LSU missed on its first target.
Mario Goodrich, a defensive back from Missouri, chose Clemson over the Tigers during an announcement ceremony on a Kansas City television station, the first of a handful of targets to reveal his choice on Wednesday's national signing day.
Originally committed to Nebraska as late as December, one of the nation's top athletes came back on the market as several programs made a late push on Goodrich, including LSU and Clemson. At one point, Goodrich listed LSU as he favorite to land the 6-foot-2, 180-pound defensive back out of Missouri, but Clemson came in at the 11th hour when it brought him on campus two weeks before singing day.
He also took visits to Georgia and LSU in January on top of receiving 19 offers from the likes of Ole Miss, Michigan, Oklahoma and Florida, according to 247Sports.
Goodrich's selection makes things cloudy. LSU entered Wednesday with four open spots in a 25-man 2018 class after signing 21 in December. Many believe the Tigers are leaders for receiver Ja'Marr Chase and cornerback Patrick Surtain, and Scotlandville safety Kelvin Joseph is committed to the program.
That potentially leaves one opening, a spot than many in the recruiting world assumed would be for Goodrich or Alabama quarterback James Foster. Foster is a lean to Florida State. There could be another opening if the Tigers lose out to Alabama on Surtain, a possibility.
The Tigers have a handful of other options, including John Curtis tight end Glenn Beal, but he's leaned away from LSU recently, moving closer to Texas A&M and Tennessee, according to recruiting outlets.
LSU already has 21 signees from prospects who signed during the early period in December. Wednesday's signing day should bring four more. Foll…
There is the potential that LSU could finish Wednesday without signing four players and falling short of its 25. That would leave an opening for (A) a late signee to sign in the summer or fall or (B) an extra, 26th scholarship spot in the 2019 class.
Despite the new strict 25-person signing limit, teams can still count mid-year enrollees back to previous classes if there is room. More here.
Name: Mario Goodrich
Position: Defensive back
Measurables: 6 foot 2, 180 pounds
High School: Lee’s Summit West
Hometown: Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Finalists: LSU, Clemson, Georgia
247Sports Position Rank: No. 4 ATH
247 Composite rating: 4 stars
At a Glance: Originally a defensive back, but could move around the field depending on need.
What They’re Saying: “He’s one of the more versatile athletes in this class. He’s played on both sides of the ball in high school, he’s a really great basketball player, so the athleticism is there, and with his size and length, LSU identified him.” - 247Sports recruiting analyst Shea Dixon.