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SEC Recruiting Notebook: LSU Lands In-State Lineman

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxLSU’s 2014 class received a boost this week when defensive end Davon Godchaux from Plaquemine (La.) High School committed to the Tigers.

Godchaux gave his commitment to LSU head coach Les Miles and defensive line coach Brick Haley.

“I called Coach Miles, Coach Haley and Corey Raymond and told them I was ready to get this done,” Godchaux told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I just feel at home, my mom can make it to my games. It was all the little things. Now I’m ready to work hard from this injury and get back on the field.

That injury is a torn ACL, which he suffered during his team’s first game of the season last month.

“I’ll bounce back… Adrian Peterson is my idol,” Godchaux said last month, referring to the quick recovery of the same injury by the star Minnesota Vikings running back.

Godchaux’s commitment to LSU comes at a good time. The Tigers hadn’t received a commitment in more than a month. In that time, highly-touted in-state prospects Cameron Robinson and Cameron Sims both committed to rival Alabama.

But LSU is in fine shape as it continues to recruit other top in-state prospects. Five of Rivals‘ top 11 prospects in Louisiana are committed to LSU. Robinson, the state’s No. 1 prospect, is the only other prospect inside the top 11 to make a decision.

Running back Leonard Fournette and wide receiver Speedy Noil from New Orleans and receiver Malachi Dupri from River Ridge are important targets for LSU. All three are considered heavy leans to the Tigers, according to 247Sports.

It will likely be an Alabama-LSU battle for Fournette. Dupri told 247Sports this week he plans to take his five official visits before making an official decision on signing day.

“Right now all the schools I’m considering seem like great places and are all similar,” Dupre said. “After I take my visits I’m just going to go with my heart and pick the place that fits me best. I just gotta figure it out.”

LSU hopes quarterback commitment Brandon Harris will help the Tigers’ in-state recruiting efforts. The standout from Bossier City, La., cited the opportunity to play for the state school as a reason he chose LSU in July.

“Louisiana, I feel like, produces the best athletes every year,” Harris said at the time. “To get the opportunity to play with the greatest athletes and go into the Louisiana Hall of Fame one day, I knew I didn’t want to go into the Alabama Hall of Fame, I knew I didn’t want to go into the Ohio State Hall of Fame.

“I knew I wanted to go into the Louisiana Hall of Fame. Why not play for a school where you’re from, the biggest in-state school in the state of Louisiana?”

LSU hopes other in-state prospects feel the same.

 

Tennessee hopes for big weekend

Tennessee will host several highly-touted prospects this weekend as the Vols get ready to play Georgia.

Key official visitors include wide receivers Braxton Berrios, Josh Malone and Travis Rudolph, linebacker Clifton Garrett, defensive end Dewayne Hendrix and running back Derrell Scott.

Tennessee has targeted this to be a big recruiting weekend for several weeks. It’s the Vols’ highest-profile home game, which led coach Butch Jones to roll out the “Smokey gray” uniforms for the first time.

“First of all it is an opportunity, national television, CBS, 3:30, against a great opponent in Georgia,” Jones said this week. “Obviously, recruiting, players look forward to see the different uniforms. I think it is something that our fan base has been waiting for. I know our players have been looking forward to wearing them.”

The wide receiver position has become an important one in Tennessee’s 2014 class. The Vols have four receivers committed, but two of them, junior college prospects Kameel Jackson and Eric Lauderdale, could look elsewhere.

Lauderdale recently received an offer from Florida and told 247Sports he plans to take all five of his official visits.

“I’m going to take my other visits, so I’m going to see,” Lauderdale said. “I’m committed, but I’m still kind of looking at the same time. It’s like a soft verbal I would say.”

That’s why Tennessee has looked strongly at other receiver options.

Malone has been a key target for the Vols throughout the recruiting process. The Gallatin, Tenn., standout will be attending his second consecutive Georgia game. He was in Athens last week to see Georgia’s win over LSU.

“That’s just the way it worked out,” Malone told Rivals this week. “When I’m going to see these places and these teams play, I’m looking at offenses and I want to see them play other good teams. I’m choosing games when I can see the best view of a team and get a true idea of where they are as a program.”

 

Arkansas returns to South Florida

Arkansas received a commitment this week from tight end Ravian Pierce from Plantation (Fla.) High School.

Pierce told Rivals he decided to commit to the Razorbacks after taking an official visit last weekend.

“Everything I saw up there was A-plus,” he said. “There was nothing I could complain about, everything was great. I can see myself fitting in very well there.”

Arkansas has seemed to fit in well with prospects from South Florida. The Razorbacks signed running back Alex Collins from Plantation and offensive lineman Denver Kirkland from Miami in the 2013 class. Both are playing key roles for Arkansas as true freshmen.

Pierce is the first prospect from Florida to commit to Arkansas’ 2014 class. The Razorbacks certainly hope to add to the list. They shouldn’t have to worry about Pierce’s commitment.

“No more visits at all,” he said. “I’m done now.”

 

Dad will see Roberts play

There has been plenty of scrutiny surrounding the increased national coverage that has followed high school football prospects.

But we’ll see some of the positive effects on Friday night.

ESPN will broadcast the battle between New Orleans rivals John Curtis High School and St. Augustine High School at 8:00 eastern time. Fournette, who attends St. Augustine, and Dupri, who plays for John Curtis, will be two of the highlighted players in the high-profile matchup.

Another top prospect playing in the game will be cornerback Jermaine Roberts, who’s committed to Texas. But the game won’t mean a lot to him because he’s facing a rival on national television. It will be the first time his father will see Roberts play.

 

It’s obvious this means a lot to Roberts. Here’s hoping he puts on a good show.

 


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