BATON ROUGE — If the sky is (allegedly) falling for LSU football, it isn’t reflected in recruiting.
For the class of 2018, head coach Ed Orgeron could finish by signing eight of the top nine prospects on 247sports.com‘s list of top Louisiana players.
Still unsigned are Louisiana’s top prospect, wide receiver JaMarr Chase of Rummel, and the state’s fourth rated prospect, safety Kelvin Joseph of Scotlandville.
Joseph is a hard commit to LSU. Chase will announce either LSU or Auburn on signing day, February 7th. If LSU nabs those two, quarterback Justin Rogers of Parkway (TCU) will be the only of the top nine not signed by LSU.
That LSU could likely wind up with the state’s top two receiver prospects, Chase and Terrace Marshall (Parkway HS, signed in December), is quite a coup, especially with all the hubbub over the departure of former offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
Orgeron and Steve Ensminger, who was promoted to offensive coordinator, have obviously done a good job of selling how the future of the LSU offense will crystallize.
A noted absence from Louisiana’s top 10 prospects is the University of Alabama.
In 2017, with Orgeron getting a late start, Bama landed 3 of Louisiana’s top 7 prospects. They were wide receiver Devonta Smith of Amite, linebacker Christopher Allen of Southern Lab, and defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis of Neville.
In 2014, Alabama landed three of the state’s top ten, including offensive tackle Cam Robinson of West Monroe and defensive back Hootie Jones of Neville.
The litmus test for Orgeron will be the class of 2019.
Four of the nation’s top 21 recruits hail from Louisiana, all within an hour’s drive from the LSU campus.
They are defensive tackle Ishmael Sopsher and wide receiver Devonta’ Lee of Amite, inside linebacker Donte Starks of John Ehret, and guard Kardell Thomas of Southern Lab.
Thomas is already an LSU commit.
Keeping Alabama from poaching Louisiana, again, will be huge.
Orgeron’s strength has always been recruiting, and if he closes by signing Chase, Joseph, and Florida defensive back Patrick Surtain, Jr. signing day will be a success.
The way to the College Football Playoff for LSU begins with signing Louisiana’s best, and making sure another school in the SEC West, doesn’t.