LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
LSU is now moving at the speed of light when it comes to recruiting, grabbing commits from four guys in 2 weeks: DE Keanu Koht, DE Naquan Brown, WR Chris Hilton and ILB Greg Penn III...only a week and a half before those hard commits arrived, the Tigers also sealed the deal for highly prized Clarkston left tackle Garrett Dellinger, St. James' DE colossus Saivion Jones, Ohio running back Corey Kiner (turning defenses into moldy bong water synthesis when he rushed for a delirious 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns during 2019...the dood even rushed for 8 touchdowns in a single game)....
The talent LSU has amassed thus far isn't anything to joke around about....this is a serious slate of barnstorming troubadour talent:
LB/DE Zavier Carter, roadrunner WR Jo Jo Earle, DE Landon Jackson, Safety Khari Gee (every name listed in this paragraph so far are from either Georgia or Texas). Then, as if the previous talent wasn't enough, our 16 commits are spearheaded by 5 star So Cal LB Raesjon Davis, the young man already becoming a recruiter for the Tigers (posting pro-Tigers tweets to Korey Foreman and any other So Cal guys), QB Garrett Nussmeier (a longtime Ensminger project who's risen as an elite passer), phenomenal WR Deion Smith (Mississippi's #1 overall player), a promising, bruising interior DT in Anthony Hundley and 5 Star local punter Peyton Todd.
That's a trio of top 10 guys out of Louisiana and 13 other high profile, top 10-100 players arriving from 13 different states: over 11 days from late April up until May 4th, Orgeron's Tigers secured 3 top 10 players out of the state of Texas alone (Landon Jackson, Nussmeier and Jo Jo Earle), two of Georgia's most underrated young men followed quickly after in Gee and Carter; O-line Coach James Cregg and RBs Optimus Kevin Faulk entrenched our blueprint upon the Midwest with the discovery and commitments of Garrett Dellinger and Corey Kiner (Michigan, Ohio respectively), then you see LSU playing both coasts, receiving a titanic commit out of California from Raesjon Davis, Texas's Landon Jackson, outstanding inside linebacker Greg Penn III hailing from Maryland (Hi to my Aunt Janice and Uncle Matt from La Plata!!!), DE Naquan Brown out of Virginia Beach...
We've talked about it here before:
LSU's national brand has expanded beyond any reasonable doubt....the program's validity has still been questioned by those arguing "LSU's staying power is impossible without Brady and Burrow"...yet these doubters couldn't have been more clueless as Orgeron's 2019 and 2020 classes were brimming with generational talent, revolutionary dynamism and now he's followed that up with 2021's majestic group:
We're half a year away from signing day and yet our class has the most exciting establishment from which to build upon, now with 10 spots left on the table for the Tigers, where do we address our needs...or is this about picking up the best possible players no matter the position?
When analyzing the list of commits, the needs which must be addressed are offensive line (specifically at C, G and RT, while versatility will be the most enduring attribute); we'll also require another running back to join Kiner's special abilities, then we'll look to fill in more places along the D-line, grab two more safeties, two more corners, possibly another LB, and one more receiver to take the top off of Mickey Joseph's unit and challenge 2019/2020 as the best receiving corps in LSU history.
The targets to fill those positions?
First off, offensive tackle Tristan Leigh is an empirical force, a contagion of steely protection along the line whom LSU must GEAUX all in for, especially after losing J.C Latham to Alabama.
Right now in the process, we've witnessed the LSU community grab Leigh with both hands and embrace him fully (Covid 19 style) as one of our own already...and with our fans' impressive treatment of his family (without knowing who they were) or our grinding, long term pursuit of the highly rated tackle, Leigh has been impressed by James Cregg, Greg McMahon and the entire LSU staff's intensive push.
In our opinion, Leigh is all but a Tiger...this is the place to progress his NFL pedigree.
Another lineman on LSU's radar is Owen Prentice, an agile, versatile O-lineman capable of administering vicious agony from guard or tackle, proving equally devastating at each spot. Prentice needs to get more love and the only fan base showering Prentice in consistent desire is the rampant Tigers fans....the big time charge led by LSU Odyssey Guest Contributor Adrian Perkins @aperkins2113.
Adrian has long seen Prentice as a big time catch for LSU, even to the extent he has replaced Garrett Dellinger's teammate Rocco Spindler on the ODYSSEY board.
Spindler remains a priority, although with rumors swirling of Jim Harbaugh electrocuting himself over a swimming pool whilst suspended in a pair of Christopher Walken's overalls for assembled recruits' delight (via Zoom), Spindler may fall for such blockheaded displays and opt to stay closer to home...however, regardless of the cool down on LSU's surge for Spindler, don't count Cregg out of this fight yet.
Grabbing multiple Top 10 O-linemen from the Midwest would've been unimaginable a year ago...but my my my have the G.O.A.T team and the G.O.A.T offensive line unit supplied magical wonders for the recruitment of future LSU trenchmen.
A running back is also a necessity, as Corey Kiner fills the lone RB spot on the board. Kevin Faulk is out on the trail, geauxing for L.J Johnson, trying to flip Armoni Goodwin from Auburn and keeping the battle close with Camar Wheaton.
As for LJ Johnson, Faulk is trying to claw his way back in front of Texas A&M and our former RBs Coach Tommie Robinson...but if the young man would rather select Jimbo's sanction-happy A&M over the All-Time SEC Yards leader and 3x Super Bowl champion Kevin Faulk, then we shouldn't waste our time.
Camar Wheaton is another unreal option, a track star who totaled 3,128 yards on the ground for 40 touchdowns, also catching 20 passes for 216 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Wheaton has the explosion LSU is looking for...and I expect Kevin Faulk to sow Camar's commitment up tight....although a battle vs Alabama, the only other SEC school to offer Wheaton, is likely to go down to the wire.
While Armoni Goodwin committed to Auburn, his actual presence on their roster is still up for debate...can Faulk flip Goodwin?
You bet your ass.
In the trenches, LSU have already stacked the edges with primal threats, yet other than Hundley, they're still in need of an interior presence.
We believe Maason Smith could be deployed as a DT in a 4-3 just as easily as his traditional usage off the edge, especially when you consider his boundless bull rush and truly incendiary strength when stunting inside...so with Maason, you could fulfill many roles and needs across the defensive line.
For me, Maason Smith is the best defensive player of the class.
As for his So Cal buddy Korey Foreman, aka the #1 overall talent of the 2021 class, he's an edge mutilator who baits and fillets the best offensive tackles in California, freezing them into Bob Ross paintings.
Maason Smith and Korey Foreman's arrival would revolutionize LSU's defensive line for the next four years, especially when you consider the firepower already on the roster (freshmen Ojulari, Guillory, Roy, Webb at both LB/DE).
With such an exciting nucleus, the 2020 defensive line's high expectations will only grow upon the arrival of LSU's already sizable haul of 2021 DE and DT talent....
By 2021, Maason and Korey would take their place, surrounded by otherworldly renegades all along the D-line on either side...what a tantalizing prospect for players, coaches or fans to witness...
If LSU can get Maason, they'll possess the best defensive line in the country geaxuing into 2021...however, if their recruiting staff of Christian LaCoutoure, Bill Johnson, Alec Osbourne and Keith Sanchez can grab both Smith and Foreman, they'd have the deepest and most athletically dominant defensive line in recent history...that's not hyperbole...that's just talent.
Meanwhile, local Lafayette wizard Sage Ryan continues to take his time, although we'd be in a state of dismay if he ended up anywhere but LSU.
As the most intelligent safety of the 2021 class, Ryan's pre-snap dissection reminds me of Jacoby Stevens, his route disruption recalls the high football IQ of Craig Steltz, and his knack for a huge play have all made him one of the can't miss players of 2021.
His agility in space brings back images of some of the best who've ever played the position at LSU...yet we know Ryan isn't even close to the finished product.
While still so young and raw, Ryan already flashes out of the screen, so fast only the vapor trails left from his holographic flight mark his presence.
Derrick Davis Jr, the #2 ranked safety in the country, is another fantastic option. Although Clemson, Texas and Oklahoma stand in pole position for the Texas safety, Davis has been highly courted by Bill Busch, and LSU have continued to push for his commitment.
Davis has promising ability as an all-around DB, capable of playing man coverage or tracking the ball at its apex; the Gateway High phenom out of Pennsylvania also excels at running back, rushing for 908 yards on 80 carries, scoring a team-leading 15 touchdowns.
To illustrate what excites me about Davis: the young man not only galloped for two long TDs during a 31-0 shutout of Franklin Regional...he also picked off two passes and blocked a punt!
Keep your eyes on Davis...
Also in the secondary, two expert corners who LSU would love to sign:
Ga'Quincy "Kool-Aid" McKinstry and Nathaniel Wiggins.
While grabbing Alabama-native Kool-Aid's commitment would require an effort more tasking than finishing a book by David Foster Wallace, Corey Raymond can convince Kool-Aid for one simple reason:
LSU have the perfect argument for why they should edge both Clemson or Alabama for the two sport star's services:
Kool-Aid wants to play both football and basketball (averages 15 points per game), yet I only see one coach in the entire SEC willing to allow this:
Coach Ed Orgeron.
Not only that, LSU's Will Wade is building a hungry team full of NBA-ready talent....let's compare LSU's rising basketball program to Alabama or Clemson...yeah, that's what I thought...
McKinstry is a fine corner, posting 30 tackles, 12 defended passes and 6 interceptions during his sophomore campaign before switching primarily to receiver throughout 2019 (catching 12 touchdowns, 700 yards on 47 grabs and adding another interception).
The other priority CB is Nathaniel Wiggins, a heat-seeking missile Coach Raymond has been focusing on intently for some time.
Out of Atlanta, Wiggins has announced he'll make his commitment on August 28th, and while crystal ball projections have him heading to the Pac 12's USC or Oregon, we feel there's no way you can dismiss LSU's chances.
This young man would be rejecting LSU's overtures so he could travel across the entire country to either play for Clay Helton (a coach who's future is more tenuous than Ghislaine Maxwell's well-being in federal custody) or head to Oregon and join a roster after their best players have left, still on the outside looking in as far as the College Football Playoff??
Wiggins has the body, the athletic instincts and the feet to play both corner or receiver, showing a profound talent for 50/50 balls; Don't worry about Wiggins' hitting, either: he possesses the dominant range, size and psychological wheel of fortune to haunt opponents for some time.
At linebacker is where things get interesting:
With most of the top 30 linebackers of the 2021 class already spoken for (LSU grabbing three of the best in Raesjon Davis, Zavier Carter and just this Sunday DeMatha High's Greg Penn III) much of the wheeling and dealing during the final months will come both at the LB and RB spots.
I've heard of the versatile Prince Kollie bring thrown around and I love this kid as a primary target. There's also every opportunity for a de-commitment from Terrence Lewis, the #1 ranked LB currently pledging his future to Tennessee, there's every chance Smael Mondon's "100% Crystal Ball" aiming towards Georgia becomes a purple and gold-assisted mirage by February...but there is a need for at least one more physically sturdy, traditional linebacker (just like Penn), lest we become forced to dip into our excess of defensive ends for a hybrid.
But the purple and golden prize at the end of the 2021 rainbow???
At receiver, Mr. Brian Thomas out of Walker High.
He's a local kid with Ja'Marr Chase-esque physicality, speed, towering stature and bewildering strength; we see no ceiling on this young man's unassailable abilities...
We've been covering him like a bloodhound, trying to persuade the shy Thomas's participation in an LSU ODYSSEY Exclusive interview, recruiting him as if we were a member of Orgeron's staff.
With Ja'Marr Chase, Terrace Marshall, Jontre Kirklin and Racey McMath all departing after 2021 (Chase and Marshall would be seniors and could stay another season, although this is unlikely), bolstering Mickey Joseph's WR room will become an absolute necessity on the recruiting trail.
While Trey Palmer, Arik Gilbert, Kayshon Boutte, Koy Moore and Alex Adams would still remain on roster at the start of 2021, Tiger fans can sleep easier knowing the future of our high octane passing attack will remain in safe hands thanks to Coach Joseph's prior commitments from Chris Hilton, Jo Jo Earle and Deion Smith.
But without Brian Thomas, there would be a big dent left in our wide receiving corps....Thomas would be that key #1 Director of Desolation every great offense needs.
Even Chris Hilton knows this:
When asked by Tiger Details' Julie Boudwin "which player he wanted to play with from the 2021 class most", his answer wasn't surprising for any of us already imagining Hilton and Thomas as "2021's Jefferson and Chase"...but it took many analysts by surprise:
"Brian Thomas...cause we've played together forever, we know everything about each other, we'd play off of each other's strengths..."
There are many high quality names left on the board across many specific positions of need for the LSU Tigers, yet our 16 commits (13 from all over the country and 3 big time local stunners) and 5th overall ranked recruiting class is picking up vengeful authority by the weekend.
Social Media has become awash in "You Kneaux The Move" hashtags and a rampant Tigers fan base openly recruiting these kids, posting on every tweet and showing love to so many different players & their families from all corners of the nation.
There's a few more commits coming down the pipeline before July ends, and after LSU already stole the month so far after securing 4 players in 11 days, there's a purple and gold feeling in the air...one which should see Saban plummet to such nocturnal desperation he hires Retired Colonel Oliver North as his athletic director, screaming in blood-curdling anarchy at the sky "Oh Lorrrrd! The Hyperbole of it all!"
EARLY RECRUITING PREDICTIONS:
BRIAN THOMAS JR: COMMITS TO LSU
SAGE RYAN: COMMITS TO LSU
DERRICK DAVIS JR: TOSS UP
MAASON SMITH: COMMITS TO LSU
NATHANIEL WIGGINS: COMMITS TO LSU
KOREY FOREMAN: LSU 75%, USC 25%
ROCCO SPINDLER: COMMITS TO LSU IF HE'S READY TO ROLL THE TIDE UP
TRISTAN LEIGH: COMMITS TO LSU
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
COPYRIGHT 2020 UNINTERRUPTED WRITINGS INC LLC
SHOUTOUTS TO: Dorian you poet you didn't even know it, Terian Williams II "The Playmaker" and a good dood, Zander Milton, Harold you are a brother of mine, Tonge' Helaire, Linda Lee Fehoko, Shauna Ricks, Ed Ingram, Jai Eugene Sr, Kreed & Alan Stubbs, AD @aperkins2113 for his friendship and being a badass, Jamie's Dad for kicking cancer's ass, 1971Tiger for being a great dood, Paul for being a good pal, Maryrooooose, and Tigerfan1985 for being samtastic!