Parkway hosts Acadiana

Parkway's Terrace Marshall Jr. pulls in a pass.

Douglas Collier/The Times

The big fish in LSU’s signing class waited until the end to make their splash.

Terrace Marshall, the top-ranked receiver in the nation, and highly rated edge rusher Jarell Cherry, a longtime LSU commitment, signed with the Tigers on Friday, the final day of the new three-day early signing period.

Marshall, a Parkway High star and longtime lean to LSU, made it official during a ceremony at his school. His addition gives coach Ed Orgeron’s first full recruiting class a huge push — if not for optics alone. Marshall is the top-ranked player in the state of Louisiana, a top-15 overall prospect nationally and No. 1 at his position.

He also gives Orgeron a seventh signee from north Louisiana and a fourth from the Interstate 20 corridor, an area that coach Nick Saban and Alabama have tilled of late.

The 6-foot-3, 224-pound Cherry committed to LSU in April, picking the Tigers over a host of others from the likes of Alabama, Oklahoma and Michigan. The Dallas native is the No. 12-ranked weakside defensive end in the nation, a player the Tigers could use in defensive coordinator Dave Aranda’s edge-rushing outside linebacker spot.

The duo completes LSU’s class — for now. The Tigers ended the early signing period with 21 commitments, leaving four spots for what is believed to be a handful of targets, many of them skill players. Prospects have a second period to sign, beginning with the traditional signing day, which is Feb. 7 this year.

The Tigers reeled in 18 commitments on the first day of this early period Wednesday. They added Alabama running back Tae Provens on Thursday and Marshall and Cherry on Friday. Recruiting experts describe the 21-person class as “tight” when it comes to numbers.

Schools are under a strict mandate this year: They cannot sign more than 25 players.

Orgeron alluded to his crammed class Wednesday, suggesting LSU chose not to sign a handful of other prospects during the early period as to keep options open for needs.

“We have certain slots we have to fill in the next four to five (open) scholarships, and we have to go after those guys,” he said. “They’re big to our class.”

Those guys may include Florida cornerback Patrick Surtain, Rummel receiver JaMarr Chase, Curtis tight end Glenn Beal, Alabama running back Harold Joiner, athlete Mario Goodrich of Missouri, Alabama quarterback James Foster, Dunham’s Mike Williams, Florida receiver Justin Watkins and Baton Rouge safety Kelvin Joseph.

Pooka Williams, a running back from Hanhville, crossed himself off the aforementioned group. He signed with Kansas on Thursday.

Marshall’s signing Friday completed his high school career. He joins nine other LSU signees who plan to enroll in January. The 6-2, 190-pounder signed with LSU over finalists Texas and Texas A&M, spurning Tom Herman’s Longhorns and Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies for the top program in Louisiana.

Marshall missed the final eight games of his senior season after breaking his leg, but that did not slow down his recruitment. LSU and Texas A&M made a final push for Marshall last Friday, the final weekday of the open-contact period. Orgeron and Fisher visited the player’s home.


Signed

*expected to enroll early

LSU top targets

The Tigers signed 21 players in the early signing period starting Wednesday, but what happens next? LSU will zero in on a group of prospects to fill the four spots left in a 25-man class.

 Player

 Hometown (school)

 Nat. position rank^

 RB Harold Joiner

 Birmingham, Alabama (Mountain Brook)

 6th

 WR/CB Mario Goodrich

 Lee's Summit, Missouri (Lee's Summit W)

 4th 

 CB Patrick Surtain

 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (American Heritage)

 1st

 WR JaMarr Chase

 Metairie (Rummel)

 15th

 QB James Foster

 Montgomery, Alabama (Lanier)

 13th *

 ATH Michael Williams

 Baton Rouge (Dunham)

 77th

 TE Glenn Beal

 New Orleans (John Curtis)

 27th

 S Kelvin Joseph

 Baton Rouge (Scotlandville Magnet)

 4th

^Rankings from 247Sports composite
*Ranked among those labeled a “dual-threat QB”

 

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.