The greater Houston area is a gold mine for recruiting top prospects at virtually any position. Two of the best prospects Houston has to offer visited the Tigers this week, and each provide versatile skills that can help the LSU football program.
The LSU football program currently sits at 12 commitments. It’s a star-studded class of recruits with a great deal of offensive skill talent, led by quarterback recruit Walker Howard from Lafayette (La.) St. Thomas Moore. For LSU to reach its recruiting objectives, however, the last half of the recruiting class needs to include three more offensive linemen and several talented defensive front seven prospects, preferably both areas with prospects that possess multiple sets of skills that can be placed at more than one specific position. Let’s start with the offensive side of the football.
A big-time offensive lineman, Kelvin Banks, took his official visit to LSU last weekend. The Humble (Texas) Summer Creek prospect has been on LSU’s radar for over a year. Not only is this a traditional litmus test for LSU recruiting, but there’s the saga of LSU’s revolving offensive line coaching situation in which Brad Davis took over the position late last week.
That’s one heck of a time to arrive at a major Division I program, but it does provide trial by fire. Gauging where LSU sits amongst Banks’ leaders, among other top offensive line prospects, will help LSU coach Ed Orgeron and his staff to better understand where they are with offensive line recruiting. It’s paramount that LSU land an elite offensive line class after coming up short on numbers for the class of 2021 when two offensive linemen -- Garrett Dellinger and Kimo Makaneole -- despite their high level of talent.
Most importantly, Banks could play tackle or guard. Elite and versatile talent helps to bridge gaps with prior recruiting misses like the 2020 class. Banks provides the size at 6-foot-5, 300-pounds, and he’s not just a mauler; Banks can move his feet to be an effective pass blocker. It’s not out of the question that Banks could make an impact at a school like LSU or Texas A&M by the end of his freshman season. He’s that talented. Banks’ official visit list helps to provide insight as to his talent.
Banks took his first official visit to LSU (June 4), just finished up his trek to Oregon (June 8), will be headed to Stillwater, Okla. to visit Oklahoma State (June 16), immediately head to Texas after that (June 18), and finishes the last of his five official visits by sojourning to Texas A&M (June 24).
Perhaps LSU already knows where it stands with Banks. That’s possible. At the very least, his recruitment will wrap up the official visits in a time frame LSU will know where it stands even if it does not land the talented Texan.
As mentioned above, Coach Davis will be going into a trial by fire situation, and Banks’ recruitment is going to be competitive to the end regardless if he commits to any one particular school prior to national signing day this December. He’s a special talent, and college coaches will not give up on him regardless if he’s committed or not.
For LSU, Banks would provide that anchor at offensive tackle that it definitively needs after woefully coming up short on numbers by signing only two offensive linemen for the class of 2021. Moving to defense, Harold Perkins provides a similar test for new LSU defensive coordinator Daronte Jones, albeit he was hired at a more natural time this past winter.
There are several reasons that Perkins is important to the LSU football program, but perhaps no reason surpasses Jones’ ubiquitous playing style. He is without question one of the nation’s most talented defensive prospects because he is seemingly everywhere at once on gridiron.
Need a hybrid linebacker, and Perkins can certainly provide those skills with his sheer speed and athleticism to cover running backs and slot wide receivers. Off the edge, Perkins also proved during his junior season that he’s explosive when playing down hill and will create negative yardage plays. Plus, Perkins is just getting started.
He’s not yet filled out his frame. Playing for Cypress (Texas) Cy Park, Perkins currently resembles a track athlete as much if not more than a football player. He’s definitely a football player, mind you, but he’s yet to add the mass usually associated with playing in the SEC. That’s actually a good thing.
The long and lean 6-foot-2, 200-pound talent could easily pack on another 25 pounds before the end of his freshman year of college. He’s the skilled athlete LSU and every other major college program needs to play linebacker in space. Perkins is even skilled enough to be a talented strong safety.
Bottom line, Perkins is a versatile prospect that LSU really needs to help build a top-notch defensive recruiting class, and his versatility is a prime reason why LSU brought him in for an unofficial visit this week. The Tigers are hoping to bring Perkins back for an official visit at some point in the future. There’s only one official visit left on Perkins’ itinerary however.
Perkins was already the guest of Texas A&M (June 4) for an official visit, is currently visiting Texas (June 11), will head to Florida (Sep. 17) early this fall, and make his way to Oregon (Nov. 26). The Tigers do have an advantage with Perkins despite him living in the Houston area.
He’s originally from New Orleans and grew up a LSU fan. That obviously does not mean he’s a lock for LSU, as those other four programs will come at Perkins to the very end. That being said, it’s nice for LSU to be the ‘hometown team’ for a prospect with such a unique skill set at a critical position within college football.
The LSU football program brought in two talented and versatile prospects this week that can help to change the 2022 recruiting class. It’s going to be a battle for each recruit, but there’s no question the Tigers coaching staff will battle to the end for their services.