The annual All-America games are in the books, and we got a weeklong look at most of the best recruits in the nation.
Rarely is this much talent concentrated all in one place, granting the media an opportune time to catch up with these players on the latest with their recruitments. With both the Army Bowl and Under-Armour game loaded with LSU recruits, we learned a lot about where things stand with most of the Tigers’ top targets.
We’ll get into all of it below:
---Tyron Johnson is one hell of a get for LSU. The state’s best receiver announced his commitment during Friday’s UA game after showing all week why he’s one of the best pass catchers in the country. What’s even better is that Johnson does not plan to visit elsewhere after making his decision. That had been discussed leading up to the UA game, but Johnson’s locked in and may be bringing another one of the state’s best with him.
Johnson said in every postgame interview that the recruit he’s going after hardest is Donte Jackson. As we’ve told you for quite some time, LSU has every reason to believe that will happen. Jackson announces his commitment on Jan. 21, and though Georgia’s in line to get an official visit the weekend before, it will take a monumental effort on the part of the Bulldogs to land Jackson at this point.
---Alabama still leads for Daylon Charlot. Though his official visit to LSU convinced him to drop his commitment to the Tide, the Patterson receiver maintains that Alabama has the edge for now. He really is torn between both schools though, and a final decision likely won’t come until National Signing Day. He does still have an official visit left for Alabama, so that will give the Tide an opportunity to gain some momentum down the stretch. Something else to note from this past week: Charlot wasn’t on the same UA team as Johnson and the other LSU commits. He was with Alabama QB commit Blake Barnett, and you can imagine those two talked a lot about playing together in college.
---Derrick Dillon said he’s “80 to 90 percent solid” to Florida. The Pine athlete remains committed to the Gators, but ever since LSU offered in November, we’ve gotten the indication that things are much closer than that. The Tigers are all in on Dillon playing offense in college, and they’ll use his official visit on Jan. 16 to explain how exactly they plan to use him. He’s already used his official to Florida, so he’d have to pay his own way to get back to Gainesville and visit with the new coaching staff. He too will probably take this decision to NSD.
---LSU will get Leo Lewis’ final visit. The Ole Miss commit originally planned to take his LSU official the weekend of Jan. 16. He’s rescheduled it though for the Jan. 30 weekend, so the Tigers will get the last crack at him before NSD. He’ll visit Mississippi State on Jan. 16 and Ole Miss the following weekend. The loss of John Chavis also won’t have a major effect on Lewis. Frank Wilson and Brick Haley are his two primary recruiters, plus Mississippi State and Ole Miss are having to replace their linebacker coaches as well. So Lewis is still very much in play as a possible flip at a major position of need.
Also at linebacker: Roquan Smith plans to visit LSU the weekend of Jan. 16. Auburn commit Richard McBryde plans to visit the Jan. 23 weekend. We’ll have to see where those hold up after the Chavis departure.
---Daylon Mack canceled his LSU official. Chavis leaving for Texas A&M did seem to have a direct effect on this five-star defensive tackle. He originally planned to visit Jan. 16, but the news of Chavis heading to College Station may have reignited the Aggies’ chances. Mack now says A&M will get that official visit, with Texas to get one and TCU an unofficial before NSD. Though LSU was in his top two after he decommitted from the Aggies, it appears the Tigers are now on the outside looking in, unless a new defensive coordinator can get them back in the mix.
---If any school can flip Jamal Peters, it’s LSU. That’s what the four-star Mississippi State commit hinted this week. He’ll take his official visit to LSU the weekend of Jan. 23 when the Tigers will get one last chance to change his mind. Former State DC Geoff Collins’ decision to leave for Florida made Peters a bit more open. Now that Manny Diaz is set to replace him, maybe he can get Peters to solidify his pledge. But in the meantime, LSU seems like a legitimate threat, though a crowded depth chart at safety may be a knock against the Tigers here.
---LSU missed out on four-star defensive end Kyle Phillips. Chavis’ departure probably played a big role in this one as the Tigers seemed the team to beat entering the final week. But Tennessee gained a lot of momentum once LSU was without its defensive coordinator, and Phillips opted to stay close to home and play for the Vols.
That leaves LSU with only DE committed for 2015 a major position of need, especially with news leaking out that Danielle Hunter is going pro. A lot of focus will start to shift to Arden Key. He said last week he plans to visit LSU the weekend of Jan. 16, with visits to Miami, South Carolina and Georgia after that. He also said that he’s “50 percent committed” to the Gamecocks, but if the rumblings are true, that number might even be a big high. LSU and Georgia are the two biggest threats to flip Key, and LSU will be pressing even harder after missing out on Phillips.
---Mark Fields is another name to watch on the cornerback board. After missing out on Kendall Sheffield and Justin Martin, LSU extended an offer to fields, the son of a former New Orleans Saints linebacker. Fields lives in North Carolina but said LSU was his dream school growing up. The Tigers are in line to receive an official visit from him before NSD. He released his top two as Clemson and Texas, but LSU feels they’re a legitimate contender now, and things could definitely pick up steam in the next month.
LSU also remains in the mix for five-star Iman Marshall. He hasn’t yet set a date but still plans to take an official visit to Baton Rouge before NSD. The Tigers are a longshot to land his commitment though, but with four corners already committed in the class, it’s not a pressing position of need.
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