Monday, January 14, 2013
Junior day gets LSU off to fast start
By Gary Laney
BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU took a step forward in its recruiting process without adding a single player to its 2013 class over the weekend.
That's because LSU took a break from the 2013 grind by hosting its big, in-state junior day, "Boys in the Boot," a one-day gathering of the state's top 2014 prospect that serves as a primer to the recruiting process for the up-and-comers.
A couple of Tiger prospects brought the process to (perhaps) a conclusion by committing.
The Tigers landed commitments from tight end Jacory Washington and offensive lineman Will Clapp, increasing their 2014 commitments to four.
The 2014 class in Louisiana is expected to be comparable to the 2011 class that produced offensive lineman La'el Collins and defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, both rated among the best at their positions the year they came out. Johnson was the top-rated defensive tackle in the 2011 class.
The 2014 Louisiana crop has several players who are strong candidates to be rated the best at their respective positions, including running back Leonard Fournette, offensive tackle Cameron Robinson, defensive end Gerald Willis and safety Laurence Jones.
The Tigers are off to a good start with the class with a solid commitment from Clapp, a legacy Tiger whose father started on LSU's defensive line in the 1980s, and Washington, an athletic tight end who is considered a hybrid, capable of playing traditional tight end or as a big receiver in certain situations.
"I surprised myself," he said of his unexpected commitment, which may be a soft one, considering that he said he'll still accept calls from Alabama's Nick Saban, Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin and others.
Off to a good start for 2014, LSU also hopes to finish 2013 strong with three visit weekends left before signing day, Feb. 6.
Coming to Baton Rouge for official visits next weekend are at least a couple of 2013 ESPN 150 prospects in defensive end Tim Williams and safety Tahaan Goodman. Three star cornerback David Kamara also mentioned the possibility of coming to LSU this weekend, and if he does, he likely will be accompanied by the nation's top-rated player and Kamara's high school teammate, Robert Nkemdiche, who is scheduled to visit Ole Miss Jan. 25.
"Robert and I will either visit LSU this weekend or Feb. 2," Kamara said.
LSU was long considered an outsider in the Nkemdiche sweepstakes after he initially chose Clemson, then flipped to become what he seems to be now, an Ole Miss lean.
Perhaps next weekend is one where LSU can make its move for the nation's best player. As good as this past weekend was for LSU's 2014 class, that prospect would make next weekend that much bigger for the 2013 class.