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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
From the road: DE Godchaux's long route

By Gary Laney

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Getting from the the petro-chemical industry town of Plaquemine, La., to LSU is easy.

A quick jog south on La.-1 through Brusly to the foot of the Mississippi River Bridge on Interstate 10, then across to the Highland Road exit takes you to the doorstep of LSU's campus in about half an hour.

Or, for a more charming path, one might take the Plaquemine Ferry from downtown Plaquemine across Old Man River to the rural area just south of Baton Rouge. From there, one can can drive alongside the levee, then up Nicholson Road right to Tiger Stadium, also in about half an hour.

That would seem like a simple path for ESPN 300 defensive end Davon Godchaux (Plaquemine HS) to take to LSU.

But his road has been longer and, at this point, still a bit uncertain.

The 2014 prospect received an LSU offer last week, something for which he has been waiting a long time. LSU then had him visit on Monday and pressed him for a commitment.

"But I'm not ready yet," he said Monday night after his visit. "I'm just not ready to commit yet."

Godchaux's path to the local school could drag on for months yet. By the time LSU offered, Godchaux already had a list of some 26 offers, including many of the Tigers' SEC rivals. Now that LSU has joined that party, it has a built-in battle on its hands.

"I'd like to be down to five or six schools by the end of the summer," Godchaux said. "Then I'll pick in December."

Fair enough that Godchaux might take his time. LSU, after all, took its time deciding that the 6-foot-4, 271-pound prospect was a right fit for the Tigers.

There might have been hesitation about what exact role he would play. Like ESPN 300 defensive lineman Gerald Willis III (New Orleans/Karr), Godchaux has the size that translates to defensive tackle but is athletic enough to start at defensive end for his high school team.

"In matter of fact, we just talked about that today, and they'd like me to play both defensive end and defensive tackle," Godchaux said after he visited Monday.

It would seem that, if there ever was an issue, LSU has quit fretting about position definition. The same week the Tigers offered Godchaux, they also extended an offer to ESPN 150 defensive tackle Garrald McDowell (Covington, La./Covington), another player who, depending on your point of view, is either a 'tweener or a versatile player who can play tackle or end.

Another area where there might have been some hesitation from LSU with Godchaux was his desire to enroll in January.

He said if there was hesitation, it no longer exists. LSU said he could be an early enrollee, so if he signs with the Tigers, he'll arrive early to start competing for playing time immediately. It was clear before LSU extended the offer that any doubts by the Tigers had been answered, and they were warming up to him.

But that doesn't mean he'll automatically stay close to home. For now, he said he plans on taking his time.

One can't blame him. The longer the process has gone, the better things have become for Godchaux. An Alabama offer came just before LSU's. He said Florida became a favorite after a recent trip to Gainesville, and he said he also enjoyed a visit to Florida State.

He said trips to Texas and Texas A&M are coming up, and he'd like to visit UCLA.

He'll attend LSU's camp in mid-July, but as a visitor, not a camper, he said.

"LSU is right there, but I don't have to go there," he said.

Don't take that to mean Godchaux doesn't like LSU. He raved on LSU coach Les Miles, talking about his sense of humor and how laid back the Tigers coach is. He noted that defensive line coach Brick Haley can "prepare me for the league."

But, for now, the process continues.

The night Godchaux turned down a chance to become the first defensive line commitment of LSU's 2014 class, LSU called four-star defensive end Deondre Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass), who became the Tigers' first DL commitment instead. While it wasn't Godchaux's spot in the class, it didn't take LSU any time to move on to the next recruit.

At the end of the night, the road from Plaquemine to LSU was as short as ever, but Godchaux decided there was a lot more recruiting road left to travel.