With LSU hitting its stride in the spring evaluation period, Coach Raymond returned to his base Thursday and hit several schools throughout South and Central Florida. He handed out at least five new offers Thursday and reeled in a new commit from one of the state’s top athletes.
There will likely be several more new offers handed out this spring as Raymond continues to see more schools, but let’s take a closer look at the new prospects added to LSU’s board this week:
(Editor’s note: I want to give a big shoutout to Corey Bender, who does a great job covering recruiting in Florida for Scout. He helped report most of these offers and provided a lot of background information on them as well.)
2018 ATH JUSTIN WATKINS | Citra (Fla.) North Marion
Watkins already had several big offers before LSU came with one Thursday. Schools like Florida, Miami, Georgia and UCLA were on his list, but once the Tigers made their interest known, he couldn’t pass it up. Watkins has called LSU his “dream school,” and he committed only a few hours after landing that offer. Watkins is a truly dynamic athlete that could reasonably play several positions. It’s far too early to start projecting these things, or even try to guess whether a rising sophomore will actually stick to this commitment throughout. But LSU is certainly thrilled to have a commitment from this promising recruit.
2017 WR JERRY JEUDY | Coconut Creek (Fla.) Monarch
Jeudy’s already a four-star prospect and one of the top wide receivers in South Florida for his class. He doesn’t have the best size, only about 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, but he makes up for it with every other aspect of his game. He has great speed north and south and can gain separation from defenders. He can blow the top off a defense and is a legitimate deep threat despite his size. He runs crisp routes and has strong hands. He already has a ton of major offers and should be one of the most heavily recruited players in the state for the 2017 class.
2017 S DANIEL WRIGHT | Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Cardinal Gibbons
Daniel Wright is the younger brother of former Florida Gator safety Major Wright, and he has the potential to be even better. Wright’s already considered one of the top safeties in the area, regardless of class. He has great size at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds and an offer list that includes major programs like Florida State, Miami, Auburn and Clemson. He’s a well-rounded safety, one that can be a ballhawk in coverage or come up in the box and lay a good hit. With his bloodlines and the potential he’s already shown, Wright should be a top safety nationally in the 2017 class.
2018 CB ASANTE SAMUEL JR. | Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
Here’s another new offer to a prospect with an NFL pedigree. His father of the same name played 10 years in the league with the Patriots, Eagles and Falcons. The younger Samuel is only a rising sophomore, so there’s a lot of room for growth. He’s only about 5-foot-10 right now, which is about the same height as his father during his pro career. Samuel’s father is very involved in his coaching, so you can imagine his technique will be top-notch.
2016 DL AARON THOMPSON | Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard
Thompson is the only new offer from Florida this week in the 2016 class. He’s a bit of a tweener with his size right now between end and tackle. He has really good versatility though and can play several spots on the line. He has a big frame that should make it easy for him to add weight, and he could definitely grow into a true defensive tackle. He also has strong hands and can disengage blocks very well. With all the DT talent in Louisiana, LSU has reached out-of-state for versatile linemen that could potentially play a five-tech. Thompson appears to fit that mold, and he’s one of several linemen to watch closely moving forward.
Coach Raymond will continue visiting schools throughout the rest of the week. Not only will he be evaluating new players to potentially receive offers, but he’ll also be checking on some of the top targets already on his board.
LSU is after several big names in South Florida in the 2016 class, guys like Trayvon Mullen, Binjimen Victor, Brian Burns, Joshua Hammond and Devin Bush among others. The Tigers already have commitments in Florida from Feleipe Franks and Saivion Smith, and they’d love to add some other big names to that list.
As I was writing this post, LSU handed out another new offer in the state to a promising young recruit. Alphonso Blades II, a 2018 Miami commit, picked up an offer Friday morning. His father, Al Blades, played at Miami but died tragically in a car accident when his son was still young. The younger Blades has already shown tremendous technique and is very advanced for his age. But considering the family history, Miami is likely going to be where he plays college football.
Keep it tuned to TSD throughout the rest of the spring evaluation period, as there is sure to be a lot more news to come out, especially in Florida where Coach Raymond continues to do work.