LSU sharpens focus on 2021 recruiting trail for final stretch

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Brian Thomas, WR, Walker
Brian Thomas, WR, Walker

The LSU Tigers currently sit with 18 verbal commitments for the 2021 football recruiting class. Taht means they have up to seven spots open.

This past Labor Day weekend, the Tigers’ recruiting efforts received a giant boost. And they didn’t have to lift a finger.

In fact, 14 of the the nation’s top recruits from around the nation decided to head to Baton Rouge at their own expense to take a closer look at what LSU has to offer. No coaches played a role in the process which is a positive sign how LSU football is perceived around the country by the elite prospects. This year’s recruiting efforts are benfitting from last year’s 15-0 run to glory.

Out of the 14, seven have already made their pledge to the Tigers for 2021.

QB Garrett Nussmeier, four-star from Flower Mound, Texas (played a major role in the process last week)
DE Landon Jackson, four-star from Texarkana, Texas
WR Jo Jo Earle, four-star from Aledo, Texas
WDE Keanu Koht, four-star from Vero Beach, Fla.
WR Chris Hilton, four-star from Zachary, La.
LB Naquan Brown four-star from Virginia Beach, Va.
LB Raejson Davis, four-star from Santa Ana, Calif.

Seven others were also in attendance.

-OT Tristan Leigh (6-5, 275) Fairfax, Virginia

Five-star has a top five of LSU, Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma. LSU and Clemson have a slight lead over the rest. Offensive line coach James Cregg is spearheading the recruiting for LSU. Leigh’s natural pass blocking skills, long arms, good feet, powerful run blocker and explosiveness off the snap are highly-coveted by the Tigers.

-OT Savion Byrd (6-5, 285) Duncanville, Texas

Four-star played defensive tackle in ’19 but he is seen as a terrific offensive tackle prospect. LSU, SMU, Texas and Oklahoma are his top four. Again, Cregg is on the case.

-DT Maason Smith (6-5, 316) Houma, La.

Terrebonne High star is a must get for the in-state Tigers. LSU has Bill Johnson, Greg McMahon and head coach Ed Orgeron giving the pitch. Enormous natural strength and quickness makes Smith the top 2021 prospect in Louisiana. In 2019, he racked up 82 tackles with 24 for loss and 10 sacks.

-DE Korey Foreman (6-5, 265) Corona, Calif.

The overall top prospect in the country will decide before December as he wants to enroll in January. A knee injury in ’19 cost hime half of the season. A polished talent with outstanding technique, Foreman plays with great leverage and has powerful hands. He and Maason Smith have vowed to play together in college so that really increases LSU’s chances of pulling the West Coast elite recruit. Foreman already has an NFL body. When you compare him to known standouts, the names that come up are Jadeveon Clowney, Brian Orakpo, Tamba Hali and J.J. Watt. That says it all.

-WR Brian Thomas (6-4, 195) Walker, La.

In same category as Michael Clayton as senior in high school, Thomas features a large catching radius. LSU is battling Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M but expect either the Tigers or the Tide in two-way finish. In 2019, he made 75 catches for 1,272 yards and 17 touchdowns. Skilled enough to draw basketball offers from Texas A&M, Tulane, Houston and Coastal Carolina, Thomas averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds on hardwood last season.

-TE Michael Trigg (6-4, 230) Tampa, Fla.

The No. 4 rated tight end in his class is down to LSU, South Carolina and USC after considering 40 offers. Dangerous following catch, Trigg has strong hands and runs sharp routes He makes difficult catches in traffic. Trigg also has basketball offers from Alabama, Auburn, Arizona State, Florida State, LSU, Memphis and South Florida. LSU hoops coach Will Wade envisions him playing every position but center on the court. LSU, Kentucky and South Carolina are the three schools which extended dual sport offers.

-DB Sage Ryan (5-11, 193) Lafayette, La.

The cousin of LSU assistant Kevin Faulk is a five-star talent at Lafayette Christian with 4.45 speed and 36″ vertical. LSU leads the pack which includes Alabama and Clemson. Bo Pelini and Corey Raymond are leading the charge for the Tigers.

Now for an update on other 2021 recruits on LSU’s radar:

CB Ga’Quincy “Kool Aid” McKinstry (6-0, 172) Pinson, Alabama

LSU, Auburn, Alabama are battling for the five-star top rated corner in the class. He loves LSU’s “DBU” history. McKinstry has won two football titles and a pair of basketball championships. His instincts, great hips and fluid change of direction are ideal for cover corner work. He also has 11 basketball offers on the table, averaging 15 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. He was named Birmingham’s Male Athlete of the Year.

DB TySheem Johnson (5-9, 180) Philadelphia, Pa.

The four-star will decide Sept. 30 and enroll in January. Ole Miss is the current leader with LSU, Alabama, Maryland and Arizona State close behind. Bill Busch leads the recruiting for the Tigers. Also a dynamic kicka nd punt return threat, Johnson could add 15 pounds to frame and keep his agility and speed.

DB Terrion Arnold (6-1, 187, 4.42) Tallahassee, Fla.

LSU is among five or six finalists for the four-star safety. Arnold is very physical and thrives on contact (103 tackles last season). Tennessee, Ole Miss, Florida and Alabama have offered for both basketball and football. He’s known for high flying dunks and also shot blocker in a guard’s body.

RB Camar Wheaton (6-0, 190) Garland, Texas.

He took a visit to LSU in February and has the Tigers among top five with Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama and SMU. It appears the Sooners may have slight lead for the five-star. Blessed with game-breaking speed (10.6 in the 100), he had 3,128 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns the past three seasons. A dynamic runner with terrific balance, Wheaton is a Marshawn Lynch-type physical runner.

RB Kyree Young (6-1, 200) Massillon, Ohio

A four-star with Alabama, LSU, Iowa State, Kentucky and Tennessee as his top choices. Kevin Faulk is on the case.

WR Quenton Barnes (6-2, 175, 4.46) Antioch, Tennessee.

Florida, LSU and Ole Miss are in a heated battle for Barnes. In 2019, he had 38 grabs, 678 yards and seven scores. Barnes high points balls as a natural pass catcher and crafty route runner.

WR Dominic “Ju Ju” Lovett (5-10, 175) Belleville, Illinois.

Four-star is considering LSU, Arizona State, Penn State and Miami but the Sun Devils have a slight edge. Lovett had 74 catches for 1,549 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. He plans to decide Sept. 11.

OT Eric Cade (6-6, 313) Denton, Texas

LSU, Alabama and Arizona State have their sight set on the big man. Cregg again recruiting for the Tigers. Upper body strength helps Cade sustain blocks.

OT Diego Pounds (6-6 1/2, 310) Raleigh, North Carolina.

It’s down to LSU, Penn State, Auburn and North Carolina. Pounds moves well downfield ahead of plays as a big but natural athlete. Long arm extension is a huge plus for a tackle who also finishes blocks. He has a good kick step and slides feet well. Good in space, Pounds does not lunge. Whenever a 300-plus pounder can easily dunk basketball, that’s an impressive prospect.

RB L.J. Johnson (5-10, 204, 4.42) Cypress, Texas.

Cy-Fair High School product has Texas and Texas A&M as his top two, followed by LSU, Georgia, Oklahoma and Auburn. Greg McMahon and Kevin Faulk are on the case. Game breaking skills make Johnson a touchdown waiting to happen. He’s a three-down back who could carry 220 pounds. In 2019, he compiled 1,951 yards and 37 touchdowns averaging 9.47 yards per carry.

DB Andrew Mukuba (6-0, 185) Austin, Texas

The four-star safety has a final four of LSU, Clemson, Missouri and Texas. Bill Busch heads his recruiting for LSU. Versatility is his calling card as a free safety and wide receiver, willing to crash as a tackler and play fast. Mukuba runs 100, 200 and 400 meters on the track.

OG Bryce Foster (6-5, 330, 5.06) Katy, Texas

LSU, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas lead the pack for the four-star recruit. Cregg and McMahon are making a push but the Sooners are his current favorite. Called “The Mountain,” Foster does 26 reps on 225-pound bench press, squats 546 pounds and bench presses 405. Ideal size is there but Foster must improve his overall balance. An elite discus and shot put thrower, he wants to perform in the Olympics.

DB Derrick Davis (6-1, 194) Monroeville, Pa.

Penn State may have the advantage for the four-star safety but LSU, Clemson and Ohio State are making their pitch. Busch has made inroads for the Tigers. Davis could carry 210 to 215 pounds As a running back in 2019, he tallied 1,507 yards (8.5 yard average) and caught 36 passes for 547 yards. He made 46 stops as a safety on defense.

DE Shemar Turner (6-4, 282) Desoto, Texas

LSU, Texas A&M, Alabama, Georgia and Texas. Johnson is recruiting for the Tigers. His frame could carry 300 pounds. In 2019, the four-star made 54 tackles with 10 for loss and 8.0 sacks.

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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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