Updated: Dec 18, 2020
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By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
National Signing Day arrives today with all its glory-bound wonder and media madness...however, LSU's coaching staff have far more pressure on their shoulders this year than in 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 at a fever pitch. The only issue? With 18 spots taken and roughly 7 or a potential 8th remaining open, LSU have major work to do in filling out the final pieces to their 2021 puzzle. LSU's biggest needs lie within the trenches and at defensive back, making tomorrow's first judgement day a haywire event in a line of many coming up. I've already seen more behind the scenes moves, swaps, flips, decommitments and all manner of topsy turvy recruiting insanity geauxing down in this wild, pandemic-effected 2021 class than in many before... While many maintain the same recruiting measures are being adhered to by college coaches, we know this is a very different cycle which has changed the future of recruiting. Social media remains as important as ever, recruiting services' rankings are bought and argued over, the opinions of a few chosen insiders attempting to dictate the life choices of many, Zoom interviews over face to face / in person interaction... Some coaches don't understand the landscape...negative recruiting is at its peak and at times the battle over recruits can become one mob verbally brawling with another... Forget all of it.... As long as kids are making multi-million dollar decisions, there will be creepy adults lying in wait to influence them at every turn..... Recruiting has become much like Game of Thrones, in where the very people who you seem to believe, the information you think is most trustworthy, often turns out to be chameleonic at the root. I'll be giving it to you straight as we did with Sage Ryan while everyone believed he was Bama bound, or Garrett Dellinger, the flip of Jack Bech, the rise of Matthew Langlois...I went all out for Caleb Williams and while I didn't succeed in my quest, all of us together nearly changed the complexion of LSU's 2021 class when he nearly went with the Tigers. We're ready to make every pick, every commitment with the knowledge we have. LET'S GEAUX
NAVONTIQUE STRONG: LSU LOCK
CHRIS HILTON: LSU LOCK
SAGE RYAN: LSU LOCK
JACK BECH: LSU LOCK
MATTHEW LANGLOIS: LSU LOCK
COREY KINER: LSU LOCK
KEANU KOHT: LSU LOCK (MISS)
PEYTON TODD: LSU LOCK
GREG PENN III: LSU LOCK
SAIVION JONES: LSU LOCK
LANDON JACKSON: LSU LOCK
GARRETT NUSSMEIER: LSU LOCK
MALIK NABERS: LSU LOCK (off board)
DEION SMITH: LSU LOCK
GARRETT DELLINGER: LSU LOCK
ZAVIER CARTER: LSU LOCK
JALEN SHEAD: LSU LOCK
MAASON SMITH: LSU LOCK
ARMONI GOODWIN: LSU LOCK
BRYCE LANGSTON: LSU LOCK
DERRICK DAVIS JR (SAFETY)
I believe Davis Jr, whether signing today or not, won't be flipping his commitment.
Everything I've heard from his camp indicates a strong bond with Bill Busch and Corey Raymond. I would be shocked if Davis Jr would commit and then flip so soon.
UPDATE: DAVIS SIGNS TO LSU
RAESJON DAVIS (LB)
I've only heard LSU, LSU, LSU from the Davis camp, specifically his father Rashad, although he did indicate his son was making sure the "staff stays intact" as well. Raesjon is a major piece of the Tigers' 2021 puzzle, and losing him at the 11th hour would be a disturbing twist in the 2021 story.
I cannot see Raesjon departing the program, whatsoever; his family have visited many times, they really like the idea of moving down to Baton Rouge where the Davis' have family as well as a close friendship with Eli Ricks' family.
Look for Raesjon to sign in February, possibly sooner, but anywhere other than LSU just doesn't make sense right now.
KOREY FOREMAN (DE)
Korey will secretly sign today, announcing on January 2nd.
We're really feeling it's a two way street between LSU or Clemson here:
Even though he decommitted from Clemson earlier this year, there still remains a strong bond between Brent Venables' coaching staff and Foreman.
However, Foreman was definitely impressed by the Tigers' fight and unbelievable pass rush vs Florida, he's kept in constant contact with Orgeron and the staff, but we know his desired face-to-face meeting was off the board, unless per happenstance (wink wink)
Officially CLEMSON: I cannot picture Korey wasting his talents at USC... he's headed to Clemson so he can forge his own path.
DAMARIUS MCGHEE (CB)
LSU Odyssey has obtained first hand knowledge that McGhee WILL sign with LSU today at 12pm eastern on ESPN2 and make his commitment beyond certainty.
LSU has handed the highly rated McGhee the unit he's been hoping to play on, the coaches he's wanted to play for and the school he wishes to attend.
If for some reason McGhee wildly chooses somewhere else, I would not only be dismayed, I wouldn't believe another piece of information concerning recruiting again.
WE'RE READY FOR YOU DAMARIUS...DBU IS READY.
UPDATE: MCGHEE SIGNS WITH LSU
JEAUX JEAUX EARLE (WR)
As much as he's become a big-time, high profile wide out for many teams to pursue, Jeaux Jeaux recognizes there was one team which believed in him first: LSU.
WRs' Coach Mickey Joseph kept after Earle's signature with as much bluster as a Texas tornado, ensuring the Percy Harvin-esque Aledo High record breaker would become a major part of LSU's 2021 WR unit.
The drama surrounding his late announcement is unfounded right now...in fact, Jeaux Jeaux himself said despite the teams chasing him, it's only been talk and he's "all LSU".
Once again, the shroud of recruiting madness can inflict pain upon the psyche...losing a WR TD Merchant such as Earle would be a crucial blow to the Tigers' receiving corps, yet one we don't see occurring....unless one unlikely thing happens:
I've been told Earle's hesitation relies on the employment of WRs Coach Mickey Joseph at LSU....and since I've heard very little regarding his ouster for his marginal role in the Drake Davis incident (he attended the Title IX hearing as "support" for Davis, per Davis' request), Joseph should be staying on.
Officially, Jeaux Jeaux stays.
UPDATED: JO JO MAY BE FLIPPING TO ALABAMA, A STUNNING DEVELOPMENT. WE'RE NOW PUTTING JO JO AS A TOSS UP 50/50
TRISTAN & AIDAN LEIGH (OT)
I know Leigh and his family are taking this decision with extreme calculation...checking out every available option and researching every angle possible.
They haven't skipped over a single angle of the process and I take my hat off to the Leighs for their due dilegence.
The Leigh family had a long Zoom call with LSU's coaching staff yesterday, asking every question in the book as Tristan went to make his final decision.
Obviously LSU is right there in the mix here vs Oklahoma...there's a reason the family scheduled Zoom calls with Florida and Ohio State a few days ago and saved LSU's for last.
Have LSU made the impression they've needed to on Leigh?
Have the school's recent allegations hurt their chances?
Does Leigh really want to play his football against Big 12 dumplings over powerhouse SEC opponents and unbelievable atmospheres (such as he experienced this weekend when LSU's young team overcame the obstacles at every turn to take down Florida)?
The Leighs' story is about overcoming those stacked odds, from Tristan's mother battling the pain & uncertainty of multiple sclerosis to the family's drive for a better life, there is a constant thread that traces right back to Baton Rouge as their next home.
Not only is Tristan highly valued by the staff, Aidan is as well:
While other schools rushed Aidan offers just to win over Tristan, LSU's James Cregg actually understands the value in two brothers joining the same football team (though Aidan would have to wait two seasons to join his brother, playing alongside Tristan in the SEC for a potential two years would be something altogether special and unique...an opportunity some brothers never achieve).
There are 18 different offensive linemen rejoining Oklahoma's Bill Bedenbaugh next season, while Bedenbaugh also moves to make preparations and cover his bases with Savion Byrd among others to make sure, in case he misses out on Leigh, that OU will still be protected.
LSU's main targets are Tristan & Aidan Leigh and that's it...they either win the lottery here or go back to the streets of North Las Vegas hoping someone can lend a dime to the offensive line.
Some may call Cregg's strategy unnecessarily risky and foolish....I call it pure of heart.
PREDICTION: Tristan is a Tiger....I know there's Oklahoma talk, but I just don't believe it. The talk only stems from the family visiting the school, which they were going to do anyway. The family were visiting as many schools as they possibly could (such as their Florida visit) to try and get in as much family vacation time as possible before Tristan's playing days and college homework pile up.
Unless I've really been blind here, I've never lost faith in Tristan coming to LSU!
KEANU TURNKOHT (DE)
The madness surrounding all these Dixon-predicted Crystal Balls of Koht ditching LSU are atrocious...Koht is signing with LSU today at a ceremony in Vero Beach....the tweet he put out was embroidered in purple and gold!!! Do we need anymore information???
"Keanu is gonna wear that QB like a Koht," said Jack Poss of One Team One Podcast and I agree with him...GEAUX KHEANU
UPDATE: WE GOT IT WRONG. KOHT SIGNS WITH BAMA AT THE 11TH HOUR. ENJOY THE NEW CAR 😅
SAVION BYRD (OT)
The left tackle will sign with Oklahoma today I believe, all despite the efforts of every 2021 Texas Tiger. Landon Jackson said they were "really working on Savion to come" as well as Garrett Nussmeier driving from Texas to Baton Rouge alongside Byrd in his mother's SUV.
I haven't felt Byrd to LSU. Just doesn't give me the vibe that he wants to come.
UPDATE: GOT IT RIGHT, SAVION TO OU.
JARDIN GILBERT (SAFETY)
I could see Gilbert coming to LSU, although as long as Davis stays with the team, where is a spot for Gilbert? If there is one, why the hell not? Look at this profile.
MALIK NABERS (ATH/WR)
One of the best talents of the 2021 class has chosen LSU over Miss State!!! A huge capture for the Tigers and one which was unexpected until only days before, although Mickey Joseph, Ed Orgeron, Collin D'Angelo and Corey Raymond never sropped pushing.
WHAT A WIN.
VERDICT: No solid prediction before signing.
Our pick was published last night here:
We picked A&M to slip past LSU for Foster's signature and accordingly, the Texan chose the Aggies this morning.
KHARI GEE (SAFETY)
Gee won't be signing today or in February, whether his commitment to LSU from way back in Spring is still valid, or if he's potentially been processed (a rumor from Geaux 247).
I'm not sure, but it seems the safety room is getting crowded with a lot of options for Bill Busch...and that actually sounds fantastic, all established and based around Sage Ryan's unrelenting stratospheric abilities.
Gee didn't enjoy the best of senior seasons in Georgia, perhaps he's leaving the program due to Nathaniel Wiggins' decommitment?
Gee heads to Notre Dame
Who's to know until later today when the pen swings its mighty pendulum like a sword of fiery truth...leaving us all in suspended animation until the young man's voice and the crackle of the electricity hits the room.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
YOU ARE ALL LOVED
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2020 Uninterrupted Writings Inc LLC
SHOUTOUTS: Nursekort, Jamer, Tony, A.D the oracle and Al Pacino's performance in The Irishman