I spoke at length with Mississippi tight end Richard Dickson and the feeling I got is that LSU is in good shape but he will be keeping a close eye on how the Tigers fare on the field in 2005. Someone helping out with the recruiting efforts is LSU commitment Jacob Cutrera. He and Dickson have been talking more and more lately and the two have formed a pretty strong bond.
"He (Cutrera) called last night (Monday) just to see what was up," Dickson said. "We talk every now and then mostly about how our teams are doing. He is the type of guy I would hang out with if he went to my high school."
Another thing that is working in LSU's favor is the fact that Baton Rouge is in close proximity to Ocean Springs.
"It's a pro but I will not hold that against anybody," he said. "But that is something I am looking at. That is why I eliminated some teams like UCLA and Michigan. They are good programs but they are just too far from home."
Dickson sounded excited when I asked him about the LSU coaching staff but he is curious to see how the coaches perform in the SEC. Once again, if LSU is successful this year then there is a good chance he ends up wearing purple and gold.
LSU and Florida are the two teams to beat for both of these kids but the big question is whether or not there is room for both. The Tigers are recruiting both as safeties and there is not going to be room for both of them unless one ends up at receiver, which is a possibility.
Walker seemed to be a little more into the Tigers than Summers did but that could be because Summers was a little more to himself and not as talkative.
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that things looked good for the nation's third rated offensive linemen in Ian Symonette. The big Texan confirmed that this week when he listed a top four that consisted of the Tigers, Miami, Texas and Oklahoma.
I couldn't reach Symonette but I did check in with my leading source in the Lonestar State and he feels good about LSU's chances. He would not stop raving about this kid and even went as far as to say that he feels this kid is the best o-lineman in America, hands down.
Longview (Texas) offensive tackle Trent Williams said he will visit Oklahoma State on Sept. 16 for his official and then he will have a decision shortly after that. LSU receivers coach and passing game coordinator Todd Monken actually sent Williams a text message a few minutes before I spoke with him on Wednesday just to let the big man know that the Tigers would love to have him. The Tigers and the Cowboys are the two finalists and although he would not mention a favorite the feeling here is that LSU will come out with a pledge shortly after he returns from Stillwater. I think the only reason he is making that trip is to please his coach and it is a mere formality.
Shreveport (La.) Evangel offensive tackle Doug Stroud (6-6, 350, 5.5) responded to an e-mail I sent him because I was interested in seeing if he is getting any interest from Les Miles and company. He said Michigan (leader) and Nebraska are his only two offers but he is receiving a lot of interest from Oklahoma State, Alabama and Texas Tech. LSU is not showing much interest and it is way too late for the Tigers to even have a chance. That did not come from Stroud, himself, but it is a gut feeling I have from all of our previous conversations.
Tight end/defensive end/linebacker J.D. Lott is still listing LSU as his leader but, believe it or not, Vanderbilt has closed the gap. Jimbo Fisher is recruiting Lott and he wants to bring him in as a tight end. The Tigers are the only ones courting him for offense and if he decides that is the side of the ball he wants to play on then that could be the clincher.
"I love tight end," Lott said. "I love catching the ball and running over people more than I like hitting them."
There are only two other schools that Fisher has to worry about and thus far one still has not offered.
"I made it known very early that Vandy, LSU and Tennessee were the only offers I was worried about," Lott said. "I still haven't been offered by UT but they send me stuff all the time."
Perrish Cox is one of the toughest recruits to track down in the five-plus years I have been covering recruiting. However, Allen Wallace caught up with him and Cox named LSU and Oklahoma as his top two with Oklahoma State third. Only a few weeks ago, it was the Cowboys that were in the No.1 position but I believe that was only because OSU was recruiting him the hardest.
Once Cox trips to Norman, Oklahoma and then goes over to Baton Rouge it will turn into a two-team race. LSU has always been the school he spoke more highly of but until I catch up with him myself I am going to keep my reservations. Based on what I have heard from numerous sources, though, LSU is the team to beat.
A.J. Jones, the nation's 19th rated linebacker, had a lot of good things to say about the Tigers when I interviewed him on Wednesday and he said he is all but certain that he will make an official visit to LSU. Academics will play a big role in his decision and he said he really wants to see the academic center the coaches talk about so much. That is a huge selling point with recruits and it could pay off big for the Tigers.
Jones has gotten to know the LSU coaches a little but he is eager to talk to them a lot more. Out of all of the coaches he met during the May evaluation period, LSU defensive backs coach Doug Mallory made the strongest impression on him.
Jones did not know when he was going to visit but it would be good for LSU if he checks out one of the big games at Tiger Stadium, such as the Tennessee or Auburn contest.
Keiland Williams is making a huge splash at Hargrave Military Academy and is going to pick up a ton of offers. However, LSU is the big leader and if he signs with any other school it would be a big shocker.
Several people have asked me if Williams was eligible to play his senior year at Lafayette-Northside would he be the No. 1 rated running back in the state? I'm glad I don't have to worry about that because that would be such a tough call to make.
Williams and Charles Scott are very similar in everything they do on the field. But the one thing Williams would have on his side is the fact that he plays against a little stiffer competition. If the crowded backfield does not steer him elsewhere and he does in fact sign with the Tigers as I project then the Class of 2006 could be the best running back crop LSU has ever assembled.
Below is our version of Tiger Rag's Wish List. In the next couple of weeks I will be giving my projections on where LSU stands with each prospect.
Quarterbacks: Needs: 1; Committed 1
Running Backs: Needs: 3; Committed 2
**** Charles Scott 6-0, 220, 4.5 Jonesboro (La.) Hodge
**** Richard Murphy 6-1, 195, 4.5 Rayville (La.)
***** Stafon Johnson 6-0, 200, 4.4 Los Angeles (Calif.) Susan Miller Dorsey
***** C.J. Gable 6-1, 190, 4.5 Sylmar (Calif.)
*** Anthony Dixon 6-1, 228, 4.6 Terry (Miss.)
*** Keith Toston 6-1, 185, 4.5 Angleton (Texas)
* Keiland Williams 6-0, 225, 4.5 Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy
Wide Receivers: Needs: 2-3; Committed: 0
**** Tim Hawthorne 6-2, 192, 4.5 Homewood (Ala.)
**** Jamere Holland 6-1, 180, 4.4 Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft
**** Earl Alexander 6-4, 203, 4.5 Phenix City (Ala.) Central
**** Riley Cooper 6-4, 205, 4.5 Clearwater (Fla.) Central Catholic
**** London Crawford 6-2, 186, 4.5 Mobile (Ala.) Davidson
**** DeLaShaun Dean 6-4, 190, 4.6 Fairfield (Calif.)
**** Ricky Dixon 6-2, 203, 4.6 Reserve (La.) East St. John
**** Sam Shields 6-1, 175, 4.4 Sarasota (Fla.) Booker
**** Anthony Summers 6-3, 200, 4.5 Olive Branch (Miss.)
**** Jared White 6-1, 175, 4.5 Mobile (Ala.) Williamson
*** Lance Kendricks 6-4, 205, 4.5 Milwaukee (Wis.) King
*** E.J. Shankle 5-11, 188, 4.5 Lufkin (Texas)
*** Damon McDaniel 5-11, 192, 4.5 Virginia Beach (Va.) Landstown
*** Greg Mathews 6-3, 190, 4.6 Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater
*** Louis Lee 5-10, 165, 4.5 Reserve (La.) East St. John
*** Jared Mitchell 5-11, 195, 4.5 New Iberia (La.) Westgate
*** Chris Mitchell 6-0, 170, 4.5 Marrero (La.) John Ehret
Tight Ends: Needs: 1-2; Committed
**** Jermaine Gresham 6-6, 226, 4.7 Ardmore (Okla.)
*** Richard Dickson 6-4, 225, 4.7 Ocean Springs (Miss.)
*** J.D. Lott 6-4, 212, 4.6 Birmingham (Ala.) Briarwood Christian
*** Trent Pupello 6-3, 250, 4.7 Tampa (Fla.) Jefferson
*** Bradley Dedeaux 6-3, 235, 4.8 Oklahoma City (Okla.) Midwest City
*** Jonathan Massey 6-2, 245, 4.8 Pascagoula (Miss.)
Offensive Lineman: Needs: 5-6; Committed 2
*** Matt Allen 6-3, 278, 5.2 Klein (Texas) Klein Collins
* Anthony Boudreaux 6-5, 360, 5.3 Dodge City Community College (Kansas)
***** Andre Smith 6-4, 315, 5.2 Birmingham (Ala.) Huffman-Magnet
***** Ian Symonette 6-9, 350, 5.4 Houston (Texas) St. Pius X
**** Jovon Hayes 6-3, 320, 5.3 Los Angeles (Calif.) Susan Miller Dorsey
**** Daniel Wenger 6-4, 285, 5.2 Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
**** Charles Deas 6-4, 326, 5.2 Lauderdale Lakes (Fla.) Boyd Anderson
*** Trent Williams 6-4, 300, 5.2 Longview (Texas)
*** Chris Stewart 6-5, 360, 5.5 Klein (Texas)
*** Josh Hawkins 6-7, 305, 5.3 Greenville (Ala.)
*** Cruz Barrett 6-4, 315, 5.2 Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland
*** Daverin Geralds 6-3, 285, 5.2 Baton Rouge (La.) Scotlandville Magnet
*** Marcus Gilbert 6-6, 280, 5.2 Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Acquinas
*** Chris Guarnero 6-3, 266, 5.3 Denver (Colo.) Mullen
*** Maurice Hurt 6-4, 340, 5.3 Milledgeville (Ga.) Baldwin
*** David Ross 5-4, 285, 5.1 Homewood (Ala.)
*** Steven Singleton 6-3, 293, 5.4 Buford (Ga.)
*** Zhamal Thomas 6-4, 325, 5.2 New Iberia (La.)
* Tyler Graves 6-6, 290, 5.2 Sumrall (Miss.)
* Joseph Vargas 6-2, 315, 5.2 Sulphur Springs (Texas)
* Tyler Unsworth 6-8, 280, 5.1 Slidell (La.) Northshore
* Larry Brewer 6-7, 320, 5.2 Slidell (La.)
* Mark Snyder 6-7, 260, 5.1 New Orleans (La.) Brother Martin
* Jamarr Thompson 6-6, 312, 5.4 Reserve (La.) East St. John
Defensive Ends: Needs: 2-3; Committed 2
**** Lazarius Livingston 6-3, 252, 4.8 Ruston (La.)
*** Marcus Tillman 6-4, 250, 4.8 Franklin (Miss.) Meadville
**** Ugo Chinasa 6-5, 230, 4.7 Richardson (Texas) Berkner
**** Raven Gray 6-3, 245, 4.7 Enterprise (Ala.)
**** Brian Whitmore 6-4, 240, 4.6 Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith
*** Rajon Henley 6-1, 245, 4.7 Galveston (Texas) Ball
* Louis Holmes 6-7, 270, 4.6 Scottsdale (Ariz.) Scottsdale CC
Defensive Tackles: Needs: 1-2; Committed: 1
**** Al Woods 6-5, 327, 5.2 Elton (La.)
***** Micah Johnson 6-2, 277, 4.9 Ft. Campbell (Kent.)
***** Gerald McCoy 6-4, 285, 5.0 Oklahoma City (Okla.) Southeast
**** Lamarr Houston, Jr. 6-2, 258, 4.9 Colorado Springs (Colo.) Doherty
**** Kenrick Ellis 6-5, 320, 5.1 Lake Worth (Fla.) John Leonard
**** Chaz Washington 6-3, 290, 5.1 Destrehan (La.)
*** Jarred Shaw 6-4, 310, 5.1 Lafayette (La.) Northside
* D'Anthony Smith 6-3, 312, 5.2 Leesville (La.) Pickering
Linebackers: Needs: 4-5; Committed 4
**** Jacob Cutrera 6-4, 225, 4.5 Scott (La.) Acadiana
*** Bani Gbadyu 6-1, 210, 4.5 Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard
*** Danny McCray 6-2, 205, 4.5 Houston (Texas) Westfield
*** Troy Giddens 6-0, 200, 4.4 Hammond (La.)
**** Marcus Ball 6-0, 205, 4.5 Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson
**** Jarrell Miller 6-3, 235, 4.6 Highland Springs (Va.)
**** Mark Johnson 6-3, 230, 4.5 Los Angeles (Calif.) Susan Miller Dorsey
**** Brandon Spikes 6-4, 230, 4.6 Shelby (N.C.) Crest
**** Derrick Odom 6-2, 205, 4.5 Jackson (Miss.) Calloway
**** Bo Harris 6-2, 210, 4.6 Conyers (Ga.) Heritage
**** A.J. Jones 6-2, 190, 4.5 Tampa (Fla.) Middleton
*** Morrice Richardson 6-2, 215, 4.7 Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake
*** Perry Riley 6-0, 210, 4.6 Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson
*** Kelvin Sheppard 6-2, 222, 4.7 Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson
*** Van Stuman 6-2, 220, 4.7 North Little Rock (Ark.) West Campus
* Brian Duncan 6-2, 235, 4.7 Baton Rouge (La.) Tara
Cornerbacks: Needs: 2; Committed: 0
***** Jai Eugene 6-0, 185, 4.4 Destrehan (La.)
**** Perrish Cox 6-0, 170, 4.4 Waco (Texas) University
**** A.J. Wallace 6-1, 195, 4.4 Pomfret (Md.) McDonough
**** Shareece Wright 5-11, 185, 4.5 Colton (Calif.)
**** Asher Allen 5-10, 185, 4.45 Tucker (Ga.)
*** C.J. Bailey 5-10, 180, 4.5 Moss Point (Miss.)
*** Leonard Hewitt 5-11, 185, 4.5 Lufkin (Texas)
*** Ray Fisher 5-9, 167, 4.5 Cleveland (Ohio) Gelnville
*** LaRon Moore 5-9, 181, 4.6 Oklahoma City (Okla.) Midwest City
*** Daniel Johnson 6-3, 200, 4.5 Houston (Texas) Spring Woods
* Bernardo Henry 6-1, 175, 4.5 Leesville (La.)
Safeties: Needs: 2; Committed: 1
**** Shomari Clemons 6-2, 205, 4.5 West Monroe (La.)
***** Antwine Perez 6-2, 200, 4.5 Camden (N.J.) Woodrow Wilson
**** Jonas Mouton 6-2, 212, 4.6 Los Angeles (Calif.) Venice Senior
**** Allen Walker 6-2, 200, 4.5 Olive Branch (Miss.)
*** Markeith Summers 6-2, 190, 4.6 Olive Branch (Miss.)
*** Daniel Johnson 6-3, 200, 4.5 Houston (Texas) Spring Woods
*** Justin Woodall 6-1, 200, 4.6 Oxford (Miss.) Lafayette
*** Dan Kreamer 6-1, 195, 4.5 Shreveport (La.) Evangel
* Anthony Davis 6-0, 195, 4.6 Montgomery (Ala.) Carver Sr.
* Jimmy Rome 6-2, 195, 4.5 Baton Rouge (La.) Parkview Baptist