Recruiting: LSU seeks playmakers on offense in 2018 class

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Ja'Marr Chase
Rummel’s Ja’Marr Chase (#1) is one of the talented Louisiana prep wideouts in the Class of 2018 (Photo: Bill Arthurs).

Much like the recent success LSU has had on the field, the recruiting process has taken a bit of an uptick.

Recruits recognize success, get a good feel for the locker room chemistry on visits and appreciate when a team lays it all on the field of play. It demonstrates the pride that they play with and the respect that they have for the coaching staff. All of that has not gone unnoticed during LSU wins over Auburn and Florida.

Here are a few targets that LSU is hoping to land in the remaining spots open for the 2018 class.

Quarterback Gerry Bohanon may not be a name that you know but the 6-foot-3, 211 pound dual threat signal caller out of Earle, Arkansas is the state’s top prospect. The uncertain future of coach Bret Bielema at Arkansas has muddied the water for the Hogs.

Bohanon made an unexpected visit to Tigertown last weekend for the Auburn game and left impressed. Tommie Robinson is handling chores for Tigers. Bohanon liked the way LSU fought back and the overall flow of the game, including the way the Tiger coaches handled the game itself. He has visited Arkansas, Mississippi State, Baylor, Tennessee, Auburn, LSU and Georgia. His top choices look to be Baylor (leader), Arkansas, Louisville, Ole Miss and LSU. Another visit for LSU is in the works. He has similar skills to Lowell Narcisse.

Parkway High’s Justin Rogers (6-4, 210) is highly coveted by Tiger staff despite his pledge to TCU on May 31st. The recruiting hasn’t slowed down even though the dual-threat quarterback suffered a severe dislocated right knee the very first weekend of the season. LSU has made some inroads with Rogers, who is expected to be back on the field healthy in the spring.

A key position for the Tigers in the ’18 classis running back.

Harold Joiner (6-3, 218), a violent and physical runner, is prominient in the Tigers’ plans. The Birmingham native has LSU and Auburn at or near the top of his list with Alabama, Clemson and Michigan State in the next group. Robinson also is taking the lead for LSU here.

One problem to keep an eye on could be Joiner’s size or, should I say, possible growth spurt. If he were to shoot up another inch or two, he would be viewed more as a receiver or even a tight end. LSU may not rank him so highly at those spots. If he remains the same size, LSU is in good shape with Joiner.

Parkway’s Terrace Marshall, a wide receiver, is the state’s top overall prospect. The 6-foot-3 recruit has a stop planned for Florida State this weekend followed by Texas A&M (Oct. 28), Alabama (Nov. 4) and Texas (Nov. 11). His last stop is planned for Nov. 25 at LSU, and Marshall’s announcement has been scheduled for Dec. 22.

Injured like his high school teammate Rogers, Marshall has a fractured fibula which will keep him sidelined until late in the playoffs at best.

Marshall creates plenty of separation, comes back to the throw, high points the ball and uses his body well to shield the defender. He reminds me of a Larry Fitzgerald or A.J. Green at this stage in their career.

Once a LSU commit who backed our in mid-February, wide receiver Justin Watkins (5-11, 172) from Clermont, Florida has LSU among his top five along with Alabama, Clemson, Texas and Florida State. He also decommitted from Florida State and Texas.

A few Metro area receivers who are still very much on LSU’s radar are Rummel’s Ja’Marr Chase, McDonogh 35’s Lawrence Keys III and Landry-Walker’s Devonta Jason. They won’t be able to take them all.

Chase is currently committed to Florida, but the 6-foot-1 target is worth the effort. He has velcro-like hands but is also a strong blocker. Chase was the state’s long jump champion with a leap of 24′ 2 1/2″. He will catch in a crowd. Chase is known to have a superb work ethic.

Mickey Joseph working tirelessly to flip Chase from the Gators to the Tigers.

Keys (5-11, 160) glides across the field, quick as a cat with a 4.33 forty, 10.3 hundred and a 36″ vertical to his credit. LSU’s continued success has helped in the process. He wants to play in the slot and loves the jet sweep opportunities the position affords in the Matt Canada scheme. Keys took an official visit to Houston earlier.

DeVonta Jason possesses an unbelievable catching radius. He decommitted from LSU in July 2016 and is now pledged to Kansas. Jason (6-3, 211) is electrifying, making impossible catches look easy with soft hands. A night mare to cover, Jason has great acceleration.

Anthony “Pooka” Williams out of Hahnville is a Joe McKnight type player who you can use all over on offense. He can score from anywhere on the field. Slight of build at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, Williams has run a 4.27 forty with a 39″ vertical. He is much stronger than his build would lead you to believe.

Ed Reed called him the best prep freshman he had ever seen. Trying to tackle Williams is like trying to grab confetti. Currently committed to Kansas, his grades may play a role in what happens the next couple of months. There is mutual interest between Williams and LSU’s staff.

LSU also likes to boast the DBU moniker as the program which produces the most stud corners. Another big recruit on their radar may be deciding soon.

Anthony Cook, an elite cornerback from Houston, also made a stop at LSU this past weekend and came away impressed with the Tigers’ program. He has great hips and thrives in press coverage with good closing speed.

Right now, the pecking order for the 6-foot Cook looks like Texas, Ohio State and LSU in that order. Corey Raymond is on the case for LSU. His decision is expected this Friday.

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Rene Nadeau

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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