LSU Football Recruiting Update: Busy season in progress for 2020 class hunt

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The LSU recruiting class continues to build with the addition of Demon Clowney. The coaching staff celebrated a bountiful weekend with a half dozen top rated visitors and there are more to come.

The tip offensive tackle in the 2020 class, Paris Johnson, was on campus. The 6-7, 295 pounder out of Cincinnati has already committed to Ohio State (June 2018), but Urban Meyer has departed Columbus since then. Perhaps the door will fully reopen.

Johnson has also been to the Tennessee campus twice. Other offers he is still pondering come from LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, USC, Michigan, Clemson, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Penn State, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Michigan State, Texas, Notre Dame and Stanford.

Another elite recruit, Woodbridge, Va. inside linebacker Antonie Sampah (6-3, 220), took in the sights and sounds of Tigertown. He currently lists Clemson atop his wish list but North Carolina, West Va., Oregon, Penn State, Alabama, Florida and Florida State appear to make up his top eight.

Defensive end Jay Hardy (6-4 1/2, 265) from Chattanooga, is the second ranked player in the state of Tennessee. His top five options are Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Oklahoma and Kentucky.

Braiden McGregor (6-5, 248), another top defensive end out of Port Huron, Michigan, was also on LSU campus. His tremendous closing speed, explosive first step and hot motor make him capable of taking over a game. He currently likes Notre Dame, Michigan and Clemson.

Linebacker Jaheim Thomas (6-5, 222), a 4 star prospect from Princeton High in Cincinnati, is naturally prominent on the radars of Big Ten powers. Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin comprise his current top three. Thomas’ prep teammate, defensive tackle Darrian Henry (6-6, 260), is another 4 star that the Tigers secured a visit from this weekend. He currently likes Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State.

Another player who is scheduled to visit on April 6 is tight end Jonathan Dixon (6-6, 240) from Tampa, Florida. His top list includes LSU, Auburn, Purdue, Miami, Nebraska, Alabama, Iowa and Florida.

There may not be probable commits among that group but there are plenty of high-profile targets LSU can secure.

At the moment, Ed Orgeron’s staff has taken 10 pledges for the 2020 signing class. Who may be the next to commit to the Purple and Gold? Here are some candidates.

Nose tackle Jacobian Guillory (6-2, 331) from Alexandria Senior High is a powerful talent who can bench presses 370 pounds, squat 700 and dead lift 625. He moves extremely well for someone his size. a good run stuffer, Guillory gets small as pass rusher to push the pocket. Thanks to the efforts of LSU assistants Dennis Johnson and Dave Aranda, the Tigers are the early favorites for Guillory while Alabama trails.

Guillory’s Alexandria teammate, defensive back JaDarius “Bud” Clark (6-1, 170), was an All-State pick while playing mostly quarterback for the Trojans. LSU is head and shoulders ahead of TCU, Tulane, South Alabama, Virginia, Ole Miss and Mercer. Bill Busch and Meatball Johnson are handling recruitment of Clark for the Tigers.

Defensive tackle Branard Wright (6-3, 300), a 4 star from Dallas, has Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Florida, Baylor, FSU, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Michigan, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Wisconsin are trying to catch up to LSU in the race. Meatball Johnson has helped make the Tigers the favorite.

Outside linebacker Josh White (6-1, 200), a 4 star Houston prospect, currently has LSU at the top of his list with Colorado, Arkansas, Arizona, Oklahoma State, TCU, Miami, Nebraska, Texas, Houston, Kansas State, Oklahoma and North Carolina still making their case.

Offensive tackle Brady Ward (6-7, 325) from Mobile, Alabama, is a 3 star who has LSU ties. His dad, Brian, played at for the Tigers in mid-1990’s. His top four are LSU, Alabama, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Jaden Navarette (6-3, 230) is listed as an athlete from Norco, California. The 4 star talent plays receiver and defensive end but he looks better suited to play linebacker or H-Back in college. LSU holds lead over USC at this time, due to fact that he favors the SEC because of the perceived top level of competition. Oregon and UNLV are also in the sweepstakes.

Miller Merriweather-Lewis (6-3, 298), a 4 star offensive guard from Ocala, Florida, has UCF, LSU and Auburn as his top three with LSU in good position.

Another guard, Marlon Martinez (6-5, 305) out of Fort Lauderdale, is considering offers from LSU, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Auburn, Fla. State, Florida Atlantic, Louisville, UCF, Georgia, Ga. Tech, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Purdue, Ohio State, Penn State and West Virginia. I’m told LSU is his early leader.

LSU most assuredly will sign a running back or two in this class. Here are a couple potential prime targets.

Warren Easton’s Ashaad Clayton (6-0, 200) has LSU, Alabama, Georgia and Kansas as his top schools but LSU is the odds-on favorite.

The No. 2 player in the country overall is Zachary Evans (5-11, 200). The Houston prepster led his team to a 16-0 record and state title in 2018, rushing for just under 2,000 yards and 29 touchdowns. Texas, LSU, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Georgia, Washington, Penn State and Texas A&M have most of his attention with the Longhorns as the current favorite. Evans is a man among boys with a 4.5 forty, 605 lbs. max squat and 34″ vertical. He will apparently wait until signing day Feb. 2020 to decide.

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Rene Nadeau

Rene Nadeau

CCS/Fox Sports/ESPN/WFAN

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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