Corey Lemonier has it all: the quick first step, the athleticism, the size, etc.
For any program in the country, landing the 6-foot-4, 225-pound defensive end would be considered one of the prizes of the class.
Come National Signing Day on Feb. 4, LSU hopes that when the pen hits the paper, Lemonier is thinking about his weekend visit to Baton Rouge.
“It was a great one, good enough for me to give it a 10,” Lemonier said. “I was so worn out after being down there that I got off the flight home and passed right out. It was a blast.”
Lemonier had already made official visits to Auburn, Tennessee, Florida State and Illinois, and some close to the situation have pegged him as a lean to the Illini.
What the LSU staff, primarily the defensive coaches, wanted from the past weekend was a chance to get into the thick of the race – despite only two months until the decision date.
Thanks to the work of Yanowsky on the front end and the players and rest of the staff on the back, LSU is sitting in prime position to remain in the hunt until the end.
While Lemonier’s high school coach, Marc Berman, said that the visit meant the Tigers were into the senior prospect’s top-five finalists, the experience in Baton Rouge might have solidified a stronger spot than that.
“It was more than I expected,” Lemonier said. “I got onto campus and it was beautiful. Even though I came without my parents, I wanted to check out the academic side of things because that is big for all of us. I immediately saw that LSU has some great things set up for their student-athletes, and that stood out to me.”
Early playing time is another factor that the nation’s No. 4 defensive end has made clear would be a factor in his decision.
“I got to hear a lot about depth issues across the line, and the staff laid out the chart and showed me what they had and why they needed me,” Lemonier said. “I could tell that I was wanted, and early playing time seems like it is there for the taking. The team is young.”
After Yanowsky reeled the Haitian-born prospect in for the visit, meeting the rest of the staff brought additional positive vibes from Lemonier.
“Each and every one of those guys were down to earth about everything, very honest and cool about their approach,” he said. “I got to meet [defensive coordinator] coach [John] Chavis and [defensive line] coach [Brick] Haley. They let me know I was a big priority for them over these next two months. I know now that LSU is going to stay on me pretty hard, and it is going to make my decision tough.”
The final angle the Tigers worked was distance, though with heavy interest in Illinois, it appears that location on a map won’t influence the senior’s decision too much.
“My host was Sam Montgomery, who is currently a freshman defensive end,” Lemonier said. “He was such a clown. He joked from the second I met him until I had to leave. It never stopped. We had a blast together.
“What Sam really focused on was being from South Carolina and leaving home for an opportunity. He told me LSU is a wonderful new home for him, and it could be the same way with me. He said that he was undecided just like I am, and that his decision went down to the end and he made the call that was best for him. He gave me a lot to think about, and I hope my decision works out for the best as well.”
Lemonier, who said that he is done with visits, takes to Hawaii on Tuesday for an All-American Bowl appearance before heading back to the mainland to participate in the Under Armour All-American Bowl on Jan. 2.
Without a set leader, Lemonier said that he would render a decision sometime before signing day.