5-star athlete Kendall Beckwith is one of the bigger uncommitted names in the 2013 recruiting class, and he has two of the biggest programs in college football after his commitment: LSU and Alabama.
Where will Beckwith commit?
247Sports currently has LSU as the favorite on Beckwith's interest list, but Alabama is right behind with a "warm interest".
That said, Beckwith was in attendance this weekend for Alabama's epic victory over LSU in Death Valley, so should Tigers fans be concerned that the Crimson Tide's win will sway the 4-star recruit towards Alabama?
Fortunately, any harm that a loss could have done may be negated by Beckwith's thoughts on the atmosphere at LSU, according to David Helman of ESPN.com:
The tilt between the Tigers and the Tide was Beckwith's second trip to Death Valley this season. The first was for LSU's 23-21 win over South Carolina -- another thriller, but one that Beckwith said couldn't measure up to Saturday.
"What I took out of it more is probably how crazy the atmosphere is at LSU -- how crazy it can really get," he said. "I never thought it could get much crazier at night in Tiger Stadium than it was for South Carolina. ... I thought I had seen it as bad as it could get as far as the fans go, but this game, man. They were crazy as far as hollering. Just all night. I see why it's hard for teams to come in there and win."
LSU may have lost the game to Alabama, but there's no doubting that they played a great game, and the atmosphere at Tigers stadium was incredible.
Beckwith appeared to be pretty impressed with LSU according to the above statement so, at least for now, it is still safe to consider LSU as the leader in his recruiting process—even if it is by a slim margin. It's also worth noting that Beckwith is from Jackson, Louisiana, so the Tigers hold a pretty significant "home state advantage" with the talented athlete.
When it comes to out-recruiting Alabama, any advantage is a good advantage, even for a powerhouse team like LSU. It's tough to match up with what Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide have been able to do on the field, so factors like proximity and game day atmosphere become extremely important in the recruiting process.
Les Miles and LSU may not be able to claim much success over Alabama in their past two attempts, but what they can lean on is one of the best home-field advantages in college football.
Being able to play in front of a rowdy home crowd that is truly invested in the football program can be a huge tipping point for elite recruits like Beckwith and, at least for now, it appears as if the Tigers can keep a slight edge for his commitment if only because of the football atmosphere at LSU.
Helman does report that Beckwith's next visit will be to Alabama to watch them take on Texas A&M in which will most likely be an unofficial visit. It will also most likely be another epic game for Beckwith to take in.
LSU fans have to hope that the crowd in Tuscaloosa can't match up to the game night atmosphere in Death Valley. The good news is that Beckwith seems pretty impressed with what he saw at Tiger stadium. It will be hard for anybody to recreate that kind of atmosphere—even Alabama.
That, plus their proximity advantage, gives LSU the slight edge for the 4-star athlete over the Crimson Tide of Alabama.