Thursday, November 8, 2012
Gilmore fills big need for the Tigers
By David Helman
What was once a trouble spot in LSU's recruiting efforts suddenly starts to look like a strength.
Greg Gilmore's commitment to LSU on Thursday evening is the latest in a groundswell of good news for the future of the Tigers' defensive line. It's no secret that LSU is likely going to lack experience in its defensive trenches when next season rolls around.
Senior defensive ends Lavar Edwards and Chancey Aghayere are gone, as is senior defensive tackle Josh Downs. More importantly, junior defensive ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery and junior defensive tackle Bennie Logan all look like safe bets to leave early for the NFL.
Much like last year, when LSU added six linebacker commitments to offset an exodus of seniors, the Tigers' coaching staff has made defensive line a priority to neutralize the losses.
Earlier this year LSU added commitments from ESPN 300 offensive guard Tevin Lawson, who projects as a college defensive tackle, and ESPN 300 defensive end Frank Herron. On top of that, four-star defensive end Lewis Neal and three-star defensive end Michael Patterson committed on July 4 and March 31, respectively.
That doesn't include 6-foot-5, 267-pound defensive tackle Christian LaCouture, who joined the Tigers' class last Friday during a visit to Baton Rouge for the Alabama game.
Despite all of those bodies, Gilmore checks in as the most noteworthy defensive lineman yet. The North Carolina native is the No. 104 prospect in the country, making him LSU's third-highest-ranked commit. He also gives LSU three incoming defensive tackles to add depth behind sophomores Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson.
Gilmore said Thursday that LSU's defensive losses played a big role in his eventual commitment. Primarily, he hopes for a chance to compete for early playing time.
"I think I have a chance -- out of the eight guys, six guys are leaving -- so I might have a chance," Gilmore said on ESPN's Recruiting Nation. "That's all I really want is a chance. I might die trying, but as long as I get a chance."
The Tigers would probably love to add one more defensive end prospect to that haul, despite having six new bodies on the defensive line. Local ESPN 150 recruits Kendell Beckwith and Tim Williams would be the top candidates to fill that void.
For now, Gilmore fills a big need up front for the Tigers.