Originally written on Saturday Night Slant  |  Last updated 4/23/12
Cooper Bateman

Last week, Wichita Falls, TX quarterback prospect J.T. Barrett committed to Ohio State over LSU.  Barrett was one of the top targets for LSU, and he was the guy I figured most likely to end up in LSU's class.  Barrett's commitment raises a few questions about where LSU will turn next at the quarterback position.  

Cooper Bateman (Utah) and Connor Mitch (North Carolina) are both still on the radar.  Both are pro style passers and both are considered to be long shots due to their distance away from Baton Rouge.  Mitch seems to favor South Carolina right now, but it's obvious from his Twitter account that LSU is still recruiting him hard:

Good phone call with coach Kragthorpe! Great man

— Connor Mitch (@Connor_Mitch3) April 19, 2012

Bateman is the #1 guy on my list.  He has had great things to say about LSU, but he has also had great things to say about every other school he has visited.  He has offers from nearly everyone and since he's from all the way in Utah, I consider him a long shot.  But remember that Steve Kragthorpe was awfully close to pulling Gunner Kiel last year, and Kiel's home state of Indiana isn't exactly close to southeast Louisiana either. 

LSU is apparently very high on Alabama dual-threat prospect Jeremy Johnson, who claims LSU and Auburn as his top two.  I'm not as high on Johnson.  Plus, it seems that he's Auburn's to lose.  If Auburn offers him, LSU will probably be wasting their time with his recruitment.  

The only other two players with offers are Texas prospect Cody Thomas and Florida's Cord Sandberg.  I love Thomas.  He's big, has a strong arm, and looks like a future NFL type.  The biggest question mark with Thomas is regarding baseball.  He's a big time baseball prospect and the Major League draft could be a factor.   It's unclear just how highly thought of Thomas is by the pro scouts at this point, but it's definitely something to watch.   Arkansas and USC were two of the bigger schools recruiting Thomas.  USC got a commitment from another quarterback recently, and we all know that Arkansas is in a bit of disarray right now.  Oklahoma was also in on Thomas, but they're apparently a bit spooked by his two-sport status.   So a window of opportunity could be opening for LSU with Thomas.   If LSU signs Thomas, they would be smart to sign another quarterback as well since he may never show up.  

Sandberg is a dual threat lefty with offers from the likes of Clemson, Auburn, and Mississippi State to go along with LSU.  Sandberg is a smart, heady, tough player.  He doesn't have the physical skills that will make him a blue chip prospect but he's a guy that has all of the intangibles that you love to see from your quarterback.  

And then, there is Dallas, TX prospect Devante Kincade.  He does not currently have an offer from LSU but is planning on attending camp this summer in efforts to earn one.  At a recent camp event in Dallas, Kincade earned MVP honors ahead of guys like Tryone Swoopes (Texas commitment) and J.T. Barrett (Ohio State commitment).   He is considered a dual threat, but has phenomenal passing stats in high school which tells me he is a pass-first guy.  His size is not ideal at just 6'0" 180 pounds.   With Barrett coming off the board, many fans are now clamoring for LSU to offer Kincade, but I think they will still wait until camp before making that decision.  

Lastly, LSU has the in-state option of Rummel's Damian Williams.  Williams is a dual threat guy who doesn't put up eye popping stats in high school.  But he looks promising on film.  Last weekend, he participated at an Elite 11 camp in Atlanta, GA.  Of 89 quarterbacks in attendance, he made it to the final seven at the event.  Williams is listed at just 6'1" 215 and his height is a concern.  Many believe that if he were a few inches taller that he would be a national recruit.  It's unclear whether Williams plans to camp at LSU this summer.  

LSU has also been working hard recruiting defensive linemen, and they have several big-time guys interested.  Of course they have commitments from DT Tevin Lawson and DE Michael Patterson, but they're looking to sign as many as six linemen in this class.  After signing just one last year, LSU is now faced with the possibility of losing three seniors along with another three possible early entries to the NFL Draft.  So they need numbers and they need instant impact guys. 

U-High defensive end Tim Williams, the top player in the SNS Top 21, is the top priority.  Williams wants to go through the recruiting process and take some visits, but it would be a huge upset if he signed anywhere but LSU.  He spent some time on LSU's campus with the coaches last week, according to Shea Dixon of Tiger Sports Digest.

#LSU hosted U-High DE Tim Williams on an unofficial visit this afternoon. Williams said he got in good 1-on-1 time w/ Brick Haley.

— Shea Dixon (@Sheadixon) April 20, 2012

Houston defensive end Torrodney Prevot continues to list LSU among his favorites, along with Texas and Texas A&M.  I think Prevot legitimately appreciates the fact that LSU was the first to offer him.  And I believe that he loves LSU's system and sees what a similar player in Barkevious Mingo has accomplished.  But it's going to be tough for LSU to land him since they're the farthest away from home.  It also appears that linebacker/fullback Reggie Chevis, who LSU offered as a fullback, is trying to sway Prevot to go to Texas A&M.  

Another highly rated defensive end, Frank Herron from Memphis, is high on the Tigers.  Herron has some other nice offers from schools such as Tennessee, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Clemson, but LSU is cleary his best right now.  He has a great frame at 6'5" 240 pounds and would be a natural playing on the outside at LSU.  

Then of course, there is the big prize, which is the nation's top overall prospect Robert Nkemdiche, the defensive end from Georgia.  Despite visiting LSU and having incredibly positive reviews and despite some rumblings that LSU may actually lead or be even with Alabama for Nkemdiche, most nationally seem to still think he's all Alabama.  But LSU offers an open depth chart to play right away.  And they offer a 4-3 defense, which is perfect for a play maker like Nkemdiche.  In a 3-4, the defensive linemen often occupy blockers and enable others to make plays rather than put up big numbers themself.  At the end of the day, it will be incredibly difficult to pull him away from Alabama, but LSU is in the conversation and worth mentioning at this point.  

At defensive tackle, North Carolina's Greg Gilmore looks to be heavily favoring LSU right now.  He repeatedly states that LSU is his leader and loves the situation that LSU offers in terms of early playing time and getting defensive linemen to the NFL.  Despite the distance from home, it looks like LSU has a real shot to land Gilmore. 

LSU continues to heavily recruit Dallas, TX defensive tackle Justin Manning, who is one of the top in the country.  Most still believe Manning will eventually end up at Oklahoma since his brother played there, but LSU looks to be among his finalists.  Hopefully, the opportunity for early playing time will entice him to Baton Rouge. 

Another Texas prospect, Christian Lacoutre, remains very high on LSU.  Lacoutre called LSU his leader after a visit a few weeks back, but has since visited Michigan and Nebraska who round out his top three.  I suspect that Texas A&M is not completely out of it even though Lacoutre has not mentioned them recently.  Lacoutre is currently a lean 6'5" 260 pounds but will probably beef up and play tackle at the next level. 

Georgia's Montravius Adams is the top tackle prospect in the nation and claims interest in LSU though most believe that interest is tepid at best.  Something to watch though.  

Texas prospects Vincent Taylor and Ben Hughes, along with Alabama's Rod Crayton, are also options.  Taylor is one to watch as he has ties to Louisiana and looks like a nice fit as a tackle in LSU's defense.  

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