Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. Today, we discuss which prospect could be the next to commit to LSU. We’ll go over the five biggest names that fit the bill as the Tigers look to bolster their top-10 recruiting class in 2018.
Who is next to commit to LSU?
LSU is sitting with the No. 8 recruiting class in the country for 2018 and the No. 3 group among SEC schools, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
The Tigers currently hold 20 commitments and aim to reel in 26 or 27 in their 2018 class. With the summer winding down and many senior football seasons about to get underway, SEC Country took a closer look at which prospects could be next to pop to LSU.
LSU has several needs to address before National Signing Day, including wide receiver, offensive line and cornerback. The team has made progress on several of those fronts ahead of what should be an eventful fall and winter.
The 3-star Alabama edge rusher has been high on LSU for a while and visited Baton Rouge on July 30 when the players were reporting for fall camp. Fox spent that entire Sunday in players and team meetings and had the chance to get a feel for what it means to be a Tiger.
Andres Fox is publicly down to four schools — LSU, Alabama, Auburn and Stanford — but privately is favoring one. While the 6-foot-4, 233-pound prospect wouldn’t reveal too much about his leader, there is a chance he pulls the trigger on a commitment ahead of his senior season at Mobile (Ala.) Christian School. He could elect to hold off until closer to signing day, but it sounds as if Fox has made up his mind.
LSU is quietly in a very strong spot with the underrated defensive end/outside linebacker.
LSU’s need for offensive tackles has become exceedingly glaring, especially with the departure of Class of 2017 signee Seth Stewart and the transfers of Willie Allen and Chidi Okeke. During fall camp, LSU has used K.J. Malone and Toby Weathersby at left and right tackle, respectively, with freshmen Saahdiq Charles and Austin Deculus backing them up.
Malone and Weathersby are both eligible for the NFL draft after the 2017 season, which creates a greater need to add reinforcements at tackle in this recruiting class. The Tigers hold a commitment from top Louisiana offensive tackle Cameron Wire in their 2018 class, but he may be a year or two away from competing for a starting job.
Badara Traore, a 4-star prospect and No. 1 junior college tackle, is physically ready to make an immediate impact. LSU has lost steam with prospects such as Richard Gouraige and Rafiti Ghirmai, and with options dwindling there is a major emphasis to land the 6-foot-8, 315-pound Traore.
Traore will officially visit LSU in the fall and could enroll in December.
LSU was Joiner’s longtime leader, but after a five-day span in which the Tigers procured commitments from three different running backs, lost steam with the blue-chip Alabama tailback.
The 6-foot-3, 218-pounder has since reconnected with LSU running backs coach and area recruiter Tommie Robinson and named the Tigers as his co-leader along with Michigan State. LSU’s advantage here is that he has already visited Baton Rouge and has an official visit slated for Oct. 14. A commitment could come sometime in September or soon after his return trip back to LSU.
LSU aims to take three running backs in its 2018 class. Chris Curry is already on board and Tae Provens was taken as an athlete. That opens the door for Joiner to headline the group and be the Tigers’ future workhorse once Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams head for the NFL after the 2017 football season.
Joiner plans on releasing a commitment video and make a public announcement sometime this fall and should add another elite running back to LSU’s class.
Glenn Beal has been on the precipice of committing to LSU on several occasions over the last year. He nearly popped on National Signing Day, but opted to hold off as a bevy of new offers poured in.
Louisiana’s clear-cut No. 1 tight end released a top six of LSU, Alabama, UCLA, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Oregon. He made visits to several of those campuses this summer, including two stops in Baton Rouge and others to Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi State.
The 3-star New Orleans native has maintained that he’ll go through the recruiting process slowly to take a closer look at how each of his finalists utilizes their tight ends before making up his mind on signing day. While that is the plan, if Beal comes away impressed with Matt Canada’s offense sooner than expected, it would not be surprising to see the John Curtis Christian School (La.) standout secure his spot in the Tigers’ 2018 class before February.
This is not a typo.
Patrick Surtain, the No. 1 cornerback in the Class of 2018 and the No. 4 overall recruit in the class, has left a pretty large window for a decision. The 5-star prospect from Florida could decide as early as the fall or elect to hold out until National Signing Day in February.
What we do know is that Surtain named LSU as his leader as far back at last summer. He has maintained that position after several unofficial stops in Baton Rouge this spring and summer.
Surtain will officially visit LSU in the fall and will also make trips to some other contenders such as Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State and Clemson. He remains undecided which schools he’ll officially.
While the 6-foot-2, 181-pound corner certainly garners the national spotlight, he is not the type of recruit who enjoys it. Surtain may opt to commit quietly after making some of his official visits, if he leaves with his mind completely made up. It would not be out of the realm of possibility to see Surtain commit to LSU in October or November instead of waiting until signing day.
Miss a previous edition? Find every post of SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers recruiting notebook right here .