The top uncommitted prospect entering signing day isn't coming to Baton Rouge.
Wednesday's crown jewel, Patrick Surtain picked Alabama over LSU in a staggering loss for the Tigers of a kid who leaned purple-and-gold for so long.
"They win championships, and I want to be a part of that,” he said after making his decision.
Surtain, the son of three-time Pro Bowler Patrick Surtain Sr., is the sixth overall player in this year’s class, according to 247Sports, and the top cornerback. He would have been the highest rated player to sign with LSU since Leonard Fournette who was the No. 1 overall player at the time.
Last but not least Patrick Surtain Jr. And his decision is Alabama. The rich get richer. pic.twitter.com/xNveWGvUMG— Donovan Campbell (@donovanc7sports) February 7, 2018
Alabama made a late push for the product out of Florida, and it worked despite his deep connections to this state. Both of Surtain's parents are from Louisiana and his father played at Edna Karr.
His loss is a blow to a 2018 signing class that may not fill up by the end of Wednesday and could finish outside the top 10 for first time since 2012.
The Tigers entered with four open spots in the 25-man class. They've missed on their targets so far — Mario Goodrich (Clemson) and Surtain, both whom play cornerback, a need area for the program. LSU did not sign a cornerback in the early period and has just four scholarship cornerbacks on the roster. Just one of those has seen significant action.
LSU has a handful of other options to complete the class, 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.
There is the potential that LSU could finish Wednesday without signing four players and falling short of its 25-person limit. That would leave an opening for (A) a late signee to sign in the summer or fall or (B) extra scholarship spots 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 in those classes. More here.
According to 247Sports, Surtain received 32 offers during his recruitment by just about every major program in the country. He also visited LSU, Alabama, Miami and Clemson all within the final month of his decision.
Name: Patrick Surtain
Measurables: 6 foot 1, 199 pounds
High School: American Heritage
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Finalists: LSU, Alabama, Miami, Clemson
247Sports Position Rank: No. 1
247 Composite rating: 5 stars
What They’re Saying: "In the terms of his rating of recruits (on a scale of 0-100), Surtain would be the highest since FOurnette and the second highest since 2000 for LSU. That really drives home how special of a prospect he really is. He is college ready right out of American heritage with his size and and athletic ability. He's a guy who many people would be surprised if he wasn't in the mix right away to start at cornerback." - 247Sports recruiting analyst Shea Dixon.