LSU recruiting still going strong

LSU bowl practices and the holiday season may be in full swing, but there’s never a bad time for a big recruiting weekend in college football.

The Tigers are hoping to fill their stocking with three big-time prospects who are taking their official visits starting Friday: Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos de Niza defensive back Priest Willis, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University defensive tackle Maquedius Bain and safety/athlete Jamal C arter of Miami Southridge.

After trying and failing to entice Willis (6-foot-2, 199 pounds) into making a visit during the regular season, the five-star prospect finally flies in this weekend.

Willis is listed as a cornerback by Scout, 24/7 Sports and Rivals and a safety by ESPN. Either way all have him nationally ranked: Scout at No. 23 (five stars), 24/7 Sports at
No. 27 (five stars), ESPN at
No. 50 (four stars) and Rivals at No. 105 (four stars).

Willis is also considering Florida State, Nebraska, Notre Dame and staying in state with Arizona State.

Bain (6-5, 285)’s biggest other offers are from Oklahoma (where he visited Nov. 23) and Louisville, though he is also considering Marshall (Nov. 2 visit).

Bain’s ratings vary widely. ESPN and Scout give him four stars, rating him No. 43 and No. 245, respectively. Rivals and 24/7 Sports give him three stars.

Carter (6-1, 190) is a Miami commitment but has continued to take visits. He’s ranked
No. 197 by 24/7 Sports, No. 232 by Rivals, No. 248 by Scout and has four stars (unranked nationally) from ESPN.

LSU is also expected to get official visits from a number of its 23 commitments, including Westgate-New Iberia offensive guard Josh Boutte (6-4, 305), Lemont (Ill.) offensive tackle Ethan Pocic (6-7, 280), Neville-Monroe wide receiver John Diarse (6-0, 205), Lindale (Ga.) Pepperell offensive guard Andy Dodd (6-4, 325), Marietta (Ga.) quarterback Anthony Jennings (6-2, 200) and Cedar Creek-Ruston offensive lineman Karl Malone Jr. (6-4, 290).

Preparing for the offseason

There’s still one game left on the docket for 2012, but the LSU coaching staff has already begun implementing some new pieces in preparation for the offseason.

Junior fullback J.C. Copeland said the team began a new warmup that they plan to implement in 2013 before practice this week, with more of an emphasis on the lower body.

“Tuesday was a squat day,” Copeland said. “We did a lot of lunges and stuff to work our legs. They wanted to change it up and … see what techniques we can do out here that will help us get faster and more explosive. He really is just introducing it to us now, so when we get to the offseason, it won’t be as bad for us.”

After about three weeks off, LSU kicked back up its practices with workouts Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by its first full practice Thursday night.

“Everybody was kind of really, really sore,” Copeland said. “At first we started dragging, but when we started warming up, we were just like we’ve been practicing for the past couple weeks.”

Sophomore wide receiver Jarvis Landry said the new workout is the hardest strength and conditioning coach Tommy Moffit has pushed the team all season.

Eat Mor Chikin

A Chick-fil-A sponsored bowl game means a whole lot of chicken for everyone.

Les Miles’ news conference on Wednesday was catered by Chick-fil-A, which was just a preview of what is come for the football team.

“We’re going to be getting a lot of those breakfast sandwiches and a lot of those milkshakes,” senior offensive lineman Josh Dworaczyk said. “We’re definitely excited about that.”

Chick-fil-A is nothing new to Dworaczyk, who said he grew up eating it with his family on trips to the mall.

But the sixth-year senior was very diplomatic in his chicken loyalties, expressing his support for Raisin’ Canes, the official chicken sponsor of LSU football.

“That’s a different style with their sauce,” Dworaczyk said. “I definitely enjoy Raisin’ Canes too.”

What’s in a name?

For his birthday Nov. 28, Landry took to Twitter in search of a nickname. It hasn’t quite stuck the way he had hoped, but the moniker, “juice” is slowly beginning to gain steam around the locker room.

“Guys like Josh Dworaczyk, being as old as he is, he calls me ‘Juice’ because of the energy I bring to practice,” Landry said. “It’s just one of those things he said he’s never been around. I think Coach Miles overheard him one day and he started calling me ‘Juice,’ then Coach Kragthorpe started calling me ‘Juice,’ then (quarterback) Zach (Mettenberger) and it kind of spiraled after that.”