This is an updated version of Tiger Rag's Wish List for the Class of 2006, along with my percentages on LSU picking up a commitment from each prospect. For those prospects who do not have an offer I am basing my percentages on them committing if they do get a scholarship offer. I have also included my predictions on how the class would round out if National Signing Day was today.
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.
Friday, we gave you the offense and today we will take a look at the other side of the ball.
Bold: Indicates has LSU offer.
Defensive Ends: Needs: 3-4; Committed 2
Commitments*** Lazarius Livingston 6-3, 252, 4.8 Ruston (La.)
*** Marcus Tillman 6-4, 250, 4.8 Franklin (Miss.) MeadvilleTop Targets
***** Louis Holmes 6-7, 270, 4.6 Scottsdale (Ariz.) Scottsdale CC 50-50
**** Ugo Chinasa 6-5, 230, 4.7 Richardson (Texas) Berkner 40-60
*** Rajon Henley 6-1, 245, 4.7 Galveston (Texas) Ball 30-70
** Dexter Manley, Jr. 6-4, 260, 4.8 Santa Monica Community College 60-40
Sonny's Take: I wouldn't have thought the Tigers would be looking to shore up this position since they picked up early commitments from one of the top defensive ends in Louisiana (Lazarius Livingston) and Mississippi (Marcus Tillman) but it looks like there is room for two more in this class.
With Louis Holmes and Dexter Manley, Jr., coming in for an official visit for the Arkansas game that tells me the coaches are trying to sell the two juco guys as a package deal.
Holmes has been Karl Dunbar's pet project for going on eight months now and the two have a real strong bond. He has first round NFL draft pick written all over him and could step in and take Melvin Oliver's spot next year. He is just that good.
The 6-6, 270-poudner will graduate in December so he will get to go through spring ball and that should be all the time he needs to earn a starting spot somewhere.
Manley burst onto the scene over the past month or so and that caught many Tiger fans by surprise. He has good size at 6-4, 260 pounds and is very quick coming off the edge. His father is former Washington Redskins' great Dexter Manley, Sr., and if he is half as good as his father then he has the makings of a future NFL player.
Manley has only played football for a little over two years so he is very raw but Dunbar must feel like he can mold and shape him into a top-notch end. My juco source says LSU currently leads for Manley but he has picked up several offers from the West Coast schools as of late that could make things more interesting. You can expect a full update on him within the next week and then I will be able to shed a little more light on his situation.
The Tigers are also still in the hunt for one of the top defensive ends in Texas in Ugo Chinasa. He is in the process of setting up an official visit to LSU but as of now the date is still up in the air. The last time I spoke with Chinasa he spoke very highly of the Tigers but one has to wonder if the number of ends already on board will factor into his
Sonny's Pick: There is some talk of moving Lazarius Livingston inside to tackle if he can add enough weight to his frame and that could be why Karl Dunbar is looking for two more ends. I think all it will take for Dunbar to get a commitment from Louis Holmes is for the two to spend one more weekend together. If my sources are correct on what they are telling me on Manley then there is a good chance that the two could be bookends in the future. I say Holmes will be wearing the purple and gold but I'm not ready to say the same for Manley until I speak with him on the matter.
Defensive Tackles: Needs: 1; Committed: 1
Commitments**** Al Woods 6-5, 327, 5.2 Elton (La.)Top Targets
***** Gerald McCoy 6-4, 285, 5.0 Oklahoma City (Okla.) Southeast 20-80
**** Lamarr Houston, Jr. 6-2, 258, 4.9 Colorado Springs (Colo.) Doherty 30-70
Sonny's Take: Needs are met but I can't imagine that Karl Dunbar would turn down Gerald McCoy or Lamarr Houston, Jr., if either wanted to be a Tiger. However, odds are that Dunbar will not have to make that call because both are headed elsewhere.Sonny's Pick: Al Woods is good enough for me.
Linebackers: Needs: 5; Committed 5
Commitments**** 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
*** Perry Riley 6-0, 210, 4.6 Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson 55-45
*** Kelvin Sheppard 6-2, 222, 4.7 Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson 60-40Top Targets
**** Jarrell Miller 6-3, 235, 4.6 Highland Springs (Va.) 20-80
**** Mark Johnson 6-3, 230, 4.5 Los Angeles (Calif.) Susan Miller Dorsey 30-70
**** Brandon Spikes 6-4, 230, 4.6 Shelby (N.C.) Crest 30-70
**** Derrick Odom 6-2, 205, 4.5 Jackson (Miss.) Calloway 30-70
**** Bo Harris 6-2, 210, 4.6 Conyers (Ga.) Heritage 30-70
**** A.J. Jones 6-2, 190, 4.5 Tampa (Fla.) Middleton 40-60
*** Van Stuman 6-2, 220, 4.7 North Little Rock (Ark.) West Campus 50-50
Sonny's Take: Look for Bani Gbadyu to waiver or his commitment and to sign with Penn State or Virginia Tech. That will open up a spot that could be filled by Mark Johnson, Brandon Spikes, Derrick Odom or A.J. Jones. Odom and Jones both plan on visiting LSU sometime in January and Bo Pellini is still trying to get Spikes in for a visit. Johnson would be a great catch because he has the size to play in the middle and he hits like a mack truck. LSU has plenty of speed at this position but needs the big body in the middle.Sonny's Pick: Sonny's Pick: Bani Gbadyu heads for Happy Valley (Penn State) with Derrick Odom possibly filling his spot. Mark Johnson is the wildcard to keep an eye on.
Cornerbacks: Needs: 2; Committed: 0
***** Jai Eugene 6-0, 185, 4.4 Destrehan (La.) 70-30
**** Perrish Cox 6-0, 170, 4.4 Waco (Texas) University 50-50
**** Shareece Wright 5-11, 185, 4.5 Colton (Calif.) 30-70
*** C.J. Bailey 5-10, 180, 4.5 Moss Point (Miss.) 30-70
*** Leonard Hewitt 5-11, 185, 4.5 Lufkin (Texas) 20-80
*** LaRon Moore 5-9, 181, 4.6 Oklahoma City (Okla.) Midwest City 20-80
*** Daniel Johnson 6-3, 200, 4.5 Houston (Texas) Spring Woods 30-70
* Bernardo Henry 6-1, 175, 4.5 Leesville (La.) 50-50
* Jake Jones 6-1, 180, 4.5 Mountain Brook (Ala.) 40-60
Sonny's Take: The Tigers want at least one corner in this class but would love to sign two. Without a doubt those two are Jai Eugene and Perrish Cox.
To avoid sounding like a broken record, I'm going to save my spill on Eugene because nothing has changed. He likes LSU more than he has ever let on in any interview you've read and unless Miami pulls a rabbit out of the hat he will sign with LSU on signing day.
Things look much better with Cox than they did a month or two ago and if he has a good official visit when he makes his trip in either December or January then that could be just what LSU needs to overtake Oklahoma.
The Lufkin (Texas) duo of Leonard Hewitt and E.J. Shankle have resurfaced on LSU's radar and are in the process of setting up their official trip. Texas A&M is the team to beat but LSU has made up a lot of ground on the Aggies in recent weeks.
Hewitt would be a good pickup if LSU could get him but Shankle concerns me because he is the type of player that could never settle on one position and move around his entire career.
Jake Jones is someone who has just popped up on the radar and he is reporting an offer from the Tigers. I am going off of what one of my leading sources has told me and I'll have a full update on him next week.
Sonny's Pick: Jai Eugene and Perrish Cox could give the Tigers two of the top five corners in America. Eugene is a virtual lock but the jury is still out on Cox.
Safeties: Needs: 2; Committed: 1
Commitments*** Shomari Clemons 6-2, 205, 4.5 West Monroe (La.)
*** Troy Giddens 6-0, 200, 4.4 Hammond (La.)Top Targets
**** Jonas Mouton 6-2, 212, 4.6 Los Angeles (Calif.) Venice Senior 50-50
**** Allen Walker 6-2, 200, 4.5 Olive Branch (Miss.) 50-50
**** Reshad Jones 6-2, 180, 4.5 Atlanta (Ga.) Washington 50-50
*** Markeith Summers 6-2, 190, 4.6 Olive Branch (Miss.) 40-60
*** Dan Kreamer 6-1, 195, 4.5 Shreveport (La.) Evangel 50-50
* Anthony Davis 6-0, 195, 4.6 Montgomery (Ala.) Carver Sr. 30-70
* Jimmy Rome 6-2, 195, 4.5 Baton Rouge (La.) Parkview Baptist 70-30Sonny's Take: Shomari Clemons still has some work to do in the classroom and there is a decent chance he will not qualify academically.
I've been told that Troy Giddens will get a strong look at strong safety first and if that doesn't work out then he will move back to linebacker. He has the speed but the question is does he have the cover skills?
Finding a free safety has to be at or near the top of Les Miles' list right now because if LaRon Landry leaves after this year then that will leave a big void in the secondary.
Someone keeping a close eye on what Landry does is Reshad Jones.
First and foremost, the four-star safety is looking for early playing time and he says that will be his deciding factor. He has never come out and said it but he has hinted on more than one occasion that if Landry leaves then LSU would be tough to beat.
The problem there, though, is that by the time Landry decides it may too late in the game and Jones will have already made his choice.
Tiger fans would love to see Jonas Mouton return to Louisiana but for that to happen LSU would have to beat out USC, Michigan and Nebraska.
For a while now, I've said that I don't see Mouton going to USC simply because the Trojans already have commitments from two of the top five safeties in the country in Taylor Mays and Antwine Perez.
Mouton had said all along that their commitments will not affect his decision but he recently told Tiger Rag that it could come into play.
"I've been thinking about it a little bit," Mouton said.
One thing about it is Mouton is very confident in his abilities and he is not worried about the competition but the potential logjam could be a huge plus for the Tigers.
If it comes down to Michigan, Nebraska and LSU then I think LSU has the best shot at pulling him from out West.
Aside from Jones and Mouton, Allen Walker is the next blue-chip safety in line but it may be tough to get him away from Florida.Sonny's Pick: Take your pick between Reshad Jones and Jonas Mouton. For the first time throughout his recruitment, though, I finally have a good feeling about Mouton.Official Visits Scheduled
10/15--Na Derris Ward; Mark Johnson; J.D. Lott; Lee Tilley; Kelvin Sheppard; Steven Singleton; Perry Riley, Jonas Mouton, Sam Shields and Bani Gbadyu
10/22--Trent Williams, Alex Cate and Lance Kendricks
11/26--Louis Holmes; Dexter Manley, Jr.
12/10--Zhamal Thomas; Chris Mitchell
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