LSU doesn't play but wins in recruiting

LSU still hosted several major recruits despite Saturday's canceled game.

LSU didn’t get on the field for more than five minutes, but the Tigers might’ve still gotten a win out of the weekend.

LSU hosted about two dozen top prospects for what should’ve been the 2015 season opener if not for Mother Nature. Not all of the recruits stuck around for the entire four-hour delay, though the recruiting staff made sure to entertain the ones that did.

No commitments were made this weekend, but LSU still got opportunities to persuade some top targets that Baton Rouge is the perfect destination. Here are some of the tidbits to pass along from the weekend.

---We said the headliner coming in to the weekend was four-star linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch, and it was big for LSU that he did show up with his parents. He’s now made three trips to LSU since the spring, and his parents have been with him multiple times.

LSU feels even more confident they’ll land one of his official visits, which will likely come late in the cycle as he’s not rushing a decision. LSU has a big recruiting advantage in the depth chart. McCulloch would be guaranteed a chance to play early, possibly even start. That’s the major part of his recruiting pitch, and he’s obviously receptive to it.

LSU is battling the two home state schools for McCulloch. Texas has long been considered the leader, but it’ll be interesting to see if they stay on top if the struggles they showed in the opener continue. McCulloch did have an eye on the Texas A&M game Saturday, and their defensive performance really impressed him.

I’d say LSU is between Texas and Texas A&M right now, but that could all change as the season progresses.

---Four-star defensive end Emmit Gooden was on campus until Sunday afternoon. He’s now made four trips since the offseason, and there’s a reason why he picked LSU to be the first game of 2015 he attended. Gooden has serious interest in LSU, and the Tigers are one of his top teams.

LSU hasn’t turned up the heat on him yet though. The coaches would like to get some senior game film on him since he didn’t work out while he was at camp this past summer. There are a lot of five-star DL on LSU’s board, and Gooden seems to be lower on the pecking order behind guys like Shavar Manuel, Rashan Gary, etc. Gooden’s being recruited as a bigger DE though, and there aren’t many like him.

If LSU really begins to press, look for the Tigers to become his favorite.


LSU's battling Alabama for Mykel Jones

---LSU had two of the state’s top uncommitted wide receivers on campus Saturday in Clyde Leflore and Mykel Jones. LSU’s board at that position continues to be an interesting topic. Stephen Sullivan is still target No. 1 after his decommitment a few weeks ago. LSU will have to beat TCU to get him back in the class, but the Tigers do have other options if he chooses the Horned Frogs.

Leflore and Jones are two in that mix, along with Drake Davis (more on him in a bit).

Texas A&M is the team to beat for Leflore, though LSU is right behind them. He released a Top Six earlier recently, but look for this to be an Aggie-Tiger battle until the end. LSU is also trailing for Jones, but not by much. Alabama is his leader, and having a former teammate in Tuscaloosa is a big plus. But LSU’s closing that gap, and this will be another tight battle. Neither have scheduled official visits, so there’s time for things to change with each guy.

When LSU offered Davis in July, he became the top WR target (Stephen Sullivan was still committed at the time). A tweet was sent late Sunday night from Davis’ account that said LSU was his leader. The tweet was deleted soon after that, and it’s clear that didn’t come from him.

Ole Miss is the leader for Davis with LSU behind the Rebels. Shea Patterson is having a big influence on Davis now that they’re both at the IMG Academy, and that could ultimately help Ole Miss land his commitment. LSU commit Saivion Smith has been working on Davis over at IMG, but the connection isn’t quite the same as it is with Davis and his quarterback.

My prediction, LSU will land one of the four wide receivers from the group of Sullivan, Leflore, Jones and Davis, it’s just hard to predict which one at this point.

---There’s been a lot of focus on the Kentwood/Amite duo of Shyheim Carter and Devonta Smith. The two are close and came to the game together Saturday.

Carter’s back on the market after decommitting from Alabama in the summer. LSU really hasn’t pushed for him since then though, and he’s still likely to end up out-of-state, even if it’s not Alabama. Georgia and Ole Miss are considered the top two contenders as of now.

LSU is still hard after Smith, despite his commitment to Georgia. One of the top athletes in the 2017 class, Smith could play either side of the ball. LSU was encouraged that he came back to campus Saturday, and there’s a long way to go in his recruitment.

---There was a contingent from Brother Martin at the game Saturday, and the two to watch closely are 2017 brothers Tre Swilling and Bruce Jordan-Swilling.

Both earned offers from LSU during the summer, and are some of the top targets so far in 2017. The two will strongly consider playing together in college, and as of right now, they share offers from LSU, Michigan and Tennessee. It’s too early to peg whether they’re leaning any particular direction right now, but you can figure LSU will be heavily involved with both moving forward.

---The Swillings were joined by their teammates Peyton Aucoin (Texas commit) and Irvin Smith (Texas A&M commit). They were two of several players committed elsewhere that were at the game Saturday. We already mentioned Devonta Smith (Georgia). Cameron Dantzler (Mississippi State) and Lowell Narcisse (Auburn) were also there.

Dantzler and Aucoin don’t have offers from LSU. Irvin Smith picked one up over the summer, but is very firm to A&M and came to the game because the LSU coaches are still recruiting him, but that’ll be a tough flip.

Narcisse was an interesting visitor as he committed to Auburn earlier this summer. LSU hasn’t picked up much momentum with any out-of-state QBs in 2017, and Keytaon Thompson remains the other top option in Louisiana, though he has room to develop as a passer. For those reasons, LSU will keep recruiting Narcisse, and it’s worth mentioning that Narcisse chose to attend LSU’s first game of the season. But Narcisse had a lot of reasons to pick Auburn over LSU, and that makes it hard to see a flip happening.


Does LSU still have a chance with Lowell Narcisse?


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