12/18/18 5:35 am CST
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In just one day, College Football’s second-annual 72-hour early signing period gets underway and it should be an exciting time for Tiger Fans. LSU currently has 19 commitments and the nation’s 4th-ranked recruiting class, per 247Sports Composite Team Rankings. Assuming there aren’t any unexpected defections, there will be an awful lot to like about LSU’s class of early signees tomorrow night. By that time, LSU should have signatures from 11 players who rank in the top-10 nationally at their positions, including the nation’s best cornerback Derek Stingley, Jr., the best running back tandem in the nation in John Emery and Tyrion Davis, and one of the top two guards in the nation in Kardell “Mr. Pancake” Thomas. And the best thing about those four standouts is they’re all homegrown talents. Other current LSU commitments who rank in the top-10 at their positions include linebackers Marcel Brooks and Donte Starks, center Charles Turner, and two special teams specialists – longsnapper Quentin Skinner and kicker Cade York. There’s also cornerback Maurice Hampton, who ranks as the nation’s No. 9 cornerback, but I didn’t list him since he’s not expected to sign in the early period. Remember, he’s the two-sport athlete committed to playing football and baseball at LSU. Personally, I think it’s probably a good thing that he’s not signing in the early period as it gives LSU more time to guage where his head is with regard to the Major League Baseball draft. As of now, he’s the only player in LSU class of 19 current commitments who is not expected to sign in the early signing period.
While the above illustrates what a tremendously talented class LSU is putting together, the one area that still needs a big boost is the defensive line. That boost could come early tomorrow as defensive tackle Siaki Ika of Utah is expected to announce his school of choice with a “hat ceremony” at a little after 9 a.m. CT. I’m cautiously optimistic (60% confident) that he’ll pick the Tigers and give LSU two DT signees in this class, along with Joseph Evans of Haynesville.
A couple more recruiting notes:
TE Keon Zipperer: LSU hasn’t relented in its pursuit of this four-star tight end from Lakeland, Florida. I’ve been thinking he was most likely to stay close to home and sign with Florida or Miami – and I still think that – but a tweet he posted yesterday has me wondering. At 2 p.m., he tweeted “Hold that Tiger!” Zipperer would be a solid addition to the class and is certainly one to monitor tomorrow, though I know better than to put too much stock in tweets like that.
CB Raydarious Jones and LB Nakobe Dean: Both will sign tomorrow at approximately 1:20 on ESPN. LSU is clearly in the mix with these two stars from Horn Lake, Miss. and I would be very surprised of LSU didn’t sign at least one of them.
In tomorrow’s report, we’ll give you a summary of what to watch for throughout the big day, and remind you of our handy dandy signee tracker where you can keep track of the action.
In other news, the LSU football team held its annual Awards Ceremony last night after practice. As you might expect, linebacker Devin White won the Charles McClendon Award, which is presented annually to the most valuable player on the team. White also earned recognition, along with cornerback Greedy Williams and safety Grant Delpit, as recipients of the Percy E. Roberts Outstanding Defensive Player Award. The Percy E. Roberts Outstanding Offensive Player Award was given to three players – quarterback Joe Burrow, running back Nick Brossette, and wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Cole Tracy was the winner of the Outstanding Special Teams Award. Also, eight Tigers were selected as permanent team captains. Burrow, Brossette and Foster Moreau were named permanent offensive team captains; White, Delpit and Rashard Lawrence were selected permanent defensive captains, while Tracy and Blake Ferguson were named special teams captains. The following is a complete list of LSU’s 2018 award winners announced last night:
Alvin Roy Award
Given to the player(s) who has shown the most dedication to the individual and team goals of the Tiger’s year-round strength and conditioning program.
2018 Recipients: Lloyd Cushenberry, Glen Logan, Foster Moreau
Dr. Charles E. Coates, Academic Award
Presented to the senior who has demonstrated the highest commitment to scholarly work in combination with excellence on the field.
2018 Recipients: Jack Gonsoulin, Rashard Lawrence, Josh Growden, Tiger Scheyd
Outstanding Special Team Award
Presented to the player who accumulates the most points over the season through his effectiveness on special teams play.
2018 Recipient: Cole Tracy
Jeff Boss Unsung Hero Award
Presented by the Bengal Belles goes to players who have made significant contributions to the success of the team and received the least recognition for it.
2018 Recipients: John Battle, Zach Von Rosenberg, Lloyd Cushenberry, Blake Ferguson
Butch Duhe Award
Recipient is one whose character and contributions to the LSU Football team most personify the idea of unselfishness, dependability and commitment to the team.
2018 Recipients: Damien Lewis, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Garrett Brumfield, Nick Brossette, Breiden Fehoko
George M. Wallace Memorial Award
Presented to the defensive player who has distinguished himself by performance, leadership and commitment to team.
2018 Recipient: Michael Divinity, Devin White, Grant Delpit
Outstanding Offensive Lineman
2018 Recipients: Damien Lewis, Lloyd Cushenberry
Outstanding Defensive Lineman
2018 Recipient: Michael Divinity
Permanent Team Captains
Offense: Nick Brossette, Foster Moreau, Joe Burrow
Defense: Devin White, Rashard Lawrence, Grant Delpit
Special Teams: Cole Tracy, Blake Ferguson
Percy E. Roberts Outstanding Offensive Player Award
2018 Recipients: Joe Burrow, Nick Brossette, Justin Jefferson
Percy E. Roberts Outstanding Defensive Player Award
2018 Recipients: Devin White, Greedy Williams, Grant Delpit
Charles McClendon Most Valuable Player Award
2018 Recipient: Devin White
In baseball news, congratulations to LSU outfielder Daniel Cabrera for receiving All-America Recognition by Collegiate Baseball. Cabrera was named to their third team. Franky, I’m surprised that fellow outfielders Zach Watson and Antoine Duplantis were not recognized, but I suspect they’ll end their seasons with plenty of accolades. Here’s the full press release on Cabrera’s recognition.
I’ll leave you today with a few good reads on three LSU commits who are expected to make immediate impacts at LSU:
• John Emery wants to be more than the next great LSU running back
• Derek Stingley Jr.: LSU's next great cornerback, and a 17-year-old kid
• LSU kicker commit Cade York takes to heart lessons from Cole Tracy
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