Cameron Lewis knew last week he wanted to commit to LSU.
But he decided to wait until Thursday, his birthday, to make it official, with an announcement gathering at his high school in Monroe.
A four-star safety from Wossman High School, Lewis (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) becomes LSU’s eighth commitment for the Class of 2016 and fifth from in state. He’s the Tigers’ third defensive back prospect and second safety, joining Bradenton (Florida) IMG Academy cornerback Saivion Smith and New Orleans McDonough 35 safety Clifford Chatman.
Lewis’ commitment was hardly unexpected in recruiting circles. Though he held offers from Texas A&M, Georgia, Mississippi State, TCU, Notre Dame, Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana Tech, among others, he took no official visits to other schools.
Lewis attended LSU’s Junior Day on Feb. 7 and made an unofficial trip to Tulane last weekend.
Rivals ranks Lewis as the nation’s No. 219 prospect, the 19th-best safety and 16th-best prospect in Louisiana.
Scout gives Lewis four stars as well, while 24/7 Sports gives him three stars and rates him as the No. 22 prospect in Louisiana and No. 17 safety nationally.
Back to work
Lewis’ future teammates returned to spring practice Thursday, working out indoors in shoulder pads, helmets and shorts.
The Tigers debuted their well-known “Big Cat” drill, with players taking turns in one-on-one wrestling matches surrounded by a circle of cheering, yelling teammates.
An unmistakable focal point of Thursday’s practice: new defensive line coach Ed Orgeron and his booming Cajun voice.
“He’s very energetic,” defensive end Lewis Neal said. “He’s pushing us to be the best. He expects us to be great. We love that. We need that.”
New defensive coordinator Kevin Steele was observed working with the linebackers, his primary position group, bouncing over to go over a drill with the secondary then back to the linebackers.
“They have the same personality almost,” middle linebacker Kendell Beckwith said, comparing Steele and former defensive coordinator John Chavis. “They both expect a lot out of us.”
Redshirt freshman Will Clapp returned to work with the first string at left guard during the media’s 25-minute viewing window at the start of practice. K.J. Malone practiced Tuesday with the first string at that position.
Thursday, the starting offensive line looked this way: left tackle Jerald Hawkins, left guard Clapp, center Ethan Pocic, right guard Garrett Brumfield and right tackle Vadal Alexander.
With depth thin at linebacker, sophomore Devin Voorhies continues working at an outside spot after making the move from safety.
“He’s doing good,” Beckwith said. “He’s a big ‘ol country boy.”
Junior safety Corey Thompson has yet to practice this spring because of lingering pain in his knee.
Defensive end Deondre Clark watched practice with a patch over his right eye after being poked in it recently, though it wasn’t known if the injury happened in practice or not.
Clark missed his second straight practice.
The Tigers have Friday off before resuming spring practice Saturday, likely with a scripted scrimmage session in Tiger Stadium.
LSU’s Spring Game is set for April 18.