LSU’s Elite Camp offers the coaches an opportunity to host many out-of-state prospects coming to campus for the first time.
A lot of out-of-state visitors attend the camp and spend multiple days around the facility, getting to better know the coaches, other recruits and current players. It’s paid dividends in the past, helping LSU secure commitments from national names, and this year’s camp figures to be just as important.
The number of out-of-state recruits ranked four-stars or higher from the 2016 class expected to attend reaches double digits. And a lot of the biggest names come from tremendous positions of need.
The most impressive collection of out-of-state talent comes at wide receiver and along the defensive line.
Let’s first look at the pass catchers. There are three receivers ranked in the Top 23 at that position expected to camp this week, two ranked in the Top Six.
The Florida duo of Binjimen Victor and Cavin Ridley are on the list. They initially planned to commit together late last month (presumably to Florida) but postponed it to consider more options. LSU has only been considered a longshot for both, but maybe this week’s visit gives the Tigers a better chance.
Devin Duvernay (pictured above) is the third-best wide receiver in the country. The in-state powers Texas, Texas A&M and Baylor have been considered the favorite, but he’s interested in LSU, and perhaps the Tigers can push those Lone Star State programs.
Another out-of-state receiver to watch is Brandon Johnson. It’s not certain he makes it this week, but he did camp last month and the coaches liked what they saw. He’s a three-star player, but one that LSU likes and the interest is definitely mutual.
The incoming defensive linemen from outside Louisiana are just as impressive.
Five-star nose tackle Dexter Lawrence
Wednesday, we highlighted some of the five-star guys like Rashan Gary and Dexter Lawrence. Those are two of the best overall players in the country, and it’ll be massive for LSU to get them on campus. The Tigers are definitely a longshot with Gary, but a positive visit could move them closer to the lead group.
Lawrence hasn’t gotten to visit as many schools, so it seems he’s wide open. He’s an ideal nose tackle, and LSU needs those as it transitions to the 3-4 scheme. We’ll see if the Tigers can make a big impression on this five-star.
Another potential nose tackle to watch is Ross Blacklock. The three-star from Texas earned his offer at camp last month, and he’s set to make a return trip. LSU has really soared up his list in the last month, and another visit so soon shows how interested he is in the Tigers.
We haven’t heard from Emmit Gooden in a few months, but the four-star from Tennessee is on the list of expected visitors. While the home-star Vols are considered the favorite, he’s spoken very highly of his past LSU visits. He was last in town for the LSU Spring Game, and we could see the LSU buzz reignite once he returns to campus. As someone that could play either tackle or end, he’s a perfect fit for what LSU’s pursuing in 2016.
Two other names from Mississippi relatively new to LSU fans are Jeffery Simmons and Benito Jones. Both are four-star guys, and Jones is already committed to Ole Miss. We’ll see where LSU stands with each guy after this week.
Just as important as those defensive linemen are the linebackers, and LSU expects to have one of its top targets at camp.
Jeffrey McCulloch, a four-star from Houston, has visited LSU twice already, so he’s quite familiar with what they have to offer. Texas remains the heavy favorite to land him, but if a team can pull off the upset, it’s LSU. The Tigers need several more, and McCulloch is probably their best chance outside the state.
Keep an eye on Dominique Ross as well. A three-star committed to North Carolina, he comes from the same school that produced Kevin Toliver, so the LSU coaches are familiar with him. If the Tigers miss on some of the big names on their LB board, it’s possible they come after someone like Ross if he has a good showing at camp.
Top LSU CB target Trayvon Mullen
LSU expects to also host some top out-of-state defensive backs as well, headlined by Trayvon Mullen.
He and Kristian Fulton are the top two corners on LSU’s board, with Kyle Meyers joining that group last week. Look for LSU to press Mullen on committing while he’s on campus this week. He’s been considered a heavy LSU lean throughout his recruitment, with Florida State the other top contender. He plans to take official visits and decide late, but LSU will try to convince him to shut things down sooner rather than later.
LSU has room for maybe one more safety in this class, and there are a pair of four-stars on the list.
JoeJuan Williams was very interested in LSU back when his close friend Kyle Phillips nearly committed in the 2015 class. The buzz has worn off over the last few months, but Williams spoke highly of his past LSU visits and maybe the momentum gets rekindled when he returns.
Donte Vaughn, a four-star from Memphis, hasn’t mentioned LSU much in his recruitment, and the Tigers are on the outside looking in at this point.
Let’s lastly look at the offensive line. Last month, LSU uncovered a diamond in the rough in Jakori Savage, offered him and he committed on the spot. There are three linemen on the list for this camp that could fall in that same category.
Douglas Tucker, Christion Gainer and Keenan Murphy are all three-star guys Jeff Grimes has monitored through the spring. He’ll have a chance to work them out in-person, and if they perform well, they could become more legitimate targets for LSU moving forward.
Out-of-state talent flocking to LSU Camp
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