Odell Beckham Jr.
Some random notes from the Ponderosa and the Recruiting Trail:
These are some items of note from reading all of the various reports on spring practice. Keep in mind that the media is only allowed to watch practice for about 20 minutes.
- Quarterback Stephen Rivers has raised some eyebrows. He looks like he has filled out his 6'7" frame some, and most say he has kept pace with Zach Mettenberger in terms of his accuracy. He looks to be the very clear number two guy right now.
- At linebacker, Kevin Minter, Tahj Jones, and Lamin Barrow have been running with the first team while Luke Muncie is the clear fourth guy right now as he battles Barrow. But freshmen Lamar Louis and Ronnie Feist have made a bit of a statement. Both have run with the second team at some point, along with D.J. Welter. It has not been confirmed, but it looks like Josh Johns has left the team.
- At cornerback, a battle rages for the number three spot between Jalen Collins, Ronnie Vinson, and David Jenkins. It looks like Collins and Vinson may have taken a slight lead. Collins seems like the more traditional guy to play on the outside while Vinson is a bit more versatile and could still see the field a ton as (potentially) LSU's dime back.
- At defensive tackle, Bennie Logan and Josh Downs have been working with the first team, which is a bit of a surprise. Most figured Freak Johnson would be with the first team, but it looks like the coaches are not quite ready to hand him the job. He has been on the second team with Ego Ferguson.
- At defensive end, both Lavar Edwards and Barkevious Mingo have been working with the first team opposite Sam Montgomery. The fourth guy has been Jermauria Rasco. Jordan Allen and Justin Maclin have been third team though both guys look strong.
- The offensive line has been as expected with La'El Collins working with the starters at left guard. Josh Dworacyzk has been out there practicing as much as he can, but is not ready to break back into the first group yet. The fall will be interesting there. It's good to see Evan Washington out there practicing after missing last year with an injury. He has been working at both tackle and guard, as has freshman Vadal Alexander.
- Starting with the Class of 2012 which may not be finished, junior college offensive lineman Fehoko Fanaika will make his college decision soon. Fanaika recently visited LSU, so hopefully that visit remains fresh in his mind. He projects as an interior lineman and could even be tried at center to ultimately replace P.J. Lonergan. He has three years to play two, so he could redshirt. Reports surface on Saturday that he had committed to LSU, but it was apparently just a false alarm.
- Defensive lineman Christian Lacouture has de-committed from Texas A&M so that he can explore his options. LSU and Michigan seem to be at the top of his list, along with the Aggies. Lacouture had committed to the old coaching staff and is not yet comfortable with Kevin Sumlin and the new coaches. As time goes by, I suspect he will build more of a comfort level with Sumlin. With both parents as Aggies, I still think A&M is the team to beat. Lacouture also has a strong relationship built with Steve Kragthorpe. Lacouture is likely a defensive tackle in LSU's system.
- Neville athlete John Diarse, who many believe is Louisiana's top prospect, has really hit it off with LSU's new receivers coach, Adam Henry. It looks like LSU wants Diarse as a receiver, even though he also projects very well at safety. It's good to see the new members of the coaching staff making an impact on the recruiting trail.
- It sounds like Denham Springs defensive tackle Tevin Lawson is very close to pulling the trigger and committing to LSU. It's probably just a matter of time before he is on board.
- Florida tight-end Mike Heuerman visited LSU on Friday and came away very impressed, putting LSU at the top of his list. Heuerman has a brother who attends Ohio State so most figured the Buckeyes to lead for him. However, he seems to have legitimate interest in the Tigers right now. He plans to make a decision soon. LSU has just four offers out to tight ends right now, so they obviously think highly of Heuerman. In addition, Heuerman's father played basketball for Michigan at the same time that Les Miles played offensive line, and they know each other. That can't hurt.
- Raleigh, NC quarterback Connor Mitch is on LSU's campus this weekend with his parents. They all took in LSU's practice on Saturday and then Mitch received an offer from LSU. Most feel that North Carolina leads for him, but the visit and offer seem to have made quite an impression on him:
Coach Miles is an awesome man! Sat down with my family and just talked for an hour and a half— Connor Mitch (@Connor_Mitch3) March 11, 2012
- LSU was the first to offer Houston defensive end Torrodney Prevot, but several big-time schools have followed up with offers of their own, to include the Texas longhorns. Prevot attended the second Junior Day at Texas but left without committing, so that demonstrates that he's willing to go through the recruiting process. Some recent comments seemed to indicate that he was leaning towards Texas; however, he dropped this quote in a recent article on Scout.com in reference to playing college football away from home.
“It won’t be that hard,” said Prevot. “I just really want to get out of my home state, probably, so it won’t be that hard to leave.”
Prevot has also been consistent that academics will play a role in his decision and LSU's Cox Communications Center for Student Athletes should make a solid impression. He plans to visit LSU on March 17.
- Memphis, TN defensive end Frank Herron recently received an offer from LSU and was very excited about it. Herron is 6'5" 245 pounds and has offers from schools such as Auburn, Clemson, Arkansas and Tennessee. He is highly thought of by the recruiting services and hopes to visit LSU on March 17. He is on the school's basketball team and they are still alive in the playoffs, so their schedule may interfere with that visit.
- Another defensive end with a LSU offer is Jacksonville, FL's Demarcus Walker. Walker is a beast at 6'4" 255 and has offers from nearly every major school in the country. He said some good things about LSU, so his recruitment will be one to watch. But with so many schools after him that are closer to home, he will be tough to land.
- Even with several offers given to out of state defensive ends, LSU's focus continues to remain on their own campus in University High's Tim Williams. Williams is a perfect fit in LSU's system, and he's nationally ranked by all of the services. However, he seems intent on going through the entire recruiting process and entertaining several schools. LSU fans will likely have to demonstrate some patience as they sweat out his decision.
- East Feliciana's Kendell Beckwith is another great in-state option; however, his position at the next level is up for debate. Most, including myself, consider him a defensive end. But he prefers linebacker and wants to give that a try in college. LSU seems willing to let him begin his career as a linebacker.
- Lastly, Mike Coppage of Scout.com reported on Sunday that Winnifield defensive end Michael Patterson received an offer from LSU. Patterson is another good looking prospect who impressed everyone in attendance at the state championship a few months ago in the Dome.
- With LSU likely taking just one or two linebackers in this class, Beckwith's situation muddies the waters a bit. LSU has very few offers out to linebackers. One guy that does not have an offer is Port Allen's Darian Claiborne. I love Claiborne as a prospect, and he does have offers from schools such as Texas A&M, Nebraska, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss. LSU is recruiting Claiborne hard but seems content to wait on some national prospects prior to offering him. If LSU ultimately loses Claiborne, I believe that would be a mistake.
- One linebacker that does have an offer is E.J. Levenberry from Virginia. Levenberry is one of the top linebacker prospects in the entire country, and he has some family ties to Louisiana. That could give LSU an edge in his recruitment.
- LSU has an offer out to Reggie Chevis of Houston, TX. Chevis plays linebacker and most schools want him there; however, LSU likes him as a fullback. He visited LSU this weekend, and it sounded like he had a nice time. At the end of the day, it seems that he prefers playing linebacker and LSU wants him as a fullback. I'd bet on Texas A&M at this point, but there is a long way to go.
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