s set to return for this one as well. The Tigers have to be considered a heavy favorite at this point, and it’s not far-fetched to imagine him pulling the trigger soon.
Now all that out-of-state talent will also be matched by those from Louisiana. LSU expects most, if not all, of the in-state prospects they’ve offered to be on campus at some point during this weekend’s camp. (Kirk Merritt and Jerry Tillery are the only two that have not yet confirmed their plans).
2015 prospects like Donte Jackson, Tyron Johnson and Deshawn Raymond among others highlight the list, and LSU will make a big push to add some new commits from this bunch.
2016 five-star Ed Alexander
It’s also easy for LSU fans to look at that list of 2016 Louisiana prospects and start salivating for the future. The rising juniors have the potential to match the start-power of the 2014 class, and LSU’s made that group a huge priority. With guys like Shea Patterson, Ed Alexander, Kristian Fulton and the rest, LSU has big plans in 2016 with hopes this in-state crop serves as the foundation for a No. 1 class.
LSU will also try to supplement that in-state talent with some out-of-state stars as well. Four-star CB John Broussard has family in Louisiana, making the Tigers his school of choice growing up. Now as a recruit he has LSU high on his list, and the Tigers will look to solidify their lead this weekend.
Some big names from Florida are expected to be on campus as well. Champagnat Catholic has been good to LSU in the past with 2014 signee Travonte Valentine, and LSU’s made a big push for 2016 prospects Darnell Salomon and Chidi Okeke-Valentine are expected to make the trip this weekend. Also keep an eye on promising DBs like Armunz Mathews and Korey Charles, who will aim to solidify their offers with their performances this weekend.
The LSU coaches won’t be the only ones recruiting this weekend. The Tigers expect to have 14 of their 18 commits from 2015 to 2018 on campus this weekend, including all three QB commits in Justin McMillan, Feleipe Franks and Zaddock Dinkelmann.
There will be many more top prospects at camp this weekend than the ones mentioned in this article. Several prospects without offers will earn them throughout the weekend, and surprise visitors will show up. Stick with TSD throughout as we’ll keep you updated on all the latest as this should be a major few days for the Tigers’ recruiting efforts.