List of weekend visitors tops out at 14
All eyes on Rueben Randle, Trent Richardson and a host of others on biggest recruiting weekend of the season on LSU campus
by Matt Deville
Tiger Rag Senior Editor
(At left) Escambia (Fla.) running back Trent Richardson was in town over the weekend. Could Lane Thompson’s defection from the Crimson Tidecoaching staff affect Richardson’s commitment?
Aside from the Nov. 8 game with Alabama, last weekend is likely considered the biggest recruiting weekend of the year on the LSU campus.
Several of the nation’s top recruits that have the Tigers on their radar screen were in town as National Signing Day is less than two weeks away.
Obviously, the biggest name on campus was Bastrop (La.) wide receiver Rueben Randle.
The nation’s top-rated receiver, Randle is still uncertain where he will land in 2009. LSU is considered the leader for the most part, but Alabama, Oklahoma and Miami are in serious consideration while Ole Miss and Auburn have gotten in late on the 6-4, 200-pound blue chipper.
In an article written by Jim Varney in Sunday’s edition of the Times-Picayune, Randle said, “my dad asked me the other day where I was going. I don’t know. (The schools) probably see it as what is the best situation for them and maybe the opportunity isn’t fully there to play for them, but I would like to make an impact as a freshman.”
Who knows for sure where he will land, though.
Randle got the royal treatment while he was in town and even was cheered on by the LSU student section at Saturday’s sold out basketball game versus Xavier.
While there’s a feeding frenzy surrounding Randle, he wasn’t the only elite player in town over the weekend.
Escambia, Fla. running back Trent Richardson made his official visit to LSU as the Tiger coaching staff made their last effort pitch to try and sway the five-star running back from his verbal commitment to Alabama.
Two weeks ago, Richardson voiced his disapproval of former Alabama defensive coordinator Lance Thompson leaving the Tide program for a job in Knoxville. Could that factor into a possible change of plans.
“It’s kind of surprising to me, and it’s kind of hard on me,” Richardson told Ian Rappaport of the Birmingham News. “He was my recruiter and I was closer to him than my position coach (Burton Burns) at Alabama. It’s hard. I never thought this would happen to me.”
With Dexter Pratt having de-committed two weeks ago, LSU could greatly improve itself with that position could something be managed with Richardson. The standout running back did seem to indicate things could change.
“Well, I’m just going to finish going through the recruiting process, get to February, sit down with my mom and talk it over with my family and my coaches at my school now,” he said. “Let it ride like that. I’m going to keep my eyes open, take all my visits. I’m just kind of stressed.”
Barbe defensive back Janzen Jackson made his official trek east to Baton Rouge.
Lots has been made of a possible de-commitment with rumors of his father (McNeese assistant coach Lance Guidry) being considered by Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin as a possible hire. One recruiting service even dropped Jackson as an LSU verbal.
As of press time Sunday, Jackson was still headed to Tiger Town.
Greenwood, S.C. defensive end Sam Montgomery is a name that has gotten hot lately as has Coushatta, La. Bennie Logan. Both of these defensive standouts were on hand over the weekend.
Montgomery is considering number of schools and would be a nice addition for LSU. Oregon coach Mike Bellotti was in Greenwood early last week as was Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez. Clemson and South Carolina are both pushing hard. It should be a race to the finish line on Feb. 4.
Logan is a bit of a sleeper having played for tiny Red River High School, but he has tremendous upside. Should Logan choose LSU, a possible grayshirt could come into play.
Gadsden, Ala. wide receiver Kendall Kelly is still weighing his options and got a firsthand look at LSU this weekend. Kelly is considering several schools including Alabama and LSU, much like Randle. Randle’s decision would no doubt have some sort of impact on where Kelly lands.
Several of the Tigers’ top commitments visited campus as well for nothing more than to reassure the Tiger coaching staff that they’re heading this way.
Leesville running back Michael Ford, Parkview Baptist offensive lineman Carneal Ainsworth, Fair Park athlete Morris Claiborne, Mansfield defensive tackle Chris Davenport and Bastrop defensive tackle Josh Downs, Rayville wide receiver Kenny Bell, Houston defensive end Michael Brockers and Houston offensive guard Josh Wiliford round out the 14 visitors who all made it to Baton Rouge over the weekend.