12/18/14 5:50 am CST
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Good morning, Tiger Fans,
First of all, it was great hearing from many of you yesterday about the 18th anniversary of this website. It’s great to know that so many of you have been following since the early days and still enjoying the site. Several of you asked if I could post the first Dandy Don report published back on this date in 1996. Unfortunately, I cannot. Due to a hard-drive failure several years back, I lost my early archives, and that makes me sick. The oldest reports I have are from 1998, but I have nothing from the first 23 months. Back in those days, a small percentage of people had personal computers and many of you would print out the daily reports and share them with friends or family. If any of you just so happen to have still have a hardcopy of one of those early reports from 1996 or 1997, back when the site was on a purple background, I would love to have a copy!
Now, before going any further, you’ve just got to check out this new LSU-Notre Dame Hype Trailer by LesMiles.net. The video is exceptionally well done, and considering that its been three weeks since LSU has played a football game, it’s sure to get your blood flowing.
In recruiting news, defensive back Jeremy Cutrer signed with LSU yesterday on the first day of the JUCO early signing period. As many of you will recall, Cutrer committed to LSU back in February of 2012 and was set to be a member of the 2013 class, but didn’t qualify academically. Cutrer ended up going to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College where he really excelled, and LSU’s staff kept an eye on him the whole time. Now Cutrer is set to enroll at LSU and participate in spring ball, and that’s great news for a Tiger defense that could lose as many as four defensive backs who have played big roles. Safety/nickelback Jalen Mills and cornerback Jalen Collins are draft-eligible juniors, and safety Ronald Martin is a senior. Cornerback Rashard Robinson has been indefinitely suspended (presumably for reasons related to academics) and his future is uncertain. Another early enrollee from this year’s class who will challenge for immediate playing time in the defensive backfield is five-star cornerback Kevin Toliver. With newcomers Cutrer and Toliver and returning veterans like Tradavious White, Jamal Adams, Rickey Jefferson, Devin Voorhies and others, LSU’s defensive backfield should remain strong regardless of what happens with the NFL draft.
As promised, today we’ll talk a little more about recruiting and I’ll give you a baker’s dozen of prospects on LSU’s radar. This year’s recruiting class hasn’t generated as much excitement as last year’s, mainly because last year there were so many high-profile in-state kids who were considering LSU and preparing to make their announcements on national TV during all-star games. This year, six of the top-10 prospects on our list of Top LA Prospects have already committed to LSU, and two others – WR Tyron Johnson (No. 1) and ATH Donte Jackson (No. 7) – are considered leans to LSU. The other two top-10 players are OT Jerry Tillery (committed to Notre Dame) and WR Kirk Merritt (leaning to A&M). For the first time in a while, LSU and Alabama are not engaged in any battles for players in our Top-10, although No. 11, WR Daylon Charlot, is currently committed to the Crimson Tide. However, LSU is still in the thick of things for Charlot and a flip is certainly possible.
LSU’s recruiting class is currently ranked 17th in the nation, but that’s mainly because the Tigers only have 15 commitments. I’ve been asked by many if I’m concerned with LSU having so few commitments at this time, and my answer is not really. Last year at this time, LSU didn’t get its 16th commitment until December 17th (Clifton Garrett) and we all know how strong the 2014 class finished. While this class may be lacking a bit in quantity, it is not lacking in quality. LSU currently has commitments from three five-star prospects (according to Rivals’ rankings), Kevin Toliver, Derrius Guice, and Maea Teuhema, and is in the mix for several others like Tyron Johnson, Martez Ivey and DeMarkus Lodge. If this class finishes as I think it will, LSU will likely end up with a top-5 to 10 class, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.
Below are a baker’s dozen prospects still on LSU’s board. This list is by no means all-inclusive. It simply represents the names I’ve been hearing the most lately.
(The number in parenthesis represents the player’s ranking on our list of Top LA Prospects.)
(WR, 6'1", 185, Warren Easton, No. 1)
LSU’s biggest in-state target, has LSU in top-3 along with Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. Will take official visit to LSU on Jan. 23.
(ATH, 5'11", 175, Riverdale, No. 7)
Could play on either side of ball, but is being recruited as CB and return specialist by LSU. Will take official visit to LSU on Jan. 23.
(WR, 6'1", 182, Patterson, No. 11)
Recently has great visit to LSU and there were reports that he recommitted to Alabama, but he told Coach Saban otherwise the following day. Appears to be a very heated battle between LSU & Alabama.
(ATH, 6'0", 174, Pine, No. 15)
Currently committed to Florida, but was extended an LSU offer a few weeks ago and appears to be giving it serious consideration. Versatile athlete who could play on either side of ball as WR, RB, or DB.
(OT, 6'5", 300, Northside, No. 22)
LSU has increased contact with Dugas, but still hasn’t extended an offer. It appears that Dugas may be a “backup plan” if LSU misses out on one of their other O-line targets.
(CB, 6'2", 192, NE Oklahoma A&M)
Considered the No. 1 JUCO CB in the nation. Visiting LSU on January 23 but currently appears to be a lean to Tennessee.
(DE, 6'6" 245, Maryville, TN)
Recently decommitted from Tennessee and appears to be leaning to LSU.
(OT, 6’4.5" 295, Houston, TX)
Recently decommitted from Texas and is now said to be considering Arkansas, Ole Miss and LSU.
(DE, 6'4", 250, Nashville, TN)
An early enrollee who will announce his decision in the coming days and is expected to choose between Tennessee, LSU and Ole Miss.
(CB, 5-10, 180, Nashville, TN)
Is good friends with Kyle Phillips and is also an early enrollee. The two have expressed interest in playing together, and Amadi is also expected to choose between Tennessee, LSU and Ole Miss.
(CB, 6’1”, 195, Richmond, VA)
Currently committed to Penn State, but had an outstanding visit to LSU in early November and a flip to the Tigers is a real possibility. Also considering Ohio State.
(DT, 6’1”, 330, Gladewater, TX)
A 5-star DT considered one of the best in the country. Currently committed to A&M, but will be visiting LSU on January 16.
(WR, 6’2”, 190, Cedar Hills, TX)
Teammate and good friend of LSU QB commit Justin McMillan. Ole Miss and Baylor are presumed leaders, but LSU has turned up the heat on this 5-star and is still very much in the picture.
In other football-related news, per a report by CBS reporter Joe Pequeno of KPHO in Phoenix, Arizona, Michigan is offering Jim Harbaugh 49 million for six years to be the team's new coach. If true, this would likely be hard to turn down as it would make Harbaugh not only the highest paid football coach in college football, but the highest paid football coach, period. Nick Saban is currently the highest paid coach in the NCAA at $7.3 million per year, while Sean Payton and Pete Carroll are each making $8 million per year in the NFL.
In basketball news, LSU (7-2) will be looking to win its second road game against a non-conference opponent tonight when they take on UAB in Birmingham at 8 p.m. The game will be televised by the CBS Sports Network. This could be a challenging contest for LSU as the Tigers are a bit banged up at the guard position. Starting point guard Josh Gray is recovering from a sprained ankle, and backup guard Tim Quarterman missed some practice earlier this week after getting injured in a collision against Sam Houston State. Quarterman is likely to play tonight, although Gray is not. Here’s a good article on LSU needing to get some help ”from all corners” tonight in order to overcome Gray’s absence.
Two closing tidbits:
• I’d like to point out that I’ve updated our Ticket Exchange page and there are a few listings for the Music City Bowl. If you have tickets for the game that you’re not using, please let me know and I’ll post the information.
• I’d like to thank those of you who have already donated to our annual fundraiser. If you have not yet done so and are financially able, please consider making a pledge today. To find out why it’s important, please read this message. Thanks in advance for your support.