LSU eyes secondary tandem

LSU will lose three starters in the secondary following the 2007 campaign and filling those holes will be a top priority for the staff. Les Miles and company are combing the country looking to fill those needs in the defensive backfield and they may be able to fill two of those spots at Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, Fla.

Karnell Hatcher and John Lejiste form one of the top secondary tandems in the country and both are very high on the Tigers.


Hatcher, a 6-1, 185-pounder with 4.5 speed, logged 65 tackles and picked off a pass from his free safety spot as a junior. Coaches love his versatility because although he is being touted as one of the top safeties in the South there are some who feel that he could also play corner.


To date, Hatcher claims seven scholarship offers and is already overwhelmed by the recruiting process.


"I've got an offer from LSU, Ole Miss, UCF (Central Florida), Wisconsin, Alabama, Auburn and U-Conn," Hatcher said. "I'm getting  text messages and stuff from a lot of other schools like Florida, Florida State, Miami, UNC (North Carolina), USC, Michigan and Ohio State."


LSU receivers coach D.J. McCarthy is recruiting Hatcher for the Tigers and he has already made quite an impression.


"At this point, LSU leads," Hatcher said. "They are showing a lot of interest and coach McCarthy gets along great with my mom and dad. They really like him a lot."


Hatcher said that he had never been to LSU but he watched a couple of games last year and liked what he saw.


"I like that they are good every year and they produce a lot of NFL-type players," he said. "I look at LaRon Landry and how good he was and that's my type of game. He's gone now and they need someone else to play like he did so that's a good opportunity right there."


Being versatile is a big selling point for Hatcher and the same can be said of Lejiste.


At 6-1, 190 pounds and with 4.4 speed, Lejiste spent time at strong safety and at corner for Atlantic with 50 stops and an interception to his credit.


Surprisingly, the talented cover guy is flying under the radar but that will not last long.


"I've got a few schools that have talked to me about getting an offer like LSU, Wisconsin and Northwestern," Lejiste said. "I get a lot of stuff from the three Florida schools, Alabama and Minnesota too."


"Coach McCarthy text messages me about every other day telling me to send him my transcripts and that he wants me to visit soon," Lejiste said. "I wanted to make it there for the spring game but I think it's probably going to be the summer before I can get there."


Hatcher said that he and Lejiste have been good friends for several years and they hope they will have the opportunity to patrol the secondary together at the next level.


"We're real tight," Hatcher said of the friendship. "We don't know if we will get the same offers but if it falls that way then we will probably stay together."

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