Andre Anthony is starting to get to know new LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda more than anyone.
Aranda visited the Edna Karr product last week at his high school, and Anthony hung out with the Tigers’ new assistant during last weekend’s official visit to Baton Rouge.
“Mastermind,” Anthony said in describing Aranda, who LSU hired away from Wisconsin earlier this month to replace Kevin Steele.
Anthony was one of about 15 players who visited LSU over the weekend – the kickoff to the most critical stretch of the recruiting calendar. LSU will host more prospects this and next weekend ahead of national signing day on Feb. 3.
The weekends are key in adding to the Tigers’ highly rated commitment class and strengthening the bond with current commitments. For instance, Anthony indicated that LSU moved closer to securing his signature with the visit.
“Being there the whole weekend, the school and coaches, it made it even more of a commitment,” said Anthony, ranked by 247Sports.com as the 25th-best weakside defensive end in the 2016 class.
Anthony offered a window into the defensive formation Aranda plans to run. The defensive coordinator told him that he’d play defensive end, sometimes being used as a hybrid outside linebacker.
“He’s a great coach. He showed me how I fit into what he’s trying to do and was telling me what he has planned for his defense,” Anthony said.
So where will he play? “As a D-end, sometimes standing up and sometimes in the three-point (stance). I like that, standing up and getting down. He sees that in me,” Anthony said.
Aranda is known for his varying defensive formation and aggressive, attacking style. Recruits aren’t the only ones providing information on Aranda’s defense. Current players are, too.
“I can’t wait to run around in this 3-4 defense,” defensive end Arden Key posted on his Twitter account about a week ago.
Key served as Anthony’s host during his official visit, touring him around the city and campus after recruits dined with coach Les Miles at the usual Friday night spot, Texas de Brazil. Anthony hung out with Davon Godchaux, Dwayne Thomas, Lewis Neal and Donnie Alexander, he said.
Anthony isn’t sure if he’ll take official visits to other schools in the final two weekends before signing day, but his LSU visit seems to have left a lasting impression.
“It went great. It was awesome,” Anthony said.
Donavaughn Campbell’s visit went so well that he’s canceled a visit to Alabama this weekend. Campbell, a long-time LSU commit and star offensive guard for Ponchatoula, spent time with Garrett Brumfield, Chidi Valentine and other LSU linemen during the visit.
Rising redshirt sophomore lineman Will Clapp served as host to Campbell.
“It’s still the same,” he said of his commitment. “Still the same with me and LSU. I’ve been solid.”
Lawrence announcing Friday
The state’s top-ranked prospect, Neville High’s Rashard Lawrence, will announce his college choice at a 10:30 a.m. ceremony at his high school Friday, Neville coach Mickey McCarty said Tuesday.
Lawrence, ranked as the fifth-best defensive tackle in the nation and 20th-best prospect in the 2016 class, is choosing between LSU and Ohio State. Many expect Lawrence to stay in-state and pick the Tigers.
Lawrence took his official visit to LSU this past weekend, and Miles is expected to visit Lawrence’s home on Wednesday, according to 247Sports. Ohio State was scheduled for an in-home visit Tuesday.
“I think I know where I’m going but a lot can change in 48 hours,” he told KTVE NBC 10/KARD FOX 14 in Monroe on Tuesday.
Lawrence’s commitment would restore LSU’s 2016 class as No. 1 in the nation – a position it lost to Ohio State on Monday, when the Buckeyes received three commitments.
Lindsay Scott gets LSU offer
LSU’s drama-filled search for a quarterback took another turn Tuesday: the Tigers offered Zachary High QB Lindsey Scott, according to a post on Scott’s Twitter page.
Scott, the 28th-best dual-threat QB in the nation, de-committed from Syracuse on Sunday. His biggest offers come from Maryland, Navy, Army and Rutgers.
LSU has been searching for a quarterback for the 2016 class since Feleipe Franks de-committed in November and then enrolled early at Florida.
Ex-Tulane quarterback Tanner Lee took an official visit to LSU this past weekend. Lee called the weekend trip “great” and was “very impressed.”
“Still keeping my options open,” he said.
Despite the absence of Frank Wilson, LSU’s staff is still using the coach’s recruiting secret: Get to’em when they’re young.
LSU was the first school Tuesday to offer defensive end Ani Izuchukwu, a high school freshman at Davidson Academy in Tennessee. The 6-5, 220-pound Izuchukwu picked up the offer from LSU player personnel director Austin Thomas, 247Sports reported.
Thomas is on the road recruiting in Wilson’s absence. Wilson accepted the head coaching job at Texas-San Antonio last week.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.