Recruiting: Stretch run visits set up for LSU to cap 2017 class

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Racey McMath

Edna Karr’s Racey McMath (#2) has the size and speed top college programs look for at wide receiver (Photo: Terrill Weil).

History tells us that when an uncommitted recruit schedules a visit to your campus right before national signing day, your chances of securing a commitment increase.

The recruits in question end up with committed players on the visit as well. The intensity is turned upward to gain a commitment, either during the visit or shortly thereafter.

Here is how LSU’s visitor list looks for the next three weeks.

On January 13, there are currently 13 on the invited list, and sic are already committed:

-OG Edward Ingram
-FB Tory Carter
-RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
-CB Kary Vincent
-DT Tyler Shelvin
-DE Aaron Moffitt

The other visitors are big targets for the Tigers, including Marvin Wilson, the top rated defensive tackle in the country. The 6-foot-5, 333 monster out of Bellaire, Texas has recorded 71 tackles for loss and 42 sacks during his prep career. LSU is in a very good position to wrap him up.

Tyler Taylor (6-2, 230), a 4 star inside linebacker, arrives at a position of need. The Buford, Ga. product possesses elite skill. It has been looking like a Auburn-Georgia tussle for his signature, but Dave Aranda’s presence puts the Tigers in the thick of things. Taylor has nearly 30 offers.

Devonta Smith (6-1, 165), the top wide receiver in the state of Louisiana, is coming in this weekend. The 4 star from Amite has 4.45 speed, tremendous catching radius, ability to gain yards after the catch, reliable hands and fluidity both in and out of his cuts. Alabama may have a slight edge for his services but LSU and Miami are one step behind. Head coach Ed Orgeron is involved in recruiting Smith.

Karr’s Racey McMath (6-3, 215) has gotten more and more attention from Jabbar Juluke. LSU has made up a lot of ground recently. Running track has helped the wideout melt his 40-yard dash time to 4.45. He makes great moves following catch and can be a true deep threat. McMath’s huge hands and body control make him a tough target in tight quarters. LSU, Texas A&M, Mississpii State and Miami have held the top spots. He’ll visit Baton Rouge this weekend and Mississippi State on January 20.

Phidarian Mathis (6-4, 287) from Neville is a much desired 2017 recruit. Austin Thomas is handling recruiting duties for the Tigers. LSU, Alabama and TCU are the likely finalists but the Tigers appear to hold an edge.

Plaquemine safety Todd Harris comes to LSU this weekend, and Corey Raymond hopes to help seal the deal for the Tigers. LSU, Ole Miss and Alabama are his three finalists.

K’Lavon Chaisson (6-4, 211), a 4 star linebacker from Houston, may have Texas as the team to beat with LSU and USC a notch behind. Austin Thomas leads the recruiting effort for LSU. Chaisson visits Texas January 20 and USC on the 27th. LSU has ground to make up here.

A 4 star inside linebacker, Ellis Brooks (6-2, 233), arrives at LSU on January 16. The Richmond, Va. native has been courted by Dave Aranda. His top 5 is LSU, Maryland, Notre Dame, Oregon and Michigan.

January 20 is when LSU rolls out the red carpet for five recruits. The trio of DE Neil Farrell, QB Myles Brennan and LB Patrick Queen are already in the fold with pledges.

Willie Gray, a Starkville 4 star linebacker, has tremendous pursuit skills, plays well in space, and shows top athleticism with quick twitch. Jabbar Juluke is recruiting him for the Tigers, one of Gay’stop four with Michigan, Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

Wide receiver Marlon Williams (6-1, 185, 4.5) from Mobile, Alabama has made a steady climb up the recruiting charts lately. This one-time commit to USC (re-opened his recruitment Jan. 10th) received his original offer from LSU on December 14. Dameyune Craig is on the case for LSU. Ole Miss appears to be team to beat while Tennessee, USC, Cincinnati, Missouri and others have jumped into the fray. Following his visit to LSU on the 20th, Williams stops by Tennessee the final weekend before signing day.

The final recruiting weekend of the 2017 recruiting season takes place on January 27. Four are invited with offensive tackle Seth Stewart already committed.

The other three are intriguing prospects.

Nick Smith (6-3, 210), a linebacker from Orlando, has gained a lot of attention from LSU. Corey Raymond is recruiting him for the Tigers. Smith originally committed to North Carolina State on July 22. He’ll visit Louisville January 13.

Running back Travis Etienne (5-11, 210) is a 4 star LSU would love to add to this class after ramping up the interest recently. The Jennings, La. product has forged a good relationship with Jabbar Juluke. The Tigers look to be the leader over the rest of the pack. Etienne will take in Texas A&M January 20 and Michigan State the week before.

One prospect many recruiting buffs may not be familiar with is defensive end Justin Harris (6-6, 250) from East Ascension High. He recorded an unbelievable 29 sacks this past year.

Harris, who decommitted from UCF after pledging to the Knights on July 28, displays am assortment of moves to the passer. He wades through the blockers using long arms with great strength. He has just scratched the surface. Following a redshirt season, Harris could be a star. He can play from both a 2 point or 3 point stance. Austin Thomas is recruiting him for LSU.

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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 greater fashion while in Baton Rouge. Nadeau played semi-pro football for two seasons with the New Orleans Blue Knights. He has been a prominent sports figure in the New Orleans area for 29 years. Nadeau currently serves as a color…

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