Every year this event serves as a catalyst for the upcoming recruiting cycle, with the coaches building strong relationships with their top in-state targets and creating some momentum heading into the spring. LSU certainly accomplished that this year, as all reports from the day were extremely positive.
Recruits started arriving to campus early Saturday morning and the last ones didn't leave until early in the evening. The day featured tours of campus, academic and athletic facilities as well as plenty of quality time with the coaching staff.
TSD has a full recap of the festivities, including all the news and notes to come out of the junior day.
FUTURE TIGERS AID IN RECRUITING EFFORTS
Part of what made Saturday so successful was the effort put in by everyone involved with the program. Between the coaches, support staff and current players, pulling off "Boys from the Boot" takes having all hands on deck, and LSU even had some help from some future Tigers.
LSU had all four of its in-state commits — S Kevin Henry, RB Nicholas Brossette, DT Ed Alexander (2016) and RB/LB Dylan Moses (2017) — on-hand to assist in the recruiting efforts, in addition to a pair of out-of-state commits in LS Blake Ferguson and CB Kevin Toliver.
Even a pair of five-star signees made the trip to Baton Rouge:
Malachi Dupre (@MalachiDupre) February 15, 2014
Malachi Dupre made the trip up with some of his John Curtis teammates DE/OLB Bo Wallace and OT Willie Alexander (2016). Leonard Fournette accompanied his brother Lanard and spent the day mingling with some up-and-coming elite prospects like Moses and RB Devin White (2016). There aren't two better ambassadors for the program than Dupre and Fournette, and having them on campus Saturday was a big hit with the recruits.
LSU STRIKES BIG AGAIN WITH EDNA KARR
There aren't many schools that LSU has recruited harder than Edna Karr in New Orleans. But even though the Tigers landed LB Donnie Alexander in 2014, the Tigers didn't have the success they wanted with the Karr program, missing on Devante Noil and Gerald Willis.
Well LSU fans can rest a little easier after Saturday as DE Isaiah Washington made his commitment shortly after getting his offer. Les Miles extended the offer shortly before Washington was set to return home, and he didn't plan to commit before leaving.
But Frank Wilson, who's led the charge at Karr, stopped Washington before he departed and asked him if he was ready to be a Tiger. Washington though for a second and informed Wilson that he was, making his commitment to LSU.
Washington ranks as a three-star prospect, and played opposite Willis for most of the 2013 season on a defensive line that was loaded with talent. Washington has great length at 6-foot-5 and a tremendous wingspan. He gets off the line well and is dangerous off the edge.
Defensive end will be a big need for LSU in 2015, and getting Washington on board early is a good start. Though Karr was associated with so much disappointment in 2014, Washington's commitment should signal that all is still right with one of the state's best programs.
"The Boot getting tied up," Washington said. "They're not getting any more prospects out of the state."
TIGERS LAND FOUR-STAR SOPHOMORE
2016 WR Stephen Sullivan didn't receive his "Boys from the Boot" invite until Friday evening. He didn't come to Baton Rouge expecting to commit or even receive an offer.
But Coach Miles sat him down late in the day and told Sullivan he wanted the four-star receiver to be a Tiger. Sullivan didn't hesitate and committed to LSU on the spot, becoming the Tigers' second pledge in the 2016 class.
That offer marked Sullivan's first, and it was the only one he wanted.
"I didn't want to waste any time," Sullivan said. "It's close to home, and I love the coaching staff. I love how they can help you academically…It's already changed my life. I feel like more's going to come."
At 6-foot-6, 215 pounds, is already a physical specimen with a 40-yard dash time in the 4.5-4.6 second range. He's already ranked as a four-star prospect, and most feel his best football is still ahead of him. He's a huge addition to already have on board and he and fellow commit Ed Alexander should serve as a strong foundation for what should be an exciting 2016 class.
GRIMES MAKES A BIG SPLASH ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE
There's been a lot made about new offensive line coach Jeff Grimes' ability on the recruiting trail. He's already been hard at work in his first month on the job, spanning the country to address a big need for LSU.
Saturday, Grimes hosted several of the state's top offensive linemen, including one in particular committed to another top program. Evangel OT Jerry Tillery, who's been committed to Notre Dame since last June, made the trip down to check out what LSU has to offer with a new OL coach on board.
He's one of the state's top prospects and ranks as the nation's No. 14 OT. LSU's put in a lot of effort to make sure Tillery knows he's wanted by the home-state team, and Grimes will continue to make him a big priority the rest of the cycle.
Grimes also made a big impression on John Curtis OT Willie Allen (2016). He's been on LSU's radar since before Grimes came on board, and he had the opportunity Saturday to make sure Allen knows he's high on his list for the sophomore class. The Tigers are one of a three schools to already come through with an offer to Allen (UCLA and Florida are the others), and there should be plenty more to come for this four-star prospect.
At 6-foot-7, 270 pounds, Allen is an absolute beast and helped pave the way for Curtis' state championship team in 2013. He could finish the 2016 cycle as on of the nation's top linemen, and this weekend was a great way to get the relationship started between him and LSU.
LSU EXTENDS A HANDFUL OF NEW OFFERS
The Tigers took the opportunity Saturday to hand out a few new offers to some top in-state targets.
Rummel DB Kristian Fulton (2016) was the first one to report receiving a LSU offer. This was his first major offer, with Tulane and Louisiana Tech the schools to offer before Saturday. Fulton's a promising prospect for the sophomore class, and Coach Miles gave him some high praise when he extended the offer.
"He said I remind him of Morris Claiborne," Fulton said. "It feels really good to get an offer from a big school like that. I really like LSU. I didn't know as much about them until yesterday."
2015 WR Jazz Ferguson (West Feliciana) also landed an offer. The four-star prospect measures 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, and even though he has the height to be a tight end, LSU will recruit him as a wide receiver. Throughout the early stages of his recruitment, Ferguson has consistently mentioned LSU as his dream school, and it may not be long until he decides to commit. Ferguson plans to talk with his coach Monday and discuss whether he's ready to make that call.
LSU was his first SEC offer and he said the Tigers do have the lead at this point in his recruitment.
"They said I was exactly what they wanted there at LSU," Ducre said. "I like the players, the coaches, the lessons they teach. It's a family over there."
Ponchatoula ATH Christian Campbell also reported receiving an offer. He's a quarterback for his high school team, but he could play a number of different positions on the next level.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY
Here's what some of the top recruits in attendance Saturday had to say about their time on campus:
Every time I come around they show nun but love . #LSU??— ZayDot (@_ImKing) February 15, 2014
Had a nice talk with coach miles at LSU!— Tyron Johnson (@_TBJ13) February 15, 2014