Updated: Feb 13, 2021
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by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Although the past month has seemed to be the most barren time of the extended "Dead Period" thus far, there are moves and statements of intent brewing around LSU's 2021 targets.
Following this Friday night slate of games, we'll be delving into Orgeron's 2021 targets as they perform on the high school stage just as we did in our comprehensive high school 2021 piece which can be found here (many of these studs putting up such ridiculous numbers), but right now there's some interesting information coming out concerning LSU's recruitment for Brian Thomas Jr.
We've been told Saban's Alabama is pulling ahead of LSU in the race for Thomas Jr; although his parents would prefer their son stay in Louisiana, we've seen Brian Thomas Sr confounding us all (wearing Texas A&M hats recently) throwing the trail off even more.
We were told by a Walker High administrator that "Saban has been so on Thomas it's been creepy...he's had people watch the school to see when he shows up, if he's on time, if he skips classes....meanwhile LSU has taken a more hands off approach, calling & talking as much as possible but also refusing to overwhelm" the young man.
We even watched Coach Ed Orgeron speaking to Brian Thomas Jr on the phone during the filming of 60 Minutes, leaning into the phone and saying "How's the best WR in the country doin'?"
When asked if he was coming to LSU, Thomas replied "hopefully..."
Orgeron went into him, "hopefully? Whatcha mean hopefully?" Laughing with constant Cajun chuckles as he tried to convince Brian.
We've been talking to some of the best recruiting reporters in the United States and their consensus seems to be: "LSU are slipping in a close battle right now, all because Saban offered the first scholarship... as well as LSU's victories in securing Chris Hilton, Jo Jo Earle and Deion Smith calming down the intensity of their pursuit for Thomas."
With both LSU and Alabama virtually tied, fighting tooth and nail for the services of the best receiver in the nation, I will pass on one piece of advice for Brian:
As Walker continues a disappointing start to their 2020 campaign (a shocking 61-7 loss to defending champs St. Thomas More, Brian scoring the only touchdown) the "Ja'Marr Chase clone" continues to throw down a ruthless, all-encompassing display of brilliance, one game to the next...he's a pure footballer, not just a receiver....he can do anything on the field and often has...
But in order to maximize Brian's talents, the receiver needs help...at this juncture, Walker Coach Chad Mahaffey's offense relies solely on Brian's big play ability, which is so transcendent he can pull off the "one man team" moments at will.
While padding the numbers may feel good, leaving the field losing and frustrated, covered in bruises head to toe and having to do it all yourself doesn't.
At Alabama, Thomas wouldn't be the #1 guy...he'd be the only guy....and he could find himself in the same situation under an offensive-regressing Saban (after the last two years of defensive performances, Saban will strip the offense of control by mid-season 2020, trying to slow down the games in the process).
At LSU alongside 2020 freshmen TE / WR hybrid Arik Gilbert, Koy Moore, Kayshon Boutte and 2021's Jo Jo Earle, Deion Smith and Chris Hilton, Brian would start as a freshman straight out of the gate and he'd also have plenty of complimentary help in all directions.
We know LSU commit Chris Hilton is trying his best to convince BT to join him out wide at LSU, we know Hilton and Thomas' families are tight, will their relationship be enough to secure Brian's services as Mickey Joseph's true class-leading WR???
We know he's tight with Jalen Cook, now a guard for Will Wade's LSU hoops...is friendship enough?
At LSU, Brian has friendships, great coaching, NFL development, national title contention & an outrageous offensive system which will supply him the football ad nauseum.
Following Myles Brennan's 1,117 yards and 11 TDs through 3 games, LSU's offense showed the world their pedal to the metal passing attack is here to stay, no matter who may be playing quarterback at LSU....and it just so happens the choices for potential QB suitors at LSU remain far more plentiful than Alabama over the coming years:
LSU's quarterback situation from the present to 2024:
2020: Myles Brennan, T.J Finley (a Louisiana high school legend himself) and Max Johnson, Walker Kinney.
2021: Myles Brennan, Finley, Johnson, Walker Kinney and Garrett Nussmeier for 2021.
2022: Finley, Nussmeier, Johnson, Walker Kinney and freshman Walker Howard now joining the fold;
2023: T.J Finley, Johnson, Nussmeier and Eli Holstein,
2024: Arch Manning???
For Thomas Jr's entire potential LSU tenure, Louisiana State University's quarterback and wide receiver positions would be stacked full of illustrious talents, all while needing his radioactive play-making / history-taking abilities.
Still, whatever many seem to report about Thomas Jr never seems to be the entire case from what we're actually seeing, even when conducting interviews, the quiet and shy Thomas Jr seems to dodge the spotlight at all costs, realizing the sad, awesome truth behind his elite talents attracting such monstrous attention...
There's so much more to what his family are thinking about then just 'Saban vs Coach O' or 'staying home vs leaving to Alabama'...there's questions about who can really take care of their son...who truly has their son as their #1 priority...and when you read about what LSU's WRs Coach Mickey Joseph did to help his players at Desire Street Academy during Hurricane Katrina, there's no doubt who will take care of Brian:
As Hurricane Katrina destroyed Desire Street's $3,000,000 complex, destroyed many if not all of the students and coaching staff's homes, leaving 192 different students stranded, isolated or in danger, Mickey Joseph acted.
While the National Guard tried to keep the coaching staff's rescue mission from entering New Orleans, kids were calling from the Superdome terrified of the lawlessness occurring all around them. In the aftermath of the devastation, Mickey Joseph, former Gator Danny Wuerffel and the rest of Desire Street Academy's coaching staff personally located 162 of those Desire Street Academy students, some in neighboring states like Texas or Florida.
Mickey Joseph never leaves any young man behind...
LSU may need Brian Thomas Jr, but the Walker High superstar also needs LSU.
PREDICTIONS: We still feel 9/10 Thomas Jr is coming to LSU.
Too much upside, too close to his loving parents, next to his good friends Chris & Jalen and alongside some incredible talents who'll compliment Thomas Jr well.
We've been told by a friend and recruiting expert many of you read that "BT could make his decision right now, tomorrow, in 10 minutes...he has no plan or idea except for taking in all of the information they're being given, looking at all their options from every angle and Brian will make a decision based on what's best for the future of himself and his family"....
We were told "Alabama recruiters have said how 'easy it's getting for them to recruit receivers', while nothing has been said from LSU's camp other than the snippet aired on 60 Minutes where Brian's name was never used.
LSU have kept it on the hush hush and the DL...just like the quiet Brian would appreciate.
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2020 Uninterrupted Writings Inc LLC
SHOUTOUTS: Thank you all who are supporting LSU's players right now. They can turn this around, especially with extra practice time before South Carolina on the 24th.