Recruiting Round Up; Washington Preview

RECRUITING

With 22 commitments in the fold already, it’s easy to focus on the players still remaining on LSU’s board. That makes this a good time to go over the big list and discuss some possibilities.

COMMITMENTS:

QB Zach Lee — McKinney, TX (Dallas area)
RB Spencer Ware — Cincinnati, OH
FB Brandon Worle – LaGrange, GA
WR Mike Davis — Dallas, TX
WR Justin Hunter — Virginia Beach, VA
TE Nick Jacobs — Many
TE Travis Dickson — Ocean Springs, MS
OL Cameron Fordham — Duluth, GA
OL Evan Washington — DeSoto, TX (Dallas area)
OL Jamarcus Hardrick (JUCO)
OL Elliott Porter — Shaw HS
LB Justin Maclin — Memphis, TN
LB DJ Welter — Crowley Notre Dame
LB Luke Muncie — Klein, TX
LB/DE Houston Bates — St Pauls HS Covington, LA
DE Jordan Allen — West Monroe HS
DT Dexter Blackmon — Selma, AL
CB Tryann Mathieu — St Augustine HS New Orleans
S Eric Reid — Dutchtown HS
S Sam Gibson — Prattville, AL
ATH Ronnie Vinson (CB or S) — Newman New Orleans
ATH Tharold Simon (WR or S) — Eunice

PROSPECTS:

QB
My Take: LSU is done at QB

RB
Lache Seastrunk — Temple, TX
Alfred Blue — Hahnville HS
Storm Johnson — Loganville, GA (Atlanta area)
Dontae Williams — Houston, TX
Nick Parker — Batesville, MS
Corvin Lamb — Miami, FL

My Take: LSU would like to sign just one more RB, and they want that guy to be Seastrunk. I think the other guys are fall back options. Williams seems to be on the verge to committing to Oregon. Lamb is a “speed back” that could fill that role if Seastrunk goes elsewhere.

WR
Trovon Reed — Thibodaux
James Wright — Belle Chase
Demarco Cobbs — Tulsa, OK
DeAndrew White — Galena Park, TX (Houston area)
BJ Chitty — Dothan, AL
Glen Coleman — West Jefferson
Armand Williams — Slidell

My Take: LSU definitely wants one more WR and Reed is their guy. They may even take two if they can get the right guys. It will be awfully interseting to follow WR recruiting since the two commitments (Hunter and Davis) are big time out of state recruits who will receive tons of pressure to take other visits. Coleman and Williams are fall back options.

TE
My Take: LSU is done at TE

OL
Damien Robinson — Olive Branch, MS
TJ Leifheit — Wilmington, NC
James Stone — Nashville, TN

My Take: LSU is done at OL unless they can get an elite level tackle such as Robinson, Leifheit, or Robinson.

DT
Rissean Broussard — Washington Marion Lake Charles (Tennessee commitment)
Damien Jacobs — Houma, LA
Churphy Steward — Breaux Bridge
LaCraig Brown– Monroe
Byran Jones — Junction City, AR

My Take: LSU would like to sign another DT in this class. Byran Joens seems like a good possibility but LSU would like to see him in person before offering. Steward is a monster but has serious academic question marks. Don’t be surprised to see LSU sign Steward and place him in a junior college.

DE
Fre’Shad Hunter — Cary, NC
JR Ferguson — MD
Benay Pryor — MS JUCO
Joseph Okafor — Houston, TXCurtis

My Take: LSU will take an elite DE such as Hunter or Ferguson but they’re otherwise done at DE. Pryor’s recruitment continues to be a mysetery. He maintains he’s going to LSU, but I don’t see it happening.

LB
Travis Williams — Norfolk, VA

My Take: I really thought LSU wanted one more LB in this class but they cooled on guys like Michael Taylor and Shaun Lewis who have since committed elsewhere. They appear to be still recruiting Williams but he is a long shot.

CB
Jonathon McKnight — John Curtis HS

My Take: LSU is done at CB but McKnight could be a late addition

S
My Take: LSU is done at S

ATH
Curtis Carter (WR or CB) — North DeSoto
Jarrett Fobbs (WR or CB) — Huntington Shreveport

My Take: Carter and Fobbs can be grouped in with the WRs. They offer move value to LSU’s staff since they can play both offense and defense. Fobbs currently holds an offer from LSU while Carter does not, but LSU is actively recruiting both.

FOOTBALL – WASHINGTON PREVIEW

LSU opens the 2009 season against Washington who failed to win a single game in 2008 and as a result, they have a new head coach. Former USC offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is the new head man of the Huskies. Sarkisian brought defensive coordinator Nick Holt with him from USC. A bit of optimism surrounds the program right now due to the new coaching staff and the return of 18 starters from a year ago. But since those 18 starters went 0-12 in 2008, is their return really a good thing?

Offense:

Washington is very glad to return their talented quarterback, Jake Locker (pictured), who was injured for most of last year. Locker is an extremely good player who draws many comparisons to Tim Tebow due to their similar styles of play. He’s a big kid and a serious threat to run the ball. When healthy in 2007, Locker had three games with over 80 yards rushing, including 102 against Ohio State. He finished the 2007 season with 986 rushing yards. Locker has a lot of room to improve as a passer though. His completion percentage was under 50% in 2007 and was just 53% in 2008 prior to being injured. Sarkisian’s hasn’t historically asked his QBs to run the ball, and it will be interesting to see how often Locker runs the ball in 2009. Will Sarkisian run his offense? Or will he allow Locker to improvise and do what he does best? Jake Locker is the guy who has to be outstanding if Washington has any hope of challenging LSU.

The Huskies don’t have any real standouts at running back, and they’ll be looking to find someone they can count on this fall. They return Willie Griffin who logged a 100 yard rushing game last year. Redshirt freshman Chris Polk is someone the coaches are hoping will emerge and could be the starter.

Not only does Washington not have any standouts at running back, but they’re even less impressive on the offensive line. A year ago, they allowed over two and a half sacks per game. They also led the way for a rushing attack that ranked 106 in the nation and just 2.84 yards per carry. They didn’t do anything very well. Guard Ben Ossai is the only guy who looks like he may compete for any All PAC-10 honors.

Washington has one serious threat catching the ball in Deandre Goodwin who logged 60 receptions last year. After Goodwin, nobody stands out. Sophomore Jermaine Kearse is being touted as a serious deep threat.

Defense:

The Husky defensive line was a huge liability last year. They surrendered a horrendous 241 rushing yards per game and 5.7 yards per carry. They also had just 16 sacks for the entire season. They didn’t do a whole lot right. The good news is that they return defensive end Daniel Te’O Nesheim who had eight of the team’s 16 sacks. He is one of two players on defense who are All PAC-10 quality players. Expect Richard Dickson to help out blocking on his side quite a bit.

The other All Conference candidate is linebacker Mason Foster who recorded 11 tackles for loss from his outside linebacker position. He is a guy that LSU will game plan against.

Washington looks awfully weak in the secondary as well. Even though the defense gave up so much on the ground, other teams still averaged 211 yards per game through the air. They also allowed a pitiful 67% completion percentage. However, Washington had to deal with some injuries last year. They return those players who were starters in 2007, and they’re hoping for them to make a positive impact.

On paper, this looks like a pretty weak Washington team and a huge mismatch against LSU. But the team, the fans, and the coaching staff will be eager to jump on anything positive early in the game. They won’t be too confident heading into the game and so long as LSU doesn’t give them a reason to feel otherwise, the Tigers should take care of business in Seattle.

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