TIGERWRAP: This week's recruiting roundup

It's Friday and that means it's time for another edition of the Tiger Wrap. <br><br> This week Sonny will give you the latest on Alonzo Horton, Richard Gordon, Bryan Evans, Chris Scott, Josh McNeil, R.J. Jackson, Clarence Ward, Fred Rouse and more.

I talked to a friend of mine close to the Clarence Ward (5-11, 175, 4.5) situation and he told me that it does not look good for LaMarque (Texas) free safety to be wearing purple and gold next year. He said Ward is still not talking about what happened and that he has decided against rejoining the LaMarque team. I have heard from a couple of sources that the LSU staff is not as interested in the nation's fifth rated safety as it one was and the interest started falling before the incident took place during his senior campaign. I hope to have Ward's version of the story soon but until I get it straight from the horse's mouth I have to go with what my sources are telling me. If Ward is not a member of the Tigers' Class of 2005 then who takes his place at the safety spot? I say the nation's No. 1 safety Kenneth Phillips becomes a top priority and I would not be surprised to see talks open up again with Ishie Oduegwu (Texas Tech commitment).




Bryan Evans, the fifth rated cornerback in the land out of Jacksonville (Fla.) Ed White, has liked LSU since the Tigers started recruiting him and he says that he has two official visits that he knows he wants to take and that it is to LSU and Tennessee. Evans (5-11, 177, 4.45) said he loves the way coach Saban works with the defensive backs so much and that he would get everything he needs to make the jump to the NFL at LSU. I asked him he could see himself playing at LSU because Baton Rouge is pretty far away from Jacksonville and he said yes.

"I really can see myself playing there," Evans said. "I look at Corey Webster for example. He is one of the best corners in college and that is what I'm looking for. I want to be the best. LSU has two of the best cornerbacks so they are doing something right over there."

I asked Evans if he and Avery Atkins are still talking about being a package deal and he said they do talk a lot about playing together.

Both Evans and Atkins will be on hand at the Swamp this weekend when the Tigers travel to play Florida.




I have received a lot of e-mails from readers asking how bad the Georgia loss would hurt LSU in recruiting. I'll give my opinion on the matter but I also asked a prospect that has listed LSU and Georgia as two of his top schools for months now.

Lovejoy (Ga.) offensive tackle Chris Scott (6-4, 315) was in Athens for an unofficial visit and he commented on how the game went.

"It was a good game on Georgia's part," he said. "LSU had a couple of plays that didn't go their way and Georgia capitalized on them."

Scott said he had a great time at the game and that the atmosphere was "unbelievable." He said he loved everything about his trip and that four schools are "pretty dead even." However, he said if he had to make a choice today he could.

"If I had to choose a school today it would be Georgia," he said. "It's closer to home and I've gotten to know the coaches real well."

I asked Scott if LSU was still near the top of his list and he replied, "Oh yes. LSU is still up there. Like I said all of the schools I'm looking at are even."

Those schools he referred to are the Tigers and Bulldogs along with Nebraska and Tennessee.



Now for my feelings on how I think the Georgia loss will impact recruiting. I do not feel that the lopsided loss will have a negative impact unless LSU loses to Florida this weekend. A loss to the Gators will put LSU at 3-3 overall and 1-3 in the SEC. You can bet other coaches are reminding recruits that LSU had to go into overtime to beat a bad Oregon State team and the Beavers would have won if not for three missed extra points. If Alex Serna makes one of those three misses combined with a Florida loss then LSU would be sitting at 2-4 heading into the bye week. That would not look good in the eyes of recruits.

Now, if LSU wins then it looks like the Tigers played one bad game in a hostile Georgia environment and lost a nail biter to Auburn by one point. The Auburn loss does not look that bad considering the War Eagles' decisive win at Tennessee and even the top programs in the country slip up every now and then like the Tigers did in Athens. Think back to the Big 12 championship game last year when Kansas State put it on Oklahoma in a big way for proof of that. So, if the Tigers win this weekend and start playing the kind of ball they are capable of playing then the Georgia loss will be forgotten between now and National Signing Day. A loss, however, could cause a lot of out-of-state prospects to start reevaluating things on the bayou.




I have been saying for some time now that I think LSU will soon be offering the state's top linebacker prospect Alonzo Horton (6-2, 210, 4.6) of New Orleans-Abramson but I am not so sure now.

"I haven't received any phone calls from LSU in September," Horton said. I went to the Arkansas State game but I didn't get to talk much with the coaches."

I thought that grades could be what the Tigers were waiting on but Horton said he has his academics in order and is fully qualified. He said LSU, Auburn, Florida and Tennessee are his top four with Auburn and LSU as his leaders. He did say that Auburn had a slight lead right now and that all of his favorites have put their offers in writing except for the Bayou Bengals.

As for his senior season, Horton said he on pace to finish with 200 tackles and is averaging close to 20 stops a game.

At this point it looks like LSU is waiting to see what some of the out-of-state guys do but you have to think Horton is going to get tired of being put on hold somewhere down the line.




One of the top defensive ends on LSU's board is Richard Gordon (6-4, 240, 4.7) but he said he has not heard from LSU in a while.

"We talk every once in a while but it's been a while," said Gordon. I'm still interested in LSU but I'm not hearing from them."

Gordon hails from Miami (Fla.) Norland and is good friends with two current Tigers Dwayne Bowe and Terrell McGill, who also prepped at Norland High School.

One reason Gordon may not have heard from LSU of late is because he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat over the summer but after more tests he now has been cleared to return to action. Another reason could be LSU feels really good about the chances of signing Oak Creek, Wis. defensive end Raymond Henderson. He made his official visit to Baton Rouge for the Mississippi State contest and said LSU is his leader.



News from Around TheInsiders.com Network

The country's top center prospect Josh McNeil (6-4, 275) of Collins, Miss. took his official visit to Florida last weekend and he gave the trip a good review in his interview with Jamie Newberg. He said his trip to the Swamp set the standard for all of the other schools to live up to and that Florida and LSU were his co-leaders. McNeil will be visiting LSU Nov. 13 and I think he will sign with the Tigers in February.


Newberg also caught up with the No. 2 receiver in the land Fred Rouse (6-3, 187, 4.4) of Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln and LSU is still in the mix with the talented wideout. Rouse has Florida State, Miami and Texas as his front runners and said he is also interested in Alabama, LSU, Oregon and USC. Rouse has said on more than one occasion that he would like to play his college football with Ryan Perrilloux but regardless of what Perrilloux does I think Rouse will stay home and sign with the Seminoles.


LSU is also still in the hunt for the No. 2 rated linebacker in the country Tray Blackmon (6-0, 192, 4.5) out of LaGrange (Ga.). Blackmon told Chad Simmons that his top four was Georgia, Auburn, Florida State and LSU with Georgia leading for his services. He also said that he will visit those four schools at some point in time.


Ronnie Wilson will take his official visit to Florida this weekend and he lists the Gators, LSU, Ohio State, North Carolina Sate and Pittsburgh as his top five. The 6-4, 340 pound offensive lineman from Pompano Beach (Fla.) Blanche Ely has said in the past that he would visit LSU but he does not have a date set up yet.


Houston (Texas) Westside running back R.J. Jackson (5-11, 200, 4.5) told Allen Wallace that Oklahoma State leads slightly over LSU, Texas, Georgia, TCU, Houston and USC. This is the first time Jackson has declared a leader but I do not think Tiger fans should worry much because he really likes LSU a lot.


That is all for this week but remember to check out www.tigerrag.com for daily recruiting updates and for the latest on LSU sports. If you have questions or comments please e-mail Tiger Rag Recruiting Analyst Sonny Shipp at sonnyshipp@bellsouth.net

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