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Tuesday, February 5, 2013
For LSU, recruiting ends with ends

By Gary Laney

BATON ROUGE, La. -- It's the end of the line for the recruiting season as signing day looms.

Key word, ‘end.’

On the eve of national signing day, defensive ends are the talk of LSU recruiting. On Monday, long-time commit Frank Herron re-affirmed his commitment to LSU after making a surprise visit to Texas.

Frank Herron
DE Frank Herron has been committed to LSU since June.
On signing day, LSU will be a factor for two defensive ends, Robert Nkemdiche, the top player in the country, and ESPN 150 pick Tashawn Bower, an Auburn commitment. They appear to be the only undecided players left considering LSU as the Tigers sit with 26 commitments.

Both Nkemdiche and Bower have taken official visits to LSU and came away with good things to say and LSU has reason to think it might have a shot at either player.

Nkemdiche had a star-studded weekend in Baton Rouge over the weekend, meeting Shaquille O’Neal and attending a concert by the rapper Wale. But what seemed to make the biggest impression on him was the LSU coaches. It was the last official visit he took and while he is still considered a heavy Ole Miss lean, it might seem a little less clear-cut than before.

If the is a little doubt about Nkemdiches's favorite, there has to be a lot of concern coming out of Auburn about Bower's commitment.

It's perhaps telling that, after a visit to Auburn over the weekend, Bower, who committed to Auburn when Gene Chizik was still head coach, did not choose to reaffirm his commitment to Gus Malzahn's program. Instead, he would only go so far as to say Auburn would be one of three schools he'd pick from on signing day. The other two would be out of LSU, Florida and Florida State (he has not publicly eliminated one as of yet).

After Bower left his visit to Baton Rouge in late January, the assumption was LSU faced an uphill battle. Bower, after all, was still committed to Auburn and about to visit The Plains to close out the recruiting process and seal the deal.

That did not happen. Instead, Bower left Auburn looking anything but committed. Auburn, like Ole Miss for Nkemdiche, still might be the leader, but the Tigers are definitely in the mix.

So, with signing day a day away, LSU has hats at the tables for two big names and there's a chance for some real signing day drama on the bayou.