Travis Etienne (Photo by Chad Simmons)

Tiger Blitz Mailbag 12/2

Tiger Blitz publisher Billy Embody answers member questions in the mailbag on everything from LSU linebacker and running back recruiting, early departures and predicting the rest of the 2017 class.

Why hasn't Travis Etienne already committed to LSU, yet? What's he waiting on ? LSU to re-offer Cordarrian Richardson or Toneil Carter or something?
A: He wants to make the right decision for himself as we've talked about. It's not always about playing for your home state school like we've seen with Chris Allen or Dylan Moses and on the flip side of that, Jacoby Stevens, Neil Farrell, Justin Thomas. It was an offer he's wanted, but I'd imagine he's got a great relationship with Tennessee and he might even trust them more since LSU was so late to offer. He'll take his visits and decide, but as of now, with no true rush on committing, he's fine. Toneil Carter is an early kid anyway so LSU is out of time there.

What eligible Underclassmen leave for the NFL?
We've seen Davon Godchaux depart already. I think Malachi Dupre goes to the NFL Draft as well after his performance. Greg Gilmore and DJ Chark will stay.

With pencil in hand, give me your last 7 commits (assume no defections and 27 class members)
1. Marvin Wilson
2. Phidarian Mathis
3. K'Lavon Chaisson
4. Devonta Smith
5. Will Ignont
6. Travis Etienne
7. Todd Harris
8. Nick Smith (BONUS!)

Any new information from LSU on how large they expect their 2017 class to be?
Nothing yet, but losing Godchaux might create enough room to get an extra wide receiver or linebacker in if they can make it happen. I bet 28-29 right now, but I don't think they feel like they have to take that many.

Are they going to add another OL spot or not?
I don't think so at this point. 

Will they take a 5th LB or not ? (How many? Some think it's just 3 anyway- I say no way, 4 min., 5 most likely, maybe 6).
I think they end up with four linebackers. There's your happy medium. Definitely not six.

How long does LSU give Etienne to decide whether to commit or not, before either expanding the RB search push or else reallocating the scholarship to another position of need? (Which is more likely?)
As long as he wants if they don't find another running back. I don't think they feel like it's a huge need, but that it'd be a nice to have add late in the class. I think they're always looking for someone though as another option especially since Etienne's visit is set for last. Meaning they're likely hoping that they can find another or, it's a late add situation based on numbers still anyway. They did just want him to know that he was a priority without Akers in the mix, which is why they offered.

What position of need is most important for LSU to fill at this stage (or does it depend upon the relevant quality of the applicants)? LB? OT? WR? RB?
I think it always depends on the quality of applicants, but I'd say linebacker no question about that. Gotta get a couple more guys at inside linebacker and land K'Lavon Chaisson.

If you are LSU, and you have a choice, any two of these 3, who do you choose? Chaisson, Bryant, Moffitt?
After watching on Sunday, K'Lavon Chaisson. He was outstanding. He's Arden Key 2.0.

Will LSU take the LB class makeup determination all the way down to NSD with Rice hanging on by a thread like Fowler last year?
No because Rice is early enrolling.

If LSU misses on either Mathis or Wilson will they definitely add another large DL guy, or are the other large DL leads for just in case they miss on both?
If LSU misses on Mathis or Wilson, I don't think they'll add another large defensive lineman that can play tackle like both of them can.  

Thoughts about raiding the commitment lists of other teams, specifically, besides Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M, UGA, Michigan, Ohio State, FSU, for:

OT/LT - like Calvin Ashley, as an example ?

ILBs? Like Kenney Britt or Tadarian Moultry, for example.

RBs? Like Khalan Laborn or Zaquandre White? Or Toneil Carter from UT? Or Cordarrian Richardson?

WR? Jhamon Ausbon from Texas A&M?
No on all of those except for Richardson. The rest are solid and staying put. Ausbon is set to enroll early in a couple days at A&M. Same with Britt at Auburn. Richardson could be in play, but because of reasons in the next answer, I wonder how in play he is. 

What was the story with Cordarrian Richardson and his decision to de-commit from Clemson ? Where does he stand now with regard to Clemson, FSU (post Cam Akers commitment), and LSU?
I'd imagine there's no spot for him at FSU, I don't see him landing at Clemson and I think LSU is still doing research. Apparently, Richardson's high school was involved with some academic issues that lead to the cancellation of a game. That might affect Richardson's classes and where he stands. I've heard it was a mutual parting of Clemson and Richardson because of that. I don't have any other answers beyond that.

Would, could, should, LSU consider 3 RBs, Travis Etienne and Cordarrian Richardson, for example, or Etienne and Trey Coleman, for further example?
Nope. Two is just fine. 

If LSU misses on either or both Mathis or Wilson, might they expand the WR, RB, LB or OT take numbers in lieu of an alternate on the large DL?
I think guys like Amik Robertson, Racey McMath, Cheyenne Labruzza and others become nice options to round out the class if they miss on both Mathis and Wilson. I don't see them expanding that to OT. 

Should LSU offer UGA LB commit, Walter Grant, or uncommitted ILB prospect from GA, Leonard Warner, either one or both in the wake of the McBride commitment to UGA?
Maybe they should offer Warner, but Grant is solid and is a likely reason UGA won't pick up Markaviest Bryant due to numbers. Warner though is down to UGA, Stanford, Georgia Tech and FSU. He's favoring Georgia, but also heading out to see Stanford and potentially Georgia Tech in the spring. He'd be a big land, but LSU is really out of time there.

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