Editor's Note: It's Friday and that means it's time for another edition of the Tiger Wrap.
This week Sonny will give you the latest on Jonathan Crompton, Matt Hardrick, Avery Atkins, Kenneth Phillips, Paul O'Hara, Tyson Andrus, Ishie Oduegwu, Josh Portis and more.
The quarterback position took a big
hit early in the week when Josh Portis of Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft committed to
Utah. The 6-3, 195-pounder had an
official visit scheduled with LSU for this weekend but I'm hearing that he will
not make the trip and is excited about becoming a Ute. I spoke with Portis and
his mother Sunday night and neither gave any indication that a commitment was on
the horizon but I could tell both liked what
Utah head coach Urban Meyer
thought of Josh. Meyer told Josh and his mother that if he came to
Utah he would win a Heisman
Trophy. While I do believe Josh will be a good college quarterback because of
his passing and running skills, I think winning the Heisman is a long shot. A
real long shot.
The country's fourth rated signal
caller Jonathan Crompton of
Waynesville (N.C.) Tuscola committed to Tennessee over the summer but he is
thinking about taking some official visits to make sure that Rocky Top is the
"right place" for him. The 6-4, 216-pounder said he talks to either Nick Saban
or Jimbo Fisher once a week and the Tigers never stopped recruiting him. When
asked if he was thinking about visiting LSU he said, "I don't know yet. I'm
thinking about it a little."
Two other schools Crompton is
looking at are Michigan and
State. I compared the quarterback
situation at Tennessee with its
two freshman signal callers Erik Ainge and Brent Shaeffer to the situation at
LSU with its two redshirt freshman JaMarcus Russell and Matt Flynn. Crompton
said competition and depth is not something he is worried about but making sure
he makes the right decision is. Tiger fans should not get their hopes up about
Crompton de-committing from the Vols and choosing the Tigers because he is sky
high on UT.
Another position that has a lot of
uncertainty at this point in time is the free safety spot due to the murky
situation concerning Clarence Ward
(5-11, 175, 4.5). As you all know, Ward committed to the Tigers back in March
but recently got suspended from school and was dismissed from the LaMarque
(Texas) football team. Ward said
since his dismissal he was invited to rejoin the team but decided to focus
solely on his academics. It is unclear whether or not the Tigers pulled their
offer off the table but Ward has been quoted as saying the coaches told him he
might want to look elsewhere. If that is the case then who are the Tigers
looking at to fill that void?
I caught up with nation's No. 1
rated safety in Miami
City product Kenneth Phillips because he has mentioned LSU as one of his top five choices since
May. However, Phillips said he is wondering if LSU is still interested in him
because he has not heard from anyone since the first week of September. He did
say that he is still interested in the Tigers and wants to take an official
visit to check things out. Phillips (6-2, 195, 4.45) plays free safety for
Carol City but after seeing him on film Nick Saban may
feel he is better suited for strong safety because he is more of a hitter than a
cover guy. If that is not the case then I am truly in the dark because Phillips
projects as a full academic qualifier.
Another safety that wanted to
commit to LSU but the coaches told him they did not have room for him is Ishie Oduegwu of
(Texas) Ryan. Oduegwu (5-10, 185,
4.5) is kind of small in stature for the safety spot but he is a tremendous
hitter that packs a lot of punch. I thought he would be one of the guys LSU
would turn to if things went sour with the other safeties on the board but
Oduegwu has a bad taste in his mouth for the Tiger coaching staff and is
committed to Texas Tech.
"They send letters but I do not
want to go there anymore," he said. "My coach told me I shouldn't go there
because it is a bad situation. They tend to over recruit and it would not
benefit me at all to go there."
I can understand him feeling
rejected or left out but there is no excuse for the coach's remarks if he did in
fact make those comments. LSU did win the BCS National Championship last season
and attracts the nation's top players every year so the situation must not be
A sleeper prospect from
Louisiana that could start getting
more attention from the Tigers is Lafayette-Northside athlete Tyson Andrus (6-1, 190, 4.5). He plays
cornerback and receiver at Northside but is physical enough to play free safety
at the college level. He has offers from
Mississippi State and Ole Miss, while USC,
Syracuse are showing a lot of
interest. What are his feelings on the Bayou Bengals?
"I have not heard from them in a
while," he said. "Coach (Kirby) Smart called in September. He said to keep
working hard and they like me but they will get back with me later in the
season. LSU is definitely a place I would like to play ball at."
There are several prospects from
State that are considering LSU and
many of them paid special attention to the Tigers matchup with
Florida last weekend. One in
particular was Daytona Beach-Mainland cornerback Avery Atkins (5-11, 185, 4.5). Atkins
considers his commitment to
Florida as a "soft verbal" and
said "everybody is equal right now." Kirby Smart was at
School on Monday while the Tigers took some time
away from the practice field.
"He came by and said they were
still with me even though I made a soft verbal commitment to
Florida," Atkins said.
Atkins said he still likes LSU and
will take an official visit but it may have to be after his season wraps up.
Before the college football season started Atkins said he wanted to see some
games at Tiger Stadium and he even said he wanted to make all of the home games.
Now, he may not make it to Baton
Rouge and that does not bode well for LSU's chances with
him. One other thing to consider is his girlfriend is a sophomore at a community
college in Daytona Beach and when I
asked him if she would follow him wherever he goes he said probably so. Why is
that important? If Atkins goes to school in
Florida then she could follow him
and not have to pay out-of-state tuition. However, if he would choose LSU or
Georgia then she would have to pay the extra fees and they are substantial. Do I
expect that to be the determining factor in him choosing a school? No. Do I
think that it could play into an 18-year-old's decision-making process?
Offensive lineman Matt Hardrick (6-5, 342, 5.7) of
Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater lists LSU
as one his top choices but he too has not heard from the Tigers in a few weeks.
He is rated the eighth best offensive lineman in the country and is trying to
set up an official visit to Baton
Rouge but is waiting on a phone call.
"It has been three or four weeks
since I have talked to them but they are still sending a lot of handwritten
letters," he said.
Has the lack of contact changed his
opinion on the Tigers?
"Not really," he said. "I'm still
looking at them. Hopefully they have been busy trying to correct the mistakes
and that is why I have not heard from them."
Hardrick has an official visit set
up to Florida
State (1/9) and is in the process of
finalizing a weekend with Miami. He
also wants to visit Oklahoma with
Nebraska and Ole Miss battling for
the fifth and final official.
County running back Paul O'Hara claims that he has an
official scholarship offer from LSU and that he plans on visiting the Tigers
before he makes a decision. The 5-11, 215-pounder runs a 4.6 in the forty-yard
dash and rushed for more than 2,000 yards as a junior. One has to wonder how
interested the Tigers still are because he has not had any verbal contact with
anyone from LSU since the summer?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org