1/16/18 5:45 am CST
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The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL has come and gone with LSU losing six juniors to the draft. The six include RB Derrius Guice, CD Donté Jackson, OLB Arden Key, CB Kevin Toliver, OT Toby Weathersby, and OC Will Clapp. The last Tiger whose decision we were waiting on was OG Garrett Brumfield and he decided to return for his senior season. Though it was expected, it was good news to see Brumfield’s tweet saying that he would return, especially in light of the decisions by Clapp and Weathersby.
Speaking of offensive linemen and deadlines, LSU is still awaiting the arrival of prized OL signee Badara Traore of ASA College in New York. Traore is one of nine players who were expected to be early arrivals when they signed. All eight of the others are good to go but the word is that Traore is wrapping up a few loose ends in the classroom. His arrival is expected any day now. The deadline to enroll in classes for the spring semester is January 22.
In football recruiting news, we keep talking about LSU having three spots to fill in this year’s class, but that is not technically correct. After signing 21 in the early period, LSU has four spots to fill, though the reason we keep talking about the “final three in” is that LSU secured a commitment from safety Kelvin Joseph on January 6. We still feel very confident that Joseph will be a Tiger, but those of you who’ve been following recruiting for a while know that it’s not wise to count your chickens before they hatch. LSU knows that too, that’s why the first prospect LSU visited when the contact period resumed last week was Joseph. As it stands right now, he is scheduled to take his official visit to LSU this weekend and then head to Alabama next weekend and to Auburn on the final weekend before signing day. The staff is hoping that while Joseph is on campus he’ll decide to cancel those two visits and put an end to his recruitment.
As for the other remaining spots (the ones we call the “final three in”)… We wrote before that we were predicting they would go to CB Patrick Surtain, CB Mario Goodrich, and either QB James Foster or WR JaMarr Chase. Now, after each of those prospects visited this past weekend, we’re feeling like it will be Surtain, Chase and either Foster or Goodrich. The word we’re getting is that all four had very good visits and that LSU is most confident in signing Surtain and Chase. Suratin is scheduled to visit Alabama this weekend while Chase will be heading to Auburn. As for who is more likely between Foster and Goodrich, your guess is as good as mine. The good news is that if either one of them ends up joining an LSU class that ends with Joseph, Surtain, and Chase, the Tigers will have a very solid class.
A couple of related notes: As mentioned yesterday, Chase hit it off with new Offensive Coordinator Steve Ensminger and Passing Coordinator Jerry Sullivan. The two emphasized to him that LSU’s 2018 offense will center around the passing game, which is something Ensminger inferred in his introductory press conference. Also worth noting: Chase’s player-host for his LSU visit was Kriston Fulton, a fellow Rummel alum. Fulton, a former 5-star CB recruit, showed great potential during his freshman season at LSU and then took a redshirt this past year for “off-the-field” reasons. He’s expected to compete for the starting cornerback job opposite of Greedy Williams this year.
In other recruiting news, we mentioned yesterday that LSU is recruiting three running backs with Louisiana ties for the 2019 class, but they are not the only elite RBs LSU is pursuing. Yesterday five-star running back Quavaris Crouch tweeted that he was blessed to receive an LSU offer. Crouch (6-2, 224) is rated as a five-star and is the No. 1 player in North Carolina.
Turning to hoops, the LSU men’s team will look for its first home conference win tonight against the Georgia Bulldogs, but it won’t be easy. The Tigers are 2-2 in conference with both losses on the season coming at home, but most of the spotlight will be on how Will Wade and the Tigers react to the frustrating 74-66 loss against Alabama Saturday. Wade took some criticism for the way he lost his temper in the loss, and judging from the way Wade’s Tigers have improved in all facets of the game this season, I expect them to come out poised and ready to play. And they better be. Don’t let the Bulldogs’ two-game losing streak fool you, Georgia is a talented, physical team that is third in the conference in rebounding. Coming off of a game where Alabama out-muscled LSU inside, that should be a great concern. Also of note: The Bulldogs possess a 65-46 win against Alabama and an 11-point win against Ole Miss, who just defeated Florida. So while the SEC continues to devour itself, no team in the conference can be taken lightly. And with both LSU and Georgia trying to be the dark horses in SEC play, tonight’s matchup is that much more important. Tip-off is set for 6:00 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPNU.
• Here’s a bit of good news: Mike Detillier says former Saints and current Hall of Fame placekicker Morten Andersen will work with newly signed LSU placekicker Cole Tracy in May at his camp. (And speaking of Detillier, I’ll be doing a new Q&A with him soon.)
• The LSU gymnastics team remains ranked No. 1 in the nation this week with an average score of 197.200 after two weeks of competition. The Tigers return to action on Friday at 7:30 p.m. CT against No. 9 Alabama. If you’re longing to see a Tiger victory over the Crimson Tide, tune in on the SEC Network.
• According to The Baton Rouge Business Report, former LSU head coach Les Miles has landed a role in an upcoming Indie film called “Angry Men.” According to its website, the movie is about the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster. Miles plays the role of a NASA employee known as Nelson.
• For the few of you who saw my tweet about #CookingNight last night and asked what was on the menu, here you go: Last night was Part 2 of a two-meal meal plan. Thursday it was this hardy Cajun meatball stew, but only using half the meatballs that I prepared. Monday it was spaghetti and meatballs with the rest of the meatballs.
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