Where They Stand: Defensive Backs

LSU lost a commitment Thursday from DB Ugo Amadi, but the Tigers will be just fine with several other highly-rated targets still on the board to join what's already a solid class

LSU lost a cornerback in its 2015 class Thursday night, but the Tigers are more than OK at that position moving forward.

LSU still has three corners committed, including five-star Kevin Toliver, who arrives on campus this weekend. The Tigers also have a host of other highly-rated defensive backs left on the board. But before we get into those players, let’s take a quick look at Ugo Amadi’s decision.

Amadi announced Thursday that he had flipped his commitment from LSU to Oregon, a little more than a week after he made the original pledge. This had been expected from the LSU side since John Chavis left for Texas A&M and Kyle Phillips opted to commit to Tennessee. It was a mutual parting of ways, and Amadi lands with a team competing for a national championship while LSU can free up a spot for other more pressing needs in its class.

So what other defensive backs could LSU still land in 2015?

Donte Jackson has been one of the staff's top priorities throughout this cycle. He'll announce his commitment on Jan. 21, deciding between LSU, Georgia and USC. The Bulldogs are expecting an official visit the first weekend after the dead period. Barring a major change though, Jackson will likely be a Tiger after he announces his commitment. He's the top CB on LSU's board, but his impact will also come in the return game and they may even find a way to get the ball in his hands on offense as well. A truly dynamic athlete, Jackson could also finish the cycle as a five-star prospect.

The highest rated guy to watch is five-star Iman Marshall. Should the Tigers manage to receive his commitment, they’d end up with two of the top three corners in the country. LSU has long been mentioned as a school that would get one of his official visits, and that trip has been scheduled. He'll come to Baton Rouge the Jan. 23 weekend after squeezing in a mid-week visit to Michigan on Jan. 19. He’s already taken a trip to Notre Dame, a Florida State visit will happen Jan. 16 and Oregon is expecting his Jan. 30 visit. USC and UCLA also remain squarely in the mix with the Trojans considered the favorite.

LSU would have a lot of ground to make up, but that visit will be a great opportunity for the Tigers to do it. That DBU reputation can carry a lot of cache and may be what gives LSU a chance once all is said and done.

Another corner with an LSU official scheduled is Mark Fields. The former South Carolina commit didn’t receive an LSU offer until last week, but the Tigers are a fast riser. LSU will get his final visit on Jan. 30 after trips to Clemson and Texas. Those other schools are currently his top two, but Fields — the son of a former New Orleans Saint — calls LSU his dream school.

Four-star Holton Hill is also worth watching as well. LSU is one of four finalists along with Alabama, Texas and Baylor. He took his LSU official in December and the other three will get their visits this month. Texas is considered the leader, and he’ll be in Austin the Jan. 16 weekend.

And don’t forget about Dutchtown’s Justin Reid either. The younger brother of former Tiger Eric Reid will play safety on the next level, and he’s narrowed down to four schools — LSU, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Stanford. He’s already visited Oklahoma. Stanford gets the Jan. 16 visit, Notre Dame on Jan. 23 and LSU the final one on Jan. 30.

Reid does have an offer from the Tigers, and he’ll be an in-state name to watch as we get closer to National Signing Day. Those other schools definitely have legitimate appeal though, and it’s no guarantee he follows in his brother’s footsteps. But with most of LSU’s attention spent on corners in this class, Reid could potentially be the only safety taken in 2015.

Jamal Peters remains a legitimate target as well. LSU and Ole Miss are threats to Mississippi State, where he remains committed. The Tigers will get an official visit on Jan. 23. With both Mississippi schools involved, it’s sure to take some crazy turns before NSD, any nobody is exactly sure what the final result will be.

LSU’s class of defensive backs is already very solid, even with the loss of Amadi, but adding any of the names above would take it to another level.



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