NCF On The Trail: Maea Teuhema

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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Based upon his good fortune over the past few weeks, Jeff Grimes should consider buying lottery tickets.

Three weeks after learning that draft-eligible starters Vadal Alexander and Jerald Hawkins would return for another season, LSU’s offensive line coach cleaned up on national signing day -- effectively addressing the Tigers’ biggest area of need for this 25-man recruiting class.

“We signed five offensive linemen and Grimes was a point guy on all of them,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “He just really did a great job.”

LSU’s coaching staff closed out this class of linemen with a flourish. Within the past week, Grimes added a pair of ESPN 300 offensive linemen -- Chidi Valentine-Okeke and Toby Weathersby, a onetime Texas commitment who announced his decision on Wednesday -- to go along with previous commitments from guard Maea Teuhema and tackles Adrian Magee and George Brown Jr.

[+] EnlargeToby Weathersby
Max Olson/ESPNLSU's 10th-ranked recruiting class by ESPN includes standout offensive lineman Toby Weathersby.
Teuhema -- ESPN’s No. 71 overall prospect and No. 2 guard -- is arguably the star of the group. ESPN rated Teuhema as the top offensive line prospect in Texas and Weathersby -- No. 149 overall and No. 9 at guard -- as No. 2.

“The biggest need in this class of course was offensive line, not only because of the guys that graduated in Elliott Porter and La’el Collins and Evan Washington and all those guys, but also because of what we have departing next year,” LSU recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson said. “So we lost several guys and then we have a senior-driven class next year with Jerald Hawkins, with Vadal Alexander and some of those guys who will be draft eligible.

“So we wanted to make sure that we had quality depth in a year where offensive line was heavy, especially from a national perspective. So it was our greatest emphasis in this class.”

Highlighted by their recruiting hauls at offensive line and in the secondary, the Tigers wrapped up national signing day with the nation’s No. 10 class in the ESPN RecruitingNation class rankings.

It was a relatively quiet day at LSU compared to the soap operas that developed at some other programs, but it was not without some drama.

The Tigers landed a signature from Weathersby early Wednesday morning, flipped ESPN 300 athlete Derrick Dillon from Florida, ESPN 300 receiver Brandon Martin from Missouri and closed with Arden Key -- ESPN’s No. 24 overall prospect and No. 6 defensive end -- who committed to LSU late Monday night. They also added late signatures from tight end Foster Moreau and Australian punter Josh Growden while holding on to commitments from running backs Nick Brossette and Derrius Guice.

Conversely, LSU did not sign linebacker Leo Lewis (Mississippi State), receiver Daylon Charlot (Alabama), quarterback Torrance Gibson (Ohio State) and defensive back Justin Reid (Stanford), all of whom had considered the Tigers at some point.

Lewis is probably the most painful miss out of the bunch, as the Tigers failed to sign a single linebacker in this class once former defensive coordinator/linebackers coach John Chavis split for Texas A&M after the season. That will be a key position for LSU’s staff to address in its 2016 class, as the Tigers will also lose several veterans after this fall.

“Certainly we missed on a linebacker that we thought we had as we look into the end of recruiting,” Miles said. “But when you change staff, there’s a point in time where there’s some guys who’ve made relationships with some of our old coaches, and when they left, so did their interest in the school. So we went and made our case the best we could, but what will end up having to happen, certainly, is next year’s class will have to be a very, very heavy linebacker class.”

LSU landed one of the nation’s best groups of defensive back talent, led by five-star cornerback Kevin Toliver -- ESPN’s No. 10 overall prospect and one of four early enrollees along with quarterback Justin McMillan, tight end Hanner Shipley and fullback David Ducre.

Joining Toliver in the secondary will be cornerback Xavier Lewis, junior college safety Jeremy Cutrer and multi-talented athlete Donte Jackson, whom Miles said could get touches on offense and special teams in addition to playing cornerback.

“There’s no finer prospects in America than Toliver and Jackson,” Miles said.

Adding Ducre, Brossette and Guice was also key for a Tigers squad that lost two scholarship fullbacks and two scholarship tailbacks from the 2014 club.

“We didn’t have any scholarship fullbacks, so we needed to address that need at that position group. And then we have two sophomores and bring in two freshmen [at tailback],” Wilson said. “It gives us some leeway some next year where it’s not a position of demand in next year’s class.

“But we like where we’re at in that, only because it gives you quality depth and it’s not stacked. At times we’ve been as high as six, so four is a good number for us because the rotation becomes realistic.”

LSU signed five of ESPN’s top six prospects in Louisiana and seven of the top nine: No. 1 Tyron Johnson, No. 3 Guice, No. 4 Martin, No. 5 Dillon, No. 6 Brossette, No. 8 Lewis and No. 9 Jackson.

Overall, 15 signees will hail from LSU’s talent-rich home state, which Miles and Wilson both said remains their staff’s first priority in recruiting.

“It feels this way to me that there’s a certain style of man that grows up in Louisiana and says, ‘Are you kidding me? This is the only place I want to live,’” Miles said. “I think the degree that comes from LSU, the experience in that stadium of 102,000 that are wildly rabid and very faithful LSU fans, there are those men that just can’t have it any other way. So we present a tremendous opportunity for those people who want to stay in this state.”
videoThe national signing day ceremonies have concluded, the ink has dried and the fax machines have been turned off. The Class of 2015 is mostly in the books. As is the case annually, there were a number of winners -- and a couple of losers -- on national signing day. Here is a look at the schools that excelled and the schools that had a rough day.

SCHOOLS THAT FARED WELL

UCLA: The Bruins began the day at No. 17 in the ESPN RecruitingNation class rankings, but they quickly moved up to No. 11 with a run of ESPN 300 commitments. No. 111 prospect Chris Clark, a tight end, got the day started and was followed by RB Soso Jamabo (No. 28), OG Joshua Wariboko (No. 105) and OLB Roquan Smith (No. 29). The day got even better in the early afternoon when No. 130 recruit Cordell Broadus, a wide receiver, picked the Bruins over Arizona State. All five of the recruits who committed to UCLA on Wednesday are from different states.
Brandon Martin broke out the cruelest hashtag of all on national signing day: #decommit.

Martin, a four-star wide receiver, announced via Twitter on Wednesday morning that he would flip from Missouri and sign with home-state LSU.

“I’m sorry Mizzou. #Decommit” Martin tweeted, posting a picture of himself wearing an LSU jersey and indicating that he was going with his heart and signing with the Tigers.



Martin was the highest-rated prospect on Missouri’s commitment list entering national signing day, with ESPN ranking him as the nation’s No. 101 overall prospect and No. 12 receiver.

Now LSU’s goal will be getting him qualified. Martin was a student at Deion Sanders’ Prime Prep Academy charter school, which the Texas Education Agency shut down last week due to financial mismanagement. Junior college might be an option for the Under Armour All-American if he fails to qualify academically.

Martin’s last official visit was to LSU on Jan. 30, and he joins a Tigers signing class that should add a handful of newcomers Wednesday. The Tigers have already picked up a signature from onetime Texas commit Toby Weathersby, an ESPN 300 guard, and held onto commitments from guard Maea Teuhema, and Baton Rouge running backs Derrius Guice and Nick Brossette after late pushes from other programs.

Best of the visits: Pac-12

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It was another big weekend for visits in the Pac-12, as programs are looking to line up strong finishes in the run up to signing day on Feb. 4.

Bruins looking to close with Clark

UCLA and Michigan are in a neck-and-neck battle for ESPN 300 tight end Chris Clark. And after visiting the Wolverines two weekends ago, Clark was in Los Angeles this weekend.


The Bruins also received some help from former UCLA and current Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis.


Clark would be a significant addition for either program, and the Bruins are hoping they can sway him into becoming the lone true tight end on the roster and a potential immediate-impact player.

UCLA also hosted LSU offensive line commit Maea Teuhema. The nation's No. 71 overall prospect has been committed to the Tigers since February, but the Bruins are looking to make the nation's No. 2 offensive guard part of their strong finish in the state of Texas.


And although not from Texas -- but close enough -- ESPN 300 offensive guard Josh Wariboko could also be part of a massive closing stretch for UCLA. The No. 105 overall prospect was in Los Angeles for the B2G West Coast Bowl over the weekend and had an opportunity to spend time with UCLA commits Colin Samuel and Bolu Olorunfunmi.

Sun Devils host two standouts

Arizona State hosted ESPN 300 defenders Rasheem Green and Porter Gustin this weekend, and the Sun Devils look to be in competition with USC for both prospects.


While Arizona State hasn't been discussed much in terms of top classes during this recruiting cycle, Todd Graham's program has an opportunity to close in a big way with some impact prospects still on the board. And speaking of impact, Green had an opportunity during his visit to meet an NFL superstar who can make an impact with any recruit (regardless of the typo in his last name).

Oregon State's big weekend

The new Oregon State coaches hit the ground running when they took over the program after Mike Riley took much of his staff with him to Nebraska. Gary Andersen's staff has reshaped much of the recruiting class and added a big one recently when they were able to flip defensive end Keivonnis Davis from his Syracuse commitment. Davis was on his official visit this weekend and took some time to get to know the Oregon State mascot.


Oregon State is also in on fellow defensive end Simi Moala, who holds offers from Miami, Utah and Washington State. At 6-foot-7 and 220 pounds, Moala is an intriguing prospect along the defensive line.

Cal hopes to catch another

The Golden Bears have done well at the wide receiver spot in this class, but head coach Sonny Dykes obviously feels there can't be enough talent at that position on his roster. High three-star Texas receiver A.D. Miller took an official visit to Cal over the weekend and had a simple question for Golden Bears fans.

Utes host commit

Part of Oregon State's recent run on the recruiting trail has come at the expense of Utah, as former Ute assistant coaches made their way to Corvallis and were able to flip two commitments in the process. But Utah still holds a strong class, especially with the recent flip of former Cal commit Johnny Capra. The offensive tackle makes four nice additions at that position for the Utes, including three-star Arizona prospect Nick Carman, who took his official visit to Utah over the weekend.

Pac-12's top recruiting visits 

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The penultimate weekend for official visits before signing day is here and Pac-12 programs will host some significant targets. Here we take a look at the top three weekends in the conference.

Arizona State

[+] EnlargePorter Gustin
Tom Hauck for Student SportsArizona State is hoping to lure top defensive end Porter Gustin Tempe.
The Sun Devils had a huge group of visitors on campus last week and there will be some big names this weekend, led by ESPN 300 defensive tackle Rasheem Green and ESPN 300 athlete Porter Gustin. The Sun Devils are in direct competition with USC for both prospects -- Green is also looking at Miami and Oregon, Gustin at Ohio State -- but Arizona State is looking to put a stamp on this class and reeling in these two defensive standouts would go a long way. Green has already taken official visits to his other finalists, so this will be the last trip for the nation's No. 41 overall prospect. Gustin still has a trip left to Ohio State, but the Sun Devils have done well to climb into his small group of finalists even before the official visit.


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SEC's top recruiting visits 

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With national signing day less than three weeks away, it is officially crunch time. There are only three recruiting weekends left for visits, and most schools plan to take full advantage of those available weekends. Here are a closer look at some of the top visits around the SEC this weekend.

Auburn


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LSU has done a tremendous job of sending players to the NFL, especially over the Past few years, and this year will be no different. Now the Tigers are hoping to reload through recruiting. LSU is hoping an impressive win over Notre Dame in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl will help catapult the Tigers to a strong finish in recruiting.


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UA jersey tour: Maea Teuhema

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For someone who first played organized football in the sixth grade, Maea Teuhema has done pretty well for himself.

In just six years, Teuhema has evolved into one of the nation’s premier offensive linemen. The ESPN 300 prospect and LSU commit added to his football resume Thursday morning when he was presented with his Under Armour All-America Game jersey in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance.

“It feels good. I’m excited,” said Teuhema, the nation’s No. 5 offensive guard and No. 61 player overall in the 2015 ESPN 300. “It feels good knowing I can compete with other top athletes and just have some fun out there.”


A slimmer, trimmer Teuhema -- he’s now 6-foot-5 and 330 pounds after being at 346 pounds in the spring -- is preparing for a Texas high school playoff run with his Keller High School teammates. While January’s all-star game is something he’s looking forward to, he knows there’s still some unfinished business before he thinks about anything else, LSU included.

Teuhema has always been someone who refuses to put the proverbial cart before the horse. Even in his earlier high school days, when he was always told his size would take him far, Teuhema made sure he put in extra work alongside his brother, Sione, who’s now a freshman at LSU.

“Growing up, everyone told me I would play [football] because I was big,” Teuhema said, “but I knew if I put some work into it, I could really do something with it. My freshman year, Arkansas offered me a scholarship. That’s when realized if I focused, I could do this as a job.”

Teuhema has double-digit offers and chose LSU over Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma, TCU and others. He and his brother were committed to Texas at one point last year, but he decommitted from the Longhorns in February.

Quick hits on Maea Teuhema

Weight room stats: Teuhema bench presses 405 pounds and squats 555.

All-time best UA Game player: “[Jadeveon] Clowney. He’s really quick and aggressive, and he plays with a chip on his shoulder. I like how he plays.”

Favorite football memory: “It was my freshman year when we played Southlake [Carroll]. I was really nervous going in. One play, I went to a linebacker and hit him pretty hard. He tried getting back up, and I hit him hard again. I wouldn’t let him get up.”

In any sport, which celebrity would you challenge? “Michael Jordan in basketball. I want to see how I’d do against him.”

Three words to define you: “Aggressive, fast and strong.”

Maea on big brother Sione: “He’s just a guy I’ve always looked up to. I try to copy him. He’s a good role model.”

Did you know ... “I like to sing and play guitar. I like reggae music. I like Bob Marley.”

Help is on the way: SEC 

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Almost midway through the season and teams such as Arkansas and Texas A&M have shown the obvious strengths of their teams with their running backs and wide receivers, respectively. But in most cases every team has an apparent weakness, too. Here’s a closer look at how each team in the SEC will address its needs through recruiting.


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SEC's top recruiting visits 

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There are once again some big games around the SEC this weekend. The Florida at Alabama game should draw many top recruits, as will the LSU-Mississippi State game. There will be many recruits taking unofficial visits and even a few taking official visits. Here is a closer look at some top expected visitors.


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Charlie Strong asked for a couple of months to let the dust settle and establish himself. That’s all the time he needed to get his point across as the new coach at Texas.

Since taking over in early January, Strong has visited multiple high school campuses throughout the state, hosted junior day events and used countless cellphone minutes to connect with players, coaches and parents. Gone, for now, is the perception that the job of replacing Mack Brown -- an iconic figure in college football -- would be too difficult for Strong.

The reality -- Strong’s directness, his X’s and O’s knowledge and win-now attitude -- is setting in with the Class of 2015 recruits. Strong is now the face of what many believe is the new Texas. The transformation took roughly 90 days.


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Signing day winners and losers

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The ceremonies have concluded, the ink has dried and the fax machines have been turned off once again. And with that, the Class of 2014 is mostly in the books. As is the case annually, there were a number of winners but also some losers on national signing day. Here is a look at a few schools that excelled -- and a couple others that didn't.

THE WINNERS

LSU: The Tigers began the day at No. 3 in the RecruitingNation class rankings and ended with 2014's No. 2 class. The reason is simple: Les Miles and staff got the prospect they had to have in the nation's No. 1 wide receiver, Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian). The Tigers lost both Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson to the NFL, making defensive tackle a key position of need, and they inked a pair of talented tackles in ESPN 300 Travonte Valentine (Hialeah, Fla./Champagnant Catholic) and four-star Trey Lealaimatafao (San Antonio, Texas/Earl Warren). Under the radar but significant is three-star defensive end Sione Teuhema (Keller, Texas/Keller), who flipped from Texas to LSU. Teuhema’s younger brother Maea Teuhema (Keller, Texas/Keller) is the No. 38 junior in the ESPN Junior 300 and has pledged to LSU as well. Holding off Auburn and UCLA to keep ESPN 300 defensive end Davon Godchaux (Plaquemine, La./Plaquemine) was another win on Wednesday.

Florida State: The Seminoles entered signing day with the No. 4-ranked class but were poised to close with a vengeance, and Jimbo Fisher and staff did just that. While the Seminoles moved up only one spot to No. 3, the hits on Wednesday are significant. Leading the way was No. 2-ranked wide receiver Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla./Homestead). The Noles weren’t done at receiver either, as Fisher and staff flipped Virginia Tech commit and No. 117 overall Ja'Von Harrison (Lakeland, Fla./Kathleen). No. 158 Roderick Johnson (Saint Louis, Mo./Hazelwood Central) and No. 253 Derrick Nnadi (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes) were key gets at offensive tackle and defensive tackle, respectively. Three-star offensive tackle Derrick Kelly Jr. (Quincy, Fla./East Gadsden) was another key win over rival Florida.

USC: The Trojans stood to have a big signing day, and Steve Sarkisian and staff certainly delivered. Not only did USC win the hotly contested battle for five-star athlete Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra), but the Trojans won the race for ESPN 300 No. 24 Juju Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) and signed No. 67 overall Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) as expected. More than the names and rankings, Wednesday was a huge perception win for the Trojans and Sarkisian. USC jumped to No. 14 from No. 24 in the RecruitingNation class rankings.

Georgia: The Bulldogs didn’t have a big day in terms of number of commits, but quality ruled the day. Mark Richt and staff signed the player they had to have in five-star outside linebacker/defensive end Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross). While Carter’s announcement was the big one Wednesday afternoon, the morning started off with a bang for Georgia with the signing of No. 286 overall Isaiah McKenzie (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage), who was first offered on Monday and never even visited Athens. Those two big signings kept the Bulldogs in the top 10 at No. 9.

South Carolina: One of the big movers in the class rankings on Wednesday was the Gamecocks. Not only did South Carolina make a jump from No. 27 to No. 19 throughout the day, but the Gamecocks also addressed major areas of need. Steve Spurrier and staff had key areas of need at cornerback and along the defensive front, and they delivered by picking up a pair of ESPN 300 corners in No. 87 overall Chris Lammons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Plantation) and No. 120 Wesley Green (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King), as well as flipping ESPN 300 defensive tackle Dexter Wideman (Saluda, S.C./Saluda) from Florida State and three-star defensive end Blake McClain (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood) from Nebraska. Fighting off the late January runs by Alabama and Georgia for ESPN 300 linebacker commit Bryson Allen-Williams (Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove) has to be included in the huge wins in recent days.

Kentucky: Sure, Kentucky plucked only one key target on Wednesday in three-star former Vanderbilt and Penn State defensive end commit Lloyd Tubman (Louisville, Ky./Seneca), but it was still a huge day at the finish line for the Wildcats. The 2014 class marks the first time in the nine years that ESPN has ranked recruiting classes that the Wildcats have finished with a top 25 class, and that includes a big win over Alabama for in-state four-star defensive tackle Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin). Signing six defensive backs fills a huge need as well.

Michigan State: The Spartans had a near dream season on the field, and followed it up by closing strong in recruiting. Not only did Michigan State jump nine spots in the class rankings from No. 38 to No. 29 on Wednesday, but it did so while filling a big need on the defensive front with big-time talent. ESPN 300 defensive end Malik McDowell (Southfield, Mich./Southfield) was a big win over Ohio State, Florida State and Michigan, while flipping four-star defensive tackle Craig Evans (Sun Prairie, Wis./Sun Prairie) from Wisconsin earlier in the week was another huge win for the Spartans.

Pac-12: The conference as a whole was quite possibly the big winner on signing day. Of the 13 live commitments on ESPNU throughout the morning and afternoon, seven committed and signed with Pac-12 programs. The winner within the Pac-12 was USC, but Stanford also enjoyed a big day with No. 25 overall Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell) and three-star corner Terrence Alexander (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian).

THE LOSERS

UCLA: Along with USC and South Carolina, the UCLA Bruins came into today with the most to gain. While Jim Mora and staff scored with four-star linebacker Kenny Young (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian), it was mostly misses throughout the day. Jackson and Smith picked crosstown rival USC, while Dupre opted for home-state LSU. At defensive end, the Bruins missed out twice on Wednesday with Thomas selecting Stanford and Godchaux sticking with LSU. And finally, No. 52 overall Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) stayed in state by picking Alabama over Auburn.

Ole Miss: It’s difficult to place the Rebels' No. 17 class with the losers on signing day, but that was the case in Oxford, Miss. Not only did Ole Miss drop a spot in the class rankings, but it also came up dry with explosive ESPN 300 receiver and return man Isaiah McKenzie (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage), after Hugh Freeze and staff worked the Under Armour All-America Game standout all the way up until Wednesday morning before McKenzie announced for Georgia. While Dupre was a long shot, he was yet another prospect who went elsewhere. The Rebels also lost out on Alexander, who selected Stanford over Notre Dame. The bright spot for the Rebels on Wednesday was signing former Notre Dame transfer and No. 22 in the ESPN JC 50, Tee Shepard

Teuhema brothers decommit from Texas

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One day before signing day, Texas has suffered another critical decommitment. And this once is twice as troublesome.

Keller (Texas) brothers Sione Teuhema and Maea Teuhema backed out of their commitments on Tuesday, a source close to the family confirmed.

They're expected to announce their new decision Wednesday at an 8 a.m. CT signing day ceremony at Keller High School.

At this point, LSU appears to be the heavy favorite to land both Teuhema brothers. Sione, a three-star defensive end in the 2014 class, and Maea, a 2015 offensive guard, had been committed to Texas for eight months but decommitted following a surprise visit to Baton Rouge this weekend.

Sione earned second-team all-state honors after recording 94 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 10 sacks as a senior.

Maea is ranked No. 38 in the ESPN Junior 300 and was the top-rated pledge in Texas' 2015 class.

LSU had been the runner-up when the Teuhemas decided in May, and they reconsidered following the departure of Mack Brown and his coaching staff. Sione took an official visit to Texas in January to meet Charlie Strong and the new staff with Maea. He also took an official visit to Oklahoma State last month by himself.

According to the source, academic support was the biggest reason why the Teuhemas decided they won't end up at Texas. LSU coaches impressed the Teuhema family this weekend by stressing academics throughout their visit, and by the end of the weekend the family was ready for a change of plans.

Because the brothers plan to play together in college, Maea is expected to shut down his recruitment completely once Sione signs this week.

Following the Teuhemas' decision, Texas has now lost of a total of 10 verbal commitments for the classes of 2014, 2015 and 2016 since Brown's departure. Aaron Garza (Sherman, Texas/Sherman), a lineman in the 2015 class, also reopened his recruitment this week.

Texas still has pledges from two defensive linemen in ESPN 300 end Derick Roberson (San Antonio/Brennan) and tackle Jake McMillon (Abilene, Texas/Abilene) and is a finalist for two more making signing-day decisions: ESPN 300 prospect Poona Ford (Hilton Head, S.C./Hilton Head) and three-star Chris Nelson (Lakeland, Fla./Victory Christian Academy).
BATON ROUGE, La. – National signing day isn't always dramatic, but this could be a memorable one at LSU.

Between the half-dozen spots still available, the uncommitted heavyweights who are reportedly still considering the Tigers and the players who have already committed to LSU and recently considered other options, Les Miles and his staff have plenty of work to do before the end of the day Wednesday.

We'll start our look at how LSU is addressing its positions of need with the group that is the source of the most intrigue -- the defensive line -- before discussing how premium talent such as tailback Leonard Fournette, receiver Trey Quinn, linebacker Clifton Garrett and offensive lineman Garrett Brumfield should make this one of the nation's top signing classes regardless of what happens with the Tigers' uncommitted targets.

Defensive line: Position coach Brick Haley might not sleep too well tonight, as even he is probably unsure of who will become a Tiger on Wednesday.

Not only have committed ESPN 300 defensive ends Deondre Clark (Oklahoma, Arizona State) and Davon Godchaux (UCLA, Auburn) looked around a bit lately, but several prospects are still flirting with LSU late in the process.

The biggest fish was ESPN's No. 14 overall prospect Lorenzo Carter -- most recruiting analysts predict he will sign with home-state Georgia -- but LSU also seems to be in the mix for No. 164 overall prospect and No. 11 defensive tackle Travonte Valentine (Hialeah, Fla./Champagnat Catholic) and four-star tackle Trey Lealaimatafao (San Antonio/Warren). The Tigers also received a weekend visit from three-star end Sione Teuhema (Keller, Texas/Keller), a Texas commit whose brother Maea -- the No. 38 prospect and No. 2 offensive guard in the ESPN Junior 300 -- seems likely to sign next season with the school Sione chooses Wednesday.

As of now, Godchaux (Plaquemine, La./Plaquemine) and Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass) are LSU's only publicly committed defensive linemen, so the quality and size of this group is far from set. Stay tuned.

Receiver: The good news is that LSU is on the verge of signing one of the nation's top groups of wide receivers regardless of what happens with ESPN's top player at the position, Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis). Dupre is set to announce on Wednesday -- he visited UCLA over the weekend after a whirlwind of trips to LSU, Alabama, Florida State and Ole Miss -- and LSU seems to be the favorite.

[+] EnlargeMalachi Dupre
Courtesy of IntersportIf LSU signs Malachi Dupre, the nation's No. 1 wide receiver, the Tigers would have a fantastic class of wide receivers.
Generally considered the must-have prospect among LSU's remaining targets, Dupre would join record-setting receiver Quinn (Lake Charles, La./Barbe), ESPN's No. 3 wideout, and fellow ESPN 300 honorees D.J. Chark (Alexandria, La./Alexandria Senior) and Tony Upchurch (Pearland, Texas/Glenda Dawson) in the class. The Tigers also continue to pursue four-star TCU commit Emanuel Porter (Dallas/Lincoln).

With Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham entering the NFL draft after exceptional junior seasons, LSU has an immediate need at receiver because the Tigers have no proven options at the position. Some members of this signing class will almost certainly become immediate contributors in the fall.

Secondary: As with Carter, five-star cornerback Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra) -- ESPN's No. 9 overall prospect and No. 3 cornerback -- makes LSU recruitniks' hearts go pitter-pat. There has been heavy competition from USC, Florida and UCLA, but LSU gave Jackson its best sales pitch. And he could make an immediate impact if he picks the Tigers. LSU returns almost everyone from a young secondary, save senior Craig Loston, but will almost certainly feature one or two 2014 signees in some role this fall.

Early enrollee Edward Paris Jr. (Arlington, Texas/Timberview), ESPN's No. 50 overall prospect and No. 4 safety, is the first name that comes to mind, as he will participate in spring practice. But No. 18 overall prospect and No. 2 safety Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron) -- a huge get when the Tigers missed out on in-state prospect Hootie Jones – could also figure into the mix.

LSU also has a commitment from ESPN 300 athlete Devin Voorhies (Woodville, Miss./Wilkinson County), who should play safety, and three-star defensive backs John Battle IV (Hallandale Beach, Fla/Hallandale) and Russell Gage (Baton Rouge, La./Redemptorist).

Running back: Every recruiting analyst has thoroughly covered by now that LSU's commitment from No. 1 overall prospect Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine) was massive. With Jeremy Hill leaving for the draft, the Tigers needed to sign a top-tier back and Fournette should more than fit the bill. The Tigers are also adding three-star back Darrel Williams (Marrero, La./John Ehret), whose north-south running style should fit well in the Tigers' running game.

Offensive line: The Tigers return four starters along the offensive line, so it's not an immediate need. Rarely does a school sign high school offensive linemen looking to fill immediate needs, however. Down the road, ESPN's No. 1 guard and No. 54 overall prospect Brumfield (Baton Rouge, La./University Laboratory) should become a fixture in the lineup. The Tigers also have a commitment from four-star guard William Clapp (New Orleans/Brother Martin) and continued to pursue three-star tackle Derrick Kelly Jr. (Quincy, Fla./East Gadsden) late in the process.

Linebacker: This much we know: No. 31 overall prospect and No. 2 inside linebacker Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) looks like LSU's next great run-stopping linebacker. He and ESPN 300 outside linebacker Donnie Alexander (New Orleans/Edna Karr) are the Tigers' two committed linebackers. LSU is also among the leading suitors for Dupre's teammate Kenny Young (River Ridge, La./John Curtis), who will also announce on Wednesday.

The Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale also reported Monday that LSU reiterated its interest in Miami commit Terry McCray (Pompano Beach, Fla./Blanch Ely), a three-star outside linebacker.

Texas recruits react to Mack Brown news 

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The inevitable is now a reality. At the start of 2014, Mack Brown will no longer be the head coach of the Texas Longhorns.

After a week of drama within the Forty Acres that would make some soap operas jealous, one of college football's most interesting stories was stamped with an ending. Texas announced Saturday that Brown will resign following the Longhorns game against Oregon in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30. Per the Longhorn Network, Brown already has informed the team of his incoming resignation.

For college football recruits, Brown's news means a completely new era of Texas football. Many of the prospects committed to Brown's program were mere toddlers when he left North Carolina to take over at Texas in 1998. The majority of 2014 commits were born in 1995 or 1996.

What will Brown's departure mean? For some of the 23 commits, consider it a wait-and-see process. For most of them, consider it a new chapter -- one they're looking forward to.

One thing's for certain: The recruits were big fans of Brown not only as a coach but as a person.


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