Jr. Day Recap

Saturday was a fun and eventful day on the LSU campus as the Tiger football team hit the practice field for the first time this spring, the basketball team wrapped up its regular season with a victory over Ole Miss and the baseball team blanked Houston 7-0.

Sandwiched in and around all of that action was LSU's Junior Day and the early reports coming from the recruits who were in attendance is a big thumbs up for Les Miles and the rest of the coaching staff.

The Tigers came away with one confirmed commitment in Breaux Bridge athlete John Williams (5-10, 175, 4.5) but there is a very good chance that others could be pulling the trigger this week.

As a junior, Williams earned first team all-state honors on both sides of the ball at free safety and as an athlete.

The standout performer ran for 967 yards and 15 touchdowns and passed for another 901 yards and eight more scores from his quarterback spot. Defensively, he picked off eight passes with one going all the way back for six and added 96 total tackles. As if that was not enough, the jack-of-all trades returned 19 kicks for 627 yards and two touchdowns.

Williams was the second pledge for the Tigers in the class of 2007 and when he pulled the trigger Les Miles was a happy camper.

"He was real excited," Williams told Tiger Rag. "He brought me into his office and said he wanted to offer. I told him thanks coach and I accept your offer."

Some project Williams as a free safety for the next level and others say wide receiver. However, Miles may have something different in mind.

"He said they like me as an athlete but when we talked about a position he said he likes me at running back," said Williams. "I played there before and I may play some as a senior."

Williams said he always wanted to play for the Tigers and a couple of hours after he made his commitment he still could not express how it felt.

"It still hadn't set in," said Williams, who also has an offer from Ole Miss. "I really can't describe how it feels but it feels great."

Southern Lab safety Chad Jones is already being touted as one of the top safeties in the nation and he was on hand for the extravaganza.

"It was good," Jones said of the experience. "I watched the first practice and that was cool. I was watching the defensive backs real close and I didn't see anybody out there too much better than me."

The absence of LaRon Landry and Jessie Daniels may have had something to do with that but some feel that Jones is in the same mold of the Tigers' two starting safeties, who seem like they have been in the secondary forever.

There has been a lot of debate as to whether Jones would play safety or linebacker at the next level. In his mind he knows where he wants to play and Les Miles seems to be in agreement.

"I don't want to play linebacker," said Jones. "I want to play safety and that is what coach Miles is recruiting me for. He wants me to play free safety."

Miles did not push Jones too hard for an early commitment but he did let the standout defender know that everything he was looking for was right under his nose.

"He said they would be patient and that everything I wanted was right here at home," said Jones, who also has offers from Miami, Ole Miss, Auburn, Florida and others. "He said I wouldn't find anything better anywhere else."

Did Jones agree with Miles on that take?

"Yea," he said. "They have got the best of everything I've seen from all of the schools."

If Jones does decide to stay home and follow his older brother, Al, to LSU his future may still be uncertain because there is a good chance he will be selected in the 2007 major league baseball draft.

Some scouts have Jones rated as one of the top southpaw high school pitchers in the country. When that time comes, though, it will take a hefty signing bonus for Jones to give up the chance to get his degree and to play the two sports he dearly loves.

"It would take some serious money," Jones said. "I'm not going to go cheap."

West Monroe sent four players down to Baton Rouge on Saturday and two of them are very high on LSU's list.

Will Blackwell, a 6-4, 290 pounder with 4.9 speed, projects as a defensive tackle at the next level and he enjoyed his unofficial trip. He said he loved being on the LSU campus and getting to know the coaches a little better.

Blackwell was one of the guys Miles offered early for the 2007 class but it looks like he will not be giving the Tigers' headman an early pledge.

"We're going to play it out a little and I'm going to take all five of my visits and then decide in January," Blackwell said. I've never been anywhere else so I want to see what else is out there."

Blackwell's defensive line counterpart Luther Davis (6-4, 250, 4.8) was also in attendance and he was overwhelmed by all of the activity on campus.

"It was excellent," said Davis. "I got to watch practice and then we got to go watch the pro timing day too. There was a basketball game and a baseball game. There was all kind of stuff to do."

This was Davis' second junior day in two weeks as he and Blackwell went to Ole Miss the week before heading to LSU.

After seeing what each school had to offer how did LSU and Ole Miss stack up?

"In general LSU has them beat," Davis said. "Everything was brand new at LSU and that academic center was top-notch. At Ole Miss they talked about academics some but they did not talk about them as serious as LSU did."

Once Davis got off of campus he noticed something else that stood out.

"The cities are a lot different too when comparing LSU and Ole Miss," he said. "Oxford is in the middle of nowhere and Baton Rouge is a lot bigger. Herman Johnson made the comment that if you can't find something or someone here then Southern is right up the road."

Davis said he will take his time and get to know the coaches at all of the schools recruiting him before he makes a decision but that LSU is sitting pretty for right now.

In addition to LSU, Davis said he also has offers from Auburn, Arkansas, Florida State, Texas A&M and Notre Dame.

Patterson safety Tarence Calais (5-11, 185, 4.5) knows all about LSU since his father Ivory Hilliard played for the Tigers.

However, the bloodlines run much deeper considering that his great uncle is former Tiger great Dalton Hilliard and former LSU linebacker Mike Calais is his uncle.

Calais was hoping that an LSU offer would come his way and although things did not go as planned he did get some encouraging words from Les Miles.

"He talked about an offer but I wouldn't say they offered," Calais said. "He said they want me to come around anytime something is going on here and that they want to get me to one of their camps this summer."

What is that Miles sees in Calais?

"He said he loves my change of direction and my quickness," said Calais. "He likes the way I attack the football and how fast I get to it. They are recruiting me as a strong safety."

Bastrop head coach Brad Bradshaw has three D-I recruits for '07 in DeAngelo Benton, Kantravious Aubrey and LeMarcus Williams and all three were made it to junior day along with superstar quarterback Randall Mackey, who has a good chance to be the state's top prospect for 2008.

One guy who was not in attendance was the top offensive tackles in the state Alex Williams.

Two of Destrehan's highly coveted players also missed the boat so to speak this weekend as Edwin Reed and Joshua Victorian were scheduled to make the trip but plans fell through when their transportation never showed up.

Although the three players mentioned above did not show up for various reasons you can bet that all will have LSU in the mix when it comes time to choose a school.

Be sure to check TigerRag.com for more updates on junior day as our recruiting staff brings you the latest on LSU's recruiting efforts for 2007.

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