TIGERWRAP: This week's recruiting scoop

Editor's Note: Welcome to another edition of the TigerWrap, brought to you by Tiger Rag Recruiting Expert Sonny Shipp. <br><br> In this week's update, Shipp discusses the fallout left by LSU coach Nick Saban's decision to leave LSU and coach the Miami Dolphins. - MD

LSU's recruiting efforts took a big hit when Nick Saban announced he was headed to the Miami Dolphins. Now, it will be interesting to see how the Tigers finish up heading into the month of January.


A little more than week ago the Tigers were sitting at 11 commitments and very close to picking up a couple of more pledges. However, since Saban announced his decision on Christmas Day the LSU is down to nine verbal commitments and only five of them are solid commits.


Dajleon Farr, the No. 1 tight end in the country, de-committed from the Tigers the day after Saban's press conference and three days later he committed to Miami. If the new head coach keeps recruiting coordinator/defensive line coach Travis Jones on his staff then LSU may have a chance with Farr (6-5, 240, 4.6) but it would be a slim one.


The nation's seventh rated safety, Chris Keys (6-2, 205, 4.5) of Stevenson (Ala.) North Jackson, also withdrew his pledge shortly after the news was out and told Alabama to count him in for its 2005 signing class.


"I just got off the phone with Coach Ball (Alabama) and asked him how his Christmas was going," Keys told Andrew Bone of Scout.com. "He told me it was going pretty good. I said I bet I could make it a little better. I told him I am committing to Alabama."

Keys will still take an official visit to LSU in the next couple of weeks and there is a chance he could end up signing with the Tigers in February.




Tiger fans will be keeping a close eye on four more committed players over the next few weeks because they all say they are still on board but waiting to see who the new coach is going to be.


St. Augustine (La.) lineman Al Jones is rated the seventh top defensive end in the country and he has two official visits set up with Ole Miss (1/21) and Miami (1/28). He will squeeze one in with LSU sometime in January and this could come down to an LSU/Miami battle.


"I'm about 80 percent committed to LSU," Jones told Scott Kennedy of Scout.com.


The feeling here is that Jones will end up being a Tiger but he is going to have other options available if he does not like the new coach.


Ciron Black was a big pickup out of the Lonestar State but he is now looking at a few schools that are very interested and Texas is one of them.


"I'm committed but those are just words," Black said in an interview with Brandon Cavanaugh. "I'm open right now to tell you the truth. Right now with him (Saban) leaving it makes me more skeptical. I'll have to see what coach comes in."


Black has an official visit set up with Oklahoma State, LSU (1/14) and Texas (1/28) before he signs on the dotted line and the Longhorns probably pose the biggest threat on his front.


Another Texas native, Kyle Anderson of The Woodlands (Texas), is keeping close tabs on the latest developments in Baton Rouge.


"He's still committed to LSU," said Kyle's dad, Michael Anderson in an interview with Kennedy. "We'll take a wait and see approach to see who the new coach is. The big factor of course will be what kind of offensive scheme they will run. We hope it really works out for LSU and Kyle."


The schools that are in hot pursuit of the 6-5, 250-pound tight end are Nebraska, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Arkansas. Look for Anderson to honor his commitment to LSU but after he takes a couple of trips.


USC is making a strong run at Kevin Myers and it would not be a shocker if he decided to stay on the West Coast and sign with the Trojans.


The remainder of the class are all from Louisiana and all are solid with their pledges. Something drastic would have to happen for Darry Beckwith, Lyle Hitt, Antonio Robinson, Steven Korte and Chris Hawkins to make them de-commit.




Out of the top recruits LSU is still in the hunt for, things are not too good but they are not that bad either.


The good news is offensive tackle Chris Scott, the 10th rated lineman in the country, has narrowed his list to two and LSU is one of his finalists.


"I'm down to LSU and Tennessee," Scott told Jeffrey Stewart of Scout.com. "I'm still looking at Georgia and Florida, so they're not out of it. But it's pretty much LSU and Tennessee right now."


More good news is with Alexandria (La.) safety prospect Nic Harris (6-3, 207, 4.6). He is a player LSU would love to get and it does not seem like Saban's choice had much of an affect on him.


"I am not selecting my school on the head coaches," said Harris. "I am making my selection on what school makes me feel more comfortable. You can't count on coaches being at a particular school."


Harris is trying to decide between LSU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Michigan and Nebraska and the bet here is LSU nudges Michigan in a close race.


Houston (Texas) Westside running back R.J. Jackson did not take the news too hard and seems like he still has an open mind to LSU.


"The new coaching situation at LSU doesn't really affect me," he told Allen Wallace of Super Prep. "I just want to see who they're going to bring in after coach (Nick) Saban. They're already a great program with some players there that have established some great bonds with each other. It just comes down to who they're going to bring in."


Texas and Oklahoma State currently lead LSU but the Tigers are not out of it.




The nation's top rated center is Josh McNeil of Collins (Miss.) and he still has his eye on the Tigers but it is critical that he gets to know the new coach within the next couple of weeks. The 6-4, 275-pounder is also considering Tennessee and Mississippi State and one has to wonder how long he will holdout before making up his mind.


Now for the bad news.


LSU had a real good shot at landing the nation's fifth rated cornerback Bryan Evans (5-11, 177, 4.5) of Jacksonville (Fla.) Ed White but not any more.


"I think this (Saban) will probably make it easier for me now," he told Stewart "They were one of my top three but it's down to two now. I've already visited Tennessee but I don't visit Georgia until the 21st of January."


Evans is going to be a tough sale and it is unlikely he will sign with the Tigers.


In normal years Saban's decision would not have as great of an affect on recruiting but this year is an exception because of the staff‘s focus on the out-of-state guys.


Look for some of the Louisiana prospects who were not getting much interest from the Tigers to pop up on the radar to help fill out the class.


One of those players who did not get much interest is the exciting playmaker Lucas Taylor of Carencro (La.). For that lack of attention he has eliminated the Tigers completely.


"It's too late now," Taylor said of LSU's chances. "I've already made up my mind of where I want to go. I'll announce at my school sometime in January. I'm keeping it to myself right now but it would be safe to say it's between Tennessee and Auburn."


As for the latest on Ryan Perrilloux, he is still considering LSU but one has to think the chances are smaller now because of the uncertainty of the staff.


A lot of new recruits are going to start surfacing in the next week or two so next week I will post an updated list of the Wish List along with the Louisiana players that you will hear about over the coming days.


LSU Commitments (9)


Kevin Myers OT 6-6, 360, 5.0 Compton Community College (Calif.)


Ciron Black OG 6-4, 325, 5.4 Tyler (Texas) Lee


Kyle Anderson TE 6-5, 265, 4.75 The Woodlands (Texas)


Antonio Robinson RB 6-1, 195, 4.5 Winnfield (La.)


Chris Hawkins CB 6-1, 180, 4.5 Walker (La.)


Steven Korte FB 6-2, 230, 4.6 Mandeville (La.) Fontainebleau


Al Jones DE 6-3, 240, 4.75 New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine


Derry Beckwith LB 6-1, 215, 4.5 Baton Rouge (La.) Parkview Baptist


Lyle Hitt DT 6-3, 275, 4.9 Baton Rouge (La.) Parkview Baptist

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