BEAVERTON, Ore. — Nearly half of LSU’s 2017 recruiting class was on display at The Opening last week.
Tigers head coach Les Miles and his staff have put together a group that currently rates as the No. 5 class in the country, and a handful of stars from the class were among the main attractions at Nike World Headquarters throughout the event.
Also, the Tigers were represented in the form of All-American running back Leonard Fournette, who was at the event as one of a handful of college counselors.
“It just brings back memories seeing these young Tigers come out here and compete each and every day. It’s cool knowing the future of LSU is going to be great,” Fournette told Bleacher Report. “I love seeing them out here. I’m just telling them to stay focused and worry about what’s going on in high school right now. I just tell them to keep their grades up and college will take care of itself.”
There were also a handful of targets Miles and his staff are heavily pursuing who made an impression on the event’s coaching staff.
Let’s take a look at the main takeaways for LSU recruits who were competing in Oregon over the last week.
Ausbon Thrilled with Decision to Commit
Shortly before arriving in Oregon, 4-star receiver Jhamon Ausbon made the decision to commit to SEC power LSU.
The 6’2 ½”, 217-pounder explained his decision-making process and how it came about.
“I was silently committed for like a week before that. [LSU is] my dream school, and I have a lot of family from around there. It wasn’t that hard. It was hard in a sense for me to open my eyes and realize that I want to be in a pro-style offense because that’s what the NFL is about,” Ausbon told Bleacher Report. “It was about trusting the process. They had a satellite camp in Houston, and once that happened, I just had a gut feeling after being coached by them. I took a visit, and it was a wrap after that.”
Ausbon was a handful for defensive backs to deal with in one-on-ones and during seven-on-seven in pool play.
He used his size and physicality to consistently get the upper hand against the nation’s best defensive backs.
Another plus for the nation’s No. 11 receiver and the No. 67 player overall in the 2017 class was the opportunity to work with one of his future quarterbacks in Brennan.
“This is my first time seeing him. I’m like man, he can throw it. I’m excited for the future. He’s an old-school pro-style quarterback. He’s got a crazy upside. It’s going to be fun working with a guy like that,” Ausbon said. “We just talked about why we picked LSU and just getting to know each other a little bit. We’re both really excited about the future for sure.”
Deculus Excited About LSU in the Trenches
Deculus, who now reports his size to be 6’6″, 340 pounds, said he’s developed a strong bond with his future teammates.
“Me and Saahdiq are already close. Me and Tyler Shelvin are basically brothers. That’s the easiest way to describe it,” Deculus said.
The nation’s No. 8 offensive tackle and the No. 40 overall player in the 2017 cycle committed to Miles in May. Nearly two months later, he’s locked in with that decision.
“I can’t even put it into words. It’s just that feeling, and it’s really hard to describe with words. It was nice,” Deculus said. “I feel like it’s the right decision for me, and I don’t see myself decommitting at all.”
He credited The Opening’s coaching staff with helping him learn and apply new techniques. In one-on-one matchups, Deculus proved to be a versatile and powerful force with loads of potential at the next level.
He’s hoping this experience prepares him for what he will see in Baton Rouge.
“Me being committed to LSU, the SEC is the best of the best. I want to get used to going up against these big, athletic guys. This will really help me with what I’m about to see in college.”
Nation’s No. 1 DT Impresses, Talks Tigers
LSU defensive line coach Ed Orgeron is known as one of the nation’s premier teachers at his position.
His resume is certainly appealing to elite talents such as 5-star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson.
The 6’4″, 329-pounder, who rates as the nation’s top defensive tackle and the No. 3 player overall in the 2017 cycle, is intrigued by the thought of playing for Orgeron in college.
“Coach Orgeron is probably one of the best coaches in the country. He just knows how to groom defensive linemen, and he has that family vibe to him,” Wilson said.
At The Opening, Wilson—who was named the MVP of the defensive line segment—was able to display why powers such as Alabama, Florida State, Oklahoma and Texas are among the other schools aggressively pursuing the Lone Star State standout.
He has the type of size, power and athleticism that make him practically unblockable on the prep level.
Moreover, Wilson worked through his bad reps and kept competing with the type of motor that brought out the best of his abilities.
“If you can bring the best out of somebody, you really get to see where you measure up to the competition,” Wilson said. “I lost a couple of reps, and I won a couple of reps. It’s good to see where you measure up to these guys. I love it out here.”
The Tigers are hoping they can reel in another big fish from the state of Texas, where three of their current commits are originally from.
Miles Fired Up Over Newest Commit
LSU was one of a handful of programs whose commit list grew over the last week.
On Saturday, the Tigers landed 4-star safety Grant Delpit from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
The 6’3 ½”, 181-pounder, who is originally from Houston, said his future head coach was elated to learn he had committed.
“[Coach Miles] was texting me every day waiting for this moment. He wanted to see what time it came on,” Delpit said. “He actually sent me a selfie with a big L up saying how proud he was of me. I just love the whole staff.”
The nation’s No. 9 safety said he grew close with several members of Miles’ staff—including defensive backs coach Corey Raymond. He also admitted LSU’s reputation for molding defensive backs played a role in his choice to head to Baton Rouge.
“They had all the important factors I want in a school. They also put out DBs every year. I think I fit nicely into their defense, and I think I’d have an opportunity to play early,” Delpit said.
He’s already begun to put his recruiter hat on, with IMG teammate and 5-star linebacker Dylan Moses among his top priorities.
“[Dylan and I] have that connection at IMG. We’re trying to start that pipeline from IMG to LSU,” Delpit said.
As Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports noted, Delpit has the type of size, range and football IQ to develop into a star at the college level.
Delpit also remarked on how learning from coaches such as NFL Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams was among the highlights of his trip to The Opening. Overall, he’s focused on growing from his experience in Oregon and preparing for the next level.
“[The Opening] was a good measuring stick and getting to see what type of players I’ll be seeing in college. This is the best of the best, and this experience just showed me what it takes to succeed and what my work ethic needs to be like when I get to college.”
Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.
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Source: Bleacher Report CFB