Friday, November 22, 2013
Recruits Watching: Texas A&M at LSU
By Gerry Hamilton
The big game in the SEC this week is the battle in Baton Rouge between No. 12 Texas A&M and No. 22 LSU. As expected with the Top 25 showdown featuring Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, a laundry list of top prospects the two programs are recruiting and battling for are expected to be in attendance.
1. RB Leonard Fournette (New Orleans, La./Saint Augustine High): The nation's No. 1 prospect is a possibility to attend Saturday's game unofficially. Any time the Tigers take the field against quality opponent is big for LSU in their recruitment, and this is no different. Fournette continues to have LSU and Alabama highest on his list, but Texas A&M is a school he has considered during the process. Fournette visited Texas last weekend and attended the LSU-Alabama game in Tuscaloosa with his family two weekends ago.
2. ATH Speedy Noil (New Orleans, La./Edna Karr High): The five-star athlete and No. 8 overall Noil officially visited Texas A&M Sept. 13 and has the Aggies on his list, along with LSU, USC, Florida and Oregon. Should the uber-talented playmaker step foot on campus Saturday as scheduled, it will be his second unofficial visit this season to nearby Baton Rouge. An ultimate decision between LSU, USC and Texas A&M is expected, with the Tigers having surged in recent weeks after the Aggies had the early momentum.
3. DT Gerald Willis III (New Orleans, La./Edna Karr High): Like Noil, the No. 29-ranked Willis III has visited Texas A&M officially. The 6-foot-3, 275-pound defensive tackle prospect also visited Florida officially Nov. 8 and still could make a trip out west to USC. While the Aggies, Gators and Trojans are pursing the Under Armour All-America, the Tigers are thought to have the inside track. Willis III was on campus in Baton Rouge twice in October.
4. CB Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen High): The five-star prospect and No. 11-ranked Brown will be back in Baton Rouge this weekend unofficially to watch a pair of programs he long has been considering. Brown has made official visits to Ohio State, Alabama and Texas and continues to consider the Aggies. The Under Armour All-America cornerback has long been thought to be an LSU lean, with Alabama providing the biggest threat. Brown is likely to visit LSU officially the first weekend in December.
5. LB Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South High): In what is an impressive visitor list, Garrett could be the key prospect in town this weekend. The No. 37-ranked prospect in the country has been an LSU lean for several months and is expected to be accompanied by his parents. Garrett has visited Florida, Tennessee and Ole Miss officially, and the Tigers have held off the competition for months.
6. S Laurence Jones (Monroe, La./Neville High): Jones will decide between LSU and Alabama, and this weekend is his official visit to Baton Rouge. Once thought to be a near lock for the Tigers, there has been a surge of momentum with the Crimson Tide this season. The Under Armour All-America has been on campus in Tuscaloosa three times, all unofficially.
7. WR Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian): The New Orleans area product and No. 25 overall in the ESPN 300 is another likely unofficial visitor this weekend as LSU works to try and keep the wide receiver with special high-point ball skills in state. UCLA and Florida State are the main threats to the tigers for the Under Armour All-America.
8. WR D'haquille Williams (Reserve, La./Mississippi Gulf Coast CC): The Auburn commit and top junior college wide receiver has continued to look at LSU and others this season. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound playmaker deluxe is a possibility to attend the big game in Baton Rouge, and the LSU staff would like nothing more than to get the Louisiana native back on campus and continue to chip away. Williams first committed to LSU in May before backing off that commitment late in May and pledging to Auburn July 21.
9. WR Frank Iheanacho (Houston, Texas/Westbury High): The 6-foot-7, 220-pound senior riser and No. 89 prospect will be making his unofficial visit to LSU this weekend to watch the Tigers face the team thought to be the favorite, Texas A&M. Missouri also recently has offered and is in line for an official visit. Iheanacho made an unofficial visit to Texas A&M on Oct. 19 and is expected to visit officially in December.
10. WR Tyron Johnson (New Orleans, La./Warren Easton High): The No. 20-ranked prospect in the ESPN Junior 300 has offers from both LSU and Texas A&M, with the Tigers and Aggies having the early advantage. This will be the second LSU game Johnson has attended this season, and the second time he has watched the Aggies in person after unofficially visiting College Station on Sept. 14.