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by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
We're hearing strong indications that LSU's biggest targets remaining on the board (excepting Brian Thomas) are ready to make their decisions and will do so imminently.
Sage Ryan's powerhouse commitment had quite the effect on the national recruiting landscape for 2021 and 2022, sending all manner of renewed respect and attention on LSU.
But while the team struggles in 2020, 2021's class is building into a towering group of immediate contenders, standing alongside 2019 & 2020's powerhouse roster additions as well.
"We're building another championship team," Orgeron said today, "just like in 2017."
LET'S GEAUX, COACH!!!!
Leigh has seemed to be a heavy Tigers lean for quite some time, visiting the campus repeatedly, returning with his girlfriend as well. And now, Leigh is poised to make his decision within the next few weeks.
150% we believe Tristan is committing to LSU...all the pieces fit, from his family's comfort, his girlfriend Mya finding the engineering program down there intriguing, his mother Laura has already become a Celebrity Mom amongst LSU fans, and many recruiting nerds are keying on Tristan's younger brother Aidan, too.
Aidan Leigh was officially offered by LSU prior to Ohio State, Alabama or whoever else may have copied LSU's genuine interest in building a legacy of greatness (LSU 2021 commit Garrett Dellinger's younger brother Cole was also offered by LSU far after Dellinger committed, proving James Cregg's genuine interest in developing brother linemen on his offensive line unit for the next 4-5 years).
We were told by Laura Rigney-Leigh "Wherever Tristan goes, Aidan and I follow..." which points to me also believing the Leigh family will commit to Louisiana State University.
See, that's the thing....as unbelievable as Tristan is right now and will grow to be under Cregg's development, LSU fans want the entire family in purple and gold.
This has been love at first sight from Tiger fans to the Leighs, from personality, family, everything matches and fits....if Tristan Leigh committed anywhere else I wouldn't just be massively shocked, it would probably be painful.
We just heard from Laura Rigney-Leigh, deinitively saying:
"He hasn’t decided when to announce yet. He’s thinking about doing it at the All-American Bowl. But not sure yet."
So, Tristan Leigh is still on a day to day schedule concerning his announcement....who knows where he'll end up, but wherever he geauxs, Tristan will be an unbelievable talent, one of the most physically imposing OL I've seen in quite some time and a young man of above and beyond high character.
Garrett Nussmeier rode alongside Byrd for the entire trip from Flower Mound to Baton Rouge, talking his head off about what they could accomplish.
Nussmeier is an absolutely brilliant DJ for this 2021 LSU group, as could be seen vividly during all Tiger Turnout footage which leaked; the extrovert isn't too shy to beg and with Savion Byrd, he's asking the big man "come on man", openly recruiting his future guard.
LSU commit and Pleasant Grove freight train Landon Jackson also told us "we're all working on Savion" when discussing his friendships with his fellow Texan Tigers.
We've also heard OT Savion Byrd's commitment is IMMINENT and the versatile O-linemen (and Defensive Tackle) will be committing to LSU within the next fortnight.
Savion can see his path to the field and he wants to be a Tiger.
MAASON SMITH & KOREY FOREMAN
The biggest chunk of news we're hearing about these two?
The Sage Ryan commitment to LSU, upsetting Alabama and staying home in the process, has had a huge effect on Maason Smith, providing the young man big time food for thought.
Really, there's no USC, Alabama or Clemson in the race at this point for Smith or Foreman...it's down to only LSU & Georgia.
I fully believe if Foreman and Smith weren't such good friends, if they weren't inherently tied at the hip during their recruitment, Maason Smith would already be committed to LSU...we palpably sense that.
Maason is particularly tight with Coach O, the two actually having long discussions about everything and anything...at times leaving football (and the high stakes game of recruiting a local "can't miss" 5 star athlete) in the dust.
The entire thing could hinge on Korey Foreman's choice.
Is this a case of Maason being unable to make up his mind, waiting for Korey to choose and Smith following Korey into the dark?
I don't believe that one bit...both of these highly skilled defensive linemen continue to play their recruitment so close to the vest, giving nothing away, openly confusing and messing with fans, geauxing back and forth and even showing off some silent treatment antics.
Now, it seems the only way to get any details on Maason Smith is to go through his media rep, Tiger Details' masterful creator Julie Boudwin (the best recruiting voice in college football right now).
But his words also told us everything we needed to kneaux:
When Maason dropped his top 5, he gave us our biggest clue yet.
About Georgia: “Just the coaching staff. I talk to them a lot. They’re really down to earth people and they care. I like that in coaches. They have really good defenses every year. I know they don’t put out defensive linemen that much but that can definitely change and they play great defense.”
About LSU: “That’s the hometown school. The relationship is definitely there. I have great relationships. They’ve been recruiting me since I was in the eighth grade and I have a great relationship with them. I talked to Coach (Ed) O(rgeron) on the phone yesterday and those are my people. Before Coach (Bo) Pelini got in there I wasn’t that excited about their defense because they were in a lot of three-man defenses, more of a linebacker defense. When he got there he changed it all up.”
We expect Maason & Korey to wait until the very last breath, hoping to drag this out as long as possible and enjoy the journey of their recruitment to the fullest hilt...and who could blame them?
Expect their decision in December on early signing day during the vacant "All American Bowl" (the game will not be played, but NBC will be airing a documentary focusing on this legendary 2021 class).
Perhaps that is the time for Julie Boudwin to take her video briliance and put it on national television, filming Maason and Korey's announcement video for air during the slot?
Maason & Korey are coming to LSU, yet the only aspect which throws the situation into doubt?
Korey's silence and charismatic vibe...we just cannot get a read on him.
Even those close to the family have said "it's very hard to know...I wonder if they actually do have a clue where he's gonna go...it seems like they don't."
Being close friends of Southern Cali LSU hero Eli Ricks' family and 2021 5 Star LB Raesjon Davis' parents, I believe the Foremans know exactly where they're geauxing.
As Maason said repeatedly...this is about "relationships"....
So....for all you fools thinking Bo Pelini has absolutely ruined LSU's defensive present and future, while also costing the Tigers recruits....you couldn't be more wrong or insidiously nuts....that's just a fact.
Ever since Orgeron hired Bo Pelini as the new Tigers DC, the LSU defense has grabbed one huge Tiger after another, from S/DB/Nickel Sage Ryan (the most versatile defender in the class), out of Georgia came S Khari Gee, DE/LB Zavier Carter
(from the same school as LSU Legend Arden Key: Happeville Charter), before CB/WR Nathaniel Wiggins (the best cover corner in the class) announced his commitment on his birthday, August 28th; East Coast destroyers Greg Penn, Naquan Brown and Keanu Koht all posted hard commits as well, recruiting their fellow classmates and scheming with other 2021ers (Greg Penn filmed a welcome video for Sage Ryan on Saturday);
DT Big Anthony Hundley who's showing out at IMG signed on as well....let's just say this...every defensive player in the class outside of Raesjon Davis (who committed in early January thanks mostly to Coach Alec Osbourne) was recruited by Pelini himself or Corey Raymond and always with the tagline "Do you want to play in a Bo Pelini defense?" as Maason Smith himself just pointed out....and this is after Pelini's first season defense had allowed a pair of 40 point games to begin 2020....
The two most productive DEs in the country (St. James' Saivion Jones and Pleasant Grove's Landon Jackson) both committed after visits and talks with Bo Pelini, too....so it's extremely intriguing food for thought if you're riding high on the "crucify Bo Pelini" train.
Could firing Bo Pelini actually cost LSU Maason Smith & Korey Foreman?
If you listen to Maason Smith, it looks like that's the truth.
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By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2020 Uninterrupted Writings Inc LLC
SHOUTOUTS: GEAUX VOTE, LAURA RIGNEY LEIGH (Thank You!), DENEAN WHITEHEAD AND OF COURSE, MISS STACIE!