Top LSU targets remain up for grabs after busy early signing day

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LSU is wrapping up an early signing class this week with at least 19 signees. Two more could possibly make it official by week’s end.

Tae Provens signed his LOI on Thursday evening and outside linebacker Jarell Cherry’s final decision comes Friday. Both are expected to join the Tigers for ’18. If that happens, LSU will have some decisions to make, with 13 potential players left to fill the final five spots. The Tigers can only sign 25 total in the Class of 2018.

Another player who makes his intentions public Friday is the state’s top player, Parkway High School wide receiver Terrace Marshall. The Tigers have a slight advantage, it appears. Steve Ensminger has been handling Marshall’s recruitment for LSU. The Texas A&M Aggies are nipping at the Tigers’ heels. Former LSU assistant Dameyune Craig is handling recruiting chores for A&M.

The 6-foot-3 Marshall could give the Purple and Gold three wide outs in the ’18 class, but more than that, he represents the best that the state has to offer this year. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron vowed to keep all intruders off of Louisiana soil and prevent the best talent from leaving the state.

If Marshall becomes a Tiger, it will be an even tougher decision pairing down the final four spots.

Elite cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. is the top targeted defensive player left for Orgeron and his staff. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla. product won’t sign until Feb. 7. The good news is that Surtain (6-3, 195) who has displayed a little favoritism towards the Tigers.

Florida State trails the Tigers in the chase for Surtain followed by Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State. Things could change by February, but right now LSU is in good shape.

You might have noticed that no quarterback was added by LSU in the early signing. Dual threat James Foster (6-3, 210) from Montgomery, Alabama would be a recruit who could change that. The former Missouri pledge has LSU a slight favorite but Florida State has been turning up the heat. Alabama and Texas A&M also remain in the picture. Tommie Robinson is bird dogging the Lanier High product for the Tigers.

Mario Goodrich (6-2, 180) is another cornerback who we have discussed at length this week. Since decommiting from in-state Missouri, LSU has amped up their attention and become the leaders for the 4 star recruit. He said as much on December 12. Ole Miss and Georgia are jockeying for a spot.

Birmingham, Alabama running back Harold Joiner (6-3, 218) has been the target for a long time. It appears he is ready to become a Tiger, and Robinson is trying to make sure it happens. Ole Miss is making a late close on Joiner with Auburn a distant third.

Anthony “Pooka” Williams (5-9, 175) and his sub-4.3 speed can make a difference at the next level. The Hahnville standout has been the most discussed prospect locally prior to signing day. He had remained committed to Kansas, but that all changed a couple of weeks ago. I am told that his grades are getting closer to the point where he could qualify but it’s a long road.

With 66 total touchdowns the past two seasons along with 5,600 combined yards rushing and receiving, Williams is a true gamebreaker. He will be a February signee, but that’s where problem starts. Who will have room for him? LSU has made up a lot of ground but Alabama, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Miami and Auburn have all jumped into the fray. Stay tuned.

Outside linebacker Michael Williams (6-1, 230) is a 3 star prospect who will be difficult to overlook. He reminds me in some ways at same stage of Kendell Beckwith. The Dunham School star visited LSU on December 14. Tigers defensive coordinator Dave Aranda has been recruiting Williams, but Alabama, Arizona State, Ole Miss and Texas A%M have all expressed their intentions. He looks to be a player with great upside.

McDonogh 35 safety Joe Foucha (5-11, 200) has attracted a lot of national attention. LSU assistant Mickey Joseph has helped make this a two-horse race with Auburn.

Kelvin Joseph (6-2, 195) from Scotlandville is a defensive back that LSU covets. The Tigers are positioned ahead of Florida State, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and Florida. We’ll have to wait until February to see how this unfolds as well.

Wide receiver Justin Watkins (5-11, 172) out of Clermont, Fla. is a player the Tigers would like to get. Problem is he has decommitted from three schools – LSU, Florida State and Texas – during the process so far. He visited Tigertown November 21 and Alabama Dec. 1. Corey Raymond is handling business here for Tigers. LSU leads, but Alabama is right behind. Watkins is playmaker worth the recruiting ups-and-downs.

There are three Louisiana recruits who have been targeted players by LSU throughout the process, but nothing is certain with any of them at this time.

The top tight end in the state, John Curtis Christian’s Glenn Beal (6-5, 260) looks to be a good fit for the Tigers, who have appeared to be his leader throughout. But he took a visit to Tennessee December 15, and there maybe something there. Ole Miss, Florida and Alabama have crept up and now are on solid footing. It will a February signing.

McDonogh 35’s Lawrence Keys III (5-11, 160 with 4.33 speed) appeared to be a shoe in for LSU, and Matt Canada with Joseph have maintained strong relations. Houston, Notre Dame, Auburn, Nebraska and TCU have made up ground and now I think that he is more likely to head out of state.

The same used to be said firmly for Archbishop Rummel wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (6-1, 200), but LSU is still in the mix. Perhaps Michigan and TCU hold an edge due to his assumed intent to leave the state, and I think that the Horned Frogs win out in the end.

But as they say, nothing is certain until he signs on the dotted line.

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Rene Nadeau

Rene Nadeau


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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