Double Dose On The Way

LSU recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson is feeling his grip grow tighter in New Orleans. Later this week, more good news is expected from the 2011 in-state board.

When LSU was sitting at seven 2011 commitments, all in-state, the staff elected to make a play on Renaldo Thomas, one of Louisiana’s top defensive back prospects.

The ties were all there.

The New Orleans native suits up for St. Augustine, the same school Wilson attended as a high school student. Thomas had long been a fan of the Tiger program, and even went as far as naming LSU his top team upon receiving the scholarship offer in February.

And after the Tigers landed Tyrann Mathieu in the 2010 class, striking big with the Purple Knights during the following recruiting year seemed inevitable.

Just as it appeared the stars couldn’t align more perfectly for Thomas to end up at LSU, the rising senior found one of his closest friends - Trai Turner - in the same boat.

On May 3, Turner, a 6-foot-4, 330-pound offensive tackle, found himself on the phone line with Wilson, who informed Turner that after a video session sit down with head coach Les Miles and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa, the Tigers wanted to extend an offer.

For a big-man who expected to have to show off his feet and hands to the staff this summer during camp, the scholarships arrival was unexpected – but welcomed.

Turner is one of the state's top big men

“When it hit me that LSU had offered, I knew it wouldn’t be long,” Turner said. “The chance to be a part of the 2011 class, which has so many big-time names from Louisiana, is something none of us want to turn down. It’s a chance to do something amazing.”

After nights spent tossing scenarios back and forth, the St. Augustine tandem have decided to shut their process down. By the end of the week, both will have their college choices made.

“It’s something that we both have been kind of pushing each other to go ahead and do,” said Thomas of the commitment. “We are going to call Frank on Friday and let him know we are Tigers. There is really no point in us dragging it out.”

Turner’s offer list has topped 20, including the likes of Alabama, Ole Miss and Nebraska. Thomas, whose list is nearing double-digits, sports offers from Michigan and Tennessee.

Like most Louisianans blessed with the opportunity to suit up in purple and gold, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Thomas made it clear that there was never much doubt to the end result of his recruitment.

“Everything fits, from Frank to the coaches to the school to staying home,” he said. “I have always been a fan of LSU, so this is just the next step.”

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