Kelvin Joseph’s commitment to LSU doesn’t just give the Tigers one of the nation’s most-prized safeties, it’s also an indication that the program is regaining the upper hand recruiting on home soil.
Until last year, the Tigers had brought in at least half of the state’s top 10 in every year of the 21st century. The Tigers often brought in seven or more of the state’s top 10. An example was the 2011 recruiting class when LSU signed seven of the state’s leading prospects in a group that included future NFL starters Odell Beckham Jr., La’el Collins and Jarvis Landry.
Similarly, the Tigers scooped up nine of the state’s top 10 in 2016, a class that included current defensive stars Devin White and Rashard Lawrence. The 2004 class added seven of the top 10 and all of the top five, bringing Glenn Dorsey, Early Doucet and Craig Steltz to Baton Rouge.
That changed in 2017, the first signing class following the departure of Les Miles.
In that recruiting class, Ed Orgeron and the Tigers only managed to sign three of Louisiana’s highest-rated prospects: defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin (who did not play due to academic issues), safety Todd Harris and quarterback Lowell Narcisse.
One player each went to Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech and Mississippi State, and – ominously for Tigers fans – three signed with Nick Saban and Alabama. That group included three of Louisiana’s leading five prospects, with linebacker Christopher Allen, defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis and wide receiver Devonta Smith.
Fast-forward 11 months, though, and it appears that Orgeron has gotten better at holding those Tigers.
The list of already committed or signed players for LSU includes safety Joseph from Baton Rouge (La.) Scotlandville Magnet, there’s wide receiver Terrace Marshall from Bossier City (La.) Parkway, wide receiver Kenan Jones from Berwick (La.) High and the Shreveport (La.) Evangel Christian pair of linebacker Micah Baskerville and defensive tackle Davin Cotton.
LSU also remains in the running for five-star receiver JaMarr Chase (ranked first overall in Louisiana) and Lawrence Keys III (12th overall in Louisiana).
The state’s only top-10 recruit that Orgeron has not added is quarterback Justin Rogers who will play his college football at TCU.
Orgeron and the Tigers still have work to do to rejoin the ranks of national championship contenders, but LSU is moving in the right direction in one key area: establishing the school’s dominance in prime recruiting territory that leads the way in producing future NFL talent.
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