BY LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
As we speak the official Tigers Turnout is well on its way, a cavalcade of 2021 recruits are arriving for unofficial visits to Baton Rouge, including a large, lengthy guest list of commits and big time LSU-interested recruits, many who traveled out of state, all on their own dime.
2021 genius QB Garrett Nussmeier, superstar LB Raesjon Davis and DE/LB colossus Naquan Brown orchestrated the charge, all three traveling during a pandemic with their families from Flower Mound, Texas, Southern California and Virginia Beach;
Joining them will be 2021's best players, led by #1 overall 2021 "human missile crisis" Korey Foreman and his family from Southern California, meeting up with best friend & local Terrebonne native DT Maason Smith;
2021 Tiger King Tristan Leigh, his mother Laura and brother Aidan have made the journey safely as of Friday night;
Dynamic Wide Receiver Jo Jo Earle from Aledo, Texas will meet Louisiana's Chris Hilton and Brian Thomas for the first time; Jo Jo and Chris will no doubt be hoping to convince Thomas to stay in state.
Out of Pleasant Grove, Texas, defensive end powerhouse Landon Jackson is expected to make his arrival as well, visiting the school for the first time since the Texas A&M game.
Will Jackson's fellow Texan Saivion Byrd be there, too?
Out of Duncanville, O-Line virtuoso Saivion Byrd is the " body of Goliath possessing the mentality of David" inside the trenches, announcing his dominion upon all before him.
It would be ideal if Byrd and Tristan Leigh could hang out in town over the weekend, perhaps calling 2021 LSU O-line commit Garrett Dellinger up in Michigan to say "hello".
It's anticipated local Sage "Flash" Ryan will also be in attendance, the high flying safety taking his time on a decision thus far; could this weekend be the time he decides?
Another arrival could be DE Keanu Koht, most likely on his way down south as well, penciling in Saturday for when he'll appear.
We hope Mississippi's best player (and an elite WR talent) LSU commit Deion Smith can make it, while St. James' ultra-talented DE Saivion Jones is another local who should stop by.
Jones is a savage on the field, plundering and vacating protections with a single move, capable of exposing and eroding an offensive line, inside or out. His heralded run at St. James hasn't gone under the radar in Louisiana, yet Saivion deserves far more love from the recruiting service rankings considering his historic 2019 output.
Regardless, Jones knows how good he is and so do we: hopefully he's able to be around his future teammates this weekend.
This is an unprecedented moment in LSU Tigers' recruiting history, where recruits are making their moves how they see fit, not waiting on any services, outlets, journalists or even the process of official visits: they're adjusting to the circumstances for their benefit and forecasting their own future....and why shouldn't they do this?
2020 is trying to brainwash us all into giving up, yet these kids see the light at the end of the tunnel...us adults could learn from these 2021 recruits' steadfast example.
It is beyond a thrill to have such a wealth of high character, championship-caliber young men in Baton Rouge at one time, investigating the city, the lifestyle and each other as they get to know their definite and potential teammates.
LSU Odyssey has also spoken to parents of the recruits who are excited to be in Louisiana and looking forward to finding out all about the other kids, meeting their families and beginning the journey together.
Yes, it's already been a long rollercoaster for many of these 2021 recruits...they've been hounded and harassed for a few years at this point, all of the tumult rising to a fever pitch over this summer.
As the dead period came and went, stories of 2020's topsy turvy circus of a season continued unabated, a diarrhea of hellish nonsense designed to terrify, dismay and paralyze all of us, clouding the recruiting scene at the time moves were being made.
LSU continued their high octane recruiting spree when they picked up two big time commits during last weekend, just as we'd predicted in our last piece: 4 Star DBU madman Nathaniel Wiggins and thick, versatile tight end Jalen Shead out of Olive Branch, Mississippi, proving this staff doesn't have to sell much.
The brand sells itself.
What our staff supplies is confidence, truth and development, no empty promises, no fake birthday cake of BS: we promise every player opportunity, equality, family....you can't get any tighter than a Coach Orgeron-led team and you cannot beat the NFL track record of the LSU Tigers, no matter who was at the helm:
320 young men have been drafted from Louisiana State University, 68 played in Super Bowls, 51 were selected to Pro Bowls featuring 125 total selections...this is a program of tireless stability, sporting the same strength and conditioning team since 2000 (Shelley Mullinex and Tommy Moffitt), Jack Marucci enters his 24th season as Director of Athletic Training and a multitude of former Tigers now on staff.
Director of Player Development Kelvin Sheppard is not only the 7th all time leading tackler in Tigers history, he's also a brilliant choice for his role. He left Georgia as a young man and knows the experiences of leaving home and acclimating to Louisiana, making Sheppard uniquely qualified for this nationally-expansive 2021 group.
Let us remind you, when you're a Tiger at any point, you're a Tiger for life.
This weekend is a chance to solidify even the hardest of commitments and enlighten the biggest of skeptics:
With a larger group of recruits and commits descending upon Baton Rouge, this has the potential to make some history in an era of ever-expanding player power and during an off-season full of unorthodox necessity moves.
And these visits aren't luxuries: they're necessities.
There's nothing in NCAA violations saying these kids can't assemble in the city of the campus, there's no piece of writing stating what Georgia and Oklahoma have done recently is illegal.
These young men, more than ever, deserve the right to self finance unofficial visits during this pandemic crisis...official visits would've occurred in Spring and didn't happen due to the shutdown, but now there's a chance to rectify that postponement.
Here we are:
It's not every day your city has 11 of the Top 120 players in America (6 from the Top 50 alone) simultaneously present....
We'll spread out the purple and gold carpet, show a bunch of southern hospitality and welcome you to Baton Rouge, home of champions, city of dreams, creator of legends...the start of the journey.
BY LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
SHOUTOUTS TO: A man from Southern California who's been an amazing friend. I cannot wait to meet him, get ready for a great weekend. You've worked your life for this, enjoy it.