LSU Big Board Update: Defense

TSD updates the LSU Big Board entering the fall, examining all of the Tigers' top targets. Today we look at the defensive prospects.

TSD started its updated look at the LSU Big Board on Wednesday, examining the Tigers’ top offensive targets. Today we’ll continue on the other side of the ball with a look at the defensive recruits.

LSU has only four defensive recruits committed thus far, meaning the Tigers will need to make a big push over the coming months to restock the cupboards. But LSU does have some big names on the board left for the taking.

As always, you can see the entire Big Board at the link below, and we’ll get into our analysis after the jump:


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DEFENSIVE LINE


Committed: Isaiah Washington
Top Targets: Kyle Phillips, CeCe Jefferson
Keep an eye on: Keisean Lucier-South, Arden Key, Dylan Jackson

The defensive line’s a position that typically develops late in the cycle for LSU, especially in 2015 considering all the out-of-state recruits the Tigers are targeting. Brick Haley tends to cast a wide net recruiting national names with hopes of getting most on campus for official visits.

LSU does have an in-state prospect already on the boat with Isaiah Washington. He’s worth watching though as he’s maintained throughout his recruitment that he plans to take visits. He is still getting plenty of attention from other schools, so he’s one LSU will have to continue recruiting up until National Signing Day.

Washington’s the one Louisiana defensive lineman for which LSU has made a significant push. Most of the attention has been spent out-of-state with a handful of prospects floating to the top of LSU’s list. Kyle Phillips (pictured above) appears to be the primary target after he made a pair of visits to Baton Rouge over the summer. He was at the Bayou Picnic and returned for another trip during Elite Camp in July. He doesn’t plan to announce a decision until after the season, but most feel LSU actually leads at this point. Ole Miss is also considered an early contender, but the Tigers’ stock is definitely soaring with Phillips entering the fall.

LSU also feels it has a lot of momentum with five-star DE CeCe Jefferson right now as well. He too was on campus during camp, and that visit really opened his eyes to LSU. The Tigers entered his recruitment relatively late, but he’s said they’ll be in it until the end. Long considered a heavy lean to Florida, it appears Jefferson’s starting to entertain the idea of leaving that state, and LSU would love to be that destination.

More names will emerge as the fall progresses. Some names to remember are California prospect Keisean Lucier-South, who has mentioned LSU as a possible official visit. South Carolina commit Arden Key visited in July, and the Tigers will continue recruiting him with hopes of a potential flip. Dylan Jackson, a Tennessee commit, recently received an offer and LSU believes they’ve found a sleeper in him. He will be a difficult flip though as most consider him a very solid pledge to the Vols.


LB Leo Lewis

LINEBACKERS


Committed: None
Top Targets: Leo Lewis
Keep an eye on: Roquan Smith, Porter Gustin

Though linebacker may be LSU’s deepest position on the current team, it’s not one they’ve had major success recruiting thus far. Leo Lewis has long been considered the top target for LSU, as he’s made multiple visits within the last year. Though he was committed to Alabama at one point, he unsurprisingly reopened his recruitment last month with several big schools still coming after him. LSU is one, and they’ll be a serious contender until he eventually makes a final decision.

LSU could be a dark-horse for four-star LB Roquan Smith. He’s begun narrowing down his list and has said UCLA, Georgia, Florida and Miami are in line to receive his official visits. LSU’s working to lock in the fifth, and if they can bring him to campus, their chances will significantly increase. Porter Gustin saw his LSU interest ramp up over the summer, and he still seems open to everyone on his long list of suitors.

If you’re looking for an in-state prospect to watch, remember Warren Easton’s Arthur McGinnis. He was a standout performer at camp in June, receiving a lot of attention from John Chavis. The coaches told him they’ll continue monitoring him throughout his senior season, and if he continues to impress, he could be in line for an offer. If that does come, look for the Tigers to become a heavy favorite.

DEFENSIVE BACKS


Committed: Kevin Toliver, Xavier Lewis, Kevin Henry
Top Targets: Donte Jackson, Deshawn Raymond, Kendall Sheffield, Iman Marshall
Keep an eye on: Jamal Peters, Holton Hill, Justin Martin, Darius Slayton

LSU has the potential to reel in one of the nation’s best classes of defensive backs. With three commits already rated four-stars or higher, the Tigers still have several other big names on the board to add to the mix. Still keep an eye on Kevin Toliver though. He scheduled this week all five of his official visits, with UCLA, Virginia Tech, Auburn and Ohio State in line to host him this fall, as will LSU. It seems highly unlikely that he will flip as he’s maintained throughout his recruitment that he’s solid to LSU, but the Tigers will be sure to do what they can to lock him up.

Last week, TSD wrote a piece analyzing the big defensive backs still on the board for LSU. Give that a read for more insight on the position.

Donte Jackson and Deshawn Raymond remain two of the primary in-state priorities for the Tigers. LSU feels they’re in great shape for both after their visits in July. Georgia is the primary competition for Jackson, while Mississippi State has received a lot of attention from Raymond. But LSU has high hopes they’ll reel in two of Louisiana’s top remaining in-state prospects.

Five-star Kendall Sheffield also remains a big target after visiting twice since the spring. He was last in Baton Rouge during camp last month, and LSU has positioned itself squarely in the mix for his recruitment. As he continues to cut down his list, the Tigers expect to be a major candidate. The fall should see the favorites rise to the top as he looks to finalize his recruitment late in the cycle.

Another five-star CB, Iman Marshall (Long Beach, Calif.), announced Thursday that he'll take an official visit to LSU. He also plans to check out Florida State, Notre Dame and Michigan. He's also deciding to take his fifth visit to either Texas or Oklahoma. Nearby schools like USC, UCLA and Stanford are all in the running as well.

Several other big-time DBs visited LSU this summer — Mississippi State commit Jamal Peters, Holton Hill, Darius Slayton and JUCO CB Justin Martin all remain interested in the Tigers and plan to continue giving them heavy consideration moving forward.



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