Recruiting: LSU 2023 efforts heating up with the weather

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Brian Kelly
(Photo: Jonathan Mailhes)

Rabid and anxious college football fans await updates of any kind as the days grind slowly towards to beginning of the 2022 season. The summer grind is primetime for recruiting efforts.

I have been asked quite often, “Is recruiting changing too much because of the NIL? Has the process slowed down?” The answer is mostly no.

Taking a look at LSU’s recruiting, both current and recent, I can tell you the process seems about the same time-wise. The Tigers have five commitments for the 2023 recruiting class, right on course for this time of year. At this time last summer, LSU had five commits in the fold as well.

Remember, the 2022 class included 15 high school signees and 15 transfers. In June of 2020, Ed Orgeron and staff had five pledges. The year prior, there were six verbal pledges (Ali Gaye, Liam Shanahan and Jabril Cox transferred into the program as well).

The transfer portal will play a role in this year’s class as expected in this day and age. More on that to come.

Brian Kelly is chasing a different breed of prospect than the program may have targeted in the past. His staff is using more of a national road map. He still plans to focus on Louisiana first and foremost; with all things being equal, he would favor the prospect from the Pelican state.

Quite frankly though, there is just not the same total allegiance across the board as in the past. Many players from the Boot still value the offer from LSU but immediate playing time, among other consideration weigh heavily. As a result, the Tigers must open as many avenues for talent as possible.

This past weekend, LSU hosted a bevy of intriguing 2023 prospects; for most it was their official visit to Baton Rouge.

-WR Kyle Parker (5-11, 175) official visit, Lucas, Texas
Currently the Longhorns are on top with Louisville a distant second. LSU’s Cortez Hankton is keeping the Tigers in range at third place.

-LB Whit Weeks (6-2, 200) official visit, Watkinsville, Ga.
LSU clearly on top. His older brother West transferred to the Tigers from Virginia. Whit is three-year prep starter. Defensive coordinator Matt House is handling his recruitment. The younger Weeks visits Georgia next weekend.

-OG Paris Patterson (6-5, 345) East St. Louis
LSU’s offer arrived June 10. He engulfs opponents. Nebraska and Texas lead the pack. O-line coach Brad Davis is on the case for Tigers.

-DT Kendrick Gilbert (6-6, 250) four star, official visit, Indianapolis, Ind.
Kentucky and Iowa have the current advantage. Jamar Cain and Brian Polian have LSU contending in the third slot.

-DT Edric Hill (6-2, 280) official visit, Kansas City, Mo.
It’s an Alabama-LSU tussle. Jamar Cain and Matt House giving the Tigers’ sales pitch. Hill will visit USC next week and Alabama the following week.

-DT Darren Reed (6-5, 260) four star, official visit, Carver High School in Columbus, Ga.
Ohio State is the perceived leader. LSU has ground to make up. Miami gets a visit June 17, followed by Auburn June 21 and Ohio State June 24.

-CB Jordan Matthews (6-1, 170) four star from Woodlawn High School
LSU trails Texas by a lot. Robert Steeples is handling efforts for the Tigers. Jordan’s dad Roshaun Matthews, 1995 LSU signee in Gerry DiNardo’s first class, is currently Woodlawn’s D-line coach.

-DE Joshua Mickens (6-4, 225) four star, official visit, Indianapolis, Ind.
North Carolina enjoys a healthy lead. Brian Polian and Jamar Cain hope to change that for the Tigers.

-OT Cayden Green (6-6, 309) four star, official visit, Lee Summit, Missouri
Oklahoma has the advantage. Brad Davis is working hard for LSU in the competition. He visited Oklahoma June 3 but goes to Michigan next week and Missouri the following. Green can play RT or LT.

-QB Eli Holstein (6-4, 225) four star Zachary
The current pledge to Alabama is likely set.

-DE Jayden Wayne (6-5, 240) four star, official visit, Tacoma, Wash.
Impressive recruit is the fourth rated DE in class. He can eventually carry 270 lbs to hold the edge. Wayne also sports a 4.0 GPA. Oregon sits atop the heap now while Alabama trails. Cain is making a case for LSU. Miami gets a visit June 17 with Oregon the following week.

-OT Jayden Chatman (6-4, 285) four star, Harker Heights, Texas.
The Longhorns are the favorite with an official visit this past weekend. Brad Davis is pitching for LSU.

Next weekend, the focus will be on the offensive line prospects, all making their official visits…

-DT Xzavier McLeod (6-5, 320) four star, Camden, So. Carolina
The homestate Gamecocks have a leg up. Cain is recruiting him for LSU.

-WR Jalen Brown (6-1, 180) five star, Miami, Fla.
LSU has a slight lead over Georgia. Brown’s exceptional speed (10.66 hundred, 21.35 two hundred) is coveted while he has has evolved into solid receiver. Brown made 56 grabs for 1,033 yards and 11 TD’s last season.

-RT Wilkin Formby (6-7, 306) four star, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Ole Miss is his clear leader. There’s some nasty to his game plus natural knee bend. He finishes blocks. Alabama, Auburn and LSU trail the Rebels. Davis is working the beat for the Tigers.

-OT Markee Anderson (6-4, 300) four star, Roebuck, So. Carolina.
The Cocks lead the pack, LSU may be fourth (Brad Davis) with Clemson and North Carolina ahead of them.

-OT Kelton Smith (6-5, 308) four star, Columbus, Ga.
Georgia leads with Fla. State right behind. Davis again on it for LSU.

-OT Shamurad Umarov (6-6, 295) three-star, Alpharetta, Ga. )Denmark High School)
Turkish born talent has Georgia in the lead, LSU with Davis are trying. Umarov started learning football in the eighth grade. His physical tools may yield major development.

-TE Mac Markway (6-4, 250) four star (already committed to LSU on March 24), St. Louis, Missouri.

Other to keep tabs on moving forward…

-WR Shelton Sampson (6-4, 181) Catholic High School
LSU is the odds on favorite.

-OT Tyree Adams (6-5, 285) St. Augustine
The Tigers are looking good. Frank Wilson and Brad Davis tandem want to seal the deal with the New Orleans are product. Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Ole Miss are all making a push.

-RB Parker Jenkins (5-10, 185) Houston. LSU is clear favorite (Frank Wilson) runs a 10.8 hundred meters. Trey Holly is the only 2023 RB committed at this time. The position is not one of strengthinr this class. The transfer portal may come into play following the season.

-QB Jaden Rashada (6-4, 185) four star, Pittsburg, Calif.
The 5th rated player at the position came away impressed following his visits to LSU and received a lot of attention from Joe Sloan. Offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock also is active in the process. Rashada’s unofficial visit was April 25 while his official came on June 6. He was impressed with Brian Kelly’s commitment to win this season and intrigued by the amount of talent at LSU.

Rashada is looking to announce a commitment on June 18. He became one of the first athletes to make money via NIL, signing a four-figure endorsement with Athletes in Recruitment. He is very active helping those in need in his community.

Dante Moore

MOORE NOTES: One key target who the Tigers just recently nudged up the ladder to the top rung is five star quarterback Dante Moore.

Up until a week ago, Notre Dame held a slight advantage. The Tigers have been in the thick of things throughout the entire process along with Oregon, Michigan and Texas A&M, but the Fightin’ Irish got a commitment from four star QB C.J. Carr last week. He is the grandson of former Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr. That took the Irish down a notch since they may be unlikely take two high profile passers in the ’23 class.

Many compare Moore to Justin Fields (Chicago Bears). The 6-2, 195-pounder made an official visit April 22 to LSU and shared a great face-to-face with Joe Burrow on campus. The staff has given his recruitment high priority.

The native of Detroit, Mich. threw for 3,047 yards, 40 TD’s and three interceptions, completing 72.5 % of his throws last season. In the 2021 Division III state championship game, Moore passed for 438 yards with four scores in leading Martin Luther King, Jr. High School to a 40-36 win. He is 30-8 as a starter since his freshman season. Moore will be a three time team captain this fall.

Moore maintains his composure under pressure. He can play under center or in shotgun. A very confident leader although a quiet type, he can deliver a pass from different angles with good velocity. He is an effortless thrower up to 60-70 yards with accuracy.

There is also a feel for the position that impresses. Moore anticipates plays as they develops but also makes proper pre-snap reads. He can also keep a play alive with good mobility and pocket presence. However, he is not a risky passer.

LSU QB coach Joe Sloan has bonded well with him.

Currently, LSU’s 2023 class is ranked 12th in nation and 5th in the SEC.

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Rene Nadeau


Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to be a member of the LSU football program, developing a passion for the game in even…

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