TIGER WRAP: This week's recruiting scoop

It's Friday and that means it's time for another edition of Tiger Rag's Tiger Wrap.

This week Sonny will give you the list of weekend visitors along with the latest on Cameron Heyward, Demetrius Byrd, Terrance Toliver, Luther Davis, Gabriel Bryant, Deonte Thompson, Christian Scott, Chris Little, Stefoin Francois, Chad Jones, Jarvis Jones and more.



All of the talk about LSU going to the Rose Bowl has kind of overshadowed the huge recruiting weekend the LSU staff has on tap but boy is it impressive.


The coaches are scheduled to host a pair of 5-star prospects in Terrance Toliver and Luther Davis, along with five 4-star guys in Chris Little, Joseph Barksdale, Cameron Heyward, Christian Scott and Stefoin Francois.


We have profiled and talked about all of the guys mentioned above on the message boards all week so I am not going to waste your time rehashing much of the talk.


I do believe that the staff could come out of the weekend with a few commitments but the guys may not go public because they want to wait to make their announcements at the U.S. Army All-American game on Jan. 6.


The ones I feel that could give the coaches the good news are Luther Davis and Stefoin Francois, and possibly Terrance Toliver shortly after he returns home.



As for the Rose Bowl, Tiger fans want to know how much of a positive effect that could have on recruiting and it could be really big for some of the guys on the fence like Joe McKnight, Terrance Toliver, Christian Scott, James Scott, Deonte Thompson, Jarvis Jones, Cameron Heyward, Chris Little and Drake Nevis.


As much as it could help recruiting this year, though, it could be a lot more beneficial for recruiting out-of-state guys for 2008 as the Tigers will get a ton of national exposure from playing in one of the most prestigious bowl games of all.




There really is nothing new to report on Joe McKnight other than he will be taking his official visit to USC on Dec. 15 and he will be going with Chad Jones. I know Tiger fans want to hear some good news on McKnight but sometimes no news is good news. I do know that the staff feels that it is doing a good job of recruiting the 5-star running back and that it feels like if signing day was today then McKnight would be a Tiger.



As for Chad Jones, I am not worried about the interest in USC at this point and I still feel that he will be a Tiger. Matt Dearman spoke to Chad during the week and he said that he got a very good read on him and that his feeling was that he had already decided that LSU was where he wanted to go and that the trip to USC is more of a weekend getaway than anything else. That is the same feeling I have always had and that I got from talking to him briefly when we talked about the baseball situation at both schools.


This is what Chad had to say about the USC and LSU programs on the diamond.


"USC has a lot of tradition and they play a lot of good baseball on the west coast," he said. "LSU has just as much tradition and at one time was the king of the hill in college baseball. They have a new coach now and I think he is going to get them back to Omaha and back to where they used to be."


When I factor everything into the equation I feel very confident that he is LSU all the way heading into his trip to Los Angeles.



I have learned that LSU will take four and possibly even five receivers in this class due to the academic situation that exists with the two commitments in DeAngelo Benton and Toddrick Bajoie, and also Terrance Toliver. Another factor that could contribute to taking that many wide outs is attrition that could hit the position. I am not going to mention any names at the moment but it is something that I will be monitoring. If you're wondering it does not center around Early Doucet going pro.


Out of the three wide outs mentioned above the staff feels that DeAngelo Benton has the best shot at qualifying. The deal with Toliver is that he needs to improve his core GPA a little but the real obstacle is going to be with his test score. Some people do not fare well with standardized tests and that is the situation with Toliver.


Behind Toliver, Benton and Bajoie are three more blue-chip wide outs in Denote Thompson, Demetrius Byrd and Gabriel Bryant.


LSU is in pretty good shape with Thompson at the moment but the true tell sign is going to be his reaction when Miami announces its new head coach. If the new headman in Miami generates a lot of excitement like I suspect he will then I think Thompson will stay home. You have the distance factor working in the Canes' favor along with their huge need for receivers and two of his good friends already committed.


The LSU staff is doing everything it can to flip one of Thompson's friends, 4-star safety Damien Berry, from his Miami pledge as the coaches feel that if they can get Berry then they will get Thompson.


Demetrius Byrd is someone that a lot of people are intrigued by and trying to figure out if he is a backup plan to Thompson or if there is room for the two of them. The coaches would love to have Thompson because he can give them four years rather than two but I have been told by my source that they would likely take Byrd even if Thompson commits but it will depend on how he fares in the classroom in the current semester. If he comes out with over a 2.5 this semester then LSU will push for his commitment.


Gabriel Bryant is factoring heavily into the picture now that he has received a 17 on the ACT and has made a lot of progress with his GPA since transferring to Desire Street Academy.


Todd Monken was at Desire Street on Wednesday and there is a very good chance that Bryant will qualify academically as he has all "A's" in the classroom. Depending on how many of the above receivers sign with the Tigers, Bryant will either get a shot at receiver or corner. The staff feels that he has the athleticism to play corner if they need him to and if he continues to walk the line he is walking then there is a very good chance that he will be a part of this class.


The big question facing the staff is how does it factor all of these blue-chip wide receivers into the equation with a limited number of spots remaining in this class?



The cornerback situation at one time looked very strong but now it has the staff a little concerned.


When I spoke to Delvin Breaux's dad he told me that the plan was for him to sign with the Tigers and then sit out two years which would give him three years of eligibility remaining.


I asked why Delvin did not wait a year and then sign so he could redshirt and still have four years of eligibility remaining and he said that was an option they are going to look at.


In that scenario, Delvin would count against the 2008 numbers and it would give him that extra year to play football if that is where his heart is.


Some have asked why not place him on medical to where he wouldn't count against the 2007 numbers but the problem is once he is placed on medical he can't ever play football and be on scholarship.


That could leave John Williams as the lone corner in this class but after further evaluation of the Breaux Bridge product there is a feeling that he may be better suited for the offensive side of the ball in addition to returning kicks.


If that is the case then the Tigers are in dire need of some cornerbacks as the staff has always felt that it needed to bring in three corner types in this class.


Where does that leave things?


James Scott is set to announce on Dec. 17 and I think it will come down to LSU and Florida for the 4-star corner out of Daytona Beach, Fla.


If Scott does not pick LSU then there is a good chance that Phelon Jones could get offered. The holdup on offering Jones is whether or not he is physical enough but the same goes for all of the in-state guys on the back burner like Terry carter, Josh Victorian and Kendrick Cellestine.


Christian Scott is the big wildcard and he is the one that the staff covets the most. He will be in for his official visit this weekend and at the moment it appears that his decision will come down to LSU and Oklahoma. The coaches know that they have to overcome the distance factor as LSU is twice as far from Dallas as OU is but one thing that must be considered is the fact that when he took his official visit to check out the Sooners he was not blown away. A good visit this weekend could turn things into the Tigers' favor and make no mistake about it this kid is a top priority for LSU.


Ron Brooks is another one to stay tuned into because even though he is a wide receiver he is a better corner prospect at the college level and the staff is getting some help from Brooks' father, who telling him the same thing. He will visit the third weekend in January and if he doesn't pull the trigger before then with another school it will be interesting to see how his trip goes.



The offensive line situation for LSU has gotten a little better as Larry Porter made a lot of progress with 4-star offensive tackle Jarvis Jones on his in-home visit Tuesday night. The problem here is that Jones' mother wants him to stay closer to home and go to Texas A&M. If mom does not win out then look for LSU and Oklahoma to go head-to-head for Jones and if that turns out to be the case then I like LSU's chances. Jones has not visited LSU or Oklahoma yet so it is too early to tell what will happen but the staff is doing a good job with the native of Rosenberg, Texas.


LSU will get a visit from Chris Little this weekend but unless the trip absolutely blows him away I don't see the Tigers having that great of a chance. I could not get a good read on the 4-star offensive tackle but the fact that Georgia now has eight o-linemen committed in this class could help LSU's cause but once again the visit needs to knock his socks off.


Another tackle LSU is doing its best to get into the mix with is Tray Allen but I don't think anything is going to come of it at all. Todd Monken spent two hours in Allen's home but he could not get him to commit to a visit.


Allen is very worried that Mack Brown will get upset if he visits and that is why you see him denying that the in-home visit even took place.


Getting another offensive tackle is pretty critical at this point as there are some concerns on whether or not D'Montreal Wilson is going to qualify.


Someone else may emerge if things go sour with Jarvis Jones but as of now I don't have any names to mention. If a name does pop up though it will likely be a juco guy.



The Tigers are sitting at 17 commitments if you count Shomari Clemons, who will resign in February, and if Delvin Breaux enrolls with the 2007 class. I look for as many as 27 to sign in February due to academic concerns and depending on if JaMarcus Russell and Glenn Dorsey declare for the NFL draft, and if any there is any attrition.


The guys I feel good about rounding out this class are:

WR Terrance Toliver

DL Luther Davis

RB Joe McKnight

S Chad Jones

S Stefoin Francois

DL Will Blackwell


Others to keep a watchful eye on for the remaining spots:

DL Drake Nevis

DL Cameron Heyward

WR Deonte Thompson

CB Ron Brooks

DL Jason Peters

DB Christian Scott

CB James Scott

CB Phelon Jones (no offer)

WR Demetrius Byrd (Grades)

WR Gabriel Bryant (Grades)

OT Jarvis Jones

LB Chris Walker

ATH Gilbert Moye

DL Joseph Barksdale

OT Chris Little

OG Rishaw Johnson

LB/S Scotty Cooper

LB Brandon Hicks

DB Damien Berry

LB/S John Jones

WR McIntosh Nicolas

WR Lionel Breaux (no offer)

DB Tarence Calais (no offer)

CB Terry Carter (no offer)

CB Josh Victorian (no offer)



That is all for this week but be sure to check back on Sunday as we will have updates on how the visits went this weekend. If you have any questions or comments send them to Sonny at lascouting@yahoo.com.


Have a great weekend!

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