Lorenzo McCaskill announced his decision to transfer from Louisiana just six days ago, and he has already received interest from multiple Power Five programs. McCaskill had a stellar career for the Ragin' Cajuns at linebacker, earning second-team All-Sun Belt honors in 2021 and third-team All-Sun Belt honors in 2020. McCaskill will not rush to make a decision, as he will finish out the Spring semester at Louisiana and choose a school in the coming months. He discusses his plans with Sports Illustrated.
"The work I have put in through the past years and all of my life, I knew I was going to get something, but I didn't know it would be to the extent it is now," McCaskill said about the unknowns of entering the transfer portal and if this is what he was expecting. "With this transfer portal, you never know what is going to happen. I knew I would get something, but I didn't expect this."
McCaskill has reported multiple offers on Twitter, but with the process picking up speed by the hour, there are new offers he hasn't put out, but he is already lining up visits.
"There are other offers I haven't put out yet," he said. " There are some I am going to go visit. I am going to Texas on April 1st. I am waiting to set up visits to a couple of others. I am visiting Missouri in March, but I don't know what day yet, and I am going to visit Tennessee as well, and I think that will be sometime in March. I don't have a date for USC and Miami, but Texas, Tennessee, and Missouri are some of the ones I am for sure going to go visit."
Steve Sarkisian's second-year staff in Austin wasted no time in letting McCaskill know that he is a priority. McCaskill and the Ragin' Cajuns played the Longhorns in the first game of the 2021 season, so there was some familiarity there already.
"We played Texas the first game of the season, and I liked the environment in Austin," McCaskill said of Texas. "I definitely connected with a lot of the players when we were playing. There was a level of respect between both sides."
"Me and Bijan, the running back over there, he is something else—he is going to be a first-round pick—we went at it the whole game," McCaskill added. "He is actually the one that helped set this up and got me the offer over there. We had a level of respect from when we played, and when I went in the portal, he was one of the first ones to go to his coach. I like Texas. That is one of America's teams, and I feel like I could fit in that system. One of the kids I played high school football with and travel football with plays there, so I know him too."
Relationships are essential in any recruitment, and it is no different for McCaskill in his transfer recruitment. Tennessee was his latest offer on Thrusday, and connections from his home state of Michigan put him on the Vols defensive coordinator Tim Banks's, another Michigan native, radar.
"I always knew of him, and he knew of me," McCaskill said of Banks. "But, I never knew him personally. He knows my high school coach and a lot of people I know. That is how that came about with me getting the offer there is by us knowing mutual people."
McCaskill will utilize the transfer portal opportunity to boost his draft stock and career trajectory, and he knows that means finding a place where he is not just wanted but needed, and he sees the opportunity Tennessee presents for a linebacker.
"I think that is the key to it, to go where someone needs you," he said of this. "Not just to go somewhere to fill a number. That is going to be a big consideration when I choose a school."
Missouri is the other program slated to get an official visit from the coveted transfer. While he did not have a previous relationship with Head Coach Eli Drinkwitz, the two were more than familiar with each other. Drinkwitz, while at Appalachian State, coached against McCaskill at Louisiana before taking the job at Missouri.
"We played each other a couple of times when he was at App State," McCaskill said. "So he knew of me, and I knew how he ran that program over there. I think that is who has been recruiting me the hardest. Really active. Daily messages."
"I don't really know a lot about Missouri, so I have to go check it out," he continued. "But they are definitely high on my board as well."
McCaskill is already one of the most sought-after transfers in the portal, and his offer list is likely to continue to grow heading into the Spring. He plans to use his past experience and what he has learned through playing college football to help him navigate the process once again.
"The good thing is that it is not my first time with the recruiting process," he said. " I have been through it before, so with me being experienced in college football for a little bit, I know what to look for. The bright lights aren't going to amaze me. The uniforms and all of that, I am older now and not a high school recruit, so stuff like that is not going to really get me going. I want to know the system, how the team is, the culture, are they a brotherhood, things like that."
McCaskill's body of work at Louisiana speaks for itself. A two-time all-conference selection with over 80 tackles in each of the past two seasons. As he gets ready to make a jump to a Power Five program later in the year, when asked, he offered up what one of these programs will get in him as a player.
"Like the film shows, I am a high motor guy. I fly around the football aggressively, and I am going to be a leader on whichever team I end up on."
As far as when McCaskill will make a decision, he is in no hurry and will utilize his visits heading into the Spring.
"April will be when I make my decision," the coveted transfer said.