The weekend of the Florida game is shaping up as a big weekend for hosting prospects on official visits. With all of the postponements and rescheduling of games due to hurricanes, this will be the first weekend that Les Miles and his staff will be able to get recruits on campus and show them what LSU football is all about.
Miles and his staff could not ask for more because the atmosphere will be electric when the Gators come to town even though the game has been moved to a 2:30 p.m. kickoff. It would be great if all of the prospects that will be on campus could see a night game in Tiger Stadium because we all know the atmosphere is different at night. But, I get the feeling that Tiger fans and the players are going to be so pumped up that it will not really matter what time the game is being played.
The following players are scheduled to be in for an official visit when the Gators come to town and there are some big names on the list. Na Derris Ward, Mark Johnson, J.D. Lott, Damon McDaniel, Lee Tilley, Kelvin Sheppard, Steven Singleton, Perry Riley, and Bani Gbadyu are all expected to be in town and all but Johnson and McDaniel have been confirmed. I expect some new names to pop up over the next few days and when they do we will give you the update at www.tigerrag.com.
I had a lengthy conversation with Columbus (Ohio) Franklin Heights offensive line coach Jeremy Beckham regarding his talented offensive tackle Lee Tilley (6-7, 310, 5.2).
LSU was never really considered a major player for Tilley's signature but if he has a good official visit that could propel the Tigers into his No. 1 spot.
"Oh yea," Beckham said when asked if LSU had a good shot. "LSU has a real good shot with him."
Bo Pellini gets most of the credit for Tilley's interest and according to Beckham he has done a fantastic job recruiting the talented youngster.
I would be shocked if Ohio State does not make a strong run at him but when I asked what schools were major players for Scout.com's No. 16 rated offensive lineman in the country the Buckeyes were not mentioned.
There is more to this story than meets the eye and that is all I can say at this point. I'm going to leave it at that for now but I do feel that LSU is in real good shape with Tilley and there is a good chance Pellini pulls him down to bayou country.
J.D. Lott, a three-star prospect out of Alabama, is another player LSU is in real good shape with. The 6-4, 212-pounder likes the idea of playing tight end and the Tigers are the only ones looking at him for the position.
"Vanderbilt talks about defensive end and maybe fullback while Tennessee is talking about linebacker," Lott said. "I like the idea of playing tight end because I think that gives me the best chance to make it to the next level (NFL)."
Playing time is going to be a big factor with Lott and a player of his caliber could be an impact player at Vandy in his first year. However, he also sees a good opportunity to play early at LSU.
"Coach Fisher talks about how they need tight ends because one they just signed has gained some weight and will probably be moving to the offensive line," Lott said. "He said they need a couple of guys bad."
Les Miles offered offensive tackle Tyler Graves (6-6, 295, 5.3) a verbal scholarship back in May but since then the Tigers have backed off the big Mississippi product. He had not heard from anyone on the staff for a couple of months and that written offer, which is the one that matters, never showed up at his doorstep.
He spoke with coach (Josh) Henson after the Tennessee game and was reassured that he is still on the Tigers' radar and still had an offer. The thing that strikes me is that he had to call coach Henson and no one from the LSU staff had called him during September. So, one has to wonder if Graves had been put on the backburner? That is what it looks like from this view.
Another Mississippi prospect that had a verbal offer from the Tigers is tight end Jonathan Massey but he appears to be in the same to boat as Graves.
"Man, they offered me a while back but it's been a long time since I talked to anyone from LSU," Massey said. "I still like them and would like to go check them out on a visit but I don't know how interested they still are. I get letters all of the time but that is it."
Massey could resurface again because there are not many tight ends on the board for the coaches to fall back on but for now his offer appears to be on hold.
One tight end the coaches would love to sign is four-star recruit Jermaine Gresham of Ardmore, Okla.
Gresham (6-6, 226, 4.7) has a good relationship with Les Miles from his days at Oklahoma State and the Tigers are currently in line to get a visit from him. No date has been set and Gresham is very hard to nail down for an interview but one of my Big 12 sources says LSU remains in the hunt.