The Opening officially gets underway Wednesday with all of the nation’s top recruits descending on the Nike facility Tuesday.
That offered a tremendous opportunity for Scout’s team of recruiting analysts to speak with the prospects about the latest in their decision-making process. With so many LSU targets on-hand, we learned a lot about where the Tigers stand for many of these elite players.
Let’s go over some of the notable tidbits gathered throughout the day with plenty of coverage to come the rest of the week:
---Four-star defensive end Brian Burns spent multiple days on LSU’s campus last month for the Tigers’ first camp of the summer. That trip paid off as LSU’s one of four finalists in the running for Burns’ commitment. He plans to announce by the end of August, and LSU’s joined by Florida, Florida State and Georgia as teams still in the running.
---Speaking of elite defensive linemen, No. 1 overall prospect Rashan Gary should soon make it to LSU’s campus. The five-star defensive tackle from New Jersey has received a lot of attention from LSU DL coach Ed Orgeron, and he’s pressing for Gary to make a visit later this month. Michigan and Notre Dame are considered two top contenders, as are SEC powers Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss.
Gary plans to take his recruitment late in the cycle, not likely to announce until an All-American game or National Signing Day. LSU already has a five-star defensive tackle committed in Ed Alexander with in-state guys like Stephon Taylor and Rashard Lawrence still on the board. But Orgeron won’t shy away from going after the biggest names, and Gary is one of those targets.
No. 1 overall recruit Rashan Gary
A note on Lawrence: he maintains he has no favorites and won’t commit anywhere until after his senior season. Most consider LSU and Alabama the two teams to beat, followed by Ole Miss and Ohio State, but Lawrence says he’s still wide open.
Another defensive lineman to watch closely is Raekwon Davis. He remains committed to Alabama, but most everyone expects he’ll eventually flip from the Tide. Mississippi State and LSU are considered the two schools that would benefit most from Davis reopening his recruitment.
---Trevon Diggs recently delayed his announcement because he needed more time for a decision. LSU can capitalize on that opportunity, and the Tigers are one of five schools the four-star prospect is focused on. Diggs hasn’t yet visited Baton Rouge, and doesn’t have any trips planned, but because he’s put his decision on hold, an LSU visit should happen in the near future.
Alabama and Maryland have been considered the two favorites to land Diggs. But LSU wide receiver coach Tony Ball has made Diggs a high priority since his time at Georgia, and that’s keeping LSU in the chase. West Virginia and Clemson are two other schools on Diggs’ mind.
---Nigel Knott is one of the most electrifying athletes in the country and is a favorite to win the SPARQ title at The Opening. He intends to release his Top 10 soon, and LSU is expected to make the cut. The Tigers are a long-shot though, with Alabama a heavy favorite. He originally planned to make his commitment this week but has delayed that.
---Linebacker remains LSU’s biggest need in 2016, and four of the Tigers’ top out-of-state targets are at The Opening. Dontavious Jackson, a top three inside linebacker, said he plans to soon narrow his recruitment to 12. LSU hopes to make that cut, but the Tigers still have work to do. Jackson needs to visit Baton Rouge first, and LSU’s pressing to make that visit happen by the end of the month.
LSU's a legitimate contender for five-star Lyndell Wilson
Two from the state of Alabama are high on LSU. Both Ben Davis and Lyndell Wilson say they’ll take their recruitments late in the cycle, likely to NSD, so LSU has plenty of time to solidify their standing. Both recently visited Baton Rouge and spoke highly of that trip, with new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele leading LSU’s charge. Most consider Alabama to be the favorite for both, but LSU has a lot of time to make their push.
---Texas A&M commit Greg Little, the nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle, admits he hasn’t finalized his decision. The five-star prospect hopes to have that made by November, and LSU’s one of several schools still pressing for the flip. Little also mentioned Alabama, Ole Miss, Ohio State and Auburn as teams he’s considering. A flip from A&M is possible, but still unlikely.
Another offensive lineman to watch is E.J. Price. He recently decommitted from Georgia, and LSU offensive line coach Jeff Grimes really likes his game. Georgia is still his No. 1 with several schools ahead of LSU at this point, but the Tigers will continue to try working up his board.
---LSU already has an elite haul of safeties committed in 2016, but there are a couple others that mentioned the Tigers this week. Four-star Nigel Warrior said LSU will be a team that makes the cut when he narrows things down for the first time. He’ll take his decision to NSD, so there’s a lot of time left.
Christian Wallace, a four-star from outside Houston, doesn’t yet have an offer from LSU, but he plans to camp later this month to earn it. He already has LSU in his top three with Texas and Mississippi State, and an offer from the Tigers could push them in front.
LSU Recruiting Notes from The Opening checkin
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