LSU Football: 5 Recruits Tigers Must Land on NSD 2014
On the cuffs of reliving another exodus of juniors for an LSU team heading into 2014 national signing day, news of Jeremy Hill staying has propelled the expectations for the 2014 season. His decision to stay is great for the Tigers, but LSU's offseason can get even better with the signing of these five players by Feb. 5.
With Leonard Fournette and Hill in the backfield to go along with talent scattered throughout the defense, the Tigers should compete for a national title in 2014.
That is, of course, if LSU can fill the voids left behind by departing juniors. The defensive line needs to be attended to with Ego Ferguson and Anthony Johnson entering the NFL draft. The same can be said about a wide receiver position that's absent of the greatest tandem LSU fans have ever seen in Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry.
It's no secret that wide receiver and defensive line are now the concentrated positions heading into 2014 national signing day. With that in mind, the Tigers must pursue these athletes to ensure a remarkable recruiting class addresses team needs.
5. Lorenzo Carter
If Lorenzo Carter listens to fatherly advice, he could be an LSU Tiger come national signing day.
Yes, it's true—recruiting can stir up convolutions between a mother and her son, a father and his son and even a mother and a father. That's where Carter stands, per ESPN's Derek Tyson.
If Carter goes with the old adage, "Mama knows best," he'll stay in Georgia and play for the Bulldogs, but if Papa has his say, Carter will be a Florida Gator or an LSU Tiger.
With a Jan. 17 visit scheduled, the Tigers have an opportunity to lure the 5-star defensive end to Baton Rouge. And John Chavis knows he's going to need help on that defensive line without Ferguson and Johnson in the middle.
It's a long shot, but maybe, just maybe, this could be the 2012 Landon Collins' situation reversed.
4. Breeland Speaks
Sing it with me, "flip, flip, flipadelphia!"
Come on: Don't tell me you don't recognize that It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia reference. I'm truly disappointed.
For the sake of flipping, the Tigers have emerged as true players for Breeland Speaks, who happens to be an athletic, 4-star defensive end with enough size to play defensive tackle. Most of you are like, "You had me at defensive tackle."
How serious is LSU's opportunity at Speaks? Well, LSU offered, and Speaks is listening. See what I did there? Speaks is scheduled to visit LSU on Jan. 17, so all hands will be on deck to try and enthrall the Ole Miss commit.
Again, this is another long shot for the Tigers, but as we've seen in recruiting, anything can happen.
3. Frank Iheanacho
Don't worry; you can call him "Nacho."
Frank Iheanacho—it's easier to pronounce than it looks—is a 6'6" wide receiver who gets the 4-star treatment. Obviously, his length is coveted, and he, along with Tony Upchurch, D.J. Chark and Trey Quinn could make up a solid receiving class for LSU.
Here's the problem, though: Nacho is a Texas A&M commit. But that doesn't mean the battle is over by any means.
NOLA.com's James Smith reported after Iheanacho's commitment to Texas A&M that he chose the Aggies because he thought he would have to play tight end at LSU. As it turns out, LSU wants him to play wide receiver, which makes flipping a strong possibility.
If the Tigers don't get Iheanacho...
2. Malachi Dupre
...They will have to settle for Malachi Dupre, if he picks LSU.
This great in-state wide receiver is in hot demand around the country. I know what you're thinking; we've heard this one before.
Yes, the Tigers bit the dust on Speedy Noil's recruiting trail, and that dust left a bitter taste in the mouths of diehard LSU fans. No harm, no foul as long as Dupre decides to play for the Tigers.
He is regarded as one of the best wide receivers in the nation coming out of high school, and his 5-star composition score speaks for itself.
He will need to work on his route running when he gets to campus, but his hands, agility and ball skills may be second to none in the recruiting ranks. The Tigers have to beat out the defending national champions though, as Florida State is viewed as one of the favorites for landing Dupre.
1. Travonte Valentine
We're all in agreement here that defensive tackle is the position of most need for LSU.
Honestly, it's hard to believe LSU has gotten to this point. For years, the Tigers could rotate one NFL prospect after another at the position. Well, that will most likely not be the case in 2014.
Losing Ferguson and Johnson to the draft is a tremendous blow. Now, backups who failed to make a splash in 2013—like Mickey Johnson, Quentin Thomas and Christian LaCouture—will have to carry the load.
Even worse, the Tigers lost out on a premium in-state defensive tackle in Gerald Willis, and they have just two defensive linemen committed so far. The sky isn't falling yet, though.
Travonte Valentine can change that. He is a recent Miami decommit who claims LSU is the new leader in his reopened recruitment process, per NOLA.com's Andrew Lopez. Landing this 4-star defensive tackle would help LSU fans rest easier at night ahead of the 2014 season.