LSU and Alabama are both headed into a crucial stretch of recruiting. Timing and location will play major roles with both programs as they compete for many of the nation’s top prospects.
The key to evaluating LSU versus Alabama recruiting battles is timing and location. Those two factors will be critical to the 2022 recruiting class for both football programs. Here’s a quick look at where each school stands with commitments, it’s desire to land top skill players, and how each program stacks up against one another along the recruiting trail as we head into the month of June, the first month the NCAA will allow official visits in over a year.
Total Commitments And National Scope
Alabama: 6 (three offensive and three defensive).
LSU: 13 (eight offensive and five defensive).
LSU is off to the faster start than Alabama, racking up nine in-state commitments and one of the top classes in the country. While Alabama’s commitments are certainly very good, the Crimson Tide is looking to capitalize on more out-of-state targets than LSU.
That’s a big reason why Alabama has only six commitments, as many top targets have yet to travel to Tuscaloosa for even an unofficial visit let alone an official visit. Both programs will be competing for several of the same recruits to finish out the recruiting class, with Louisiana’s top prospects a major part of the equation.
Louisiana Skill Talent Continues To Be A Priority
Both programs generally reload at defensive back, running back and wide receiver. Yes, LSU needs offensive linemen and Alabama needs to refurbish its linebacker core, but the bottom line is elite skill talent is the goal for both programs and it can be had right in LSU’s backyard.
Louisiana is loaded yet again, and even with a combined five in-state skill position recruits committed to the Tigers, there are a handful of Louisiana skill players that the Tigers truly need that are also being ardently being recruited by the Crimson Tide as well. This has been mentioned before, and will be a common theme moving forward. The following three players are absolute musts for LSU, and Alabama covets each of the three as well.
Kendrick Law, running back Le’veon Moss and wide receiver Shazz Preston all come from Louisiana. All three are also national recruits. It’s hard to say for certain where any of the three will land. It’s early with recruiting, and the Tigers have yet to truly set up in-state official visits.
Well, at least there’s no big weekend that’s been made public. As an example, Law is all but certain to officially visit LSU. According to this SI All-American article, FSU, Alabama, and TCU were three schools he’s also mentioned as possible official visits, but he has been concentrating on actual football as opposed to recruiting.
Law is as important as any recruit left on the board as his versatility (running back, wide receiver, cornerback or safety) is all but unmatched nationally. Both LSU and Alabama hold as good a chance to sign Law as any other programs.
Current LSU Official Visit Schedule Features Out Of State Prospects
While official visits change quite frequently, LSU does appear to be attempting to bring in out-of-state prospects first. Many of these young men have never been to Louisiana, let alone Baton Rouge and LSU.
That is a major reason for LSU already scheduling official visits with players from Texas, Florida, and even the state of Washington. Look for that trend to continue, with an additional possibility.
At some point, LSU has to line up in-state prospects for visits. This is where the true game of recruiting begins. It’s all about timing. For each position group, LSU needs to know the intentions of its true top target before it goes on to the next prospect. That is why official projecting the absolute visit dates are always a guessing game.
Official visits oftentimes finalize a recruit’s decision. So, when does LSU bring in Louisiana prospects for official visits? If it waits too long, some of those same players could visit out-of-state programs and commit. Alabama is the prime competition, as one might imagine.
This cat and mouse game has no definitive answer and that’s why it’s so interesting. Alabama will inevitably bring in a few Louisiana players for visits, but will those visits happen prior to LSU hosting those prospects?
The Next Month Will Be Critical For LSU And Alabama
Which players actually visit, when they visit, and the order of schools they visit, can all lead to the success or failure for LSU and Alabama. Numerous top targets have yet to set official visits, but are expected to lock in dates during the next few weeks.
Look for LSU to host several more official visitors this next month than is already known, and also look for Alabama to do the same. Keep a close eye on the Louisiana prospects, with many of them being friends and wanting to visit schools together. Later this year, there’s also an important game in Tuscaloosa...
Looking To The Future: Alabama Hosting Top Recruits When LSU Visits Tuscaloosa
It’s common for a rivalry game to be a major aspect of a recruiting campaign. Unofficial visits for underclassmen, as well as some senior targets, will be a priority. The biggest aspect, however, would be official visits for a few truly top-notch prospects. Two key Florida prospects are an example of that situation playing out for LSU and Alabama.
LSU and Alabama will collide in Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 6th, and the two SEC rivals will be competing for top recruits that will be officially visiting the Crimson Tide that same weekend. Two confirmed official visitors for that weekend both hail from American Heritage in Fort Lauderdale.
Defensive end Marvin Jones, Jr. and cornerback Earl Little, Jr. are both national recruits, with Alabama and LSU both in contention for Little. LSU will host Little on Oct. 2nd when LSU welcomes Auburn to Death Valley. Little is one of LSU’s top prospects regardless of position. It would be a huge win for the Tigers if they could land Little, especially with Alabama also after the national cornerback recruit. As for his teammate, Jones, that’s an interesting situation.
LSU does not appear to be one of the favorites for Jones at this time, but the Tigers still have time to lure the elite defensive end to LSU for an official visit. Perhaps Jones visits Baton Rouge with Little on October 2nd. This is recruiting, and there will be ebbs and flows.
LSU has important decisions to make about in-state and out-of-state prospects. When does LSU bring in those players being the primary question, as Alabama and other programs will be looking to pounce on many of the same prospects that LSU covets.
How well LSU lines up its official visit schedule for the month of June will go a long way in determining if the Tigers have a legitimate shot at signing a better recruiting class than Alabama, and possibly signing the nation’s top recruiting class overall.