LSU Tigers: Alabama recruiting

ATH Beckwith commits to LSU

January, 4, 2013
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- ESPN 150 athlete Kendell Beckwith (Jackson, La./East Feliciana) promised there would be no drama with his announcement, and he stayed true to his word when he put on an LSU hat and committed to the Tigers during the first quarter of tonight's Under Armour All-America Game.

Beckwith is the second prospect to commit to LSU during Under Armour All-America Game week, as defensive tackle Maquedius Bain (Davie, Fla./University School), who committed Wednesday after practice. Beckwith is the 25th verbal commitment and the sixth member of the ESPN 150 to join to LSU’s Class of 2013.

The top-rated player in Louisiana, Beckwith said that the battle between SEC West powers LSU and Alabama was tough, but in the end the idea of playing for his home-state school was too much to go against.

While Beckwith’s commitment to the Tigers is solid, there is plenty of speculation about where he will play. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, he was closer to 240 pounds this week and looks like he could have a future at linebacker or defensive end.

“I’m probably the most comfortable at linebacker in college, especially because they use big linebackers in the SEC,” Beckwith said earlier this week. “In some situations I might need to put my hand in the ground and that could work too.”

Ole Miss leads for Robert Nkemdiche 

January, 2, 2013
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. –- On Day 3 of practice for the Under Armour All-America Game at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports, No. 1 prospect Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) finally confirmed what has been speculated around the recruiting world for months.

Beckwith assures no family fireworks 

January, 1, 2013
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The scenario seems strangely familiar. A top-ranked Louisiana prospect will make a decision between Alabama and LSU at the Under Armour All-America Game, which will be televised live at 5 p.m. ET Friday on ESPN from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

Last year, Landon Collins' decision to go to Alabama made for compelling television as his mother, sitting with him during the live announcement, clearly did not approve of his choice.

ESPN 150 athlete Kendell Beckwith (Jackson, La./East Feliciana) says not to expect any drama this year, as his family will be happy with whichever school he chooses.

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DL Williams leans on officials for decision 

December, 30, 2012
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As ESPN 150 defensive end Tim Williams (Baton Rouge, La./ University Lab) nears national signing day, all that remains between him and choosing a school is a few official visits.


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TE McNeil ready to let Tide roll away 

December, 30, 2012
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -– ESPN 150 prospect Josh McNeil (Durham, N.C./Milford Academy) admits it was a difficult situation when the tight end parted ways with Alabama. However it looks like another SEC program will be there to pick up the pieces.


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Four-star Conner plans decision, visits 

December, 30, 2012
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- ESPN 150 safety Antonio Conner (Batesville, Miss./South Panola) is set to make his decision at the Under Armour All-America Game on Friday. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound athlete will choose between Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU and Georgia.

Despite making a decision, Conner plans to take all five official visits.


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2014 LB Daub decommits from LSU 

November, 6, 2012
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Linebacker Kain Daub (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood) is no longer a commitment for LSU's 2014 class, his mother confirmed Tuesday.

"We were kind of talking about, did he commit too early?" said Jeannie Daub. "It's not that he doesn't want to go to LSU. I think it's more that he wants to go to some camps, and he wants to go on some visits. There's some other schools that he wants to visit that he'd probably never get a chance to go visit otherwise."

Daub's reversal is the latest blurb in a long line of recruiting news for the Tigers this week -- though this is the first instance of bad news for LSU. The ESPN Watch List member projects to be one of the top players in the state of Florida next season, and he'll likely be one of the best defenders in the nation.

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Recruiting recap: Alabama at LSU Free

November, 5, 2012
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In Death Valley and beyond, ESPN RecruitingNation reporters tracked down the prospects who witnessed Alabama's win Saturday night at LSU. Here's a recap of the players' reactions so far Insider:

RB Scarborough solid to Bama after LSU hurdles: 2014's Bo Scarborough, a Crimson Tide commit, ran into logistical problems during his visit to Death Valley.

WR Quinn: Mettenberger looked like NFL QB: Louisiana's leading prep receiver from Lake Charles, La./Barbe and a member of the ESPN Watch List for the 2014 signing class also enjoyed meeting a former Tigers standout.

CB Tony Brown applauds Bama, LSU: The ESPN Watch List cornerback called Saturday’s clash of SEC powers "one of the best games I’ve ever been to."

RB Fournette surprised by Bama's play call: Two of Leonard Fournette's top schools, Alabama and LSU, came down to the final minute -- and a a screen play executed to perfection by the Crimson Tide.

Desean Smith liked Nic Jacobs' wrinkle: "I got to talk to [LSU tight ends coach Steve Ensminger] at the end and I told him I liked the way they used the tight ends," Smith said.

Watch List WR Dupre excited by LSU: The 6-foot-3 target couldn't help noticing Zach Mettenberger's explosion for 298 yards and a touchdown with a 68 percent completion rate.

QB commit Rettig: LSU is 'right place': While the Tigers took Saturday's setback hard, Rettig was feeling the emotions with them during his visit.

DT Rod Crayton narrows list to four: The three-star prospect said his top schools currently include Arkansas, LSU, Penn State and Tennessee.

Kendell Beckwith likes 'crazy' Death Valley: "I never thought it could get much crazier at night in Tiger Stadium than it was for South Carolina. ... I thought I had seen it as bad as it could get as far as the fans go, but this game, man. They were crazy as far as hollering. Just all night. I see why it's hard for teams to come in there and win."

ESPN 300 prospects Neal, Herron love visits: Both are commits; Herron, a DL, emailed: "It was great. That was my first game and I feel that I can play right away."

DL Tim Williams: 'It was Alabama loud': The target says Death Valley's game atmosphere is why people want to play for the Tigers.

LB Tre Williams talks Bama-LSU: The 2014 target says he knew LSU had the ability to give Alabama a game if they proved mentally ready.

DT LaCouture pledges to LSU during visit: Formerly committed to his hometown Nebraska Cornhuskers, LaCouture became LSU's 24th commit while in Baton Rouge with his mother.

Players who didn't make it to the game still had opinions to share as well:

Watch List CB Hardeman happy with LSU: "The secondary played ball out there. Jalen Mills is a true freshman, but he’s been playing real well. From top to bottom, the guys stepped up."

Race of 3 for DL Justin Manning?: Manning, a 6-foot-2, 275-pound lineman, has been considered an Oklahoma lean for months, as his brother, DeMarcus Granger, played defensive tackle for the Sooners from 2006 to 2009.

Four-star S Tahaan Goodman stays patient: It pained Goodman to postpone the trip, but that, "Me and Priest Willis (Tempe, Ariz./Marcos de Niza) are still going to head out to Louisiana, but just on a different weekend."

Bama stays unbeaten in ugly fashion 

November, 4, 2012
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There was nothing pretty about it. Set the final drive aside and LSU was the better team on Saturday night in Death Valley. For 58 minutes, Alabama didn't play like the No. 1 team in the country. The turnaround came in the nick of time -- about two minutes for those counting at home.

But AJ McCarron's masterful drive down the field for the game-winning touchdown can't overshadow all. It can't overshadow the litany of three-and-outs on offense, the missed tackles on defense and the poor execution all around.

"I don't think we played our best game" coach Nick Saban said. "I think (LSU) played an outstanding game."

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Beckwith: LSU atmosphere impressive 

October, 14, 2012
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It looks like it’s quality over quantity for ESPN 150 athlete Kendell Beckwith (Clinton, La./East Feliciana) this season.

Louisiana’s top-ranked recruit made his first trip of the season -- an unofficial visit to LSU -- Saturday night for the Tigers’ game against South Carolina. The home team’s thrilling 23-21 win didn’t disappoint.

“The game was crazy. I’ve never heard Tiger Stadium that loud,” Beckwith said.

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RB Racean Thomas closes in on decision 

September, 11, 2012
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Recruiting has picked up for Racean ‘Rock’ Thomas in recent weeks, but the 2014 running back might be ready to shut the process down and make a commitment. Thomas says he wants to try to make a decision sometime during the next few weeks.

The Oxford, Ala., native has double-digit scholarship offers, including an offer from nearly half of the teams in the SEC. Currently, Alabama, Florida State and LSU are the three schools that stand out.

Alabama: “I just like how close they are to home,” Thomas said. “They have great coaches. I like how they produce their running backs. They just make them a lot stronger when they come in, put some weight on them, make them be able to play the game better than they did in high school and make them great character-wise.”

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5-star OT Laremy Tunsil names officials 

August, 8, 2012
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Schools are fighting to get in with five-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia), but only five programs will be lucky enough to host the No. 3 prospect in the country for an official visit this fall.

“I will be taking official visits to Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss and USC,” Tunsil said.

Three of the programs made the cut because of their history.

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[+] EnlargeJulio Jones
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images2014 WR Demarcus Bingham looks and plays a lot like former Tide star Julio Jones (above).
HOOVER, Ala. -- At first glance, it looked like Julio Jones circa 2008 was competing at the National Select 7-on-7 tournament in Hoover on Friday. The guy in the No. 8 jersey for Foley High School was split wide and making catches all over the field. He even had the dreadlocks to go with it.

However, it wasn’t Julio Jones. It was 2014 wide receiver Demarcus Bingham, and it’s the not first time he has heard the comparison.

“When I hear people compare me to Julio, it’s an honor to be compared to him because he’s in the NFL now, of course, and he came out of Foley High School. But I want to be better than him,” Bingham said.

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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Competition at The Opening began Friday on an ominous note as five-star prospects inside linebacker Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III (Tampa, Fla./Wharton), the top two players at the four-day event, limped off the field with injuries.

Foster, committed to Alabama and ranked No. 2 in the ESPN 150 as the top inside linebacker, suffered a hamstring injury during the 40-yard dash, his first drill in the morning round of preliminary SPARQ test on the artificial surface at Nike World Headquarters.

“I’ll be OK,” Foster said after a trainer tended to him on the sideline bleachers. “They said to keep it warm.

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Watch: Are girls a factor in recruiting?

July, 6, 2012
7/06/12
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As the top recruits across the county assemble in Beaverton, Oregon for Nike’s The Opening, RecruitingNation asked them how much of a factor are the girls when it comes to picking a school.

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