New LSU defensive coordinator Kevin Steele faces a stiff challenge to replenish the depth at linebacker. He also knows two players that would start steering things in the right direction.
Lyndell Wilson and Ben Davis, both from the state of Alabama, are two of the top linebackers in the country. Steele began recruiting them while with the Crimson Tide, and he's carried that relationship to LSU. Now the Tigers have emerged as legitimate contenders for both players.
The two recruits took a visit to Baton Rouge in May for the Bayou Picnic. When asked at The Opening by Scout's John Garcia about recent trips they'd taken, both mentioned LSU as one of the best.
“I really liked LSU," Davis said. "That was my first time there, and I’m anxious to get back and see more about it…I got to see the stadium. Baton Rouge is really cool. I liked it down there.”
Wilson shared the same sentiment. He particularly singled out LSU's primary recruiting pitch.
“I got a chance to talk to Les Miles," Wilson said. "He told me I could be one of those guys that plays straight off the bat with my abilities. As long as I get the playbook down, he doesn’t see a problem with me playing as a freshman.”
LSU would probably need both of these guys to play immediately should they wind up in Baton Rouge. The Tigers will lose at least two of its starting linebackers in 2015, possibly three should Kendell Beckwith depart for the NFL.
Especially with LSU transitioning to a 3-4 defense, the Tigers need all the linebackers they can get in this 2016 class.
So far LSU has a pair of pass-rushing outside linebackers committed in Rahssan Thornton and Erick Fowler. Michael Divinity is a top in-state target plus a pair from Texas — Dontavious Jackson and Jeffrey McCulloch — are high on LSU's board.
The Tigers hope Wilson and Davis will emerge from that group, but neither plan to finalize their decision anytime soon.
“I’m interested in everyone that’s interested in me," Wilson said. "I’m probably going to wait until Signing Day.”
LSU stands out for Lyndell Wilson, Ben Davis
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