LSU Football Recruiting: Tracking 2012 National Signing Day Targets

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IJanuary 29, 2012

LSU Football Recruiting: Tracking 2012 National Signing Day Targets

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    National Signing Day is just hours away and as the clock ticks down, Les Miles and his staff at LSU are doing everything in their power to land several big-time recruits.

    As it stands right now, the Tigers currently have 21 verbal commitments, but that number could rise in the next couple of days.

    With big names like Mario Edwards and Kwon Alexander still out there on the recruiting block, LSU has the potential to land yet another Top-10 class in 2012.

    This slideshow will provide a summary of players who are considering or have already committed to LSU in 2012. Once the players officially make their college choice, we will update each and every slide the second it happens.

    So with that said, here are LSU's top recruiting prospects for 2012.

Mario Edwards, DE, Billy Ryan High School

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    When it comes to the top recruits in this year's 2012 class, there isn't a bigger one than five-star DE standout Mario Edwards, who is the No. 1 ranked player in the country according to ESPNU's Top 150.

    This 6-foot-4, 300 pound rush end has already given a verbal commitment to Florida State. However, several reports have surfaced that he could flip his decision in the next couple of days, and if that were to happen, LSU would be the front-runner.

    Now, all signs still look to Florida State as being his No. 1 choice, but there is a small chance that Tiger Nation could receive a huge surprise gift come Wednesday.

    Keep your eyes and ears open for this one, because this could be the biggest news of the week.

    Verbally committed to Florida State

Kwon Alexander, Outside Linebacker, Oxford High School

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    Kwon Alexander could very well be the top recruit that LSU signs this year, and that would be just fine with Les Miles and his coaching staff.

    While of course Mario Edwards would be the top commitment if he signed on with LSU, the Tigers seem to have a much more legitimate shot at signing Alexander, who is a standout outside linebacker from Oxford, AL. He has announced that he will make his final college choice on Wednesday.

    At 6-foot-2, 215 pounds and the ability to run a sub 4.5 40-yard dash, Alexander posses both the size and speed to have an immediate impact at the college level. He would be a solid addition to what is shaping up to be a very good 2012 LSU linebacker class.

    Most recruiting sights list Alexander as a four-star prospect, including ESPNU, which tags him as the nation's No.3 ranked outside linebacker and the No. 27 ranked prospect on the ESPNU Top-150 list. But keep in mind that this stud linebacker is right on the verge of breaking into that five-star range.

    Committed to LSU on 2/1

Artimas Samuel, WR, Carver High School

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    Most recruiting sights list Samuel as a three-star recruit, however, many of college football's top programs are looking to land this 6'2" receiver from Columbus, GA.

    As it looks right now, Samuel seems to be high on Georgia, but other schools, including LSU seem to be higher on him. lists Samuel as the No. 49 player in the state of Georgia, and the No. 69 wide receiver in this year's 2012 National class.

    Committed to Mississippi State on 2/1

Jeremy Liggins, QB, Lafayette High School

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    Liggins is a dual-threat quarterback prospect who the Tigers have been high on for some time now.

    When Gunner Kiel committed to LSU, it seemed like the staff began to cool off on Liggins, but now that Kiel has enrolled at Notre Dame, they are right back after him. You know just how much Les Miles loves those dual-threat quarterbacks.

    Liggins is a tremendous athlete, with the arm to play quarterback in college, and the body to play defensive end. If he does land in Baton Rouge, don't be shocked if he gets every opportunity to prove himself at the quarterback position.

    According to ESPNU, Liggins is listed as the No. 4 prospect in the state of Mississippi and the No. 118 prospect in the 2012 National Recruiting Class.

    Verbally Committed to LSU on 1/30

Juwaan Rogers, ILB, Amite High School

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    Rogers is an inside linebacker prospect who LSU has shown interest in, but he is not on top of their list.

    Rogers stands at 6-foot-1, 230 pounds and is a tackling machine from the middle linebacker position. ranks Rogers as a three-star prospect.

    Both Arkansas and Ole Miss have also shown interest in Rogers in addition to LSU, but if the Tigers are able to land someone like Kwon Alexander, you could see Rogers fall off this list because from the looks of it, an offer has not yet been extended.

    Committed to Southeastern

Vadal Alexander, Offensive Lineman, Buford High School

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    As it stands right now, Buford High School product, Vadal Alexander, is the top player to verbally commit to LSU for 2012.

    Alexander is a 6'6", 320 pound offensive lineman who projects to play guard at the next level. He has good footwork and is an exceptional run blocker, which fits the Tigers' scheme perfectly as they are expected to pound the ball on the ground in 2012 with a deep, talented crew of backs.  

    ESPNU currently lists Alexander as a high-end four-star prospect and the No. 5-ranked offensive guard in this 2012 recruiting class.

    He is one player in this class who could put himself in a position to receive playing time right off the bat next season.

    Verbally Committed to LSU

Avery Johnson, WR, Ely High School

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    When it comes to offensive skill position players, wide receiver Avery Johnson is the gem of the 2012 recruiting class.

    Johnson is a four-star prospect from Pompano Beach, FL who has solid size and speed to be an impact player for Les Miles and the Tigers in the future.

    ESPNU lists Johnson as the No. 23 wide receiver in the nation in 2012, and the No.30-ranked prospect to come out of the state of Florida.

    With Rueben Randle deciding to leave early for the NFL Draft, this is a big signee for the Tigers in 2012.

    Verbally Committed to LSU

Dwayne Thomas, CB, O. Perry Walker High School

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    It looks like Tracy Howard is now out of the running to become LSU's next great cornerback, which means that Dwayne Thomas will most likely be the top defensive back recruit in LSU's 2012 class. 

    Thomas is another in-state product who the Tigers were able to land, despite offers from other top programs such as Nebraska, Pittsburge and Arizona. ranks Thomas as a four-star recruit and the No.14 cornerback in the country. 

    Standing at 6'0", 170 pounds, Thomas has the size of a cornerback but the ball-hawking ability of a safety. He is long, fast and has really good range in the defensive backfield.

    Landing Howard would have been nice, but Dwayne Thomas has what it takes who be a big-time player at the next level.

    Verbally Committed to LSU

Travin Dural, WR, Breaux Bridge High School

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    Travin Dural is a wide receiver prospect who has great size and could be an elite wideout at the college level, once he gets on a college workout plan to add some more muscle to his frame.

    ESPNU lists Dural as a three-star prospect and the No. 73 wide receiver in this 2012 recruiting class.

    He verbally committed to LSU back in Apirl, despite having an offer from Alabama.

    That right there should let you know just how high college coaches are on him and just how good this kid has the potential to be.

    Verbally Committed to LSU 

Derek Edinburgh, OT, Edna Karr High School

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    When it comes to the top offensive tackles in 2012, Derek Edinburgh is near the top of every recruiting list. 

    Edinburgh  stands at 6'8", 320 pounds, which means that he already has the necessary size to play at the collegiate level. However, he needs to improve his footwork and athleticism in order to make an immediate impact. ranks Edinburgh as the No. 29 offensive tackle in the nation and the No. 10 player coming out of the state of Louisiana.

    Verbally committed to LSU

Lamar Louis, LB/RB, Breaux Bridge High School

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    When it comes to the top athlete prospects in the nation, Lamar Lewis is among the top of that list.

    Lewis was a standout on both sides of the ball in high school, but many believe that he will play outside linebacker at the collegiate level.

    At 6'0", 220 pounds, Lewis has good size for an outside linebacker and the fact that he also played running back in high school let's you know that he has good speed as well. 

    Florida and Texas A&M were also high on Lewis, but the four-star prospect (ESPNU) ultimately decided to go with LSU.

    Verbally Committed to LSU

Lorenzo Phillips, ILB, Patterson High School

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    LSU was pleased to hear when four-star prospect Lorenzo Phillips committed to the Tigers earlier this month after originally giving a verbal commitment to the Florida Gators.

    Phillips has solid size and speed combination, which makes him an ideal outside linebacker, with the ability to rush the passer and drop back in coverage. 

    According to ESPNU, Phillips is the No. 4 in-state prospect and the No. 12-ranked outside linebacker in the nation. He is one of four prospects in the ESPNU Top-150 who are currently verbally committed to LSU.

    Verbally Committed to LSU

Danielle Hunter, DE, Morton Ranch High School

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    Danielle Hunter is an interesting prospect because he has the height of a defensive end (6'4"), but the weight of an outside linebacker (225 pounds).

    If Mario Edwards does indeed stay with Florida State, then Hunter will be the Tigers' top defensive lineman commitment. He is a four-star recruit (ESPNU) who hails from the "Lone Star State".

    Hunter chose LSU with offers from the likes of: Michigan State, Nebraska, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

    Verbally committed to LSU.

Torshiro Davis, DE, Woodlawn High School

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    As it stands right now, Davis could verywell be the treasure of this class, from a defensive standpoint.

    Davis is the No. 3 prospect in the state of Louisiana and a Top-125 player nationally according to

    He has great size, standing at 6'3", 222 pounds, and solid speed for his position. 

    To prove how highly-touted this kid is, just take a look at the other schools who offered him. They include: Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama and Auburn, to name a few.

    In shocking move, Toshiro Davis has flipped to Texas.

    Verbally committed to Texas on 2/1.

Jerald Hawkins, DE, West Saint Mary High School

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    Jerald Hawkins has exceptional size for a defensive end, standing at 6'6", 270 pounds. Now all he needs to do is learn to be more explosive off the line. If that can happen, then this kid could be a dominant force on LSU's defensive line.

    Hawkins is listed as a three-star recruit by both ESPNU and He was also heavily recruited by Texas A&M, Pitt, and Arizona State, but ultimately decided to accept an offer from LSU.

    Depending on how Hawkins adapts to the college game, you could potentially see him move positions because he possesses such great size.

    Right now, this kid is the definition of a "project" at the college level.

    Verbally Committed to LSU

Deion Jones, OLB, Jesuit High School

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    Deion Jones certainly took his time going back-and-fourth with his college decision, but as of now, Jones has officially verbally committed to play with LSU next season.

    Jones, who is an in-state outside linebacker product from New Orleans, originally committed to Nebraska but dropped the Cornhuskers last month and signed on to join Les Miles and company in Baton Rouge.

    This 6'2", 220 pound linebacker has good size and great instincts out on the football field. He needs to add some strength if he is going to play inside linebacker, which is what he played in high school. Right now, it looks like he is more suited to play on the outside.

    Jones is a three-star prospect and the No. 24 outside linebacker in this year's 2012 national class, according to ESPNU.

    Verbally committed to LSU.

Ronnie Feist, OLB, West Saint John High School

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    When we mentioned earlier that the Tigers' loaded up on linebackers in this year's 2012 recruting class, I wasn't lying. 

    Feist is another in-state linebacker product who was a standout at the prep school level.

    He stands at 6'1", 215 pounds and simply has a knack for making plays on the defensive side of the football. He was one of several Under Armour All-Americans to pledge his skills to LSU in 2012.

    ESPNU ranks Feist as a four-star recruit as well as the No. 11 outside linebacker nationally and the No. 3 player in the state of Louisiana.

    Verbally Committed to LSU. 

Kavahra Holmes, WR, Breaux Bridge High School

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    Kavahra Holmes is a wide receiver in-state prospect who has the chance to be a big-time playmaker down the road if he can develop some more strength to his current thin frame.

    Holmes has nice size, standing at 6'1" and exceptional speed (4.4 40), but at just 170 pounds, he needs to bulk up if he is going to compete against the top defensive backs in the SEC in the future.

    Holmes accepted an offer to LSU among other interest from the likes of TCU and Texas A&M. He is ranked a three-star prospect by both and ESPNU.

    With his blazing speed, this kid could be an elite receiver in time.

    Verbally committed to LSU

Derrick Raymond, CB, East Jefferson High School

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    Derrick Raymond is a three-star cornerback prospect from Metairie, LA.

    Raymond is one of the fastest players in America, expected to run a sub 4.4 40 yard dash during his testing period. However, despite his elite speed, he does not possess elite coverage skills, which he is still developing.

    LSU should be set at defensive back for the next couple of years, so Raymond will likely have to work his way into the defensive backfield rotation in a few years down the road.

    Raymond chose LSU over the likes of Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Arizona.

    Verbally committed to LSU 

Trey Granier, OLB, Thibodaux High School

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    Trey Grainer had interest from several big-name schools, but when LSU who came to him with that initial offer, he immediately accepted.

    Grainer is another in-state linebacker prospect who will likely play on the outside while at LSU.

    ESPNU ranks Grainer as the No. 49 player in the state of Louisiana, most likely because he is still raw at this point in time.

    Look for Grainer to play primarily on special teams until he can work his way into this deep linebacker rotation.

    Verbally committed to LSU

Jalen Mills, CB, DeSoto High School

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    Mills is the surprise recruit of this class, simply because his credentials and rankings do not add up to some of the other top-notch recruits. However, that doesn't mean that he doesn't have the potential to be a good player in the future. 

    Mills is a 5'11", 180 pound prospect out of DeSoto, TX. He is ranked as a three-star prospect according to

    He dosen't have great size or speed, but he does have really good ball skills, which must have sold the coaches on this kid.

    LSU is known for producing top-notch defensive backs, so this kid will get the chance to learn from the best and break into the lineup in the future.

    Verbally committed to LSU.

John Thomas, TE, Airline High School

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    LSU should be set at the tight end position because they locked up two good ones in this 2012 class.

    The best of the group looks to be John Thomas, a 6'5", 225 pound prospect from Bossier City, LA.

    The Tigers have not used the tight end position in the passing game much in the past couple years, but that could change with Thomas' arival in 2012.

    ESPNU ranks Thomas as the No. 16 tight end prospect in the 2012 recruiting class and the  No. 10 player in the state of Louisiana. 

    Verbally committed to LSU.

Dillon Gordon, TE, John Curtis Christian High School

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    Gordon is the second of the tight ends to commit to LSU in 2012.

    He has great size at 6'5", 245 pounds and will likely be primarily used as a blocker in this powerful LSU rushing offense.

    ESPNU ranks Gordon as the No. 33 tight end in the 2012 recruiting class and gave him a three-star grade.

    Verbally committed to LSU

Jerquinick Sandolph, S, Hahnville High School

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    Sandolph is a raw prospect, but he is the only safety that has committed to LSU at this point, so he might get the oppertunity to play down the road.

    This three-star safety prospect stands at 6'1", 185 pounds, but he needs to develop better ball instincts if he wants to be successful at the college level. lists Sandolph as the No. 34 player in the state of Louisiana.

    Verbally committed to LSU.