The Tigers have been in the hunt for the nation's 16th rated offensive lineman but they took a major step forward in the Lee Tilley sweepstakes.
"It was a great visit," said the 6-7, 310 pound tackle from Columbus (Ohio) Franklin Heights. "I loved it a lot. That atmosphere was so electric. The fans were so crazy and loud."
LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pellini is recruiting Tilley and he has a close bond with Franklin Heights offensive line coach Jeremy Beckham.
Tilley had heard a lot about LSU but he had no idea of what he was getting himself into.
"The atmosphere, the people and really everything was great," he said. "The people are so much different down there than any other place I've been. They had great facilities and the weight room was so nice. All I could say was wow. This is really awesome."
Tilley said he knew the Tigers needed offensive linemen but it became even more apparent on his trip.
"Everybody was telling me how they really need offensive linemen very bad," he said. "Even the players were saying that too so that made me realize how true it is. Some places you go and the players are like we got so many guys you don't want to come here. But there they were all like man we need you."
The big Midwest product has made his rounds to many college campuses over the years and he has already been to Oklahoma and Arizona State on official visits.
How did LSU's stack up?
"I've seen something like 15 college campuses officially and unofficially and LSU had one of the better ones," he said.
Herman Johnson was Tilley's player host for the weekend and the two had a good time together.
"Me and Big Herm just really hung out a lot," he said. "That guy was big. He was telling me how he is the biggest baby ever born in Louisiana."
Before Tilley left to head back up North he met with Pellini and head coach Les Miles. Usually the coaches try and close the deal by trying to get a commitment but the big man said he did not feel pressured into giving them an answer.
"Not really," he said. There wasn't any pressure put on me. They just said they need offensive linemen, particularly tackles, and they wanted me."
Tilley is on pace to graduate in December and he said he will likely make a decision sometime in November. He is scheduled to take his fourth official visit to South Carolina this weekend and then sit back and take a long hard look at the recruiting process.
One thing is for certain and that is he will not have an easy decision.
"You know the thing that makes it tough is I have so many good schools that want me," he said. "It's really an honor because it is like a who's who of college football. I have the last five national champions that I can choose from. Man that is tough."
So what are the chances of LSU coming out on top?
"It'd be pretty high," he said. They have a great program and they win so much. The SEC is a great place and I'd love to play in it. They have a really good program that is always going to be good and they prepare you for the NFL. It‘s just a tough decision I have to make."
Ohio tackle loved atmosphere
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