The All-America game announcements are in the books for LSU.
One was a big success for the Tigers as Louisiana’s No. 1 prospect, Tyron Johnson, opted to stay close to home for college. The other was a miss though, with Kyle Phillips announcing Saturday that he’ll play for Tennessee.
Both decisions could lead to more positives for LSU though with the ensuing domino effect.
Johnson’s commitment should be a big indicator of what happens with the next highest ranked prospect in Louisiana. Johnson mentioned in every postgame interview that the biggest recruit he’ll help lead to Baton Rouge is Donte Jackson. Johnson, Jackson and LSU commit Xavier Lewis became quite the trio during the recruiting process and have developed a strong relationship.
Those three took an unofficial visit together last month to Baton Rouge to spend some time around Frank Wilson, the trio’s lead recruiter. They’ve hinted at the possibility of all attending the same college, and now that Johnson’s officially on board with LSU, that seems very likely to happen.
Jackson will announce his commitment on Jan. 21, two days before all three of these players are set to take their officials to LSU. Georgia and USC are the other two finalists for Jackson, though the Bulldogs have always been considered the more legitimate threat. Jackson has already taken his visit to USC, and one’s planned to Georgia for Jan. 16.
Whether or not that trip to Athens actually happens, something major would have to change for him to not pick the Tigers on Jan. 21. LSU’s confidence — as is ours — is very high that Jackson will be a Tiger once all is said and done.
Though Phillips decided not to commit to LSU, his decision to go with the Vols could lead another defensive end to Baton Rouge.
Dylan Jackson was once a Tennessee commit himself, but Phillips was part of the reason he decided to drop that pledge. Before Phillips even joined that class, the defensive end position was starting to get pretty crowded in Knoxville. With Phillips now there, the Vols have four defensive ends and three defensive tackles committed for 2015.
Jackson didn’t want to be a part of such a big class, and that was a primary reason he reopened things last month. Now LSU and Stanford seem to be the two main contenders for his commitment moving forward.
He’s already taken official visits to both schools, and because he’s no longer planning to enroll early, there’s still time for both to make their pitch. Though John Chavis was Jackson’s primary recruiter, Brick Haley also has a good relationship with him, as does director of player personnel Austin Thomas. Both of those guys should help bridge the gap until the Tigers’ hire a new defensive coordinator.
Once the new guy comes aboard and the dead period ends, he’ll be able to start heading into Jackson’s home to meet with him and his family. It’ll still be a battle with Stanford, but LSU really likes its chances at the moment.
Though missing out on a four-star like Phillips is a tough loss, landing someone like Jackson would certainly help ease the pain.
Who could be next for LSU?
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