This one is going to sting for a while.
Five-star cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. is signing with Alabama over LSU , he announced at a ceremony in Florida on Wednesday morning. It’s a major development as LSU misses out on adding the nation’s top unsigned prospect to a 2018 class criticized for being a bit light on star power.
“They win championships and I want to be a part of that,” Surtain said upon announcing his decision live on ESPNU.
Missing out on Surtain and four-star cornerback Mario Goodrich, who signed with Clemson, means LSU will almost surely finalize the 2018 class without landing a cornerback. That leaves safety Kelvin Joseph, who’ll sign at 10 a.m., as the only defensive back in the class at the moment.
LSU was considered the leader in the clubhouse for Surtain since 2016. Defensive backs coach Corey Raymond forged a relationship with him early. His father, Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Surtaun, played for Edna Karr High School, and his mother’s family is also from Louisiana.
Still, Alabama mounted a late push and managed to sign him away. Now LSU quarterbacks will have to deal with the prospects of throwing in his direction every season for the next three or four years.
If he were a Tiger, Surtain would immediately have become part of the plans for 2018. He’s considered as physically-ready to play in the Southeastern Conference as any high school cornerback in years and could contend for a starting job at a position that’s a bit thin on depth for LSU.
Greedy Williams returns off an All-American season in 2017, but he’s only a year away from NFL Draft eligibility, and LSU lost cornerbacks Donte Jackson and Kevin Toliver to the draft this winter. LSU’s cornerback depth beyond Williams presently consists of Kristian Fulton, Kary Vincent and Jontre Kirklin, which is why landing Surtain or Goodrich was absolutely imperative.