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.
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 with one or two counting against the '05 crop thus freeing up more room in this class.
Note: The stars next to each prospect is the rating assigned by the staff at Scout.com. Players will be added and removed from this list up until signing day but these are the ones getting serious interest from LSU at this time.
Here is a look at the offensive side of the ball and on Sunday we will take a look at the defensive side.
Bold: Indicates has LSU offer.
Quarterbacks: Needs: 1-2; Committed 1
***** Tim Tebow 6-3, 225, 4.6 St. Augustine (Fla.) Nease 20-80
Sonny's Take: Tim Tebow took his official visit to LSU last weekend for the Appalachian State game and that marked his second trip to Baton Rouge over a three-week span.
"It went really good," Tebow said of the visit. "It wasn't the most exciting game but they did what they had to do to win. They took care of business."
Tebow was hosted on the trip by Luke Sanders but he spent just as much time with Jimbo Fisher.
"We watched a lot of film and I loved that," Tebow said. "On Sunday, we watched the film from the game and coach Fisher was pointing out some things they could have done differently. He really knows a lot about the game."
Fisher along with Les Miles have done a remarkable job recruiting Tebow but former LSU head coach Nick Saban also deserves a pat on the back.
"We are very impressed with coach Miles and coach Fisher," said Tebow. "Me and my parents like them a lot. They are not only great coaches but they are really good people too. Another thing that stands out with LSU too is the athletes they have. They have some of the best athletes in the country."
Since this was his second trip to LSU in such a short time did Tebow learn or see anything that he had missed on his other visit?
"Not really," he said. "We already knew about the facilities and how good they are. I already knew they players were real close. I got to spend some time with Ryan Perrilloux and I enjoyed that. I guess the one thing would be being around the coaches more makes you realize how strong of character they all have."
Tebow still has trips planned to USC, Michigan and Florida before he announces his decision on Dec. 14 on ESPNews. This weekend he will take an unofficial visit to Alabama to check out his other two finalists.
Did the LSU visit create any separation amongst his final five?
"I was real impressed with LSU and I can't wait to take my other three visits so I can compare all of the schools together," he said. "They are all great schools and I'm still looking at all of them equally."
Sonny's Pick: Getting a good read on Tim Tebow is extremely difficult because he does not give any indication of where he is leaning, or if he is even leaning anywhere. I think Alabama or Florida present the best opportunity for playing time and the depth charts are not as stacked as they are at LSU and USC. Michigan is a wildcard but does a kid from Florida really want to head up North to Ann Arbor?
LSU got a very good quarterback in Alex Cate and unless Tebow pulls a shocker, Cate will be the only signal caller coming in with the 2006 class.
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.)
**** Keiland Williams 6-0, 225, 4.5 Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy 70-30
*** Anthony Dixon 6-1, 228, 4.6 Terry (Miss.) 40-60
*** William Griffin 5-11, 195, 4.5 Patterson (La.) 70-30
Sonny's Take: Keiland Williams is a strong lean to return back to Louisiana to wear the purple and gold for LSU. He is scheduled to be at Ole Miss this weekend on an official visit and he has recently mentioned Georgia, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma and Florida as others he is interested in. When it comes time to make a decision, though, the chance to play for the school he grew up following will be too much to pass on.
If Williams would decide there is too many backs in this class with Charles Scott and Richard Murphy already in the fold then William Griffin is one to watch for. He is having a super senior campaign and is a good candidate to win player of the year in his class.
"They said they are close to offering and that is where I've always wanted to go," Griffin recently told Tiger Rag.
Sonny's Pick: Keiland Williams comes back home to give LSU the best running back class in the country for 2006.
Wide Receivers: Needs: 2-3; Committed: 1
**** London Crawford 6-2, 186, 4.5 Mobile (Ala.) Davidson
**** Tim Hawthorne 6-2, 192, 4.5 Homewood (Ala.) 30-70
**** Earl Alexander 6-4, 203, 4.5 Phenix City (Ala.) Central 30-70
**** Ricky Dixon 6-2, 203, 4.6 Reserve (La.) East St. John 80-20
**** Sam Shields 6-1, 175, 4.4 Sarasota (Fla.) Booker 20-80
**** Anthony Summers 6-3, 200, 4.5 Olive Branch (Miss.) 50-50
**** Jared White 6-1, 175, 4.5 Mobile (Ala.) Williamson 60-40
**** Lance Kendricks 6-4, 205, 4.5 Milwaukee (Wis.) King 40-60
*** Jarred Mitchell 5-11, 195, 4.5 New Iberia (La.) Westgate 60-40
*** Chris Mitchell 6-0, 170, 4.5 Marrero (La.) John Ehret 60-40
*** Mick McCoy 6-2, 195, 4.6 Brandon (Miss.) Northwest 40-60
Sonny's Take: There are so many studs to choose from at this position. It's getting to a point to where Les Miles is going to have to tell the guys he is after that they only have so many spots and it will be a first come first serve basis.
Ricky Dixon is a virtual lock and when Miles leans on him a little in the near future he will likely give him his pledge.
A player that has caught the attention of the LSU coaches over the past six or seven weeks is Chris Mitchell.
Mitchell plays quarterback now and has put up some huge numbers in his abbreviated senior campaign. His team has been decimated by transfers due to Katrina and he does not have much of a supporting cast. He has still dazzled opponents to the tune of nearly 250 yards of total offense a game but it was his performances against Destrehan and Assumption that really caught LSU's attention.
Against Assumption he racked up over 500 yards running and passing, and he piled up over 350 against Destrehan.
"That was one of the best individual performances I have ever seen," said Destrehan head coach Steve Robichaux. "That kid is an amazing athlete. I told Billy North (John Ehret head coach) after the game that the kid was amazing. He is real physical and can just do it all."
That says a lot about Mitchell because Robichaux sees one of the top athletes in the country on a day in and day out basis in Jai Eugene.
Mitchell is scheduled to visit LSU Dec. 10 and the Tigers are currently the team to beat.
"I've been hearing from them a lot more once we started playing," Mitchell told Tiger Rag. "They said they would love to have me and they are my top choice right now with Ole Miss second."
What is it that the coaches like?
"Coach (Karl ) Dunbar said I make a lot of plays whenever I have the ball and I am very physical," he said.
Sonny's Pick: Ricky Dixon, Chris Mitchell and Jared White are all three leaning to the Tigers but do they take all three? Also, the coaches have Jarred Mitchell to consider but that may be a risk since he may opt for pro baseball. I say Dixon, Chris Mitchell or Jared White, and Jarred Mitchell all come aboard. If Jarred Mitchell opts for pro baseball then the Tigers still get three blue-chip wide outs and if he chooses college then they will find room for him
Tight Ends: Needs: 2; Committed 2
**** Richard Dickson 6-4, 249, 4.7 Ocean Springs (Miss.) 80-20
*** J.D. Lott 6-4, 212, 4.6 Birmingham (Ala.) Briarwood Christian
**** Na Derris Ward 6-5, 245, 4.8 Oakland (Calif.) McClymonds 30-70
**** Jermaine Gresham 6-6, 226, 4.7 Ardmore (Okla.) 40-60
Sonny's Pick: If Na Derris Ward or Jermaine Gresham want to come aboard then Les Miles will likely welcome him with open arms but for all practical purposes LSU is through at this position.
Offensive Lineman: Needs: 5-6; Committed 2
**** Matt Allen 6-3, 278, 5.2 Klein (Texas) Klein Collins
* Mark Snyder 6-7, 275, 5.1 West Monroe (La.)
***** Andre Smith 6-4, 315, 5.2 Birmingham (Ala.) Huffman 20-80
**** Daniel Wenger 6-4, 285, 5.2 Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas 30-70
**** Charles Deas 6-4, 326, 5.2 Lauderdale Lakes (Fla.) Boyd Anderson 20-80
**** Butch Lewis 6-6, 285, 5.2 Aurora (Colo.) Regis Jesuit 40-60
**** Chris Stewart 6-5, 360, 5.5 Klein (Texas) 50-50
*** Trent Williams 6-4, 300, 5.2 Longview (Texas) 70-30
*** Josh Hawkins 6-7, 305, 5.3 Greenville (Ala.) 40-60
*** Marcus Gilbert 6-6, 280, 5.2 Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Acquinas 30-70
*** Steven Singleton 6-3, 293, 5.4 Buford (Ga.) 65-35
*** Zhamal Thomas 6-4, 325, 5.2 New Iberia (La.) 70-30
*** Daverin Geralds 6-3, 285, 5.2 Baton Rouge (La.) Scotlandville Magnet 60-40
*** Chaz Washington 6-3, 290, 5.1 Destrehan (La.) 60-40
* Tyler Graves 6-6, 290, 5.2 Sumrall (Miss.) 50-50
* Tyler Unsworth 6-8, 280, 5.1 Slidell (La.) Northshore 40-60
* Larry Brewer 6-7, 320, 5.2 Slidell (La.) 30-70
Sonny's Take: The Tigers picked up one tackle this past week in Mark Snyder and dropped one in Anthony Boudreaux. I like that simply for the fact that the chances of getting two good years out of Boudreaux were slim due to the fact that he would have a lot to learn in such a short amount of time. The most the Tigers would have gotten was one good year out of the Juco transfer but his academic situation made the issue a moot point and now he is likely headed to a Division-I AA school.
In Snyder, the Tigers are getting a good prospect that only needs to learn the ins and outs of offensive tackle and some time in the weight room.
"He has all of the tools," said West Monroe head coach Don Shows. "He can be as good as any that I've had. Mark just needs to get stronger then he will be a good one for LSU."
With two o-line commitments, the Tigers would like to get four more to round out this class.
It is a very strong possibility that two spots will be filled within the next three to four weeks by Zhamal Thomas and Lee Tilley.
"LSU is where I want to go," Thomas said. "That is where I've always wanted to go."
Thomas is waiting on his ACT score to come in and if he has a qualifying test score then he will pull the trigger. His GPA was a 2.2 heading into his senior year but he said his core will be 2.5 or higher when his grades are tallied at the midway point of the year.
Texas (1/5) and Ole Miss (12/3) are in line for official visits and when asked how often he hears from those schools, he replied, "They call once a week but LSU is where I want to go bad."
Thomas will take his official to LSU the second weekend in December and if he is not already committed by then look for him to give his verbal on that trip.
Tilley will trip to Auburn next weekend but LSU is still in very good shape with the 6-7, 310 pound tackle. I know LSU fans are nervous about that trip and there is a chance Auburn could impress him enough him to pull him away. However, he would have to be absolutely blown away with what he sees on the Plains for that to happen.
Chris Stewart is another possibility but the feeling I get with him is that Notre Dame holds the upper hand in his recruitment.
Everyone wants to know about Ian Symonette and it seems that no one has been able to reach the nation's No. 3 rated offensive lineman. LSU was in good shape at one point in time but Miami looks like the team that will come out on top.
Trent Williams and Steven Singleton are two more prospects LSU is in the thick of it with.
When Williams was in Baton Rouge for his official visit he spent a lot of time with Zhamal Thomas and the two talked about playing together at LSU.
Williams has been high on LSU since the beginning and still lists the Tigers as his leader.
Singleton was close to committing to the Tigers after his official visit but now he wants to see what West Virginia has to offer. He will head to Morgantown for an official on Dec. 10 and then he wants to make his decision.
If Singleton decides LSU is not for him then someone to watch is Chaz Washington.
Washington committed to Miami late last week but is still interested in the Tigers. The sticking point is that LSU wants him for offensive guard but everyone else is telling him he can stay at defensive tackle. Sources say that Washington is now considering the o-line as an option and if that is something he decides he is okay with then he may find a spot in this class.
Sonny's Picks: Lee Tilley, Trent Williams, Zhamal Thomas, and Steven Singleton or possible even Chaz Washington, fill LSU's needs on the o-line.