LSU went 1-for-2 Monday with a pair of big fish.
Four-star Georgia defensive end Arden Key committed to the Tigers on Monday night after another highly touted prospect eliminated LSU from consideration.
Key picked the Tigers over South Carolina during a live announcement ceremony on Fox Sports. It came a few hours after LSU didn’t make a list of finalists for five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson.
Key, who twice decommitted from South Carolina, is ranked the fourth-best weakside defensive end in the nation, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. He visited LSU two weeks ago, and many thought the Tigers were the favorites leading up to his announcement.
LSU recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Frank Wilson and new defensive line coach Ed Orgeron visited the 6-foot-5, 230-pounder at his home in Lithonia, Georgia, on Friday, 247Sports reported. Key then canceled a planned official visit to Auburn this past weekend.
Key’s commitment moved LSU from No. 8 to No. 6 in 247Sports’ composite team rankings.
“I don’t have no doubt, no regrets ... I’m going to LSU,” Key said shortly after slipping on a purple LSU hat.
“They lead the NFL in producing defensive linemen. It’s family-oriented. Everyody loves you,” Key said of the Tigers. “Coach (Les) Miles, coach (Ed) Orgeron, (defensive coordiantor) Kevin Steele… all of them are some hype guys. They love what they do.”
Jefferson, a 6-2, 275-pound Florida native ranked as the No. 2 strongside defensive end in the nation, eliminated LSU from a list of finalists that includes Florida, Alabama, Ole Miss and Auburn.
Key is a key pickup for a squad that had only one commit from a defensive lineman two days before signing day.
LSU appears to be closing in a fury — similar to what it did last year. Key’s commitment comes less than a week after four star offensive tackle Chidi Valentine-Okeke gave a verbal pledge. The Tigers picked up commits from two highly ranked in-state recruits in the last month in Warren Easton receiver Tyron Johnson and Riverdale athlete Donte Jackson. Both are five-star players by at least one recruiting service.
Key’s announcement Monday may have been the final commitment news before players sign Wednesday. LSU’s other top targets are set to announce on signing day Wednesday, including linebacker Leo Lewis (10:30 a.m. announcement), quarterback Torrance Gibson, tackle Toby Weathersby, Patterson receiver Daylon Charlot (8:30 a.m.) and Pine athlete Derrick Dillon (9:30 a.m.).
Aussie punter commits
LSU’s string of Australian punters will continue.
Josh Growden committed to LSU on Monday, according to his Twitter account. Growden is ranked the 11th-best punter in the Class of 2015, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. It gives the Tigers 21 commits ahead of signing day.
Teams can sign no more than 25 prospects starting Wednesday.
Growden continues a series of Australian punters at LSU. Jamie Keehn , the Tigers’ current starter, is from down under and will be a senior next year. Keehn’s predecessor, Brad Wing, also is from Australia.
Signing day event times set
LSU coach Les Miles will hold his signing day news conference at 4 p.m. Wednesday, and Tigers recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Wilson will conduct a chat on Twitter.
Wilson will chat from the program’s @LSUfball Twitter account at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. He’ll also be on LSU’s online signing day show on LSUsports.net.
Miles will speak to fans at the Bayou Bash at L’Auberge at 5 p.m., an hour after speaking to reporters.