TIGER WRAP:Our latest recruiting scoop

It's Friday and that means it's time for another edition of Tiger Rag's Tiger Wrap. This week we will take a look at the latest on Jai Eugene, Ian Symonette, Perrish Cox, Al Woods, Gerald McCoy, Andre Smith, Richard Dickson, Ricky Dixon, Chris Mitchell, Keiland Williams and more.

This is the first weekend that recruits can take official visits since the dead period kicked in before the holidays but I have not been able to confirm that any prospects will be visiting LSU until next weekend.


The U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be played tomorrow in San Antonio and LSU fans will get a good chance to see some future Tigers in action.


There are at least eight players taking part in the game who have either committed to the Tigers or who still have LSU amongst their list of finalists.


I have a policy where I will not call a recruit who participates in the game and the weeklong festivities because I feel like this gives them a chance to get away from most of the recruiting hoopla for a short period of time.


I do have several sources within the Scout.com Network and other media outlets who have given me some good reports and a few tidbits from the past week. When I speak of how the prospects have fared in San Antonio keep in mind that this is what I've been told by reliable sources and not my own observations.


The nation's No. 1 rated cornerback prospect Jai Eugene is set to announce his college selection on Saturday in front of a national audience and I still feel like LSU will be his choice.


There has been a lot of talk about Eugene possibly committing to Michigan but I find that hard to fathom simply because he said that the only problem he had with USC was that Los Angeles was too far away from home and his son. With distance playing such a factor in his decision, I would be unbelievably shocked if he selected the Wolverines.


The last time I spoke with the Detsrehan product he told me a few things off the record that led me to believe that he already told the LSU coaches he was staying home. Miami and Florida are also still in the hunt but I'm sure the big egg the Hurricanes laid in the Peach Bowl did not help their cause.


Eugene reportedly has looked impressive over the past week and despite some problems he had with the heat on the first day and a gimpy ankle he has fared well against some of the nation's finest receivers. The thing that stood out the most was his speed and his ability to change directions on a dime.


Eugene has been playing one corner spot and playing opposite has been Perrish Cox.


More than a couple of scouts have said that Cox has the best cover skills on the West squad and he has been able to lock up man-to-man and shut down the receivers. Some questioned whether or not he was physical enough to play corner at the next level but his performance over the past week has quieted many of those little birds.


LSU is still in the hunt for some of the country's premiere offensive linemen and two of the best in the land are showcasing their skills in Texas.

The nation's No. 1 o-lineman Andre Smith has narrowed his list to six schools with Alabama, Auburn, USC, Florida, LSU and Florida State still in the hunt. He will visit LSU on Jan. 13 and then trip to Florida State the following weekend with a decision possibly coming the last week in January.


Everything I'm hearing from those pretty close to Smith's situation say that Auburn, Alabama and USC are the three major players. I do know that the big man likes LSU and the opportunity to play early but is it enough to lure him to Bayou country?


I don't think so but I'll have more on Smith next week once he returns home from the game.


Another five-star offensive lineman who has LSU real high on his list is Ian Symonette.


Symonette will be visiting Florida the weekend of Jan. 13 and then he will take his final official trip to LSU the next weekend.


Miami and Oklahoma are still in the mix for the big 6-9, 350-pounder from Houston but the latest scoop I've received is that LSU is in great shape on this front.


Someone who has been very close to Symonette throughout the recruiting process has informed me that Miami is no longer the leader for his services and if he feels comfortable with the LSU players on his trip then there is a very good chance he chooses the Tigers.


The three things that Symonette is focusing on is playing time, academics and his relationship with the players. He has already told me that LSU gives him the best chance to play early and that the academic support is better than what any other school has to offer. If he feels comfortable with the players and coaches then the Tigers could strike it rich with the big Bahamas native.


Defensive tackle Al Woods has been dominating the competition in San Antonio and I wouldn't be surprised if he made a big jump in the national rankings now that others have been able to see him in person.


The offensive linemen are having all kind of problems trying to block him because of his overpowering strength. Speaking of Woods, he is rooming with Jai Eugene and I am sure that he is doing his best to recruit Eugene to LSU.


Someone else Woods has been trying to recruit for the Tigers is five-star defensive tackle Gerald McCoy but everything I've heard the past week is that it is almost a done deal with Oklahoma.


Ocean Springs (Miss.) tight end Richard Dickson has looked the good the past week but he has spent the majority of his time at defensive end. I look for Dickson to move back up to a four-star after this past week.


People keep asking about five-star safety Jonas Mouton and the chances of him going anywhere other than USC are pretty slim. That is based on my last three interviews with him and from everything I've heard lately.  


LSU already has a commitment from wide receiver London Crawford and everything my sources are telling me is that Les Miles wants to sign two more in this class.


East St. John's Ricky Dixon has a short list that consists of the Tigers, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. He already visited Ole Miss and has trips set up for MSU (1/13) before wrapping things up in Baton Rouge (1/20).


Ed Orgeron made his in-home visit on Tuesday and earlier that day LSU defensive line coach Karl Dunbar made a trip to East St. John.


Mississippi State is a school to keep an eye on because the Bulldogs have made a strong push over the past month. In saying that, though, the only way I see Dixon ending up in Oxford or Starkville is if he waits too long and the Tigers fill up at that position.


John Ehret receiver Chris Mitchell is scheduled to visit Tennessee next week, followed by LSU and Miami. I would not be surprised, though, if he cancels those trips to Knoxville and Miami.


"I've pretty much made up my mind on where I'm going to go but I just want to sit on it for a little to make sure," Mitchell told Tiger Rag.


Is he still leaning to LSU?


"Oh yea," he said. "LSU is my team."


New Iberia-Westgate receiver Jared Mitchell has a trip set for South Carolina the weekend of Jan. 13 and then he said he would be ready to make his decision shortly after he returns home.


"It's LSU and South Carolina," he said. "Those are the two I'm still looking at."


Is there a leader amongst those two?


"I can't say that I have a leader because I've never been to South Carolina," he said. "I know what LSU has so once I get home I should be ready to decide."


Five-star running back Keiland Williams is set to announce his decision in Lafayette on Jan. 23, which happens to be the day after he returns from his official visit to LSU.


Williams will visit USC on Jan. 13 and he also still lists Ole Miss as a player.


What are the chances of Williams signing with any school other than LSU?


"That is pretty hard to answer because LSU is close to home and I have a real good relationship with the running backs coach, coach (Larry) Porter," he said. "I don't want to eliminate anybody else but it sure would be good to go back home. My family could drive an hour and watch me play and I'd be close in case something happened."


Will distance be a big factor?


"I've already been away from home so I'm kind of used to it but it would be hard to pass up being close to my family and friends," he said.


The on again-off again saga with four-star offensive tackle Russell Okung seems to be on again now that the LSU coaching staff has cranked up the heat.


"The offensive line coach (Stacey Searels) has been calling me a lot and he cleared up the misunderstanding we had," Okung said. "I didn't think they really wanted me because I hadn't hear from them in a while but coach (Les) Miles said it was because they were so busy trying to win the SEC. I can understand that so now they are back on my list."


Okung visited Oklahoma State and he has trips to Oklahoma (1/20) and LSU (1/27) on his agenda.


"After I go to LSU I should be able to decide out of those three," he said.


Now, for the big question of who will fill the remaining spots in this class?


I feel strongly that Jai Eugene, Keiland Williams and Chris Mitchell will be Tigers which would put them at 25 pledges.


Is there room for both Ricky Dixon and Jared Mitchell?


I don't think and the uncertainty surrounding Mitchell's future puts Les Miles in a predicament. You don't want to pass up on someone as talented as Mitchell or Dixon but only 25 can report in August.


I see room for two more in this class with Ian Symonette, Russell Okung, Charles Deas and Phil Loadholt still on the board for that final o-line spot, and Jonas Mouton and Reshad Jones as possibilities at safety.

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