- Gary Laney, Reporter, GeauxTigerNation
If Wilson (N.C.) James B. Hunt defensive end Lewis Neal commits Wednesday to LSU, the Tigers' defensive end class will become quite crowded, with a few desired players at the position still undecided.
Neal will make his announcement in a most unusual setting -- a summer league baseball game, between innings at a home game for the Wilson Tobs, a collegiate summer league team that plays in the Coastal Plains League. The Tobs feature two players from LSU's 2012 SEC championship baseball team: Jackson Slaid and Kevin Berry.
Tobs director of media relations Chris Edwards said it hasn't been decided in what inning Neal will make his announcement.
If Neal chooses LSU, he could be part of what might be a huge haul of defensive ends.
The Tigers already have commitments from ESPN 300 member Frank Herron of Memphis, Tenn., and Michael Patterson of Winnfield, La., at the position. Still on the wish list are ESPN 150 defensive end Tim Williams (Baton Rouge, La./University Laboratory School) and ESPN 300 end Torrodney Prevot (Houston/Alief Taylor).
Also, athlete Kendell Beckwith (Jackson, La./East Feliciana), the highest-rated Louisiana player in the ESPN 150, lists defensive end among his possible positions.
LSU does have a pressing need at the position. Both Tigers starters -- juniors Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo -- are projected to be high NFL draft picks and likely will leave school early. Key reserves Lavar Edwards and Chauncey Aghayere are seniors.
There's a good chance LSU will lose its entire defensive end rotation from the 2012 season. Bringing in four defensive ends in the recruiting class would likely only mean replenishing what the Tigers could lose to attrition.
So fans shouldn't be surprised if LSU lands Neal and continues to work hard to land at least one more end before signing day.
8dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough