TIGER WRAP: This week's recruiting scoop

It's time for Tiger Rag's first edition of the Tiger Wrap for 2007. This week Sonny will take a look at each position and give you an early look at some of the "Top Targets" on the recruiting board for 2007, along with a look at each position's needs.

The LSU coaching staff has spent much of the past four weeks traveling all over for the May evaluation period and now the focus will shift to the summer camps that will be held on campus this summer.

Lets take a look at how this class should break down numbers wise and see which prospects are getting the most interest and also showing the most interest at this stage of the game.

Note: All prospects listed report an offer from the Tigers with the exception of those shown in Italics. In addition, all of the information provided below has been obtained through interviewing the prospects themselves, along with talking to coaches and my top sources. Keep in mind that prospects will be added and removed throughout the recruiting year but heading into June these are many of the guys to keep close tabs on.

Needs: 1-2
Committed 0

Top Targets
Jarrett Lee…..Brenham (TX)…..6'3, 190, 4.7
Cameron Newton…..Atlanta (GA) Westlake…..6'5, 225, 4.6
Joe Chaisson…..Beaumont (TX) Westbrook…..6'2, 180, 4.7
Brock Mansion…..Dallas (TX) Episcopal School of Dallas…..6'4, 220, 4.7

Tidbits: This position got a whole lot more interesting early in the week when rumors surfaced that Ryan Perrilloux was considering transferring. I'm not going to comment much on the situation but usually where there is smoke there is a little fire. How much fire and whether it is Ryan, or someone in his family speaking or thinking on behalf of him, remains to be seen. If everything blows over like I figure it will, I expect he will be at LSU when the Tigers kick off the 2006 campaign. However, if the young man does opt to transfer then a few schools to keep an eye on are USC, Mississippi State and Nebraska. I just can't see him taking his talent to a Division I-AA school like Grambling regardless of the fact that someone may have contacted Grambling's head coach Melvin Spears like several news outlets have reported.

Switching over to recruiting, LSU is in on a few blue-chip signal callers for 2007 and it is imperative that the Tigers sign at least one in this class.

At the top of the list is Brenham (Texas) product Jarrett Lee. He was in town last weekend for an unofficial visit and he left Baton Rouge more impressed with LSU than before.

"It kind of caught me off guard as to how good the facilities were," Lee said. "Everything was first-class all the way. I got to sit down and look at a lot of things with coach (Jimbo) Fisher and see how I would fit in with what they like to do. The trip definitely put LSU in the thick of things."

Nebraska figures to be LSU's stiffest competition for Lee's services but the LSU coaches feel a lot better about their chances after spending the weekend with him.

Another Texas signal caller to keep an eye on is Beaumont's Joe Chaisson.

While Lee is more or a drop-back passer, Chaisson is a dual-threat guy who can hurt you both ways. Tennessee and LSU are his top two but keep an eye on Oklahoma because he has some ties to the Sooner program. The thing that could help LSU's cause the most and may give them the edge over the Vols will be location.

When Scout.com releases its player rankings in the first week of June there is a great chance that Cameron Newton will be a four-star selection and he has listed LSU as one of his favorites since the very beginning. The big 6-5, 225-pounder may have a few question marks as a passer but coaches his ability to make things happen with his feet when things break down in the pocket.

Needs: 2-3
Committed: 1 (Stevan Ridley, Natchez (MS) Trinity Episcopal, 5'11, 220, 4.6)

Top Targets
Joe McKnight…..River Ridge (LA) John Curtis…..5'11, 195, 4.5
Lennon Creer…..Tatum (TX)…..6'1, 190, 4.5
Jonathan Dwyer…..Marietta (GA) Kell…..5'11, 198, 4.5
Caleb King…..Liburn (GA) Parkview….. 5'10, 186, 4.5
Bo Williams…..Oakland Park (FL) Northeast…..6'0, 205, 4.5
Noel Devine…..North Fort Myers (FL).....5'8, 175, 4.35
Rai-Shawn Wilson…..St. Augustine (FL)…..5'10, 190, 4.45
Daniel Borne…..Marrero (LA) Archbishop Shaw.....5'10, 195, 4.5

Tidbits: Stevan Ridley will be looked at in a similar role to the one that Jacob Hester plays but the guy LSU fans are most interested in is Joe McKnight and for good reason.

McKnight is an unbelievable talent with the ball in his hands and although running back is his first preference he may also get a look at receiver or cornerback. USC and Florida State are two teams to keep an eye on but I was told by someone very close to the John Curtis product that he recently said that he was 70 percent sure he was going to LSU. Now, that could change 100 times between now and signing day but LSU is in good shape on this front. With a guy like McKnight, who comes from one of the most successful high school programs in Louisiana, winning is going to be very important. The guy is used to winning and being successful so it's essential that the Tigers continue the winning ways they have enjoyed over the past five years. An 8-4 campaign may create some doubt in his mind but another 9 or 10-win campaign would keep the train rolling and keep LSU in its place as one of the seven to eight programs in the country. I know the staff feels very good about its chances with McKnight and I've even been told by a reliable source that the coaches would be shocked if he goes anywhere but LSU if the Tigers have the kind of season that many are predicting.
A couple of other guys high on the list at this point are Jonathan Dwyer and Lennon Creer, who both plan to camp at LSU this summer.

All-World back Noel Devine lists the Tigers in his top six but the chances of him ever playing at LSU are slim to none.

Shaw's Daniel Borne could go from being a sleeper to someone that gets an offer if he performs well at a camp this summer. He is a good looking runner with good balance and good vision, and he has enough speed to break the long one.

Needs: 3-4
Committed: 2 (Gabriel Bryant, 6'2, 190, 4.5, Bastrop; DeAngelo Benton, 6'3, 195, 4.5, Bastrop)

Top Targets
Terrance Toliver…..Hempstead (TX) …..6'4, 180, 4.5
Brandon Gibson…..Mobile (AL) UMS Wright…..6'2, 190, 4.5
Dez Bryant…..Lufkin (TX)…..6'1, 206, 4.6
Christian Smith…..Birmingham (AL) Huffman Magnet…..6'2, 210, 4.5
Arrelious Benn…..Washington (D.C.) Dunbar…..6'2, 190, 4.5
Ahmad Paige…..Sterlington (LA)…..6'3, 165, 4.4
Ron Brooks…..Irving (TX) MacArthur…..6'0, 170, 4.5
Derrick Ross…..Magnolia (MS) South Pike…..6'1, 177, 4.5
Dandrick Weatherby…..Kosciusko (MS)…..6'2, 165, 4.6
Israel Troupe…..Tifton (GA) Tift County......6'1, 198, 4.6
Jay Smith…..Virginia Beach (VA) Kempsville…..6'2, 195, 4.5
Toddrick Bajoie…..New Roads (LA) Catholic-Pointe Coupee…..6'2, 200, 4.5

Tidbits: The good news for LSU is that the Tigers have commitments from two of the top receivers in the South in Gabriel Bryant and DeAngelo Benton. The bad news is that there is a chance that both will have to go the junior college route unless they make up some ground in the classroom this summer and over the next school year.

It's been well documented that Bryant is no longer a member of the Jonesboro-Hodge team and now his plans are to enroll at Bastrop for his senior year. At first I didn't think there was any chance he could play for Bastrop but I spoke with Bryant on the issue and he said the loophole regarding him living with his legal guardian in Bastrop will allow him to play for the Rams but he could not fully explain the matter to me. I also spoke to one of my sources who broke out the LHSAA rule book and according to the rules it does not look like he would be able to play for the Rams. This is a complicated matter that will likely have to go through several channels until it gets resolved, but the way I interpreted the transfer rule, I don't see him being eligible to play his senior year.

Benton's situation is a little easier to comprehend.

"I have to take a couple of classes this summer and I'll be on schedule to graduate," said Benton, who claims a 3.1 GPA and a 16 on the ACT.

Some will question why LSU offered Benton this early in the game with the chance of him not qualifying and the answer is easy. LSU would rather place him at a junior college than have someone else do it. It's as easy as that.

Another question that some will ask is will this scare off some of the other big-time receivers on the board. It could have some effect and that is where the LSU coaches will come into play. They will have to explain the situation and try and make them realize the academic hurdles that must be overcome.

Speaking of the other receivers, there are several high-profile wide outs on the board that have been offered and the top three that the coaches are most excited about and that they have a decent chance with right now is Terrance Toliver, Dez Bryant and Brandon Gibson.

Assisting the LSU staff with Toliver is his uncle and former LSU running back, Harvey Williams. The only school that Toliver has consistently listed in his top five is LSU but USC, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and several others are not going to let him get away without a fight. How funny would it be for LSU to beat out A&M for Toliver just as the Tigers did for his uncle back in the 80's.

Another Lonestar talent the Tigers are looking good with is Dez Bryant and he is in that same class as Toliver.

Stealing Gibson away from Alabama is going to be tough but you can't overlook the other in-state power in Auburn. LSU has had some success in the Mobile area in the recent past and getting him to camp over the summer can only help its cause.

Louisiana is deep at the receiver position with three guys worthy of a four-star rating but the only one to have an LSU offer is Ahmad Paige.

Paige had been leaning to Florida State for a little over a month but it did not take long for Stacey Searels and Todd Monken to pull the Tigers back even with the Noles.

I spoke with Paige extensively on Monday and he said that FSU pulled ahead by doing a great job of making him feel like he was a top priority and at the same time he said he felt that LSU was not recruiting him as hard. Over the last two weeks all of that has changed and now he feels that LSU is making him feel that he is a must have for ‘07. One thing that was mentioned a few times was that staying close to home is going to be a bigger factor than he has let on to others within the network who have interviewed him. I feel that he may still commit to FSU on Aug. 26 when he announces on ESPNU but when it comes time to sign on the dotted line he will strongly consider the distance factor. I'd say it's 50-50 but if LSU continues to show him the love from here on out then I'll be shocked if he signs with the garnet and gold over the purple and gold.

The wildcard out of the trio I mentioned earlier is Toddrick Bajoie. He looks fantastic on film, has good size, good speed and a huge upside since he has only played football for one year. The question mark is the competition he plays against and his hands. Out of all of the guys who attend camp this summer, perhaps none will be under the microscope more than Bajoie. If he fares well catching the ball and with his route running then look for him to get offered.

Some bad news could come in the near future for the Tigers if Jared Mitchell is picked as high as some project in the major league baseball draft. There is talk of him going in the first round and that kind of money would be tough for him to pass up. Working in LSU's favor may be the fact that some teams are leery of drafting players in his position that high because there is the chance that he will opt to take the college route, thus leaving them high and dry with a wasted first round selection. The possibility exists that he could play both, similar to what Jamie Howard did, but it is still a risk that some may not want to take. At this point, I'm told by my source that the coaches do not know what to expect and Mitchell has not given them any indication of what he is thinking or feeling.

Needs: 2-3
Committed: 1 (Mitch Joseph, New Iberia (LA) Catholic, 6'4, 255, 4.8)

Top Targets
Billy Chavis…..Westbrook (TX) Beaumont…..6'5, 225, 4.7
Nick Fairley…..Mobile (AL) Williamson…..6'4, 255, 4.75
Jordan Hammond…..Lakeland (FL)…..6'5, 230, 4.75
Rolando McClain…..Decatur (AL) …..6'4, 230, 4.68
D'Angelo McCray…..Jacksonville (FL) Andrew Jackson…..6'5, 265, 4.7

Tidbits: Mitch Joseph was a big pickup because he has the size this staff likes in its tight ends to seal off the edge in the run game and he is also a good pass receiver in the short game.

Now, the focus turns to a more athletic tight end that can stretch defenses and Billy Chavis would give the Tigers just that. He is not as polished as Joseph but he brings a lot to the table with his exceptional athleticism. At the Scout.com Waco Combine, Chavis worked out at tight end for the first time and impressed those in attendance in the skills drills and also with his 35" vertical. To illustrate his potential a little more just consider the fact that someone who will be a tight end at the next level rushed for over 1,000 yards during his junior season. Miami, Oklahoma State and Kansas State are teams to watch out for and so is Texas if the Horns offer. But, as of now, LSU leads for the Beaumont native and once again we could see location giving the Tigers the edge.

Nick Fairley and Jordan Hammond is another pair of outstanding tight end prospects LSU is in the hunt for and both are considering camping in Baton Rouge this summer.

If the Tigers could get Fairley and Chavis they may take three tight ends in this group because Chavis could give them some options. I could see him being a good pass rushing specialist coming off the edge.

Needs: 5-6
Committed: 1 ((OT) D'Montreal Wilson, Rayville (LA), 6'4, 305, 5.0)

Top Targets
(C) T-Bob Hebert…..Alpharetta (GA) Greater Atlanta Christian…..6'3, 260, 5.1
(C) Ryan Pugh…..Hoover (AL) Spain Park…..6'2, 275, 5.1
(C) William Vlachos…..Mountain Brook (AL)…..6'2, 300, 5.3
(OG) Anthony Morgan…..Lancaster (TX)…..6'4, 325, 5.2
(OG) James Pouncey
(OG) LaShawn Pouncey
(OG) Jatavious Jackson…..Belle Glade (FL) Glades Central…..6'4, 270, 5.2
(OG) Jason Fowler…..Tupelo (MS) …..6'4, 273, 5.3
(OG) Courtney Green…..Corsicana (TX) …..6'4, 280, 5.3
(OG) Alex Washington…..Monroe (LA) Carroll…..6'4, 315, 5.3
(OG) Chaz Ramsey…..Madison (MS) Madison Central…..6'4, 275, 5.3
(OT) Tray Allen…..Grand Prairie (TX) South Grand Prairie…..6'5, 290, 5.3
(OT) Joseph Barksdale…..Detroit (MI) Cass Technical…..6'5 ½, 315, 4.9
(OT) Kevin Bryant…..Hallandale (FL) …..6'6, 370, 5.7
(OT) Nick Claytor…..Gainesville (GA) …..6'6, 290, 5.2
(OT) Chris Little…..Jeffersonville (GA) Twiggs County…..6'5, 320, 5.2
(OT) Ernest McCoy…..Belle Glade (FL) Glades Central…..6'5, 330, 5.3
(OT) Lee Ziemba…..Rogers (AR) …..6'6, 285, 5.3
(OT) Anthony Davis…..Piscataway (N.J.) Piscataway Township…..6'6, 315, 5.3
(OT) Marquis Franklin…..Tyler (TX) John Tyler…..6'6, 320, 5.5
(OT) Alex Williams…..French Settlement (LA) …..6'6, 290, 5.3
(OT) Kyle Coulahan…..Pensacola (FL) Pensacola Catholic…..6'5, 291, 5.0

Tidbits: The offensive line was a top priority before but now with the uncertainty surrounding Phil Loadholt and Steven Singleton being academically eligible, it becomes even a bigger point of emphasis in 2007.

The Tigers are looking good with two talented center prospects in T-Bob Hebert and William Vlachos.
T-Bob is the son of former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert, and perhaps more importantly the grandson of one of LSU's biggest followers. Georgia recently offered T-Bob and although the Bulldogs are the official hometown team now that he lives in Atlanta, you have to like LSU's chances. He has never come out and said that LSU was his leader but there have been a couple of references made by his father on his sports radio show that airs throughout Louisiana about the family's love for LSU. I look for the Tigers to pick up a few commitments this summer and I would not be surprised if T-Bob was one of them.

Vlachos gives you a little more versatility as he could play center or guard at the next level. LSU was the first to offer and he had a blast when he went down for junior day.

Alabama's top rated center prospect is Ryan Pugh and he has narrowed his list down to five with LSU being one of the finalists but he is a strong lean to Auburn.

A few other guards to put on your radar for now are Anthony Morgan, James Pouncey, LaShawn Pouncey and Chaz Ramsey.

Much was said about Morgan and his alleged pledge to the Tigers during the month of May, but just as we reported, that turned out to be premature. He likes LSU a lot and will take an unofficial trip this summer to check out the campus and facilities but Oklahoma, Miami, Texas A&M and Notre Dame will also be players in his hunt. A few things that could help the Tigers pull him to the Bayou State are some of the players on Lancaster's team are from Louisiana and so are a couple of the coaches on the staff, including one who actually convinced Morgan to follow him to Lancaster.

The Pouncey twins have family living in Baton Rouge and will camp there this summer but it will be difficult to pull them away from the big three in the Sunshine State, especially the Gators.
Mississippi State probably has the upper hand with Ramsey based on conversations I've had with some within the network but an offer from the Tigers could make things interesting.

Finding some guys to play on the edge is of utmost importance and one of the state's best tackles, D'Montreal Wilson, has already made his pledge.

With the huge need at that spot, I look for the Tigers to take two more edge guys if the opportunity presents itself with Texas commitment Tray Allen at the top of the list.

Allen pulled the trigger in favor of the Horns in the early going but the LSU staff has remained in pursuit of the big 6-5, 290-pounder and he has been responsive when the coaches have text messaged and spoken to him. Chances are probably slim of taking him away from Texas but at least he is still listening.

Joseph Barksdale is one of the top linemen, on either side of the ball, in Big 10 country and when LSU recently offered it moved the Tigers into his top spot. Bo Pellini has a lot of ties in Big 10 country and landing Barksdale would be a huge coup. It's possible but odds are not stacked in LSU's favor.
Arkansas' product Lee Ziemba and Georgia's Nick Claytor would both be welcomed with open arms if they decided on the Tigers and it will be interesting to see what kind of headway the staff makes with both.

While it's a little early to gauge Ziemba and Claytor's interest, Kevin Bryant has already been to LSU unofficially and has been quick to point out that LSU is in his top four. Getting him down for the lineman camp would be big but probably not as big as getting him in for an official visit and a Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.

Marquis Franklin doesn't have an offer yet but he could land one soon and LSU could be a major player for his services.

Louisiana is kind of down on the o-line but Alex Williams, who committed to Ole Miss, could pick up an offer from LSU if he works off the rust from missing his entire junior year due to Hurricane Katrina. Some on our network report that he has an offer but one has not been extended yet. Even if the Tigers offer it will be hard to get him to back off his pledge to the Rebels as they jumped on him fast and early. This young man has the tools to be one of the top tackles in the South but the jury is still out until he proves it on the field and shows that the long layoff did not affect him too badly.

Needs: 2-3
Committed: 0

Top Targets
Luther Davis…..West Monroe (LA)…..6'4, 250, 4.8
Jason Peters…..Baton Rouge (LA) Catholic…..6'3 ½,255, 4.78
Rae Sykes Alcoa (TN) …..6'4, 240, 4.7
Eric Thomas Cleveland (OH) Benedictine…..6'5, 240, 4.75
Cortez Myles…..Madison (MS) Madison Central…..6'3 ½, 255, 4.8
Richetti Jones…..Dallas (TX) Lincoln…..6'3, 225, 4.85
D.J. Stafford…..LaGrange (GA) …..6'3 ½, 240, 4.8

Tidbits: LSU fans, and plenty of others for that matter, have been up in arms over Luther Davis and the drama surrounding his recruitment.

First, it was Notre Dame that was close to picking up his commitment. Then it was Florida State, and now it is USC. In the time that it took to write this and by the time it is actually published, there will probably be a story on the network contradicting what I am about to write but LSU is still the team to beat for Davis. I've written two stories on the young man, only because a story seems to pop up somewhere else once a week, but I've spoken to him probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 times over the past four months. I have been told so many things off the record to support the way that I feel about this and in the end I strongly feel that LSU will come out on top. If Davis does commit to a school other than LSU on Aug. 26, I will not be shocked to say the least. I've done this long enough to know that some kids play the recruiting game and love the attention but regardless of what you hear and read, Davis loves LSU. Don't get me wrong, he loves the idea of playing for USC too, and who wouldn't at this point? But, in the end, Los Angeles is too far from home. So is South Bend and so is Tallahassee. There are some fans out there that do not understand why a kid would go back and forth with schools the way he has in interviews but what I can tell you is that he is a good kid, is very respectful and polite, and has a good head on his shoulders. With that said, though, he is still a 16 year-old kid who loves talking to people. You have to put yourself in his situation and imagine what it is like to have all of these coaches and reporters calling you trying to get any inside angle they can get to help or promote their school or website. Now, with that said, there is a chance that Davis may move inside to tackle at the next level so if that happens who would be the guys in this class coming off the edge?

When everyone was celebrating the 2006 class on National Signing Day, the LSU coaches were already hard at work on 2007. A few of the top players in Louisiana were offered by LSU on that day and Jason Peters was one of them.

You haven't heard as much of Peters as you have on some of the other top defensive ends in this class and that is out of respect for Catholic head coach Dale Weiner, who does not want things to get out of hand on the recruiting front too soon. You will start hearing plenty on Peters over the next few months and the feeling here is that LSU will come out on top. I'd be surprised if he does not commit before the beginning of his senior campaign so recruiting does not interfere with his final year of high school. A few unofficial visits for camps may be all he needs to see before making his decision.

Looking out-of-state, Rae Sykes and Cortez Myles have both spoken highly of the Tigers. One has to figure that Tennessee will be tough to beat for Sykes as the Vols have the home field advantage and Florida State signed one of his good friends in 2006 in Brandon Warren.

As for Myles, nearly every year LSU goes into Mississippi and swipes at least one of the state's top prospects that both Ole Miss and Mississippi State want. It's been tough to gauge how strong his interest is but over the next couple of months we will have a better idea.

Needs: 3
Committed: 1 (Kantravis Aubrey, Bastrop (LA), 6'3, 285, 5.0)

Top Targets
Will Blackwell…..West Monroe (LA) …..6'4, 290, 4.9
Rolando Melancon…..Lutcher (LA) …..6'2, 270, 4.85
Ahmad Jones…..Silsbee (TX)…..6'2, 320, 5.2
Torrey Davis…..Seffner (FL) Armwood…..6'5, 283, 4.8
Cameron Heyward…..Suwanee (GA) Peachtree Ridge.....6'5, 270, 4.9
Ben Bass…..Plano (TX) West…..6'4, 260, 4.8
Drake Nevis…..Marrero (LA) John Ehret…..6'1, 285, 4.8
Tidbits: With Kantravis Aubrey already on board, the Tigers will likely sign another couple of tackles in this class and they could get an outstanding pair without leaving the state.

I've already touched on Davis and how he could move inside but there are two more guys who are highly sought after by schools all over the country in West Monroe's Will Blackwell and Lutcher's Rolando Melancon, and one on the rise in John Ehret's Drake Nevis.

In the past 10 years, LSU has gotten everyone that they wanted out of West Monroe and there is a good chance that trend will continue this year. Auburn, Ole Miss and Notre Dame will give LSU a run for its money with Blackwell and based on my talks with him and others close to his situation I get the feeling that it will all come down to how the Tigers fare during the '06 season. Much like with Joe McKnight, a 9 or 10-win season and I like the Tigers' chances, however, an 8-4 or 7-5 record may not do the trick. He stated a couple of times that going to a winning program is big in his mind and that will be a big factor he considers. If you're asking why he is considering Ole Miss with some of the difficulties the Rebels have had in the past two years it boils down two things. His family has a good relationship with Ed Orgeron and the Rebels are bringing in more talent than they have in the past. Whether or not that talent translates into more victories remains to be seen but it is a selling point.

Melancon currently favors LSU over Tennessee, Florida, Nebraska, Miami, and Florida State, and if can get academically qualified then he could be the next coming of Anthony "Booger" McFarland. His first step is as quick as they come and he plays sideline to sideline like most linebackers. If Miami offers then the Hurricanes could cause some concern since they were his favorite growing up, but not to sound like a broken record or anything, the LSU campus is a little more than a 30 minute drive from his home, while Miami is a two hour plane ride.

Nevis committed to Ole Miss early in the game, and although he remains committed to the Rebels, he is checking out other schools. LSU has not offered yet but an offer is reportedly in the works. The coaches have stepped up their efforts after his showing at the Nike Combine but there still may be a few questions that they hope can get answered over the summer.

LSU also leads for one of the top tackles in Texas in Silsbee's Ahmad Jones so if things fall through on one of the Louisiana boys then he could ease the pain.

Needs: 2-3
Committed: 0

Top Targets
Julian Herron…..Arlington (TX) Bowie….. 6'0, 205, 4.5
Josh Bynes…..Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Boyd Anderson…..6'3, 220, 4.65
Brandon High-Dorsey…..Auburn (AL) …..6'3, 222, 4.6
Chris Walker…..Memphis (TN) Christian Brothers…..6'4, 215, 4.6
Danorris Searcy…..Decatur (GA) Towers…..6'0, 195, 4.6
Scotty Cooper…..Lake City (SC).....6'1, 195, 4.6
Earl Patin…..Baton Rouge (LA) Southern Lab…..6'1, 215, 4.7
Jacody Coleman…..Beaumont (TX) West Brook…..6'2, 235, 4.7

Tidbits: With five players from the 2006 class starting off at linebacker, LSU could probably get by with signing only two in 2007.

This summer the coaches will have a better feel for whether Chad Jones and Stefoin Francois are safeties or linebackers at the next level and that will go a long ways towards determining which linebackers they take off their board.

There are several out-of-state guys claiming offers but two who are still being evaluated would be the safest bet for now.

Earl Patin has a verbal offer but has not received it in writing yet and when, or if, that comes in he will likely pull the trigger shortly thereafter. He may wait and take a visit or two but LSU is the big, big leader.

Some list Jacody Coleman as a defensive end but after running a high 4.6 (40) at one of the combines he showed that he has the speed to play off the line. Bradley Dale Peveto is recruiting Coleman and if he runs well and looks good at linebacker at camp then he may get the offer he has been waiting on.

Needs: 2-3
Committed: 2 (Barry Valcin, Port Arthur (TX) Memorial, 5'11, 174, 4.5; John Williams, Breaux Bridge (LA.), 5'10, 185, 4.5)

Top Targets
Eric Berry…..Fairburn (GA) Creekside…..6'0, 180, 4.5
Ahmad Black….Lakeland (FL)….. 5'10, 170, 4.5
William Cole…..Cedar Hill (TX) …..5'11, 165, 4.5
Ryan Williams…..Mobile (AL) B.C. Rain…..5'11, 174, 4.5

Tidbits: Losing Jason Teague put a crunch on the current numbers on LSU's roster so now instead of signing two corners the need moves to three.

Barry Valcin and John Williams are two exceptional athletes and both looked good at corner when LSU worked them out there last summer.

For that third spot, ideally the coaches probably want someone with a little more size and the guy at the top of the list is Eric Berry. He is a national target that is on everyone's list but it will be hard to lure him to Tiger Town.

Ahmad Black always mentions the Tigers in his top five and he has the physical style of play the coaches are looking for.

Ryan Williams is another one but once again prying him away from Bama or Auburn is a tall task.
The guy LSU is in the best shape with who claims an offer is William Cole but the problem there is that he may not be big enough or physical enough to match up one-on-one on the corner. At 165 pounds and with his frame, it will be tough to gain weight in the years to come but I could see him fitting in nicely in a nickel or dime role.

The wildcard out of this group is Tarence Calais. He is listed as a safety but if he passes the test at camp then he could be the third corner. He is as physical as they come in the secondary and I was told that he performed extremely well in the individual drills at covering receivers at the Nike Combine at LSU. He doesn't get a lot of opportunities to showcase his cover skills at Patterson but the few clips he does have on his highlight reel show that he has the ability to match up one-on-one and he does a good job of finding and reacting to the ball. I like Calais a lot and I think the coaches will find a spot for him somewhere in the secondary.

Needs: 2-3
Committed: 0

Top Targets
Chad Jones…..Baton Rouge (LA) Southern Lab…..6'2, 225, 4.5
Stefoin Francois…..Reserve (LA) East St. John…..6'2, 205, 4.6
Christian Scott …..Dallas (TX) Skyline…..6'0, 185, 4.5
Sam Proctor…..Pearland (TX) ….. 6'1, 190, 4.4
Mark Barnes…..Columbia (S.C.) Richland Northeast…..6'3, 190, 4.5
Deshaun Barnes…..Tallahassee (FL) Lincoln…..6'2, 198, 4.5
Joe Nicholas…..Homestead (FL)…..6'2, 195, 4.5
Tarence Calais…..Patterson (LA) …..5'11, 185, 4.5
Antwon Dixon…..Terry (MS) …..6'2, 195, 4.6
Tekerrien Cuba…..Tyler (TX) Lee.....6'2, 185, 4.55

Tidbits: The trend from last year for LSU was to go after guys who were considered "tweeners" and utilize their speed at linebacker. Chad Jones and Stefoin Francois fit that mold but with the numbers the way they are at linebacker, the LSU coaches are hoping that both can play the free and strong safety spots, respectively. By the way, LSU is in real good shape with both of them.

Now, a scenario that I could see happening is for Jones to end up at linebacker because of his size and for Francois to man the strong spot.

That would leave free safety open and there is a pair of Texans sitting near the top of the chart.
Christian Scott out of Dallas is real high on LSU's list and I'm told that the coaches feel pretty good about him right now.

Sam Proctor is a quarterback out of Pearland but he could find himself calling the plays in the secondary at the college level, or even at running back. Do not count him out on the offensive side of the all, though, because he is a good dual-threat quarterback who has some good wheels and a good arm.

Antwon Dixon is a guy who has not been offered but has LSU as his top choice. He has good size and speed to play back there and he is also being recruited by some schools as a receiver.

Another Texas product the staff is high on is Tekerrien Cuba and the word coming through the grapevine is that he could be close to getting an offer. Like Dixon, Cuba has a good combination of size and speed.

Do not forget about Tarence Calais either because like I said before the kid is a good looking prospect who can play just about any position in the secondary.

Needs: 1
Committed: 0

Top Targets
Alex Tejada…..Springdale (AR)…..6'1, 190
Radi Jabouri…..Reserve (LA) East St. John…..5'11, 165

Tidbits: LSU is looking to sign a kicker in this class and several out-of-state prospects have been offered. A few of them have already committed to other schools but there is a couple who are still on the open market.

Keep an eye on Alex Tejada from Springdale (Ark.) as he has been offered and if he elects to leave the Natural State then LSU may have a chance.

East St. John's Radi Jabouri is also on the radar and he will be evaluated more this summer to see if he has what the coaches are looking for. East St. John head coach Larry Dautrieve raves about Jabouri's leg strength and accuracy, and if he turns out to be as good as advertised then he may get the call to handle the kicking chores down the road.

That's all for this week but be sure to check back early and often as Sonny and his staff bring you the latest on LSU recruiting. For comments or questions e-mail Sonny at sonnyshipp@cox.net.


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