The LSU Big Board will change at each position over the next couple months, as new prospects emerge, others fall off and the future of the Tigers’ recruiting class becomes clearer.
So now’s the time to take stock of what LSU has accomplished thus far in the Class of 2016 and which recruits are the ones to watch moving forward. Between now and April 15, we’ll take a position-by-position look at the Class of 2016 and where things stand.
You can also listen to the most recent episode of the FIVE-STAR LSU RECRUITING PODCAST for even more discussion on the Tigers' 2016 class.
Yesterday we highlighted the quarterbacks, and today we’ll look at the two other offensive skill positions (running back and wide receiver) plus tight end:
The board at running back essentially begins and ends with Devin White. He’s been one of the top targets in LSU’s 2016 class since landing an offer way back in the summer of 2013. He’s since grown into a top athlete nationally, ranked as the No. 86 overall recruit. Scout still has him graded as an inside linebacker, but White says he’s being recruited 100 percent as a running back by LSU.
After landing three four-star prospects at that position in 2015 (Nicholas Brossette, Derrius Guice and David Ducre), running back won’t be a major need in 2016. That’s why most of the focus has fallen on White.
He’s taken multiple visits to Baton Rouge since the fall and into the spring. His most recent trip came late last month for a scrimmage. That familiarity with the LSU program leads most to believe the Tigers are the team to beat for his commitment.
There’s a long list of competitors though, including schools like Alabama, Ole Miss and Texas A&M among others. White doesn’t plan to decide until after his senior season, so his recruitment should take several more turns.
Outside of White though, there aren’t many targets worth mentioning. Some offers have gone out, but the Tigers don’t have much momentum with anyone outside the state. That could change this spring though, once running backs coach Frank Wilson gets on the evaluation trail.
Warren Easton WR Clyde Leflore
LSU has certainly satisfied its height requirement with the two wide receiver commits thus far. With 6-foot-4 Dee Anderson and 6-foot-5 Stephen Sullivan, the Tigers have a pair of very formidable vertical threats to bring in the fold next season.
Sullivan ranks as the top receiver in Louisiana for his class. He previously entertained schools like Mississippi State and Auburn but has since closed the door on his recruitment and is 100 percent to LSU. Anderson’s been committed for the better part of a year, holding firm to that pledge despite plenty of attention from the big schools in Texas.
Those two form a solid foundation for LSU’s 2016 class, though there are several more receivers on the board. That will undergo some changes in the coming months as new WR coach Tony Ball leaves his fingerprints on the group. We’ll learn which guys, especially out-of-state prospects, are high in his favor once he hits the road this spring.
The three key names to watch in-state are Clyde LeFlore, Mykel Jones and Herb McGee. Those players all received an offer from the Tigers under former coach Adam Henry, and we’ll see what Coach Ball thinks of them moving forward.
LeFlore most recently said he has a lot of schools still on his list and hasn’t narrowed things down. He’s taking a hard look at leaving the state though, as is Jones. He’s received interest from schools on the West Coast as well as schools like Texas and Alabama, among others. McGee hasn’t met Coach Ball yet, so he’s somewhat on hold as a legitimate target at this point.
Also keep an eye on four-star Isaiah Graham from Bastrop. He doesn’t have an offer from LSU right now, but that’s one he really wants, and he’s an impressive prospect.
One of the big storylines this spring will be following Coach Ball on the trail. We’ll see where and whom he visits to determine which out-of-state prospects join this crop of Louisiana pass catchers as top LSU targets at the position.
LSU TE commit Jamal Pettigrew
6-foot-6 LSU commit Jamal Pettigrew fits right in with the other tall pass catchers in this piece. Pettigrew ranks as one of the top tight ends in the country, coming in at No. 8 nationally. He’s still raw as a blocker, but he’s got a ton of upside and should be a legitimate threat in the passing game on the next level.
Pettigrew’s also very solid with his commitment. He’s taken on a role of recruiter, trying to get the rest of the top players in New Orleans to join him with LSU.
The Tigers did offer some national names earlier in the cycle, guys like Kaden Smith and Naseir Upshur among others. But none are considered to be very legitimate targets for the Tigers. Another pass-catching tight end isn’t exactly a big need either, so this position likely won’t be a huge point of focus this spring.
More likely would be the Tigers finding another big blocker to follow in the steps of guys like Dillon Gordon and Hanner Shipley. We’ll see in the coming months if someone emerges from that mold.