by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
While we've all seen LBs Coach Blake Baker making big time waves on the practice field, I've received word that he's also geauxing above and beyond in the recruiting department.
As 247 already reported that Baker has played an instrumental role in recruiting 5 star Florida-native DE Shemar Stewart, Baker's Texas roots and high school knowledge of the area has paid massive dividends when pursuing two linebackers & assisting Corey Raymond's chase of an elite cornerback.
5 star linebacker Harold Perkins and 3 Star Justin Medlock both hail from the high school battlegrounds of Cypress and Manvel, Texas, both around Baker's neck of the woods and former stomping grounds.
He's already made the right connections in his pursuit for the pair, despite some intense competition for Perkins' signature.
Perkins is a special athlete at the linebacker position, fleet of foot and capable of laying the wood sideline to sideline, while Medlock himself shows some underrated coverage skills, smart tackling technique & a raw profile which will improve throughout his senior year.
Baker has established a solid rapport with Perkins which continues to grow, but concerning Medlock, I've heard Coach Baker and the player are tight.
Medlock only played 3 of the 11 games last year, but he managed to grab a pick six & made 21 tackles.
Over his past two seasons, he's registered 138 tackles, 13 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 5 pass break ups and 2 fumble recoveries, posting 117 tackles as a sophomore.
Also, 5 star corner Denver Harris is another Texan target for the Tigers, with DBU impresario Corey Raymond consulting Blake Baker on the Houston-native's recruitment.
Baker grew up in Houston and starred at Clearlake High, so saying he knows the area, the coaches, scouts and landscape is putting it mildly.
Harris is another player with everyone in hot pursuit but I'm told Raymond has solidified his recruitment and thanks to Baker's involvement, now has more of a regional foothold than before.
- Defensive Coordinator Daronte Jones has been after April Fool's Jokester Jacoby Mathews, but he's also targeted 5 star IMG Safety Kamari Wilson as an obvious choice for his 2022 secondary.
While Corey Raymond has stayed on as Kamari's #1 recruiter, I've been told by a source close to IMG that Jones' hire at Defensive Coordinator has only improved LSU's chances of grabbing Wilson, noting Jones' willingness for non-football talks as being "so key" in securing his services, as is continuing an IMG legacy at LSU, most recently represented by CB Eli Ricks.
- DL Coach Andre Carter picked up a big commitment recently when DT Tygee Hill joined a growing list of impressive locals among the Tigers' Louisiana-focused 2022 class.
2020 and 2021 saw LSU pursue monumental out of state DL targets from B.J Ojulari, Phillip Webb, Korey Foreman, Landon Jackson, Anthony Hundley or Zavier Carter, 2022's class strategy includes much of the same:
While Tygee Hill is just the first of two likely Tigers to commit from inside the state, with DE J'Mond Tapp being another, many of LSU's DL targets are out of state again and actually, I feel Carter's nationally recognized NFL brand will play well when trying to grab Shemar Stewart or Tennessee DT Walter Nolen, 5 star Philly DE Enai White, Georgia's DT Mikel Williams or Mississippi 4 star interior Jaheim Oatis.
ALL possess different skill sets and fascinating profiles Carter is intrigued by, yet I'm told by a source he's after Stewart and Enai White with full gusto.
In their Power Hour meetings, the staff made a list of 10 priority targets, among the names were Shemar Stewart, Shazz Preston, Jacoby Mathews & Khamari Wilson both at safety.
When asked if there were any "must have" players, I was told the staff feel they've got a class where there's a lot of "flexibility" in targets, with "many different layers" to each position out there.
Just the options we listed at DL prove that point, but cornerback and wide receiver do as well.
So much top talent to pick from.
Coach Orgeron is extremely proud of the work from OL Coach James Cregg, continuing to rebound from his lukewarm 2021 cycle as he logs additional positive vibes from Malik Agbo, Emery Jones and Devon Campbell.
Cregg has vast experience recruiting out of state, so it won't be too big of an adventure trying to sign Washington's Agbo or Texas' Campbell, however the lock of the three is actually a stone's throw away from LSU's campus, guard Emery Jones of Catholic High.
Jones seems set to join a nuclear 2022 offensive line which already houses local powerhouse 5 star Will Campbell, rising legacy-act Bo Bordelon and highly touted Bama defector Lucas Taylor, Cregg launching a formidable power trio already within LSU's commits....the possibilities only increasing after each offer, text or call.
By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
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