Recruiting: LSU misses out on Gunnell commit, eyes other offensive talent for 2019

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Pro style quarterback Grant Gunnell has committed to Arizona over finalists LSU, Texas A&M, Ohio State and Oregon. It has rumored for some time that the Wildcats were the leaders.

The 6-foot-5, 213 pound Gunnell had committed to Texas A&M last June due to his close association with then Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin and offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. When the duo left College Station and landed on their feet in Tuscon, Gunnell’s close relationship with the two men held firm.

Gunnell planned to visit LSU this month after noting that the Tigers had recruited him the hardest. But it was not hard enough in this case.

With a prime target like Gunnell now off the market, where will LSU look to fill the quarterback spot and other talents on offense in the ’19 signing class?

The month of June usually means that the temps are rising and the recruiting season is really heating up. LSU will intensify their efforts on other quarterbacks now that Gunnell is out of the picture.

One might be dual threat Michael Johnson (6-3, 192) from Eugene, Oregon. He has over 20 offers and it does look like the hometown Oregon Ducks are the team to beat. Other programs to keep an eye on include Penn State, Arizona State, Miami, North Carolina State, Texas A&M and Nebraska.

Junior college prospect Jacob Free (6-5, 228) is a Brantley, Alabama product who originally inked with Vandy in the 2017 class before heading to Northwest Community College. He took in the sights and sounds of Baton Rouge last weekend. Free’s powerful arm can air it out effortlessly.

One local name of interest is Warren Easton dual threat Lance Legendre. The 6-foot-2, 205 pounder committed to Kansas on Feb. 26, but potentially greener pastures await. Legendre was offered by Alabama, Georgia, Florida State, Missouri and Texas A&M among others. LSU has not extended an offer as of yet but I think that they will now. He seems to have been anticipating that offer from the Tigers.

Legendre has a over the top release but a quick trigger. He threw for over 2,000 yards and 23 touchdown passes while adding 10 scores as a runner plus over 500 yards rushing. He started at Warren Easton as sophomore who is a passer first. He may remind area onlookers of Keytoan Thompson, the Landry-Walker now at Mississippi State, although the latter is a couple of inches taller.

Cornelius “Quad” Brown (6-5, 210) out of Calera, Alabama has offers from Florida Atlantic, ULL, Rutgers, UAB and Troy. Tigers offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger is taking a wait and see approach on Brown who, like Free, visited LSU last week.

As for other positions, LSU is hoping to bring running back Noah Cain, a Baton Rouge native now at IMG Academy in Florida, back home. Oklahoma, Ohio State, Texas and Penn State are also hot on the trail of Cain (5-11, 210).

Destrehan’s John Emery (6-0, 196) is a running back many feel is LSU’s to lose. The Tigers are trying to fend off Florida, Michigan, USC, and Mississippi State. Assistant coaches Mickey Joseph and Tommie Robinson have done a solid job recruiting Emery for the Tigers.

LSU had a strong 2018 haul at wide receiver but Ed Orgeron’s staff is eyeing several more elite pass catchers in 2019.

Amite’s Devonta Lee (6-2, 212) is likely going to be an LSU-Alabama battle.

Dannis Jackson (6-1, 180) out of Sumrall, Mississippi appears to have Ole Miss as a slight favorite over LSU and Auburn. He snared 63 passes for 1,157 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2017, adding four interceptions on defense.

Jalen Curry (6-3, 200) hails from Houston, and Texas A&M is the team to beat. LSU joins Tennessee, Auburn and Ole Miss as others giving their best pitch. He totaled 121 catches last season for 1,570 yards and 18 scores.

Kentwood’s Trey Palmer (6-0, 180) has LSU as his current favorite.

Kalil Lloyd (6-5, 190) has intriguing length which was noticed up close when he attended an LSU camp. He has shown he is fearless across the middle, and the McDonogh 35 product catches away from his body.

Ronald Thompkins (5-11, 190) a one time commit to Florida State out of Loganville, Georgia, wants to visit Nebraska. He visited LSU on April 6 and Penn State April 21. Mississippi State, Tennessee, Alabama and USC emain in the fray for Thompkins as well.

At tight end, Jalen Wydermyer (6-5, 235) from Dickinson, Texas may also favor A&M. He had 30 catches last season for 518 yards and eight touchdowns. LSU, Alabama, Georgia and Miami are trying to sway him from the Aggies.

Ruston High offensive tackle Ray Parker (6-4, 285) has LSU as his heavy favorite.

Clay Webb (6-3, 297), the top rated center in the 2019 class, visited LSU last week. The Oxford, Alabama prospect can line up at center or guard His top five currently are Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Clemson and Florida. Look for LSU to squeeze into the mix. Webb displays tremendous technique and quick hands.

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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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