LSU Recruiting Spring Cleanup: Defensive Line

We move to the defense in our Spring Cleanup series, honing in on where LSU stands with its 2016 class. Today we highlight the defensive line, where Ed Orgeron can load up with elite talent.

We’re less than a week away from the spring evaluation period, which opens April 15. That’s one of the big dates in each recruiting cycle, as coaches can hit the road for the better part of six weeks to check out their top targets.

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.

We’ve made it through the offense already, and we’ll move today to the defense, starting with the big men up front. Read through our previous pieces at the links below:

Quarterbacks

Running Backs, Wide Receivers, Tight Ends

Offensive Line

LSU defensive line coach Ed Orgeron couldn’t ask for a better year to have his first full recruiting class with the Tigers. LSU needs defensive linemen in a big way in 2016, especially at tackle, and Orgeron has his sights set on many big names from Louisiana and throughout the country.

The conversation starts with the five in-state defensive linemen already holding offers from LSU.

Rashard Lawrence (Neville) leads them all as the No. 10 overall recruit in this class. He’s deserving of all the lofty rankings and is one of the state’s most highly coveted prospects. LSU likes its position after hosting him for a personal visit earlier this spring. Alabama and Ole Miss are just some of the other contenders, but we’ll see him start to narrow things down through the spring and summer.

Ed Alexander (St. Thomas Aquinas) was once the first commit in LSU’s 2016 class. He backed away from it to take an open mind into the process, but he still left the Tigers on top. He’s kept his recruitment very quiet since, and that’s all positive for LSU. No other program has picked up much buzz, and the Tigers are very much the heavy favorite to keep this five-star defensive tackle at home.


DT Stehpon Taylor

Stephon Taylor (McDonogh 35) has really blown up since landing an LSU offer at “Boys from the Boot” in February. He’s since added really big offers from Auburn and Florida State. Taylor’s originally from a town in Alabama near Auburn. He moved to New Orleans in middle school but still has family there. That could make both Auburn and Florida State attractive destinations, and those programs are legitimate competition for LSU in this one.

Glen Logan (Destrehan) brings a lot of versatility, and that makes him another one of Orgeron’s top targets. He could realistically play defensive end in a 3-4 if LSU does move that direction. He’s played his recruitment pretty close to the vest, and he has a lot of schools on his list. He’s expected to visit for LSU’s spring game, and schools like Alabama, Texas A&M, TCU and Miami are among the many schools he’s considering.

Briston Guidry (Rummel) is another one that could play either end or tackle. He’s very open with his recruitment. Mississippi State and Alabama are just some of the schools on his list. If we’re making predictions, Logan and Guidry seem right now like the two most likely to leave the state for college.

Outside Louisiana, five-star Ed Oliver is the top name on the board. One of the best overall recruits in the country, Oliver most recently named LSU his top school with the hometown Houston Cougars. LSU figures to be the heavy favorite though, and the Tigers have a lot of optimism they can pull this rising star from the Lone Star State.


DL Emmit Gooden

LSU has hosted several other big-time linemen within the last year. Kendell Jones, who grew up in New Orleans, attended camp last summer and may return for next weekend’s spring game. Emmit Gooden came down from Tennessee earlier this spring and named LSU the best visit he’s taken. McTelvin Agim made the trip from Arkansas to attend LSU’s Junior Day in February.

LSU also hopes to soon host five-star Shavar Manuel, who’s a teammate of CB commit Saivion Smith.

While the in-state guys will form the foundation of this class, the Tigers would love to pull some of these big names from out-of-state to make for one of the best defensive line classes in the country.

Most of the attention to this point has been spent on tackles, as that’s the bigger need in this class. But there’s a big group of defensive ends in Louisiana that are in the fringe of getting an offer from the Tigers. This spring will be big for guys like Caleb Roddy, Andre Anthony, Sci Martin, Travez Moore and Willie Baker as Coach Orgeron will certainly evaluate them closely this spring and into the summer. Multiple guys from this group could potentially land an offer from the Tigers in the next few months.


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