LSU still has a ways to go until National Signing Day in 2018, but the staff already has secured 12 commitments. With the turnover on the offensive side of the ball with coaches, it's not surprising that nine of the 12 commitments are defensive players.
As the Tigers have room to sign up to 30 players, there's a high chance that this first full class under Ed Orgeron could finish in the Top 3 and challenge for No. 1 in the country.
How does LSU finish out? We're going 30-for-30. Here's my picks.
Probably the toughest position to project because you have to put a lot of faith in the staff either making up enough ground to land in-state Justin Rogers or Matt Canada has to go out of state and secure a commitment from one of the quarterbacks they've offered or have yet to offer. Rogers is fresh off a visit to LSU last Saturday and named TCU his leader the next day at The Opening. There's still a chance for LSU to make up ground, but the three-star quarterback did say that he doesn't have to get back to LSU — that he's seen what he's had to — which means Canada has to build a strong relationship in a short amount of time with Rogers. Washington, D. C. area quarterback Kevin Doyle just visited LSU as well on Monday. Canada offered him at both NC State and Pittsburgh, but has yet to extend an offer from LSU. The final piece is Gerry Bohanon, who is our pick to land in LSU's class. Area recruiter Tommie Robinson has tight connections with Bohanon's circle and the Scout 300 quarterback made it clear that he has to get to LSU soon even though he missed Junior Day. To be honest, 2019 is the year LSU fans need to circle anyway as far as a quarterback of the future after Myles Brennan or Lowell Narcisse. That's when Grant Gunnell signs and we've got him heading to Baton Rouge. That being said, LSU lands a dual-threat quarterback that is raw, but has the athletic tools to get it done at the position and with Canada having a couple years to mold him, Bohanon could be poised for big things when it's time to take over.
Another position that can go a number of different ways, but the Tigers have to hit pay dirt at running back however they go about it. With Derrius Guice's departure after this season, LSU needs a back to come in right away and produce with only Nick Brossette due back. Dipping into the state of Texas, LSU will land the No. 1 running back in the state, but LSU has to get Keaontay Ingram on campus first. There's interest on both sides and a good visit could seal the deal for the East Texas star. With Ingram on board, LSU can take their time a little bit with the final two running backs and also take a bit of a risk. Harold Joiner took in an LSU visit recently and came away impressed. Robinson again is the lead recruiter in this situation, going into his home state of Alabama and plucking the 6-3 back out of Mountain Brook, Ala. Joiner wants to decide late in his senior season or after and a visit to Death Valley could give the Tigers even more of a boost. With those two on board, LSU takes a chance on Fabian Franklin out of Mississippi and hopes that he can get his grades in order. Joiner could end up being a four-star in the final rankings with a strong senior season so a trio of four-star running backs is exactly what the doctor ordered for LSU.
This one wasn't fun to make picks for. There's a ton of talent and a lot of options for the Tigers to land in 2018. Jaray Jenkins is already committed and will stick with LSU when it's all said and done. The big fish though will be Brennan Eagles, who missed Junior Day, but has family ties to the area and his mother is already high on LSU, a big plus. The five-star wide receiver will be a huge addition and is a burner to boot, consistently hitting 4.4/4.5 on the laser in the 40 this spring. In addition to Jenkins, LSU will land in-state wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase and he's one that plays bigger than his 6-1 frame and has the ability to high-point the ball. Finally, after initially committing to LSU, four-star wide receiver Kenan Jones ends up back in the class, giving the Tigers four wide receivers in the haul.
This one isn't too hard to project, but LSU will land John Curtis (La.) tight end Glenn Beal, who is taking the thoughtful approach to recruiting after initially wanting to commit on National Signing Day in February of this year. Beal though has always been high on LSU and is the logical choice to end up in the class. With the need for an additional tight end in the class, I like LSU to add Sulphur (La.) tight end Christian Trahan if they can make it work. Trahan has been a consistent visitor and camper and with a big senior year, could work his way into the class. If LSU can't get a second tight end in the class, the Tigers become pretty thin at the position.
LSU already has two commits in Chasen Hines and Cole Smith that are both solid interior options. Those commitments are expected to stick. At tackle, we've got LSU landing Max Wray, who wrapped up a visit with his family in Baton Rouge on Friday. Wray is a Top 100 player in the 2018 class and fills a huge need at LSU for tackle. Where LSU goes next is the tough part. Two Texas tackles to watch are Northwest OT Darrell Simpson and Frisco Wakeland OT Rafiti Ghirmai. Both are high on LSU, but we're giving the nod to Simpson to join LSU's class after an impressive visit to LSU.
LSU has two commitments along the defensive line in Davin Cotton and Nelson Jenkins III and we expect both to stick to those commitments. Both can play defensive end and tackle in the 3-4 and LSU will also land Tayland Humphrey out of the JUCO ranks. The massive defensive tackle would be a huge plug in the middle for Dave Aranda's defense. Humphrey has been tirelessly working to visit Baton Rouge, he told Scout and if everything's in order, we like him to get into the class.
LSU is pretty set here with Damone Clark and Micah Baskerville committed and both will stick with those commitments. Outside linebacker Teradja Mitchell could also see time inside, but will play on the outside for the most part. Rounding out the class, LSU will add a Florida linebacker in James Miller, who visited LSU and already named LSU as his No. 1 school. Miller adds even better depth in the middle for the Tigers.
LSU will get help immediately from JUCO defensive end Travez Moore, who is being recruited for the Buck outside linebacker position. After that, the Tigers get three pretty talented linebackers to shore up the Buck and F positions even more. Teradja Mitchell, Jarell Cherry and Andrew Chatfield are three that already have LSU high on their lists and by the end of this weekend, all will have visited LSU. It might be a matter of when, not if for Cherry, who has been recruited by Orgeron personally and already was high on LSU heading into his visit.
We're grouping cornerbacks and safeties together because LSU has some pretty versatile prospects committed in Ar'Darius Washington, Caden Sterns, Nadab Joseph and Kelvin Joseph. That being said, Washington, Sterns and Nadab Joseph are your safeties and Kelvin Joseph is the cornerback commit at the moment. In the end, Kelvin will stay home and not head off to Alabama, which is working hard to flip him. American Heritage teammates Patrick Surtain and Tyson Campbell will end up in LSU's class as well along with Jalen Green from Houston, who gave glowing reviews of how LSU has upped their push since Ed Orgeron took over the job. It's about as impressive as you can get in terms of defensive back classes.