LSU's attempt to fend off Alabama for a north Louisiana prospect once again went to no avail.
Phidarian Mathis, a Neville High product from Monroe and the seventh-ranked defensive tackle in the 2017 class, committed to the Crimson Tide on Tuesday, a day before national signing day, in an unusual commitment ceremony. He chose Alabama over the Tigers and TCU.
Mathis committed from the grave of Tyrell Cameron, who died after a collision during a 2015 football game. Cameron played for Franklin Parish in Winnsboro, about 40 miles southeast of Monroe.
Mathis spoke with SEC Country after his commitment, and said the chaos following Les Miles' firing, as well as a lack of communication with LSU's defensive line coach played into his choice of Alabama.
“They got Pete Jenkins over there, the D-line coach, and I never got to talk to him because he’s busy," Mathis said. "If I’m playing for you, you can call me and I can get your contact number from you.”
Mathis went on to detail his relationship with Alabama's defensive line coach Karl Dunbar. Mathis said their relationship included calls and "good texts every day," according to the report.
For the full SEC Country report, click here.
Jennings running back and LSU target Travis Etienne committed to Clemson Thursday evening.
Mathis, considered one of the state’s top two D-linemen this cycle, saw the Bama staff three times in an eight-day span in January. Three Bama assistants visited Mathis at his home Jan. 17. Mathis took an official, expense-free visit to the Tide Jan. 20, and Alabama coach Nick Saban then arrived at his home for a visit last Wednesday, just a week before signing day.
Mathis officially visited LSU on Jan. 13 and TCU on Jan. 27.
“(Mathis is) a kid who could play inside or outside on the defensive line," said Shea Dixon, who covers LSU recruiting for 247Sports, "and he’s really athletic for his size, got a good bit of power."
Head coaches are only allowed to visit a prospect in-home once during that recruit’s senior season. Many times, head coaches strategically place their visits to more important targets as close to signing day as possible.
Saban has thrived with players from Monroe in the past, landing safety Hootie Jones and offensive tackle Cam Robinson. The Crimson Tide also stole a junior college prospect originally from Ruston in this recruiting cycle: four-star defensive end Isaiah Buggs, a mid-year enrollee.
Alabama also has commitments from a pair of Baton Rouge native linebackers: five-star Dylan Moses — another mid-year enrollee — and four-star Christopher Allen.
Mathis, a 6-4, 287-pounder, becomes the 25th member of the Crimson Tide's top-ranked class. LSU, which has the sixth-ranked class, has about six spots open in its class, with eight uncommitted target announcing Wednesday.
Mathis’ graveside commitment came a year and a half after Cameron’s life ended in that fatal collision. Cameron, a sophomore, broke his neck during a punt return in September 2015. The broken neck led to internal bleeding which ultimately caused his death. Cameron was taken to the hospital during the fourth quarter of the game where he later died.
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LSU adds walk-on WR
Scieneaux "CJ" Jarmon, a 6-foot-4, 175-pound wide receiver from Arizona, will walk-on at LSU, according to 247Sports.
Jarmon, who attends Hamilton High in Chandler, Arizona, was previous committed to Idaho, per 247Sports. Jarmon's mother, Eureka Hall, was a sprinter for the Tigers.
According to a report from azcentral.com, Jarmon runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds and had attended an LSU camp. He transferred to Hamilton for his senior year from Cesar Chavez High in Laveen Village, Arizona.
In June, Jarmon was ranked as the No. 82 overall player from Arizona in azcentral.com's top-150 prospects from the 2017 class.