After being relatively quiet on the recruiting trail last month LSU’s made quite a splash to begin July.
For the second time in three days the Tigers struck out-of-state gold with a commitment Sunday from four-star defensive end Joshua Mickens of Lawrence Central in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Mickens, a Top 200 national recruit, announced his commitment with both a video and letter posted on his Twitter account. The No. 17 edge rusher according to On3Sports committed to the Tigers over North Carolina, Michigan State and Iowa.
Mickens sat idly near the end of the video, unzipped his jacket to reveal a purple LSU shirt after announcing his pledge to the Tigers.
“Really just the relationship I had, especially with Coach (Brian) Polian, him coming from Notre Dame and recruiting me down there, showing love all the way,” Mickens told 247Sports. “At LSU I built a great relationship with him.”
LSU’s numbers in the Class of 2023 have been bolstered to eight commitments with consecutive pledges from the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Mickens and No. 96 overall prospect, edge rusher Jaxon Howard of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Tigers class has jumped to as high as No. 9 nationally by On3Sports, while making moves in Rivals.com (No. 36) and 247Sports (No. 37. He’s the No. 2 prospect in Indiana according to both 247 and On3.
Mickens, a 3.8 student, was also a primary target for LSU defensive line coach Jamar Cain, who also served as the lead recruiter for Howard. Recruiting coordinator/special teams coordinator Brian Polian also played a key role in LSU’s ability to land Mickens.
“Talking to (LSU defensive coordinator) Coach Matt House (this week), he was extremely excited about him,” Lawrence Central head football coach Will Patterson said of Mickens to 247. “He’s the guy they wanted to get and great fit for their defense and a great fit for Josh. The position he’s going to play, that JACK backer, it’s the premier spot.”
Mickens began to formalize a decision after his final two official visits to North Carolina (May 20) and LSU (June 10). With such measurables as an 80-inch wingspan and 34 ½ inch arms, his potential is limitless.
“Everything that the SEC has to offer,” Mickens told 247. “I want to showcase my ability and succeed in the SEC and be one of the best in it.”
Mickens, a terrific athlete who also plays basketball and throws the shot put and discus in track, has 126 tackles during his career with 31 tackles for loss, 15 sacks and seven passes broken up. He registered 70 tackles, 22 ½ tackles for loss, 12 sacks and five forced fumbles in 2021.
His father Arnold was a running back at Butler and for the Indianapolis Colts for two years.
“The direction that they’re going in,” Mickens said of LSU. “I know they’re really starting to grow as a program. When I went on my visit down there, I had never been before, but I can sense the change. It seems more put together and the upward trajectory was something I saw and liked. I felt as if I wanted to go to LSU and felt it in my heart. I just had to go with what I felt.”