SLOW.....That's the only word to describe things around LSU here recently. However, here's a quick rundown of a few noteworthy things going.
- Former Clemson defensive coordinator and Baylor head coach Kevin Steele will be joining LSU's staff as an intern. Yes, an unpaid intern. He was fired from Clemson last year, and they still owe him money. Since nobody else picked him up on staff, he decided to come work with longtime friend John Chavis, who he played with at Tennessee. Prior to joining Clemson's staff, Steele worked for Nick Saban at Alabama, serving as defensive coordinator in 2007. His name came up LSU's defensive backs job when Ron Cooper left to go to the NFL. Corey Raymond got the job, but it turns out that Steele will be on the staff anyway. It's unclear exactly what position Steele will hold. I'm guessing that he won't be able to do much recruiting, if any. And he may not be allowed to be involved on game day. But to have an extra veteran coach on the practice fields and in the coaches' meeting room is invaluable. I see nothing but positives with this addition to the program.
- Head basketball coach Johnny Jones continues to try and find some players who can help next season. Most believed that junior college big man John Odoh would ultimately end up at LSU. Odoh was once a commitment to North Texas, where Jones previously coached, but he backed out of that pledge when Jones left. In junior college last year, Odoh averaged 12.5 points, 14.3 rebounds, and 4.7 blocks per game. With LSU in desparate need of some more big men, Odoh seemed like a great fit. However, we learned this week that Odoh's efforts to finish up course work in junior college were unsuccessful. So he'll have to stay in junior college one more semester and cannot join LSU's team until after December. He could still potentially help LSU's team next year for the second half of the season, but it's unclear if that will happen. Another option would be to redshirt him, thus leaving him two more seasons to play after next year. Without Odoh, LSU heads into next year with Johnny O'Bryant, Calvin Godfrey, and Eddie Ludwig as the only forward on the team expected to play.
- It's not a done deal, but it looks like Memphis guard Charles Carmouche will transfer to LSU and be available to play next season. Carmouche is from New Orleans and started his career at UNO prior to transferring to Memphis. He's not a star, but he did start for Memphis a couple of years ago. He averaged 8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. He's a guy that can provide quality minutes. He has just one year of eligibility remaining, so this is a bit of a "one year rental" type of situation. It benefits both parties though. Carmouche gets to play closer to home, and LSU gets a competent player who can help.
- On Monday evening, The Times Picayune put out a story that pitcher Kevin Gausman would return to LSU for his senior season. The headline was clear that Gausman was coming back to LSU. But as you read the story, you realized that the quotes from Gausman were non-committal. He said he was strongly considering a return, but nowhere did he say that he made a decision. Predictably, the story spread like wildfire and within 90 minutes, Paul Maineri had to issue a statement that Gausman had not made any final decision yet. The headline and the guts of the story were changed shortly thereafter. Gausman was almost certainly just posturing....threatening to be seriously considering a return to LSU in order to motivate the Orioles to offer him the kind of money that he wants. The Orioles have until 4:00 PM Central on Friday to sign Gausman. I suspect we'll hear that he signed sometime Friday. This is something to keep an eye on, but nothing to get excited about. These (literally) last minute deals are commonplace with Major League Baseball. If he returned to LSU, Gausman would probably pass up nearly $4 million. In short...it's not happening. But with less than 24 hours to go, it's worth a mention.
- LSU is hosting their second camp for high school prospects, starting this weekend, and the amount of talent that will be on campus is sgnificant. It's a nearly impossible chore to try and sum up all of the top prospects that will be on hand, but you can be assured that it will be a plethora. Nearly all of LSU's top targets will be there, and there will be a special emphasis on the Class of 2014. But I can narrow the focus to some players who may pull the trigger while on campus. Here are some players that should be on commitment watch:
Rashard Robinson CB - Robinson hails from the same high school as Patrick Peterson and Avery Johnson in Pompano Beach, FL. The 6'2" corner has been a hot commodity this summer. He camped at Florida State and Miami and immediately earned offers from both schools. A couple of months back, Robinson seemed ready to commit to LSU. However, LSU's staff wanted him to wait until he worked out in person at camp. Well, that happens within the next week so it's logical to think that Robinson could commit to LSU very shortly.
Rickey Jefferson ATH - Jefferson could play either corner or receiver at the next level, though it seems that he's headed for cornerback. Most think it's just a matter of time before Jefferson pulls the trigger for LSU and with him visiting again for camp, he's a guy to keep an eye on. I've got the Destrehan native as a Top-5 player in the state of Louisiana this year.
Greg Gilmore DT - It's still unclear whether Gilmore is even attending the camp. But he reportedly will visit LSU again sometime this summer, and he'll be bringing his Mom with him. Supposedly, he just needs Mom to see LSU, meet the coaches and give her blessing before pulling the trigger for the Tigers. So if Gilmore attends camp, it probably won't be long before he becomes a Tiger.
Adam Taylor RB - A few months back, Taylor wanted to commit to LSU, but the staff told him they wanted to see him in person first. Taylor is recovering from a knee injury that wiped out his junior season and the staff apparently wanted to check on his recovery prior to accepting his commitment. I haven't heard that Taylor will definitely be at camp but if he shows, and impresses, he could join this class.
Will Clapp OL - Clapp is a 2014 offensive lineman who recently received an offer from LSU. He attended the June camp but might return for this one too. If so, he could become the Class of 2014's first commitment.
Garrett Brumfield OL - Brumfield is another Class of 2014 offensive lineman from University High school. He is supposed to be at camp and he could very well earn offer. There's a chance he could accept it on the spot.
Ed Paris DB - Paris is one of the top defensive back prospects in the nation for the Class of 2014, and LSU is believed to be his leader. It would be incredible to pull someone like Paris this early in the process, but it could happen.
Brandon Simmons DB - Simmons is a high school teammate of Paris and also has a LSU offer.
Trey Quinn WR - Quinn is a receiver prospect from Barbe High School who will be at camp. Many think he'll earn an offer at camp and if so, I doubt it will be long before he commits to LSU. Quinn could play both football and baseball at the college level.
- In a bit of surprising news, TigerSportsWorld is reporting that Florida receiver Stacey Coley will bet at camp. Coley is one of the top receivers in the entire country and is a Top 50 overall prospect. Coley probably ends up at one of the Florida schools but with a good visit, you never know.
I'll have more on camp over the weekend. Check the Twitter throughout the weekend and check back on the site Sunday evening for a full update.