LSU now at 12 signees with more on the way

Jackson (Miss.) Academy receiver Deion Smith, rated the No. 1 recruit in the state of Mississippi by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, signed with LSU as expected.

LSU’s recruiting is rolling on early college football signing day.

Jackson (Miss.) Academy receiver Deion Smith, rated the No. 1 recruit in the state of Mississippi by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, made good on his commitment to LSU and became the Tigers’ 10th of 12 signees today.

This season, Smith caught 36 passes for 640 yards and seven touchdowns, rushed for 189 yards and two TDs and added 159 kick return yards on six attempts.

Just around lunchtime, the Tigers landed Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic cornerback Damaris McGhee.

The 6-foot, 162-pound McGhee, a one-time Tennessee commit who was uncommitted entering signing day, is a four-star prospect rated the 14th best cornerback nationally by 247Sports.

“LSU is DBU, so that had me interested right away,” McGhee told Chad Simmons of “My dream is to play in the NFL, and I know they can coach me and help me get there at LSU. (LSU cornerbacks) Coach Corey Raymond is a great coach. He is cool, he can help me and we have a strong connection. We talk a lot and I know he can develop me. We have had some strong conversations.

“I told LSU I was coming like two weeks ago. I talked to coach Raymond, I talked to coach O about it, and to hear how excited they were about having me was exciting for me to hear. It was great.”

There might be some concern in the LSU camp because 5-star safety commit Lafayette Christian Academy safety Sage Ryan, the nation’s top-rated player at his position, has not signed. Alabama reportedly is making a hard push to steal away Ryan.

Earlier today, Alabama flipped LSU commit Keanu Koht of Vero Beach (Fla.), a 6-4, 215-pound 4-star defensive end ranked as the No. 11th weakside DE in the nation by 247Sports.

The Tigers battled back by signing Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Navonteque Strong, rated as the nation’s top junior college linebacker. He rescinded his six-month committed to Mississippi State Tuesday. 

The Tigers also flipped from Mississippi State commit Malik Nabers, a wide receiver from Youngsville (La.) Southside.

Here are the signees so far in alphabetical order:

Jack Bech, WR, 6-2 , 215, Lafayette (La.) St. Thomas More

NATIONAL RANKING: No. 65 WR, No. 423 overall

RATING: 3 stars

SCOUTING REPORT: Hard to debate his productivity whereas a junior he led the state with 90 catches. Already college ready to play outside receiver but is flexible enough where LSU’s indicated he could be targeted as a pass-receiving tight end or H-back.

Derrick Davis Jr., S, 6-1, 195, Monroeville Pa) Gateway

NATIONAL RANKING: No. 4 S, No. 57 overall

RATING: 4 stars

SCOUTING REPORT: Helps to give LSU the nation’s top two safety prospects along with Sage Ryan. Terrific athlete that has the ability add weight to play either safety position or the nickel spot.

Garrett Dellinger, OT, 6-5, 280, Clarkston, MI-Clarkston

NATIONAL RANKING: No. 13 OT; No. 86 overall

RATING: 4 stars

SCOUTING REPORT: Has played both guard and tackle with a likely projection at tackle where LSU’s looking to stockpile talent. Good balance, strength and footwork have made him a natural pass blocker, while he’s also excelled as a run blocker.

Landon Jackson, DE, 6-6, 240, Texarkana (Tx) Pleasant Grove

NATIONAL RANKING: No. 7 WDE, No. 117 overall

RATING: 4 stars

SCOUTING REPORT: One of the nation’s premier defensive ends whose ability may result in early playing time at LSU. Tremendous frame easily allows for additional weight which shouldn’t hinder his quickness in pass-rush situations.

Matthew Langlois, S, 6-0, 185, New Roads (La.) Catholic

NATIONAL RANKING: No. 47 S, No. 611 overall

RATING: 3 stars

SCOUTING REPORT: The one-time Kansas State commitment is considered one of Louisiana’s top athletes – regardless of classification. Tremendous speed, combined with his size and aggressiveness, make for quite a prospect at safety where LSU was looking to improve its depth.

Damaris McGhee, 6-0, 162, Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic

NATIONAL RANKING: No. 14 CB nationally by 247Sports, No. 28 overall prospect in Florida and No. 185 nationally

RATING: 4 stars

SCOUTING REPORT: One-time Tennessee commitment selected LSU over Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Miami on signing day. Had 24 tackles and three interceptions as a senior.

Malik Nabers, WR, 6-0, 179, Youngsville (La.) Southside

NATIONAL RANKING: No. 11 rated recruit in state by Rivals, No. 53 WR overall nationally

RATING: 4 stars

SCOUTING REPORT: He was ineligible as a senior at Southside High as per LHSAA transfer rules.  Transferred from Comeaux High in Lafayette where he played football, basketball and track. As a junior, caught 58 passes for 1,223 yards and 21 TDs.

Garrett Nussmeier, QB, 6-1 1/2, 180, Flower Mound, Texas-Marcus

NATIONAL RANKING: No. 8 QB, No. 87 overall

RATING: 4 stars

SCOUTING REPORT: Will help LSU continue to strengthen the position of quarterback for years to come. Terrific athlete which is evident in his ability to extend plays, along with pin-point accuracy and high football IQ may hasten his process to the field.

Greg Penn III, Inside linebacker, 6-1, 225, Hyattsville, MD-DeMatha Catholic

NATIONAL RANKING: No. 10 ILB, No. 178 overall

RATING: 4 stars

SCOUTING REPORT: Known more as a run stopper than for his pass coverage ability but has all the tools necessary to become good at both. Great instincts and closing speed contribute to his tackling ability.

Deion Smith, WR, 6-1 1/2, 175, Jackson (Ms.) Academy

NATIONAL RANKING: No. 15 WR, No. 88 overall

RATING: 4 stars

SCOUTING REPORT: One of the nation’s top receivers who even though is a bit undersized, has the ability to transition into a solid outside receiver because of his athletic ability and ability to run after the catch.

Navonteque Strong, LB, 6-0, 230, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

NATIONAL RANKING: No. 1 LB in JC by 247Sports, No. 13 overall best JC prospect

RATING: 3 stars

SCOUTING REPORT: Had two-year junior college stats of 163 tackles, 29 tackles for loss, 13 ½ sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception. Helped Gulf Coast to second straight MACCC state championship game (won it in 2019).

Peyton Todd, P, 6-5, 210, West Monroe (La.) High

NATIONAL RANKING: No. 1 P, N/A overall

RATING: 3 stars

SCOUTING REPORT: Depending on the decision of senior punter Zach Von Rosenberg to return to school or opt for the NFL, the addition of the nation’s top punter could be crucial for the Tigers.

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Ron Higgins

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