Monday, February 4, 2013
GeauxTigerNation signing day predictions
By Gary Laney
BATON ROUGE, La. -- It looked so simple for LSU heading into the last weekend before signing day.
With 26 committed players in the class and nobody left that wasn't already a longshot, the Tigers looked like they just might just tiptoe quietly to a relatively drama-free signing day, a No. 6 national ranking for the class looking pretty solid.
On the weekend before signing day, the top player in the country has visited. A handful of committed players took trips elsewhere. Never mind Duke Riley being LSU's last commitment. There's a lot more that might happen.
Who LSU will add:
Nobody: The one guy LSU would love to have is the nation's top player, Robert Nkemdiche, who, by all accounts, had a great time with teammate David Kamara on their official visit to LSU over the weekend.
In the end, it's easy to perceive LSU thinks that Nkemdiche really wants to come to Baton Rouge.
But there's the whole family issue. His brother Denzel Nkemdiche is a star at Ole Miss and his family, particularly his mother, want the brothers to play together. In a football-only vacuum, LSU might be the winner. But given the context of the family dynamic, there's the old saying about blood being thicker than water. Bright and early Wednesday, conventional thinking is that Nkemdiche signs with Ole Miss -- and expect for Kamara to sign with him.
Does that mean LSU has no shot? Don't say that. LSU's track record with prepping high-end talent for pro football, particularly on the defensive line, is fantastic. And though he's a dynamic player, he won't likely win a national title at Ole Miss whereas he might at LSU. If he truly feels strongly, he can argue those points with his family, and could make a surprise pick Wednesday morning.
That's a possibility to be acknowledged. But don't bet on it at this point.
Who won't leave
DE Frank Herron: The top-rated committed defensive end in LSU's class took a surprise weekend trip to Texas, where playing time was a selling point as the Longhorns deal with a signing class that has been hit hard down the stretch by decommitments.
The timing of his trip was curious and his silence immediately afterward spoke volumes and smelled of a late flip. At the same time, LSU built a long relationship with Herron and his family. The buffer between the UT visit and signing day might have served to make the Herron camp identify the Texas trip as an "impulse buy," so to speak. Has LSU managed to be seen as the tried-and-true, loyal suitor that has been committed for months?
Herron might have walked away leaning Texas, but in time reconsidered that. Playing time should not be an issue at LSU, where he is generally considered to be the most game-ready defensive end in the signing class at a position of need.
What could have been a 50-50 call seemed to remain in LSU's favor all along after Herron reconfirmed his commitment Monday.
Josh Boutte: The long-time LSU commit visited Louisiana-Lafayette over the weekend.
No worries for LSU though. By all accounts, it was a courtesy visit to the local school. Expect Boutte to sign with LSU and, if that doesn't work out in the long run, it's easy to see what his fall-back school will be.
Who will leave
Tevin Lawson: Unhappy after seeing his LSU offer turn into a grayshirt offer, Lawson also visited UL-Lafayette.
Don't expect him to sign with anybody this week. He'll likely look around some more, then ultimately sign with a school other than LSU. He's looking for a school that will take him right away as opposed to sitting out.