Several highly sought-after recruits still on LSU’s radar
With the start of the national signing period still over five months away, LSU has already assembled another excellent recruiting class.
The Tigers’ 22 commitments have LSU ranked highly by all the major recruiting services: No. 3 by Rivals, No. 6 by Scout, No. 10 by ESPN and No. 11 by 24/7 Sports.
And yet, where LSU ends up in the final recruiting rankings come Feb. 6 could still be influenced greatly by the players the Tigers land with their final available spots.
Given the Southeastern Conference mandate that schools sign no more than 25 players per year, LSU officially has just three scholarships left to give. With them, the Tigers hope to land three of the most highly recruited players in the nation, including two national prospects from the Baton Rouge metropolitan area.
Here’s a look at the Tigers remaining top prospects:
Beckwith’s recruiting story is shaping up to be a sequel to that of Dutchtown’s Landon Collins in the Class of 2012.
LSU football recruiting fans will hope they like this ending a lot better.
Like Collins, the consensus top player in Louisiana last year who chose Alabama over LSU, Beckwith’s top two have clearly, for a long time, been the Tigers and Crimson Tide. And like Collins recruitment at this point last year, Beckwith’s decision appears to be anything but settled anytime soon.
Both schools have their top recruiters on the Beckwith case: Frank Wilson for LSU and New Orleans native Burton Burns for Alabama. LSU is recruiting Beckwith as an outside linebacker.
Beckwith camped at LSU twice this summer and once at Alabama, but don’t read too much into that. This one looks like it will go down to the wire.
Williams is a huge target for the Tigers in that he plays a need position and he literally plays his home games right next door to the LSU football complex. The fact that he can run a 4.58 40, coupled with his size, makes him coveted by virtually every major program besides LSU, including Miami, Alabama, USC and Florida.
The question when it comes to Williams’ recruitment is what is really on his mind? According to a report on the Miami Hurricanes’ 24/7 Sports site two weeks ago, Williams said the Hurricanes were his favorite. But last week, Williams told Rivals recruiting analyst Brian Perroni that he doesn’t have a favorite and won’t make a decision until after he takes his visits.
Some think Williams is one of those recruits who is enamored with leaving home now but will eventually find the pull of home too much to overcome. LSU fans certainly hope that’s the case, but it’s far from settled.
An example of LSU’s coast-to-coast recruiting efforts this season — the Tigers have already landed commitments from Wilson, N.C., defensive end Lewis Neal and quarterback Hayden Rettig from Los Angeles — Gilmore is on the verge of setting his official visits. He recently told 24/7 Sports that LSU, Alabama, Clemson and Florida are all going to get officials, he continues to maintain that LSU is his leader followed by the Gators, Tide and Clemson. He said a fifth visit could also go to North Carolina State.
Although little is certain in recruiting, Gilmore (who is being recruited by defensive coordinator John Chavis) is as close to a lock as LSU has left on its board. Though he has only been to LSU once, he will likely make Baton Rouge his last official recruiting stop, a stop that could include a commitment to the Tigers.
Willis was scheduled to make an official visit to LSU two weeks ago, but unfortunately, a death in the family altered those plans. Willis is now scheduled to visit LSU the weekend of the Alabama game on Nov. 3.
The battle for Willis has long been considered to be primarily between LSU and Southern California, though he also has fall official visits scheduled so far for Notre Dame (Sept. 21) and Nebraska (Oct. 26). The Tigers’ chances against the Trojans appear to be improved as of late, considering USC will have a smaller than usual recruiting class and appears to be filling up as far as defensive backs are concerned.
A factor to consider with Willis is the recruitment of Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) safety Tahaan Goodman (6-2, 184). Another national prospect ranked as high as No. 44, according to Rivals, is also slated to visit LSU for the Alabama game. Willis has stated he would like to play with Goodman in college.
Widely considered the nation’s No. 1 wide receiver prospect, Seals-Jones decommitted from Texas in early June saying he had made a hasty decision and he would take some time to look around more.
While continuing to stress that Texas is still his team to beat, Seals-Jones, in a recent interview with 24/7 Sports, ranked LSU and A&M in no particular order behind the Longhorns. Oregon, Baylor and TCU also merited consideration.
If Seals-Jones does leave his home state of California, he would likely be Baton Rouge-bound, but the Tigers and everyone else not named Texas still clearly face an uphill climb. For a prospect of Seals-Jones’ caliber, though, it’s worth the effort.