11/16/17 5:30 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
During yesterday’s weekly SEC Coaches Teleconference, Coach Ed Orgeron spoke about the possibility of losing a couple of junior offensive linemen to the NFL draft and how that makes O-linemen a priority in this year’s recruiting class. This is a topic that was briefly covered earlier in the week in our Monday Morning Mail Call, but hearing Coach O talk about it reminded me that it’s been a while since we’ve written much about recruiting. So, let’s start with a bit on that today.
The two O-linemen Orgeron was talking about are presumed to be junior guard Will Clapp and junior right tackle Toby Weathersby. Then there’s junior guard Garrett Brumfield who’s also draft eligible. If all three of these guys return, and if LSU doesn’t lose any other linemen to transfer or injury, LSU’s O-line will return a lot of experienced talent. But after losing nine O-linemen in the last year-and-a-half, Coach O can’t afford to take any chances. Hence Coach O’s well-documented desire to bring in a couple of JUCO O-linemen to compliment the incoming freshmen he expects to sign. So, who are among the JUCO candidates to fill this need? And who else is LSU targeting as additions to its 2018 class, which currently includes 18 commitments and is ranked No. 17 in the nation? Well, in today’s report, I’ll briefly answer both questions by listing a dozen LSU targets I’ve been hearing the most chatter about lately.
First, the JUCO O-linemen targets…
Badora Traore (OT, 6-8, 315, ASA JUCO in New York)
Traore holds offers from several top programs like Auburn, Georgia, and Oklahoma, but appears to be leaning to LSU. He would be a major get for Coach O. From what I understand, LSU is hoping to get him in for a visit for this month.
Damien Lewis (OG, 6-3, 320, Northwest Miss CC)
Lewis has taken official visits to South Carolina, Kentucky, and Ole Miss and will be at West Virginia this weekend. He’s already set to take his official visit to LSU for the A&M game.
Ten other various targets I’ve been hearing a lot about lately, listed in no particular order:
Pooka Williams (ATH/RB, 5-8, 165, Hahnville. Kansas commit)
Lawrence Keys (WR, 5-11, 160, McDonough 35)
Joe Foucha (Safety, 5-11, 194, McDonough 35)
Glen Beal (TE, 6-5, 250, John Curtis)
Kelvin Joseph (CB, 6-2, 191, Scotlandville)
Patrick Surtain, Jr. (CB, 6-2, 181, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Harold Joiner (RB, 6-3, 218, Birmingham, Ala.)
James Foster (QB, 6-3, 210, Montgomery, Ala.)
Terrace Marshall (WR, 6-3, 192, Parkway)
Devonta Jason (WR, 6-3, 211, Landry-Walker, Kansas commit)
Obviously, this list does not represent everyone LSU is recruiting. Look for more on these recruiting targets and others in a subsequent report.
Moving on with our normal order of business, last night I listened to the Ed Orgeron radio talk show and enjoyed hearing Coach O and host Chris Blair talk about last week’s win and the upcoming contest against Tennessee. Below is my rough recap of what was said:
COACH ED ORGERON SHOW RECAP – TENNESSEE WEEK
After Bill in Gonzales sang a song he wrote about beating Tennessee, Jeff in Ponchatoula asked Coach O if he thought Tennessee interim coach Brady Hoke would be able to make many changes in such a short time. Speaking from experience, Orgeron said you can’t make major changes in one week’s time, though you can tweak things that bring about improvements. As an example, he pointed out that when he took over last year, Steve Ensminger put together a great offensive game plan and the team went out and set a school record for total offense in SEC games with 634 yards against Missouri in a 42-7 win.
Between calls, Blaire commended Danny Etling for his play on Saturday and asked about his health. Coach O said that Etling strained his back throwing the ball in pregame warmups. At halftime, they were going to give him a couple series in the third quarter to see what he could do. “I was so happy to see him gut through it like he did and come back to score 26 points in the second half.”
Chip from the west coast asked Coach O about special teams and about how hard he’s recruiting the state of California. To the second part of the question, Orgeron replied, “If there was a young man who called me from California and was serious enough, I'd look at him. But I'm not going to spend too much time in California when I have so much work in my backyard.” As for special teams, Orgeron said Connor Culp had done a good job and they thought their field goal problems were gone but then he had a bad day. “Thank God Jack kicked that extra point,” he said. “I never heard a cheer so loud on an extra point. I was clapping too.”
Charlie in Lafayette asked about the health of the team. Orgeron said something like, “We’re about as healthy as we've been,” but then went on to say that KJ Malone is still questionable (though getting better) and a couple of guys are nicked up.
A little later in the show, the Evil Twin asked about the health of Arden Key. Orgeron said Key is “questionable for this weekend.”
One of the last callers asked about plans for playing quarterback Myles Brennan this weekend in Tennessee. Orgeron repeated the answer he gave before last week’s game, which is that Danny Etling is the starting quarterback and that they’re playing to win. He added that if Etling is not doing well or if they’re up by a large margin, Myles will go in.
Now turning to the hardwood…
By winning last week’s season-opener in impressive fashion and then completing a killer signing class which ranks 4th in the nation, first-year LSU head coach Will Wade is bringing a lot of excitement to the Tigers’ basketball program. He’ll have a chance to build on that excitement tonight when the Tigers (1-0) take on Samford (1-1) in the PMAC. The game is set to tip-off at 7 p.m. and will be streamed online by SECN+, accessible on the WatchESPN app and at ESPN3.com. After last week’s very enjoyable debut of Wade’s Tigers, LSU shouldn’t have much trouble attracting a large crowd for tonight’s game, but just in case, the school has released this 1:15 hype video to encourage fans to attend. #BootUp!
In other basketball news, LSU’s Lady Tigers fell to 1-2 on the season with a 58-50 loss at Northern Colorado (3-0). LSU dominated the boards (48-31), but struggled with turnovers and successfully spreading the ball around, committing 14 turnovers compared to only four assists. Here’s LSUSports.net’s complete recap of the game. Up next for the Lady Tigers is a home game again Nicholls State on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.
One track and field tidbit in closing: If you’re an LSU baseball fan, you probably already know that left-fielder Antoine Duplantis comes from a highly talented track and field family and that his younger brother, Armand, is a world-class pole vaulter. Well, the younger Duplantis is now also officially a Tiger. Armand, better known as “Mondo,” signed with LSU yesterday in the early signing period. As the nation’s top track and field recruit, the Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year, and the World Junior Record Holder in the pole vault with a personal record of 19-4.25 ft./5.90m, Mondo is obviously a huge get for the program.
That’s it for now, folks. Have a great day!