Pros and Cons to 5-Star WR Damarkus Lodge's Top Schools
Damarkus Lodge is a 5-star receiver from Texas who is 6'2.5" and 190 pounds. He has solid speed to threaten defensive backs, but Lodge's hands are what make him such a fantastic receiver.
Earlier this month, Lodge revealed a group of schools to Ryan Bartow of 247Sports (subscription required) that were thought to be his leaders. However, a report on April 10 by Greg Powers of Scout.com (subscription required) claims Lodge is still open.
A Texas native, Lodge may be feeling some in-state pressure from people around the Lone Star State. However, he named the schools he revealed to Bartow for a reason. Those programs will likely be the main suitors for Lodge until the end.
He'll have to weigh the pros and cons of each one before making a difficult decision.
Ole Miss is certainly an up-and-coming program. There's a lot of young talent for Lodge to grow with in Oxford. Head coach Hugh Freeze signed the No. 15 recruiting class in the country in 2014, while his 2013 group was ranked at No. 8.
Freeze is an offensive-minded coach who will have a solid plan to utilize Lodge's skills. The Rebels have underrated tradition and good fans, and being a member of the SEC doesn't hurt.
Lodge would win some games at Ole Miss, but getting out of the SEC West would be a challenge. Dealing with Alabama, Texas A&M, Auburn and LSU is not something many programs and players want to do.
Clemson is one of the better programs in the ACC. Lodge wouldn't have to deal with the rigors of playing the SEC, but he'd still face good competition.
Head coach Dabo Swinney promotes a family atmosphere, and the campus is in a small town that supports it to the extreme. Lodge would get to catch passes from 2014 4-star quarterback Deshaun Watson, who could be a future superstar.
Offensive coordinator Chad Morris is one of the best in college football.
Clemson is in South Carolina, and that isn't too close to Lodge's native state of Texas. Distance and proximity to home could come into play here. While Clemson's non-SEC membership can be sold as a positive, it could hurt their chances if that's the conference Lodge wishes to play college football in.
LSU is one of the most dominant programs in the country. The Tigers compete for SEC and national titles just about every season, plus their roster is always loaded with talent.
The program resides in Baton Rouge, which is home to one of the most intense collection of fans in all of sports. Head coach Les Miles is beloved by his players, and his unorthodox approach to different things keeps his team loose. LSU also has an exceptional atmosphere during its home games.
Until last season, the Tigers were not known for exactly lighting up scoreboards via the passing game. They also signed four recruits last year who could play receiver, including 5-star prospect Malachi Dupre and elite 4-star pass-catcher Trey Quinn.
Greg Powers of Scout.com wrote on April 5, "The elite receiver from Cedar Hill helped lead his team to a state championship in 2013, dialing up big plays when the chips were down and his team's back was against the wall."