LSU coach Ed Orgeron will spend much of his off week recruiting, zeroing in on prospects to fill the remaining “needs” for his 2018 signing class.
So what are those?
The first is obvious: offensive linemen. The second might surprise you: cornerbacks.
“We think we’re going to lose two starting corners,” Orgeron said Tuesday. “We need corners.”
LSU starting junior cornerbacks Donte Jackson and Kevin Toliver are draft-eligible, and the coach is approaching the recruiting trail as if he’ll lose the players to the NFL draft – a not-so-surprising event around here. LSU has lost 25 underclassmen to the draft over the last five years.
LSU’s 2018 class stands at 18 commitments and is ranked 15th nationally, according to 247Sports.com’s composite rankings, as the early national signing period approaches. The signing period will last 72 hours, beginning Dec. 20 and running through Dec. 22.
The class also needs safeties, the coach said, and one or two junior college offensive linemen. Tailback is another need, Orgeron said. LSU is expecting to lose draft-eligible running back Derrius Guice, and senior tailback Darrel Williams will exhaust his eligibility.
Running back Derrius Guice and three starting offensive linemen missed Tuesday's first pract…
Orgeron spent Monday on the road recruiting, mostly in Houston, he said. This is an evaluation period, where college coaches can visit high schools but are not allowed to speak with prospects.
247sports.com reported that Orgeron visited Lamar High, where top-15 cornerback Anthony Cook attends school. He also visited Blinn Junior College in Texas, where the nation’s No. 3 junior college defensive tackle resides: Antwuan Jackson, an Ohio State commitment.
Offensive line coach Jeff Grimes, meanwhile, spent Monday in New York visiting ASA College, home to Badara Traore, the top-ranked junior college offensive tackle recruit in the country, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.
LSU conducted its first practice of the off week Tuesday and will hold drills Wednesday and Thursday before the staff leaves for more recruiting trips, Orgeron said. The team is scheduled to spend half of Wednesday’s practice on Alabama and half on “fixing us,” Orgeron said. Thursday is the off week’s annual Tiger Bowl, where walk-ons and younger players and reserves scrimmage one another.
Coaches will return to the road recruiting Thursday night.
“We were all over the place identifying needs (Monday), going out and see specific needs that we need to finish this recruiting class. It’s only an evaluation (period). I was at 4-5 different schools. We saw players we needed to see."
LSU (6-2, 3-1 Southeastern) has won three straight games heading into the meeting with No. 1 Alabama (8-0, 5-0) next week.
“Guys are excited," Orgeron said of prospects. "Guys are saying, ‘Coach, you know, proud of your team for fighting back.’ A lot of guys want to be Tigers right now. We’ve got to finish very strong.”