Recruiting: LSU in good shape with numerous top potential 2018 football signees

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Justin Fields
Harrison (Ga.) High School’s Justin Fields is a top 2018 quarterback target nationally.

I know some fans are thinking that recruiting could have taken a hit since their team lost last week.

Quite the contrary for LSU.

First of all, the staff has done a marvelous job of recruiting, selling the program. Plus, prospects see how they fit into a program and playing time is key in most instances.

Here is a peek how both the Tigers are faring in recruiting circles.

A prominent recruit who has LSU among the top choices thanks to Matt Canada is elite quarterback Justin Fields took to Tigertown on Sept. 9. He also visited Georgia the following weekend. The Tigers and Bulldogs are thought to be his top two, according to DawgNation.com .

The 6-foot-3, 221 pound Fields is the top rated prep quarterback in the nation for the 2018 class. A one time commitment to Penn State, he backed away from his pledge in June. The Keenesaw, Ga. native also ranks Fla. State and Auburn among his possibilities.

Fields had 2,770 yards passing in 2016 with 23 touchdown passes and only six interceptions. He completed 66 percent of his attempts and added 977 yards rushing with 14 scores.

Depth charts at his prospective schools come into play for Fields as he starts making his final decision. Georgia has sophomore Jacob Eason and freshman Jake Fromm while Florida State returned starter Deondre Francois, just a sophomore but now injured, and freshman replacement James Blackman.

Auburn has sophomore Jarrett Stidham and freshman Malik Willis behind him since Sean White was kicked off of squad.

Danny Etling is a senior at LSU. Myles Brennan, a true freshman, is the backup.

Fields, a dual threat signal caller with 4.5 speed, is also an outstanding baseball prospect who earned All State honors last season after batting .422 with 30 stolen bases. He would consider playing baseball in college. There is a better than average chance that he may hear his name called in the 2018 MLB draft. The slick fielding and hard hitting shortstop holds a 3.9 GPA with a 29 on his ACT. Obviously, the young man has plenty of options for his future.

The top player in Louisiana is Parkway High wide receiver Terrace Marshall (6-3, 192) whohas drawn comparisons to Cincinnati Bengals star A.J. Green. Marshall has already made a couple of visits to LSU, and he termed both as productive and enjoyable. He is hoping to decide between LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, Florida State and Alabama on December 22.

LSU assistant coach Corey Raymond has done a super job recruiting 5 star CB Patrick Surtain Jr. from Plantation, Fla. He is the nation’s No. 4 prospect overall senior and projected to be a high pick in 2021 NFL Draft already. Alabama, Clemson, Fla. State, Ohio State and Florida give the Tigers the biggest competition. Surtain is similar in skills at this stage to Patrick Peterson. His visit to LSU with his parents was shared with current starting Tigers corner Donte’ Jackson.

LSU – or DBU as many call it – is also hot after Anthony Cook (6-0-168), the nation’s No. 2 rated cornerback out of Lamar High in Houston, Texas. He will visit LSU Oct. 14. Cook plans on making his decision public Oct. 30. His top three are Texas, LSU and Ohio State.

Running back Harold Joiner (6-3, 215) from Birmingham, Ala. is a 4 star who sits highly on LSU’s charts. The Tigers feel good about where they sit with him. He wants to play running back, and LSU has promised him the chance. Originally, Alabama looked at him as a linebacker, but have since okayed the running back opportunity as well.

Archbishop Rummel wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (6-1, 200) is now has pledged to Florida but LSU is making a major push and seems to be nearing a 50-50 chance. Chase said Wednesday that he is still committed to the Gators “for now.”

Landry-Walker wideout Devonta Jason (6-3, 211) is now committed to Kansas. He will graduate in December and be an early enrollee. Mickey Joseph has closed the gap for LSU, but the Canada offensive performance the rest of this season will factor heavily in Jason’s thinking before signing.

Lawrence Keys III (5-11, 165), the McDonogh 35 receiver who possesses 4.3 speed, seems impressed with what he has seen at LSU.

A Roneagle teammate of Keys, safety Joe Foucha (5-11, 198), received his LSU offer in June. Auburn looked to be his early leader but Alabama, Florida State have joined the fray.

Michael Williams (6-1, 230), a 3 star OLB from Dunham High in the Baton Rouge area, may be part of another LSU-Alabama tug-o-war on the trail. Dave Aranda is handling recruitment for the Tigers, who lead Alabama, Ole Miss, Arizona State and Texas A&M currently. There looks to be mutual interest between Aranda and Williams.

Jalen Preston (6-2, 212), a 4 star WR out of Manvel, Texas and current commit to Texas A&M, may be swayed elsewhere with the uncertainty surrounding the Aggies program. LSU, Ole Miss, Wisconsin, Michigan and Michigan State could all creep into picture.

Offensive guard prospect Will Lawrence (6-4, 285) from Memphis, Tennessee was a one-time Virginia pledge. He has great feet, maintains blocks and picks up defensive lineman stunting or looping flawlessly. LSU has ground to make up for Lawrence’s services.

James Miller (6-1, 225) from Seffnee, Fla. is a 3 star inside linebacker who has LSU, South Florida and Oregon among his top three. Corey Raymond’s efforts have allowed LSU to hold a slight lead. Miller has a GPS to the ball carrier.

Tight end Geor’quarius Spivey (6-6-220) from Richwood High in Monroe has good hands and create red zone mismatches. Spivey can split out wide as well, more like a true receiver than traditional tight end. TCU, Mississippi State, LSU, Oklahoma State, ULL and Texas Tech are trying to land him.

Defensive end Andres Fox (6-4, 245), a 3 star from Mobile, will be tough to pull out of state. Auburn and Alabama seem to be at top with LSU and Stanford a step behind. Fox is highly regarded by Tigers’ staff. He make super usage of his hands and keeps moving, proving tough to block. Fox also sports a high football IQ and hot motor who is relentless even in practice.

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron emphasized the need to add JUCO talent to bolster what appears to be thinner than usual areas. Keep an eye on Bahamas born offensive tackle Badara Traore (6-8, 320) out of Brooklyn, New York. He has long reach and talent to pla either tackle position, where LSU needs improved talent on the depth chart. He will have three years to play two wherever he lands.

The Tigers are making Traore a top priority and offensive line coach Jeff Grimes is pulling out all stops to secure him. Traore graduates in December. The next six weeks or so will give a clearer picture as the process with Traore begins to take shape. LSU, Auburn, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Oregon are making a big push to close the deal.

Defensive end Travez Moore (6-6-250) is the sixth ranked junior college sophomore prospect, according to 24/7 Sports. He hails from Bastrop, La. but attends Copiah Lincoln in Mississippi. Moore had three sacks in 2016. Already committed to LSU, he is still a signee the Tigers must secure.

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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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