Update: LSU 2022 recruiting class targets
The landscape of college football has changed quite a bit within the last year or so. In fact, the summer alone has changed the way programs and athletes approach things dramatically.
With the advent of the free transfer options, coaches will focus on the future but with an eye on the present when immediate upgrades can happen for their roster. The NIL opportunities add another even more complex dynamic, of course.
LSU currently stands at 15 pledges for the 2022 class. If all remain true to their word, Ed Orgeron and staff will have to be selective with the final spots available.
Okay, about those final spots. Are there five openings to fill? Six? Seven? Few if any college football programs will ever max out by the February signing day. The transfer portal’s comings-and-goings now dictate how many experienced players you are hoping to redirect to fill an immediate need. Those needs can come more frequently since players are now transferring out of your program more frequently.
Who would have envisioned last year at this time that elite tight end prospect Arik Gilbert would be gone midway through his freshman campaign? LSU is not alone in now facing these surprises year round.
We don’t know how many LSU will sign but these are a few uncommited prospects to watch who have reciprocal interest for 2022.
OLB Harold Perkins (6’3″ 200) five-star, Cypress, Texas
The New Orleans native’s family moved to Texas following Hurricane Katrina. Much of his family remain avid Tiger fans. Harold is an admitted LSU and Saints fan.
As a two-way performer, he totaled 47 stops with 14 tackles for loss last season, while running for 983 yards and 14 touchdowns. Perkins was All-District on both sides of the ball. He models his style after NFL standouts Deion Jones, Bobby Warner and Khalil Mack. He reminds me of Patrick Queen at this stage of development.
His current top three consists of LSU, Texas A&M and Texas. the Tigers assistant Blake Baker is handling recruiting, which is going well. Perkins said that he is basing his final decision on where he feels most comfortable.
WR Shazz Preston (6’0″ 190) four-star, St. James
His favorites are LSU, Georgia, Alabama and USC. Mickey Joseph is giving the pitch for the Tigers.
Preston grabbed 50 passes for 865 yards and nine touchdowns last season, earning 9-3A District MVP as St. James capture a state title. He can line up in the slot or wide. He closely observed locals Devonta Smith (2020 Heisman, Amite), Ja’Marr Chase (2019 Biletnikoff, Rummel) and Justin Jefferson (2020 NFL All-Rookie team, Destrehan) growing up. His brother is starting safety at Mississippi State. LSU appears to be in front currently.
ATH Azareyeh Thomas (6’1″ 177) four-star, Niceville, Florida
His final four are LSU, Ga. Tech, Florida and Clemson. the Tigers defensive coordinator Daronte Jones and Corey Raymond are on the case. Outstanding ball skills. good length and an explosive initial step make Thomas a versatile defensive back prospect. He visited Baton Rouge June 18th. Thomas excels in football, basketball and track (long-jump of 21’11”).
ATH Kendrick Law (5’11” 195) four-star, Captain Shreve
Top three are LSU, Alabama and Florida. He is a game changer on both sides of the ball, but cornerback may be best spot in college. Jake Peetz leads the recruiting push for LSU.
Similar to LSU true freshman Sage Ryan, Law is highly coveted for his versatility (can play WR, RB, CB, safety and special teams). He’s posted a 10.48 wind-aided 100 meters plus a 4.44 40-yard dash, 405 lbs. Squat and a long jump of 22′ 8″.
A true student-athlete with a 4.1 GPA, Kendrick wants to major in engineering in college.
DE J’mond Tapp (6’3″ 245) four-star, Ascension Catholic
Ranked the No. 8 prospect in state, Tapp is down to LSU, Texas, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. the Tigers and Longhorns appear slightly ahead of rest.
Lightning quick, Tapp uses his hands well and his natural skills show on the edge. He’s also a very good basketball player with exciting dunks.
RB Le’Veon Moss (6’0″ 195) four-star, Istrouma
Pledged to Alabama June 6th, Moss made headlines when he re-opened the process August 12th. He made an unofficial visit to LSU June 1st and an official visit to Texas A&M June 18th. It looks like it could be two-horse race between the Tigers and Aggies with Kevin Faulk pushing for the Tigers.
A downhill power runner, Moss is explosive and very chiseled already. He’s hard-nosed between the tackles. A concussion shortened his 2020 season but recruiters are convinced of his talent already.
LSU has one back committed (Trevonte’ Citizen; 10th rated prospect state) so it’s imperative to add another, much less the No. 5 prospect in Louisiana.
RB Trevor Etienne (5’10” 207) four-star, Jennings
The younger brother of NFL rookie and ex-Clemson star Travis made an unofficial visit to LSU June 22nd. The past two seasons, Trevor rushed for 3,607 yards and 53 touchdowns.
LSU, Clemson, Georgia, Alabama and Florida are top suitors but not surprisingly Clemson seems to be team to beat. Alabama will intensify efforts with the Moss de-commitment. He may not want to follow in brother’s footsteps and deal with the Travis comparisons at Clemson.
DB Jacoby Matthews (6’2″ 198) five-star, Ponchatoula
The best 2021 class athlete in state who is projected as a safety backed out of an LSU pledge July 30th but the Tigers remain in very good shape. He is still legitimate possibility in the final tally.
Matthews did visit Texas A&M July 31st, which had something to do with his decommit the day prior. It looks like LSU with an inside track with the Aggies as the closest competition.
DT Quency Wiggins (6’6″ 274) four-star, Madison Prep Academy
The No. 6 rated prospect in Louisiana is the 31st ranked tackle in the country. His top five includes Alabama, LSU, Florida, Oregon and Texas. Andre Carter is pushing for the Tigers. Wiggins visited LSU June 4th.
Getting encouragement from a host of 2022 LSU commits, Wiggins is being recruited very well to stay home. He has worked out with Maason Smith (2021 signee).
Wiggins concentrated on basketball the previous two seasons, so he is just getting started on the gridiron. He had 14 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks, plus a fumble return for touchdown last season.
OT Malik Agbo (6’6″ 320) four-star, Federal Way, Washington
His paired down final list features LSU, Miami, Oklahoma, Arizona State and Florida. Tigers o-line coach Brad Davis is recruiting him heavily, and LSU may have slight lead.
Agbo can play tackles or guard. He’s a good run blocker who is nimble enough to play prep basketball and strong enough to participate in the shot put. He’s quick to engage with defenders with strong hands. He delayed a visit with LSU in order to get more familiar with Davis, who was hired during the summer.
CB Earl Little (6’0″ 175) four-star, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
He has maintained a close relationship with Corey Raymond, helping the LSU chances. Little father played eight NFL seasons including his first two with the Saints (1998-’99).
Alabama may hold an edge here but the Tigers are in good position. Springy and a tough run defender, Little shows a smooth change of direction, quick flipping hips and ball skills.
WR Evan Stewart (6’0″ 175) five-star, Frisco, Texas.
The ninth rated 2021 recruit at the position in country is an outstanding route runner, and the Tigers are pushing hard with committed recruits Will Campbell and Walker Howard giving an added pitch for the Purple and Gold.
Stewart managed 46 grabs for 913 yards and nine touchdowns in the shortened 2020 campaign.
His finalists are Florida, LSU, Texas, Alabama, USC and Texas A&M.
WR Armani Winfield (6’2″ 180) four-star, Lewisville, Texas
He committed to Texas January 12th and visited Austin June 18th but also came to LSU June 25th. Three consecutive seasons as a first team All-District performer, Winfield accelerates out of cuts quickly. For his prep career to date, he has 128 catches for 1,730 yards and 16 scores.
Mickey Joseph is on the case, and LSU and Michigan State are two schools who may have separated from the pack.
CB Austin Ausberry (6’1″ 185) University High
LSU is a clear favorite. His dad Verge is a former Tigers linebacker and now Executive Deputy AD.
The top suitors here are LSU, Alabama, Florida, Auburn, Michigan and Notre Dame. It’s important to add that his brother Jaiden is a five-star linebacker in the 2023 class.
DT Shone Washington (6’3″ 297) four-star, Warren Easton
A one time LSU commit who backed out January 17 after pledging August 12, 2020, Washington is still valued by the Tigers. LSU, Georgia and Ole Miss are front runners but it could come down to numbers of spots open in Baton Rouge.
FROG FLYING: Catching up with a former five-star signee with LSU from the 2019 class, Marcel Brooks (6’3″ 205) made 11 game appearances as true freshman. The No. 2 rated OLB in the 2019 class from Fort Worth, Texas decided to transfer out of LSU following freshman campaign, eventually landing at hometown TCU.
With a 4.55 40 yard dash and 37″ vertical, the Horned Frogs’ coaching staff decided to give the former prep two-way standout a look at wide receiver. He had a very productive spring in ’21 and now is listed as a starter.
“He’s getting better,” TCU head coach Gary Patterson said about Brooks on offense following spring drills. “He’s got a lot of abilities and it’s a learning curve for him. He can run, he’s big and can run.”
“Better” means first-string for Brooks, so the switch of schools and positions represent big changes which may work out quite well for him.
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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…