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LSU targeting D-line, speed for 2013

4/3/2012

BATON ROUGE -- LSU's recruiting class continues to swell. The Tigers are approaching double digits for 2013 commits after spring practice concluded on Saturday. It's still early in the game, but after just a few months of recruiting for next year, it's safe to say LSU has singled out a few positions of need heading into the next national signing day.

Defensive line: Given the areas of LSU's need, it's no surprise that two of the Tigers' additions during this past weekend came along the defensive line. LSU added two defensive linemen to its 2012 recruiting class in February by signing Danielle Hunter and Jerald Hawkins -- both defensive ends.

Les Miles acknowledged that the defensive front would be an area of focus going into 2013, and that has proven to be accurate in the early going. The Tigers opened their final weekend of spring football by securing the commitment of defensive tackle Tevin Lawson out of Denham Springs, La. Listed at 6-foot-4, 275 pounds, Lawson has plenty of growing left to do and could be monstrous by the time he plays for the Tigers.

Winnfield (La.) defensive end Michael Patterson was another defensive linemen who reportedly gave his pledge to the Tigers during the weekend. Patterson figures to be a defensive end.

And the focus likely won't stop there. Several of the top prospects on LSU's board of offers come along the defensive line. Baton Rouge product Tim Williams, listed as a four-star prospect out of LSU Laboratory School, has the hometown team right in the thick of his recruitment. Another nearby star to consider is Houston defensive end Torrodney Prevot, a member of the ESPNU 150 Watch List.

Prevot came to the Tigers' spring game on Saturday and said he was impressed with the energy at Tiger Stadium. He canceled his trip to the Texas spring game the next day, which could be a good sign for LSU.

Then, of course, there's Loganville, Ga., defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, who many consider the nation's top prospect. Nkemdiche came to Baton Rouge for a visit two weeks ago and was reportedly wowed by the trip. If defensive line is an area of need, there aren't any bigger splashes than Nkemdiche.

Speed: Surprise, surprise, LSU is stockpiling an absurd collection of speedsters.

With three athletes committed already, it seems like the Tigers have the luxury of bringing as much talent as possible to Baton Rouge, and worrying about positioning later. Jeryl Brazil tops that list with state-record speed (he broke Trindon Holliday's record in the 100-meters last month). Brazil figures to feature at cornerback, but there's no telling where he could factor with speed like that.

Tre'Davious White is another athlete with potential to play anywhere. White is the god-brother of Morris Claiborne, which invites some pretty obvious comparisons. Claiborne came to LSU as a wide receiver before moving to cornerback, where he blossomed into an All-American. White has experience at both positions, so it'll be interesting to see where he winds up.

If White makes the move to wide receiver, it could further add to what seems to be a focus on pass-catchers in this class. When he committed, Neville athlete John Diarse said he expected to play at wide receiver. The Tigers also have a wide receiver already on board with the commitment of Salmen's Chuck Baker. On top of that, the Tigers are still considering prospects like junior college wideout Quantavius Leslie, who was in town during the weekend.

Interior O-Line: The Tigers addressed the outside of their offensive line in February by bringing in tackles Vadal Alexander and Derek Edinburgh. Alexander is already holding his own at tackle, as he fended off the Tigers' first team defense at the right tackle spot during the spring game.

Now, LSU seems to have its sights set on the interior. The commitment of Karl Malone Jr. on Saturday gives the Tigers two monstrous offensive guards for 2013 -- Malone Jr. and Josh Boutte. The pair is listed at 6-foot-4, 290 pounds and 6-foot-4, 305 pounds, respectively, as high school juniors.

JUCO offensive guard Fehoko Fanaika will count toward the class of 2012, rather than 2013. But it's worth noting the College of San Mateo (Calif.) product also committed this spring to add interior line depth. Miles listed Fanaika as a possible redshirt candidate. If that happens, it could give the Tigers some absolutely gigantic depth in the middle of their line in 2013.