Four high-profile recruits expected to announce choices Wednesday
One after another, highly touted high school seniors walked from the sidelines of Tropicana Field to a makeshift platform and announced their college decisions live on ESPN.
Among them, a whopping five were LSU targets. Just two chose the Tigers.
The announcement madness that unfolded at the Under Armour All-American game on Jan. 2 may be repeated, somewhat, Wednesday.
LSU has an unusually low 19 commitments heading into signing day, and the Tigers are finalists for four high profile recruits who are all making their college choice — like those at the Under Armour — live on national television.
The four LSU targets — receiver Malachi Dupre and linebacker Kenny Young, of John Curtis, California cornerback Adoree Jackson and Georgia defensive end Lorenzo Carter — each have a slot during ESPNU’s signing day coverage.
“It’ll be a much more active signing day than we’ve seen in a long time” for LSU, said Mike Scarborough, publisher and recruiting analyst at TigerBait.com.
Dupre and Young are scheduled for a 9 a.m. announcement, with Jackson (1 p.m.) and Carter (2 p.m.) set for later in the day.
The five-for-five LSU fans were hopeful for during the Under Armour game has transformed into a four-for-four on signing day.
It’s a long shot. Jackson is seen as a Southern Cal lean, and Carter likes Georgia. Even Young, an in-state four-star, is split between UCLA, LSU and Texas A&M.
LSU is waiting on more than the four, though.
About a half-dozen other prospects have LSU as a finalist, making for one of the most active signing days the school’s seen in years.
For example, last year at this time LSU had 27 commits and were realistically waiting on a decision from only two or three targets, all of them committed to other schools.
It’s a bit different this time around.
“They usually don’t go this late with six spots to fill,” said Sonny Shipp, recruiting analyst for Geaux247. “It could be entertaining. Any time you go into the day and have six spots to fill on signing day, it could be entertaining. But it’s going to be stressful and nerve-wracking. Those are a lot of spots you’re hoping to fill.”
LSU’s 19 commitments is the fewest of any team in the top seven of 24/7 Sports’ composite team rankings. The NCAA allows schools to sign 25 players a year. Some are able to sign more if they didn’t sign a full 25 the previous year.
The Tigers aren’t completely alone with their low number of commitments. Stanford and Clemson, both inside the top 15, also have just 19 commits. Four teams from No. 16 to No. 23 have 18 or fewer commits.
Still, for such a high ranking, LSU has a low number. Top-ranked Alabama has 25 commits. No. 2 Ohio State and third-ranked Texas A&M have 22. No. 5 Florida State has 27 committed, and No. 6 Tennessee has 34.
Why does LSU have just 19 commits?
One reason is the outcome of the Under Armour announcements. LSU received commits from just two of five targets.
“Had Jan. 2 gone to plan, everything would look about right,” Scarborough said.