TIGER WRAP

LSU is sitting at 18 commitments as we head into November but that number could be increasing to 19 within the next week.

On Wednesday evening around 8 p.m., four-star tight end Richard Dickson of Ocean Springs (Miss.) told Tiger Rag that LSU was his No. 1 choice and that he could commit within the next week or two.

Well, a week or two turned into about an hour and half.

"Right after me and you got through talking that made me start thinking about it more and I didn't want them to fill up," Dickson said. "My dad heard me tell you a week or two and then we started talking about it. He said if that is what you want then go ahead and do it."

About 9:30 that night, Dickson picked up the phone and called LSU recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach Josh Henson to give him his pledge.

"He (Henson) was real excited," Dickson said. "Coach Miles was in a meeting at the time but he called me back and just said welcome to the family."

Before Dickson pulled the trigger he had said that he was down to the Tigers, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Miami. Now, he is down to one and only one.

"I'm done with it now," Dickson said of the recruiting process. "I'm committed and ready to get my high school year done so I can get down to LSU."

It is highly likely that Lee Tilley, who is Scout.com's 16th rated offensive lineman in the country, will be announcing his commitment next week. In an interview on Wednesday, he told me that he is still looking at six schools and denies a leader but I look for LSU to come out on top.

"I'm still looking at LSU, Oklahoma, Arizona State, South Carolina, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh," said the 6-7, 315-pounder from Columbus (Ohio) Franklin Heights.

I've been speaking with Tilley and several others close to the situation pretty regularly and I still feel the same as I have for the past three weeks and that is LSU steals a big one from Big 10 country.

Tilley recently told me three keys to his decision in no particular order are playing time, academics and the chance to win some championships.

We all know LSU has a huge need for offensive linemen, especially tackles, and Tilley knows that as well.

After his official visit to LSU, he commented on how impressed he was with the Tigers and the caliber of players already on the team. He said he felt that LSU would give him a good opportunity to win a ring, or rings, and that he felt the coaching staff was top-notch. Talent and good coaching may not necessarily bring a championship but they are two key ingredients.

The most important of the three criteria he is focusing on is academic support and that is what could seal the deal for the Tigers.

"Academics to me is the one thing that can make a school standout," Tilley said. "At LSU, you could tell how much they put into academics. Some academic centers are nice but at LSU it was like WOW. That was all I could say."

Tiger fans have been hungry for some blue-chip offensive linemen to give LSU the nod and their wish will come true next week.

In no way am I saying that four-star recruit told me he was committing to LSU but when I put two and two together, I come up with Lee Tilley is an LSU Tiger.

If Tilley jumps on board like I expect him to then that would leave anywhere from 6 to 9 spots still open in this class. The word I've received from several sources close to the program is that LSU could sign as many as 28 or 29 in this class for a couple of reasons.

A few guys are going to be close with their academics and may not qualify. Also, there could be as many as three guys enrolling in January, which may count against the '05 class thus freeing up more room in this class.

Another prospect LSU looks good with is former Lafayette-Northside running back Keiland Williams (6-0, 225, 4.5). He is currently tearing it up at Hargrave Military Academy and word from several people close to him is that he wants to come back home.

The only thing that may cause Williams to land at one of the other schools that he is has been offered by and is seriously looking at would be the fact that LSU already has two top backs in Charles Scott and Richard Murphy already committed.

The schools LSU will have to fend off for Williams' signature are USC, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Florida, Minnesota, Ole Miss and UCLA.

Les Miles has proved he is a solid recruiter and I think he is able to persuade Williams that home is where the heart is and he ends up signing with the Tigers.

On a side note regarding Williams, Scout.com's experts have not yet rated him but some feel that he is a five-star recruit and could receive that lofty ranking very soon.

Should Keiland Williams decide to take his talent and skills some place other than LSU then Patterson (La.) product William Griffin (5-11, 195, 4.5) could fill the void.

Griffin has not picked up an offer from the Tigers yet but LSU defensive backs coach Doug Mallory has him high on his list.

"I talk to him (Mallory) every week and he tells me how high I am on their list and they are close to offering," said Griffin, who has rushed for over 1,250 yards and 24 touchdowns heading into week nine. "He said they want to see me play in person first and they are coming in two weeks when we play Franklin."

Griffin said he has offers from Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Tulane but he lacks the one that matters the most.

"LSU is the one that I'm wanting to pick up," he said. "It's a great school and a great environment. That is my No. 1 school without a doubt."

Griffin has been busy on the weekends taking unofficial visits. He has already been to Arkansas and LSU, and this weekend he will be at Ole Miss.

One thing LSU could be waiting on is his academic situation. He has a solid 3.1 GPA but he took the ACT for the first time last Saturday so it will be four to six weeks before he gets his results.

Hopefully, for this young man's sake he gets a qualifying test score because the clock is ticking.

Memphis (Tenn.) Briarcrest Christian tight end prospect Greg Hardy (6-6, 245, 4.8) is someone the LSU coaches are interested in and the interest is mutual on both parts.

However, now that the Tigers have commitments from Richard Dickson and J.D. Lott, one has to wonder if Hardy is still in the picture. The one thing that may keep him on the radar is that he is an exceptional athlete that could also play defensive end but I think that spot is saved for two guys and two guys only--Louis Holmes or Ugo Chinasa.

However, one thing about recruiting is there always seems to be a new name that pops up when you least expect it. Does LSU have a mystery man out there that no one knows about?

The last two weekends have been filled with some blue-chip prospects on their official visits but this weekend looks like it may be an off weekend.

Currently, there are no prospects scheduled to come in for official visits but most of the prospects LSU is still recruiting in the Bayou State will be in town unofficially. Ricky Dixon, Jai Eugene, Chaz Washington, Zhamal Thomas and Jarred Mitchell highlight the list of unofficials. I've also heard that the West Monroe tandem of offensive tackle Mark Snyder and defensive end Will Blackwell will also be in.

Speaking of Will Blackwell, the 6-4, 280 pound defensive end will be one of the top players in the state for the Class of 2007 and early signs point towards Les Miles has a lot of work to do with a few of the top juniors that may be leaning out-of-state at this time. Blackwell is not one of them but Miles has his work cut out for him with Joe McKnight, Edwin Reed, Jr. and Rolando Melancon.

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