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By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
And so it begins....this next Wednesday, National Signing Day arrives with all its pomp & triumphant circumstances...however, LSU's coaching staff have far more pressure on their shoulders this year than any recent Tigers' class.
Wins or losses on the field usually dictate the mentality of a program, and while LSU's 2020 championship encore was a vicious flop, sucking the life out of all players, fans and even Orgeron's tireless coaching staff, the positivity on the recruiting trail is so hot, LSU hired Halle Berry as recruiting coordinator.
Exhaustion is visible all over, still fresh from the initial wounds of that fateful day in June when the LSU coaching staff and players disagreed about the on-campus protest.
Since then, the losses have been intense for the Tigers, greatly changing how they'll recruit in the future as well as forcing them to lose 4 of the top 10 players in college football before the season began:
LSU's top 3 receivers Ja'Marr Chase, Terrace Marshall, Arik Gilbert, one of the SEC's best safeties (and definitely the fastest) Kary Vincent Jr, #1 DT in America Tyler Shelvin, a slew of other defensive linemen (Thomas, McLendon, Ika, Moore, Farrell who then opted in later etc) 5 Star supernaut Marcel Brooks and more...
Now, with these most recent losses twisting the knife even deeper through the spinal column, Coach Ed Orgeron has no choice but to double down on his recruiting intensity, beginning against Florida (a game attended by #1 priority Tristan Leigh).
LSU cannot miss on this class....
With only two games remaining, this is the only way to flip the script...in the public eye and in reality. These gems from the 2021 class would transform LSU and bolster the 2018-2020 talent already on roster.
NATHANIEL WIGGINS CB
For all the Clemson talk (and they're doing some intriguing things to be convincing), we're joining Mike Scarborough on this one.
All of our most trusted sources maintain Wiggins' head hasn't been turned by Brent Venables' defense, although the #1 cornerback in the nation sports historic pace, furious versatility and filthified 50/50 abilities.
We feel he believes in Coach Corey Raymond's 8 year DBU project too much to leave, at least judging by his words.
In totality, Wiggins is the truth....and we fully believe in his hefty powers.
Verdict: STAYS AT LSU
KOREY FOREMAN DE
As much as we were constantly told Foreman & Smith were & are a package deal, we now are hearing that destiny may last more than friendship:
Many warned of the flimsy package deal moniker: it usually indicates one player who cannot make up his mind saddled next to the alpha who can, the former beholden to his choice.
I wondered "which one is Maason? Which one is Korey? Follower or Leader?" then with time, we realized both players weren't born to follow, each would be making their own decision....which may seriously mean separate teams for the best friends.
When and where did this schism happen?
Maason Smith is putting his full faith in Orgeron's capable, title-winning hands, although Korey is still on the fence concerning the scandal at LSU, as well as the geographical relocation from Southern California...
He's still not 100% down with either...
Regardless, on January 2nd Foreman will finally have to really make the decision which fits his future:
Does he want to play alongside Maason, Eli and Raesjon, three of his closest friends (Eli and Raesjon both from So Cal) as well as join up with one of the most animalistically stacked D-lines in the country?
IT'S TIME TO HUNT, KOREY...
We feel the publicized scandals have made him shy away RIGHT now, but there's STILL a chance and enough time for Maason to convince him....
Korey will be at the LSU Florida game tonight along with Tristan Leigh, the two 5 stars checking out what the SEC has to offer.
If I'm LSU, I'm doing whatever it takes to get Orgeron in front of Korey.
Foreman has been to LSU three times and still is yet to meet Orgeron. This is a HUGE deal for Korey, we were told that explicitly by family friends of the Foremans.
He simply must meet Coach O in the flesh or the experience isn't real...if he CAN, Foreman will sign with LSU, that's how strong Orgeron's command is within any room he enters.
But it will take a miracle on par with Lazarus to get LSU's NCAA-Witchhunted recruiting team in front of Korey in Gainesville...however, that's the way to get Korey....DO IT.
Verdict: IF HE MEETS WITH COACH O, HE COMMITS TO LSU...IF HE CAN'T, HE COMMITS TO CLEMSON.
TRISTAN LEIGH OT
Tonight Tristan and his family will watch LSU take on Florida in Gainesville, and the occasion will be the final time Leigh (or his brother Aidan) are in and around LSU's orbit.
I don't need to expound:
TRISTAN LEIGH IS THE BEST OL OF 2021 OR 2020 AND WITH HIM, LSU'S O-LINE FORTUNES DON'T JUST DRASTICALLY IMPROVE.....THE OFFENSE AS A WHOLE EXPLODES...
LSU need all hands on deck right now for Leigh, all hands, all resources....make it happen.
Verdict: COMMITS TO LSU ON 1/2/2021
BRIAN THOMAS (WR)
Thomas may prove to be the one who got away, his silent power and on-field omnipotence turning his monolithic charisma into one giant question mark for the last 12 months.
Believing all top recruiting services would've told you he was choosing either LSU or Bama, and yet the #1 wide receiver from the 2021 class is a strong-lean to Texas A&M.
Thomas never seemed interested in staying home...due to his family's Texas connections and Cowboys fandom, moving to College Station wouldn't be a stretch whatsoever for the family.
Both his mom and dad want A&M passionately and it seems Jimbo circled and underlined Brian's name in bold as his top priority at the class's outset.
If LSU lose Thomas to A&M, it would be a significant blow to the morale of WRs Coach Mickey Joseph, although he cannot feel annoyed by the stacked talents he's recruited at WR or TE
Without Thomas, LSU will still be fine.
With Thomas, LSU would be unstoppable.
Currently, the only way we can pull Thomas towards LSU?
Verdict: COMMITS TO TEXAS A&M
RAESJON DAVIS (LB)
Although things can still change between now and February, I don't anticipate Raesjon Davis losing his love for LSU so rapidly....
Raesjon was annoyed by the processing of Naquan Brown, he's been made uncomfortable by the Drake Davis / Guice rape allegations (and their alleged cover up) and he's very concerned about the future of defensive coordinator Bo Pelini, the man who didn't recruit him.
More than most kids under 25, Raesjon Davis values continuity, loyalty and honesty, all three being big reasons WHY the Southern California-native committed to LSU in the first place....yet they're also factors which could see his decommitment if postseason changes affect the crux of the LSU defensive unit.
Although, even if Pelini is sent packing, as long as LBs coach Alec Osbourne stays on staff, Raesjon should stay a Tiger.
Verdict: STAYS AT LSU
MAASON SMITH DT
Maason has known Coach O since he was very little, meeting Orgeron at a camp and immediately impressing the LSU head coach with his interior athleticism.
Maason is a bull in a China shop shattering every window while refusing to allow a speck or dent to befall the silverware or plates...and he's Orgeron's 1AA priority of the class.
With the new 4-3 system, we've witnessed how badly LSU needs a rotation of 3 or 4 philistine DTs who can maintain unceasing aggression for 60 minutes, and even though 2020 freshmen Jaquelin Roy, Jacobian Guillory and Eric Taylor return (as well as a potential opt-in from Apu Ika) there exists strong depth without the alpha to complete the unit....
MAASON IS THAT ALPHA....and he knows it, too.
HE'S A TIGER.
Verdict: COMMITS TO LSU
BLACK LIVES MATTER
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
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