LSU 5-star commit still solid to Tigers
By: Billy Embody
LSU 5-star safety commit Jacoby Stevens said that his visits to LSU are just on a different level. The Oakland (Tenn.) safety visited LSU for the Tigers win over Mississippi State.
"It was a great experience being there. It made me want to get on that gold jersey they were wearing that Saturday and play for them," Stevens said. "The environment was great and the fans were awesome. I honestly can't wait to get down there and play for them."
After checking out the game, Les Miles was fired by LSU, but Stevens understands the business part of it, but was disappointed at the same time.
"At the time, I was watching on ESPN before the coaches could tell me. I hated to see coach Miles leave. He was the coach I dreamt of playing under, but I understand business. There's a business side to everything and LSU made a business move. Just have to see their next move."
Ed Orgeron and the staff had to let Stevens know he's still a priority. The staff is showing him love like they've got to recruit him all over again.
"They been telling me stability and belief. Coach O is making a good move to be the next coach," Stevens said. "Coach Raymond is by far one of the best defensive backs coaches there is in America. He has four guys from his secondary playing on Thursday night for San Francisco. They tell me things like that. They're recruiting me as if nothing ever happened. I have that same excitement getting down there."
Corey Raymond is the big reason though while Stevens is firmly committed to LSU at the moment.
"Coach Raymond. I'm watching what they're going to do with him. I want to go to LSU, but coach Raymond is a really big reason why because he's good at putting DBs in the league. My goal is to make it to the NFL and make my mark there. I'm going to go where I can get there the fastest and help me perform the best."
How LSU develops defensive backs that can play multiple positions is something Stevens has paid special attention to.
"He makes every DB versatile. He coaches safeties with a corner mentality and he coaches corners with a safety mentality. His DBs can play anywhere in the secondary and that's what NFL teams are looking for now. Just like my friend Jalen Ramsey, that's why he was one of the top picks in the draft was because he was versatile."
LSU sees Stevens as a versatile player, but for the most part, see him coming in and competing for Jamal Adams' safety spot due to his ability to play in the box, cover the field with his range and be that quick-twitch player.
"Come in and compete. I have a good chance of competing for a spot. I always tell them, every time you give me an opportunity, I'm going to make the best out of it. Me having an opportunity to play as a true freshman is great. We're going to have three for sure spots open that I can fight for."
Orgeron has made a great impression on Stevens, who already knew the interim coach well before he became the coach of the team after Miles was let go.
"Coach Orgeron is a great character. Before he got the interim coaching job, he talked to me like he was recruiting me for his position. He being the head coach is awesome and I congratulate him for it."
Stevens' Oakland squad is undefeated at 8-0. The team is averaging over 40 points a game, giving up around three points a game. Stevens has been a big part on both sides of the ball with six interceptions, over 500 yards receiving and nine total touchdowns. The goal is a state championship.
"We've just been studying every team as always. Just need to go back and study our next team and game planning to dominate our opponent. We just need to play Oakland football. That's obviously working for us," Stevens said. "That's the main goal is to win a state championship and then head to Baton Rouge. It'd be a huge accomplishment."
Stevens will be on campus for his official visit for the Alabama game, but before that, the early enrollee will visit for the Ole Miss game tomorrow.
2019 elite running back already an LSU fan after offer
Noah Cain (© Greg Powers)
By: Billy Embody
2019 Denton (Tex.) Guyer running back Noah Cain grew up an LSU fan, being from Baton Rouge, where he still has a lot of family. The offer was a big deal for the elite running back, who would love to play back home.
"I grew up an LSU fan so I was real excited about it. It means a lot coming from a school like LSU with the long list of running backs they've had and them wanting me to be a part of that running back tradition and be one of the next greats," Cain said. "I grew up there for seven years and then moved to Texas because of my mom's job because Hurricane Katrina kind of hit where I was staying in Baton Rouge."
As far as playing in front of so many family and friends, that's something Cain would love to do.
"My dad still lives down there so I still have a lot of family connections there. Almost all of my family is there. They were really happy for me when I got the offer," Cain said. "It'd definitely mean a lot. My family has always been supportive of me and I've taken that for granted to play in front of them. They'll support me wherever I go to play."
Running backs coach Jabbar Juluke had Cain call him and that's when Cain received the verbal offer.
"We talked a long bit about the offer and then after that, the future of LSU and me coming there and making an impact while him pushing me to be the best," Cain said. "He's always going to be on me and expect the best from me if I went there. He's not going to sugar coat anything with me. He's always going to be real and upfront."
Ed Orgeron has impressed Cain in his time as head coach and while he would have liked to play for Les Miles, he thinks LSU is on the up.
"The new staff is doing great. Les Miles is a Hall of Fame coach. I would have loved to play for him, but things happen. I can understand that. Coach Orgeron is doing a great job since the game against Missouri. It doesn't have an impact on me. They have a plan and they're going to do a great job for the future of LSU."
This summer, Cain visited LSU and enjoyed getting back in Baton Rouge.
"It was great to get back to LSU and everyone knows about Death Valley, where opponents' dreams go to die. They'll definitely be one of the top schools in my recruitment," Cain said. "The experience is second to none. It's one of the top fan bases in the country. It's loud and hectic there. It gets crazy in Death Valley."
With the history of LSU's ability to put running backs in the NFL and the tradition of the program, Cain would be honored to be a Tiger.
"It'd be a blessing to be a running back there. They run a pro-style system and get them the ball in space. They get their guys to the league and they take care of them. They have an active roster of about 40+ NFL players right now. Just to be part of that family and running back tradition that'd be a huge honor."
Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Miami are coming after him the hardest at the moment.
"Everyone is showing me the same amount of love right now. Each of them have great academic programs and tradition in what they do. Each running backs coach will keep it real with you. Those are some frontrunners right now, but I haven't really made any decisions like that."
The 4-star running back is looking for a good school that also runs more of a pro-style system to get the ball to its running backs a lot both on the ground and in the passing game too. Cain likes to make defenders miss on the field and break big plays.
"I love to make defenders miss. Everybody is going to be my size at the next level so I won't be able to run over everybody. I like to make plays that are unbelievable so I just think my vision and footwork, I can make plays in the open field."
Cain will be at LSU for the Alabama game on November 5.
2018 defensive back takes in Tiger Stadium
© Greg Powers
By: Billy Embody
2018 West Mesquite (Tex.) defensive back Dayven Coleman took in LSU's win over Southern Miss and came away impressed with the crazy atmosphere of Tiger Stadium.
"It was live. I liked it a lot. It was real good. When we were on the field, it was kind of like UT with it being real packed. The fans are crazy. It's different. Everybody in Louisiana loves LSU."
Ed Orgeron and Corey Raymond talked with Coleman at the game and let him know they'll be watching.
"At first, I wasn't getting recruited really by them, but now, they want to watch my film for the last three games. They're serious coaches, but they're real cool. Especially Coach Raymond with Jamal Adams and Kevin Toliver."
LSU's defense impressed Coleman especially as he watched Jamal Adams and Kendell Beckwith.
"I like how the defense plays. I like Jamal Adams. He can do it all really and then Beckwith, the middle linebacker, he's real good. They're a solid defense and they have fun."
Minnesota, SMU, Houston and Texas will get visits from Coleman later this fall. Coleman broke his elbow last year and has burst onto the scene this summer across the camp circuits.
Consistency, Intensity Key for Team's Success
Billy Embody - SCOUT
By: Billy Embody
At practice on Tuesday for LSU basketball, you could see some frustration in Johnny Jones' face and voice as the team ran through drills.
Whether it was not hustling to the top, mental errors or just getting pushed around, Jones was harder on his team than in past practices.
Freshman point guard Skylar Mays displayed flashes of brilliance, but also drew harsh words and looks from Jones, who wanted more out of the Baton Rouge native in the practice. Mays wasn't consistent enough throughout the whole practice.
Another player that was inconsistent was forward Aaron Epps, who was sluggish. Epps got pushed around by Brandon Eddlestone under the basket. Epps was asked to hustle multiple times to the top of the point after a drill.
It wasn't all bad for LSU at the practice, but one thing Jones understands is that he has to push this squad. He's doing that, but he's getting some help.
Guard Antonio Blakeney is becoming an even bigger leader on the floor, calling teammates out quietly when they're not giving it their all, or telling them to keep their heads up.
After a practice like that, seeing Blakeney take that leadership role was the best sign anyone could have seen especially since Elbert Robinson was out of practice, riding the bike as he works to get back to 100 percent.