LSU’s recruiting landscape continues to evolve after coaching change

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Brian Kelly
(Photo: Jonathan Mailhes)

If you are an avid LSU football fan, I’m going to ask you to trust me for a moment.

Sit back, relax and take a deep breath. The Earth will not cave in during this transition to the Brian Kelly era at LSU.

Kelly has been in the business for 31 seasons. He understands the vital importance of what’s at stake when the early signing day arrives next week. The transfer portal is constantly evolving, as we speak.

New LSU hire Brian Polian has hit the ground running and has been virtually everywhere. The 46-year old has 25 years in the college coaching profession. Frank Wilson’s return to his old stomping grounds is a major addition. The 48-year old has 17 years in college football with six of those as a head coach. Both of those are young enough to relatable but highly experienced as well.

You’re hearing news of decommitments and potential transfer but there are also some players who did not originally have LSU on their radar that now do. Others who LSU didn’t really have on their radar are now eyed by the new staff. Both sides are beginning to close the gap to forming a positive union.

A pair of players who were not highly regarded by LSU in the recent past are making visits to campus this weekend. Mandeville wide receiver Landon Ibieta, currently committed to Miami, will be in Tigertown this weekend. With the coaching change by the Hurricanes, I’m not sure what will happen there.

The 6-foot, 185-pound Ibieta had a great showing at LSU’s camp last June but never received an offer. This scenario reminds me of the Jack Bech recruitment a year ago, when he originally committed to Vanderbilt. After receiving an offer from LSU, he changed his allegiance. Ibieta has similar skills as a outstanding route runner who catches the ball away from his body and makes the difficult catches. He’s also a willing blocker. Ibieta gains good separation in his routes despite not having blazing speed.

Another player making a visit to LSU is Lafayette Christian’s Jordan Allen. The 5-11 defensive back previously committed to Penn State but has been decommitted since October. He is a lockdown cover corner who can play safety. His former teammate Sage Ryan was a freshman at LSU this season. Allen’s teammate at LCA, Fitzgerald West is among the current 11 commitments for LSU for the 2022 class.

Allen locates the ball quickly, shows great anticipation when the ball arrives, makes good breaks on the ball and runs the alley from his safety spot to challenge the run.

Another player who LSU has just gotten in on is defensive tackle Anthony Lucas. The 6-5, 275 pounder from Scottsdale, Arizona can easily carry over 300 on his frame. He is the 12th ranked player in the country and the top player in Arizona.

Very physical with hot motor, Lucas has quick hands.

Thanks to Brian Kelly and LSU defensive line coach Andre Carter, Lucas has the Tigers among his top choices. He was very impressed with Carter’s background with 14 seasons in the NFL and a few more as a coach. He has had very good dialogue with him.

Currently, Alabama and Texas A&M appear to be the leaders for Lucas. Tide defensive line coach Freddie Roach and special teams coach Drew Svoboda are on the case while the Aggies have defensive line coach Elijah Robinson working Lucas. Notre Dame is also among the top five led by new head coach Marcus Freeman and line coach Mike Elston. UCLA has made the cut as well.

Here’s a list of key prospects who still have LSU among their top choices:

– LB Harold Perkins, a 5 star out of Cypress, Texas
has family in New Orleans. He has Texas A&M, LSU and Texas at the top.

– OT Devon Campbell, 5 star from Arlington, Texas
Texas sits at the top followed by LSU, Alabama, USC and Oklahoma.

– DB Jacoby Mathews, 4 star from Ponchatoula
LSU the favorite followed by Texas, Alabama, Texas A&M and Florida.

– WR Shazz Preston, 4 star from St. James
LSU is the clear favorite with Alabama and Georgia right behind.

– DE Omar Abor, 4 star from Duncanville, Texas
down to Alabama, LSU, Texas and Texas A&M.

– ATH Kendrick Law, 4 star from Captain Shreve
LSU-Alabama at the top while Florida State and Texas trail.

– DE Quincy Wiggins, 4 star DE from Madison Prep
LSU leads with Alabama and Florida next.

– ATH Azarreyah Thomas, 4 star from Niceville, Florida
LSU, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma and Georgia Tech.

– OT Julian Armella, 4 star Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Florida State at top followed by LSU, Alabama and Florida.

– CB Austin Ausberry, 4 star from University Lab
His dad Verge, a longtime administrator at LSU. The Tigers are the clear leader followed by Michigan, Florida, Auburn and Alabama.

Remember: The entire process may not move as swiftly as fans would like. It’s not how you start, but how you finish.

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Rene Nadeau

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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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