It's the first of three final opportunities for the Tigers to make a push for the top targets on their board. This is a big one with five uncommitted (or committed elsewhere) recruits on the list. We'll provide the final, confirmed list of official visitors with loads of notes to preview the weekend below.
DE Arden Key
DE Prince Tega Wanogho
TE Bry'Kiethon Mouton (LSU commit)
OG Maea Teuhema (LSU commit)
OG Adrian Magee (LSU commit)
DE Isaiah Washington (LSU commit)
RB Derrius Guice (LSU commit)
WR Jazz Ferguson (LSU commit)
---Arden Key is one of the top defensive ends on LSU's board. Brick Haley was previously the lead man in his recruitment, so the Tigers made sure that the new defensive coaches built a relationship with him before the weekend. Both Ed Orgeron and Kevin Steele went to visit him Thursday to lock in the plans for his official visit. Key's been committed to South Carolina twice, and he's also decommitted twice, so he's officially on the open market with three weeks to NSD. LSU's been considered a legitimate threat throughout his recruitment, and he's visited twice before. He was on campus for several days in July and returned for the Alabama game in November.
Key plans to take an official to South Carolina next weekend (Jan. 23). A midweek visit (Jan. 19) to Miami has been discussed and Auburn has been linked to the final weekend (Jan. 30). Most expect this recruitment to still take many turns before it's all over, and he'll announce his final decision on Jan. 2. This weekend could put LSU in the driver's seat down the home stretch.
---Derrick Dillon is one of the top in-state targets left on LSU's board. LSU made up a lot of ground on Florida in the first contact period and reignited that momentum Thursday. Cam Cameron went in-home with Dillon on the first day after the dead period to build into the weekend. Ever since LSU committed to recruiting him as a wide receiver, it's made the Tigers very confident in flipping this four-star from Pine. The primary focus of this visit will be showing Dillon how he'll fit in the offense. If he likes what he hears, then that could push LSU to the top. He does still plan to take an unofficial visit to Florida before making a final decision.
---LSU will host a pair of Nigerian-born big men to campus this weekend on official visits.
Prince Tega Wanogho only locked in his official visit on Thursday, thanks in large part to the efforts of Ed Orgeron. Wanogho was the first stop on the recruiting trail for LSU's two new defensive assistants, and they made such an impression on him that he opted to get to Baton Rouge as soon as possible. Wanogho originally planned to take this weekend and assess the flood of interest he's received in the last week and nail down visit dates from there.
Because he reclassified to the 2015 class just last week, schools from across the SEC have come calling for his services. Now LSU will get the first visit and a chance the set the standard that other programs must match moving forward. Having Orgeron in LSU's corner should prove to be a big bonus as it's clear he's already left a big impression on Wanogho.
Chidi Valentine-Okeke also reclassified from 2016 to 2015, though he's had more time to survey his options. He was a former teammate of LSU defensive tackle Travonte Valentine (no relation), so he'll have some comfort with the LSU program. Because he's relatively new to college football — and America — he doesn't have those favorite programs from growing up. All contenders really have a shot at this stage. Alabama and Auburn have been considered two of the favorites, but LSU can make up a lot of ground this weekend.
---Zach Robertson is the other offensive lineman coming to campus this weekend. He's rated as a guard on Scout, though he has the versatility to play tackle as well. He's been committed to Arizona State since the day after Christmas, so LSU will have some work to do to pull off a flip. He has talked about this visit for a long time though, and it's finally coming to fruition. This would be a great pull for Jeff Grimes, and he's made Robertson a high priority in this class. We should get a better feel for LSU's chances at flipping Robertson after this weekend.
---All six commits coming to campus this weekend are about as solid as they come. There's no more engaging personality in this class than Derrius Guice, and he'll be working to steer others to join him. He played with Derrick Dillon in the Army Bowl, so that relationship should come in handy for the Tigers. The two offensive line commits — Maea Teuhema and Adrian Magee — are pretty quiet, but they've been committed a long time and should help the two OL targets get acclimated to LSU.
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