It is a new era in LSU football, but the Tigers are looking at familiar results with their 2017 recruiting class.
Ed Orgeron, who the school officially hired in late November after serving as the interim coach for the fired Les Miles, is keeping LSU's talent at an elite level with his current class. Many of the haul's top recruits committed to LSU after Orgeron's hiring, which is a positive sign for the program as the coach begins to assemble his own full classes in the coming years.
Here is a look at the top remaining targets for LSU's 2017 class, which currently ranks No. 6 nationally, according to Scout.com. Continue for a breakdown of the outlook for this group and its impact moving forward.
|LSU 2017 Top Remaining Targets|
|Player||Hometown||Position||Overall Rank||Position Rank|
|Marvin Wilson||Bellaire, Texas||DT||No. 10||No. 1|
|Devonta Smith||Amite, Louisiana||WR||No. 26||No. 3|
|K'Lavon Chaisson||Galena Park, Texas||DE||No. 33||No. 5|
|Willie Gay||Starkville, Mississippi||LB||No. 51||No. 3|
|Todd Harris||Plaquemine, Louisiana||S||No. 94||No. 9|
|Markaviest Bryant||Cordele, Georgia||DE||No. 149||No. 13|
Skinny on Top Unsigned Targets
Marvin Wilson is the big fish still on the board for LSU, and that can be taken multiple ways.
At 6'4" and 329 pounds, Wilson is a space-eater in the middle of the defensive line. He also has the ability to get upfield and pressure opposing quarterbacks, as his high school coach Steve Leisz told Gridiron Now's Dan Mathews.
"His get off is as good there is in the country," Leisz said. "He's got incredibly quick feet, and his hands are crazy good. That's where he'll step in right away. On a 3rd-and-long, there's nobody coming out of high school with his ability."
Wilson would be a massive get for Orgeron on his first national signing day at the helm in Baton Rouge. He could develop into the next Glenn Dorsey, which the team could certainly use after star defensive tackle Davon Godchaux declared for the NFL draft.
Devonta Smith is another player LSU could desperately use, as the team's passing game is in need of a boost. Smith has excellent athletic ability and ball skills that would instantly upgrade a receiving group losing its top two options (Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural) to the NFL.
Always in need of pass-rushers to keep up with other top schools in the SEC, LSU is prioritizing K'Lavon Chaisson. The 5-star is all about speed coming off the edge, and his highlights show he has the makings of a future SEC star, courtesy of MaxPreps:
LSU saw Arden Key blossom in his sophomore season, which could be an encouraging sign for Chaisson. Should he join the Bayou Bengals, Chaisson and Key could make for a scary combination on third down next season. Markaviest Bryant would also be a nice addition to bolster depth at this position.
Willie Gay is a rangy linebacker the Tigers could use to help replace Kendell Beckwith and Duke Riley, but it will be awfully tough to pull him away from his hometown Mississippi State school.
Wilson's decision seems too close to call at the moment, which adds to the agony for LSU and its fans. Scout.com has him going to the Tigers, but Rivals.com's Mike Farrell said Tuesday night that Wilson is trending toward Florida State.
There is no solid prediction to be had on Wilson, so the intentions of LSU's top target won't be known for sure until he makes his announcement on Wednesday.
Smith's recruitment is bringing about pessimism among the LSU faithful. He is an Alabama lean according to Scout.com, which is an issue for multiple reasons.
The Tigers ranked 101st nationally last season with 190.1 passing yards per game. Combining that with nearly 1,000 yards of receiving lost from Dupre and Dural makes Smith a must-get. But he could continue a discouraging trend for LSU within its own borders, as Rivals.com's Andrew Bone explained:
Bringing in 4-star quarterbacks Myles Brennan and Lowell Narcisse should help remedy LSU's pains in the passing game. It will not greatly help keeping elite in-state talent at LSU, even though Narcisse is a Louisiana native, as this should become the top priority for Orgeron in future recruiting cycles.
One player LSU can already get excited about is JaCoby Stevens, the nation's No. 2 safety and the Tigers' lone 5-star signee heading into Wednesday.
Stevens possesses a tremendous blend of speed, football IQ and willingness to come up and tackle in the open field. At 6'2" and 190 pounds, he also has the size to cover tight ends and taller receivers in the red zone while having the frame to bulk up and become even tougher in run defense.
The program is already advertising his talents, as Stevens is currently enrolled on campus:
Jamal Adams if off to the NFL, where he is likely to become a top pick and potential Day 1 starter for his next team. Stevens fits that type of mold, so expect him to be a worthy successor to Adams and an impact player next season.
LSU already boasts a phenomenal class, and it could become stronger if certain targets sign on Wednesday. Especially if Chaisson and Wilson hop on board, look for this class to become the foundation of what Orgeron is building in Baton Rouge.
Recruiting information is courtesy of Scout.com. Statistics are courtesy of NCAA.com.