TIGERWRAP: This week's recruiting scoop

Editor's Note: It's Friday and that means it's time for another edition of the Tiger Wrap. <br><br> This week, Tiger Rag recruiting analyst Sonny Shipp will give you the latest on Michael Oher, Ryan Reynolds, Nic Harris, Jon Demps, Rashad Roussel, Maurice Wells, Colt McCoy and more. - MD

Two of the nation's top prospects at their respective positions were scheduled to make official visits to LSU this weekend but both had to cancel for different reasons.


Michael Oher of Memphis (Tenn.) Briarwood Christian is the nation's fourth rated offensive lineman and he was going to officially visit the Tigers for the Vanderbilt game. However, he had to cancel the trip because he is going to be taking the ACT on Saturday. He had some problems with the test on previous attempts but this time he will get the opportunity to take the test without any time constraints. Oher has some work to do before he qualifies academically and it will likely be July or August before he gets everything in order. He has to repeat some classes from his freshman year in order to get higher grades to improve his GPA. One problem he may encounter next fall is getting everything approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse because we all know how ridiculously slow that committee can be. While it may not look like this young man has a good chance of getting academically qualified his high school believes there is a good chance he will pull through.


"We have a plan in progress and if everything goes the way we think it will then he should be alright," said Briarwood Christian head coach Hugh Freeze.


The 6-5, 330 pound offensive tackle is worth taking a chance on because he has what it takes to step in and contribute as a true freshman and we all know how difficult that is for offensive linemen.


"Coaches who have come through here say he is one of the best they have ever seen," Freeze said.

As for the schools that made Oher's final cut, Freeze said they are LSU, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Alabama and North Carolina State with the first three being ahead of the other two. When asked what initially got Oher interested in the Tigers Freeze replied, "Winning the national championship had a lot to do with it. LSU is one of the most prestigious programs in the country that he figures will always be in the hunt for BCS bowls and even bigger."


I give LSU a 50-50 chance at landing this massive young man.



The country's fourth rated linebacker is Ryan Reynolds (6-2, 220, 4.65) and he too was scheduled to make an official visit to Tiger Town this weekend. I caught up with Reynolds' mother and she said he canceled the visit because it was too much of a strain to take visits during his season. She said he really wanted to take this trip so he could check out a game at Tiger Stadium but he will take his visit probably sometime in December. Oklahoma is the big leader for Reynolds but I feel like things could change if he does indeed take that visit after his season because he really liked LSU when he visited unofficially during the spring. I would have to go 20-80 on Reynolds for now.



One of Florida's top linebackers, Jon Demps (6-4, 220, 4.65) of Pensacola-Washington said he will probably drive in for the Vandy contest and this would make his third unofficial visit to LSU this season. The four-star prospect said he is still looking at six schools and they are LSU, Miami, Florida State, Florida, Auburn and Ole Miss. Some past stories have hinted that Demps was leaning to one of the Florida schools and wanted to stay in-state but he set the record straight on that.

"That is not true at all," he said. "If I go to LSU, I'll be with my brother (Willie) and have the opportunity to play for a Top-10 team. It doesn't get much better than that. LSU always has great recruiting classes so they are only going to get better."

Demps will take his official the weekend of Dec. 2 and then will go to Miami two weeks later. It will probably be mid January before we learn anything on his intentions but I expect LSU to get his signature on National Signing Day.



As I reported earlier in the week Nic Harris (6-3, 207, 4.6) was in town for the Troy game and every time the free safety from Alexandria (La.) comes to town the Tigers struggle. He will be taking an official to Michigan this weekend and then he will have two officials left to LSU (11/19) and Nebraska (11/26). I have interviewed Harris several times and I still think LSU is the team to beat. I spent some time last week studying film on Harris and LSU commitment Chris Keys. Originally I did not think LSU would take Keys and Harris because they are in the same mold. However, I think Keys would make a good free safety because he can cover a lot of ground and he has better speed than many think, and then that could put Harris at strong safety if he does not grow into a linebacker. I feel that he is a better strong safety prospect but he has to get more physical to play there. Either way, now I think LSU will take both of them.



I got a lot of positive feedback when Tiger Rag subscribers learned that LSU has a shot at luring Texas commitment, Colt McCoy, away from Mack Brown. McCoy is a 6-1, 185-pounder with 4.75-speed and is ranked No. 18 in the country at his position. He is not too happy with what he is seeing in the offense Texas is running and if Ryan Perrilloux does honor his commitment to the Horns then the prospects of offensive coordinator Greg Davis going to a more wide open attack is remote because Perrilloux and Vincent Young are similar in style. We all know that the offense will be built around Perrilloux's abilities and that will not give McCoy a chance to show off his passing skills. McCoy insists that he still committed to the Horns but he is taking a look at the Tigers, Texas A&M and Kansas State. He loves the LSU offense because it is similar to the one he has been in at Tuscola (Texas) Jim Ned. All he has done over the last three years in that offense is pass for 8,500 yards and 95 touchdowns. We should know something in the next week or so about his intentions of taking official visits or staying solid to Texas. Nick Saban has made up a lot of ground on this kid and I would not be surprised to see LSU reel him in.



The 11th ranked receiver in the land is D.J. Hord and the Tigers are still very much in the mix with this talented wideout from Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst. The 6-1, 190-pounder with 4.4-speed said he will definitely visit LSU and he still has a lot of interest in the program. He is keeping things close to the vest but all along he has stated that he liked LSU and that has not changed. This is shaping up to be a battle between LSU, Missouri and Notre Dame.



Boutte (La.) Hahnville defensive tackle Rashad Roussel (6-1, 270, 4.8) said he will take the ACT in December with the hopes of gaining a qualifying score. He said it has been a while since LSU contacted him and I am hearing that grades are the reason. He said Oklahoma State (offer) is his leader but Auburn (offer) and Ole Miss (offer) are close.



Five-star running back Maurice Wells (5-9, 180, 4.4) of Jacksonville (FL) Sandalwood said LSU is still in contention for getting his fifth and final visit but I look for that to go to Notre Dame.



Everyone has been talking all week about Florida giving Ron Zook the axe this early in the season and unless Steve Spurrier accepts the job then this will turn out to be huge mistake on the Gators' part. Zook was one of the SEC's best at recruiting and he was on pace to bring in another stellar class but that remains to be seen now. A lot of recruits were unhappy with the decision but the chance to play under Spurrier would heal a lot of their pain inflicted by Athletic Director Jeremy Foley. If Spurrier rejects the offer then expect many of the top players considering the Gators to open things up again and that would be great for all of the SEC powers. I will have more on this as it unfolds and I get more reaction from Florida's prospects.


- Sonny


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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