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SEC Recruiting Notebook: LSU Targets In-State Prospects

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxLSU’s in-state recruiting received a boost this weekend when wide receiver Trey Quinn from Barbe High School in Lake Charles, La., committed to the Tigers.

Quinn, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 3 wide receiver by ESPN RecruitingNation, chose LSU over Auburn, Ole Miss, Clemson and Texas Tech, along with several other offers. He believes he’s joining an elite class at LSU.

“It’s awesome to have an opportunity to be part of what could be a great class,” Quinn said. “It’s like the Miami Heat. When you build something special, everyone wants to be a part of it. It’s really exciting to have so many of us from Louisiana.”

Eight of LSU’s 14 commitments are from Louisiana with several other highyl-touted in-state prospects remaining on the Tigers’ board.

Those top targets include wide receiver Malachi Dupre from River Ridge, running back Leonard Fournette and athlete Speedy Noil from New Orleans and offensive lineman Cameron Robinson from West Monroe.

How much talent is in the state of Louisiana for the 2014 class? Quinn is ranked the No. 37 prospect in the nation but only the seventh best in his own state.

The eighth-best player in the state of Louisiana is quarterback Brandon Harris, according to ESPN. Harris, who committed to LSU in July, was constant in his attempt to help the Tigers land Quinn.

“He’s been texting me nonstop since then,” Quinn told TigerBait.com. “He’s been saying he wanted to play together with me; we’ve got to go to the same college. Going to camp and catching balls from him was great. He’s a great athlete, great quarterback with a strong arm with a bright future.”

LSU’s future will become even brighter if it’s able to land more of the top in-state talent. Fournette is an important target for the Tigers. A commitment from him could help influence other top prospects in the state to stick with LSU.

Fournette confirmed to 247Sports this week that he’ll take official visits to LSU, Alabama, Florida, Miami and possibly Michigan. But it looks like an Alabama-LSU battle for Fournette, according to St. Augustine High School assistant coach Adrian Burnette.

“When you are dealing with a talent like this, it is always going to come down to the top two – Alabama and LSU,” Burnette said. “As far as him leaning to one or the other, this might be hard to believe, but I really think at this point and time that it is 50/50.”

Alabama will continue to recruit other prospects from Louisiana, including Robinson and Monroe safety Laurence Jones. Quinn’s commitment to LSU is a good sign for the Tigers, says ESPN’s Gary Laney. But they still have work to do with key in-state prospects.

“It is possible LSU can win the majority of the state’s top prospects, but miss the biggest prizes and thus end up having the 2014 class feel like a loss. But the more pieces that fall into place, the more optimistic the Tigers can be about the rest of the class.”

 

Georgia pushing for Kendarius Webster

Georgia is still in the running for cornerback Kendarius Webster from Stockbridge (Ga.) High School.

Webster told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution his top two schools are Ole Miss and Florida State, but that doesn’t mean Georgia is out of the picture. The Bulldogs have recently made a stronger run at Webster.

“They were already kind of full at the position,” he said. “But they started coming back since the decommitment of Nick Glass. They started coming back harder after me.”

Glass decommitted from Georgia last week, leaving the Bulldogs with commitments from three defensive backs in the 2014 class.

Webster said he plans to announce his decision on Oct. 4, which wouldn’t seem to leave Georgia a lot of time to make up ground. But he said he plans to take official visits to Georgia, Ole Miss and Florida State and make sure he takes all the time he needs to make the right decision.

“Signing day is not until February,” Webster said.

Webster is the nation’s No. 36 ranked cornerback in the class of 2014, according to Rivals.

 

Arkansas, Tennessee in Wingo’s top six

Cornerback Raymond Wingo from St. Louis (Mo.) University has named a top six: Arkansas, Tennessee, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State and Nebraska.

The name Wingo will likely stand out to Arkansas fans. His brother, Ronnie Wingo Jr., played running back for the Razorbacks from 2009-12. That’s helped create a connection between the school and Raymond Wingo, who’s ranked the No. 13 cornerback in the 2014 class by 247Sports.

“I’m familiar with them,” Wingo said of Arkansas. “I love the new staff. I think it would be a good fit because I’m outgoing and they love talking. They’re always talking. They’re exciting and they want you to jump around and they’re up for anything. I felt when I first walked in it seemed like more of a family and being together.”

Wingo isn’t likely to make a decision any time soon. He told 247Sports he plans to wait until after his senior season to take most of his official visits, which would push his final decision back to February.

“I don’t want to rush because I saw my brother go through what he went through,” Wingo said. “I think he should have played more in college. His school wasn’t for him. I want to make sure the school I go to is for me.”

That attitude will give other schools hope of landing Wingo, who has scheduled a visit to Indiana on Sept. 21. Tennessee, which has put together one of the nation’s top classes for 2014, is trying to make a strong impression on Wingo.

“It’s a new coaching staff,” he said. “I know in the SEC you can’t go wrong with that.”

 

Elijah Hood decommits from Notre Dame

Running back Elijah Hood from Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic High School decommitted from Notre Dame this week.

“It’s something I prayed about,” Hood told the Charlotte Observer. “It was a difficult decision but it came down to this: I really valued my family and what they stand for and just being around them. It was a tough decision, but I felt I had to not only do what was right for me, but what was right for my family. It was about being closer to home and I want to have them with me in my development.”

Hood declined to name a list of schools he’s considering but stressed the importance of playing closer to home. His father, Vee Hood, said his son’s most recent visit to Notre Dame also influenced him to reopen his recruitment.

“Something happened the last time he went up there that he didn’t like,” Vee Hood told the Observer. “Something changed his mind immediately. He was scared to tell us. I said there’s no need to be scared. It’s his decision. I told him, ‘You’ve got to be happy wherever you choose to go.’ I know he’s not going to be going to Notre Dame, and I guess that means he’s open to (all colleges) again.”

Elijah Hood made it clear he wasn’t considering Alabama earlier this summer. That’s when he flushed recruiting letters from Alabama down the toilet.

That shouldn’t stop other SEC schools from making a run at Hood, who’s within driving distance of Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. North Carolina appears to be the favorite to land Hood, although he’s shown he’s willing to change his mind.

 

Hand is Rivals’ No. 1

Defensive end Da’Shawn Hand is the nation’s No. 1 prospect, according to Rivals.

The Rivals100 was updated earlier this week, which showed the Woodbridge (Va.) Senior High School standout to be the nation’s top prospect.

Georgia running back commitment Sony Michel from Plantation, Fla., is the SEC’s highest-rated commitment. He’s ranked No. 8 in the nation, one spot ahead of Texas A&M quarterback commitment Kyle Allen.

Several SEC prospects saw a bump in their rankings. Dupre, who was previously ranked the nation’s No. 7 wide receiver, is now No. 1 at his position. Alabama offensive line commitment Montel McBride was bumped from the nation’s No. 21 offensive guard to No. 14.

 


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