LSU Tigers: recruiting

Games to watch for Louisiana recruits 

November, 1, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Saturday will be a who's who of Louisiana's top prospects in one place when LSU hosts Alabama at Tiger Stadium.

The night before, the state's best high school players will be scattered throughout the state, closing their regular seasons, many playing games with strong district-championship and postseason ramifications. Here are the best games involving players headed for major college programs:

Geismar Dutchtown (7-1) vs. Baton Rouge Catholic (6-2): The championship will be on the line in District 5-5A, which includes the largest city and suburban schools on the south side of Baton Rouge. Dutchtown, the alma mater of LSU's Eric Reid and Alabama's Eddie Lacy and Landon Collins, has another SEC-level recruit in Mississippi State commit Shelby Christy.

DE Greg Gilmore rates Florida visit an 11 

September, 24, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- ESPN 150 defensive tackle Greg Gilmore (Home Mills, N.C./South View) took an official visit to Florida this past weekend. The 6-foot-4, 285-pound four-star tackle said he enjoyed his trip to Gainesville.

"It was great man," Gilmore said. "I had a great time. It was a good game. The defensive front played well and that's really what I'm looking for is the defensive front. The whole defense, the whole offense, everybody played well.

"I talked to the coaches all the time I was there pretty much. They told me I would be a key essential to putting their defense together. They were saying they need more guys -- more guys that are good coming out of high school and more guys that need less development. I mean everyone needs development, but they are looking for guys that can play early."

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DE Lewis Neal picks LSU 

July, 4, 2012
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Lewis Neal picked a unique setting to announce his college choice.

The Wilson, N.C./Hunt High school defensive end picked a Coastal Plains League baseball game to declare that he will attend LSU. Neal made his announcement over the ballpark's public address system between the fourth and fifth innings of a game between his hometown Wilson Tobs and the Edenton Steamers, a most unusual spot for a college choice announcement.

Neal, a 4-star prospect ranked No. 38 among the nation's defensive ends by ESPN, picked LSU over SEC rivals Tennessee, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Kentucky and also had offers from Ohio State, Clemson, North Carolina State and East Carolina.

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In Louisiana, the last full weekend of August is the weekend of football jamborees, exhibitions in which several schools gather at one stadium and match up for mini-games (usually about 24 minutes) in preparation for the season openers the following week.

In other parts of the country, however, that weekend marks the start of the regular season.

And ESPN will be there to bring it to you, with a 13-game schedule of televised prep games from throughout the country Aug. 24-26.

Tune in and get a sample of what prep football is like throughout the nation.
[+] EnlargeLaremy Tunsil
Derek Tyson/ESPN.comFive-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil now has a top three of Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Five-star offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia) visited Alabama, Georgia and Florida over the last week. The 6-foot-6, 295-pound tackle named a top three after his visit to Florida on Sunday.

"I would say they are my top three," Tunsil said of the three schools he visited. "It's a tie right now with all of them."

Tunsil, who camped at Alabama last weekend, visited Georgia on Friday and Saturday before heading to Gainesville on Sunday. The No. 3-ranked player in the country said he was impressed by what Georgia had to offer.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Defensive end prospect Gerald Willis III (New Orleans, La./Edna Karr) will only be a junior this coming year, but he is already familiar with what college football recruiting is all about. Willis is the half-brother of Alabama safety signee Landon Collins, the No. 1 safety in the country last year.

[+] EnlargeGerald Willis
Miller Safrit/ESPN.com2014 defensive end Gerald Willis has visited LSU, Alabama and Florida.
Collins spurned the home-state LSU Tigers and instead signed with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Willis said he wants to follow his brother's lead by not being afraid to get out of Louisiana -- but only if it's the best decision for him when it's time to make his college decision.

"It really don't matter if I go far from home," Willis said. "I just know that I have a home to come home to. My brother proved that he wasn't just going to stay at home. He could have stayed at home, but he thought he could go further if he went to Alabama. So I'm going to follow in my brother's footsteps. I might stay at home or I might go somewhere. I just don't know."

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Prospects trickle in for LSU camp 

June, 3, 2012
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The first of LSU's two summer football camps started Sunday, and if you were looking for a who's who of prospects on the Tigers' radar, Sunday wasn't the best day.

That's not to say it was void of talent.

All it took was for the talented players from LSU's on-campus high school, University Lab, to show up. ESPN 150 senior defensive end Tim Williams led the contingent, bur he was far from the only Cub at the camp who might have a major college future.

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North Texas has changed its stance on highly-regarded junior college center John Odoh.

Odoh, a Nigerian who led the nation in rebounding as a sophomore at Hill College (Texas), was released from his NCAA letter of intent by UNT head coach Tony Benford, according to a North Texas news release. He is allowed to explore any program not in the Sun Belt Conference, North Texas' current league, or Conference USA, where the Eagles are headed starting in the 2013-2014 school year.

That's a change in North Texas' stance. Last week, athletic director Rick Villarreal said he would not grant Odoh a release to LSU, where former North Texas coach Johnny Jones is now head coach. Jones was North Texas' coach when Odoh signed in the early period. It's widely assumed Odoh would be interested in maintaining his association with Jones at LSU.

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The Class of 2016 will have new NCAA academic requirements for initial eligibility. Among the changes will be the creation of an "academic redshirt," for athletes who meet some, but not all, initial eligibility requirements. This is similar to, but not the same as, the old "partial qualifier."

It'll be interesting to see how this eventually affects the SEC.

Robert Nkemdiche considers Texas visit 

April, 11, 2012
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Robert Nkemdiche wants to visit Texas.

He doesn’t know when he’d do so and hasn’t had much contact with Texas coaches lately, but the elite junior defensive end from Loganville (Ga.) Grayson told HornsNation he is interested in seeing UT.

[+] EnlargeNkimdiche
Davide De PasRobert Nkemdiche still wants to see Texas and some West Coast schools before he makes his commitment.
Nkemdiche is arguably the top 2013 recruit in the country and is considering Ole Miss, Alabama, LSU, Clemson and Georgia among his favorite schools so far. Still, he’s willing to give Texas a chance.

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