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Recruiting: LSU on trail of banner crop of 2014 wide receivers

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LSU stands at 11 pledges for the 2014 football recruiting class. There is still much balancing to do in regard to who the Tigers are recruiting and which prospects are the priority. That's the tough part in any program.

Recruits feel that they might have to make a decision at the right time or face the possibility of a school's going to Plan B.

Case in point: LSU currently has two wide receivers - Tony Upchurch and D.J. Chark - on the list of commitments for '14, although it is speculated that Chark could become a cornerback in time. Yet there are at least seven receivers that the Tigers covet for 2014, but there is not enough room for all of them.

If you look back over recent recruiting classes, only the 2008 class had as many as five wide receivers signed. Most other classes had three to four. But this year's class offers the potential for a bountiful haul, one not seen in quite some time.

D'haquille Williams (6'3-215, 4.4), formerly out of East St. John and currently at Mississippi Gulf Coast JUCO, committed to LSU on May 10 but reversed his field less than a month later. Texas A&M, Auburn and Texas are now all serious players in the Williams sweepstakes.

Auburn has appointed co-offensive coordinator Dameyne Craig to handle the recruiting process and apparently had made some serious in-roads. Frank Wilson and Adam Henry represent LSU while Bo Davis is giving the pitch for the Texas Longhorns.

Last fall, Williams had 67 grabs for 1,295 yards and 17 touchdowns at Miss. Gulf Coast last fall. Most close to the situation think that he is highly likely to be one and done wherever he lands.

Saeed Blacknall (6'3-210, 4.45) out of Englishtown, N.J. has LSU as the slight leader right now. Adam Henry and Cam Cameron are serving as ambassadors for LSU. Saeed is very strong, causes mismatches for defensive backs, is capable of acrobatic grabs and is a sure thing for yards after catch.

Alabama is making their case for Blacknail with receivers coach Billy Napier and offensive line coach Mario Cristobal. Blacknall will make an unofficial stop in Tuscaloosa next weekend. Insiders feel like it will take special circumstances to steal the seventh-rated wideout in the country away from Tigertown.

The Trey Quinn saga continues. The Barbe product is a faster version of former LSU star Abram Booty. It looks like a Clemson-LSU battle, with Texas Tech, Notre Dame, Auburn and Oklahoma State in the mix.

Quinn (6'1-200, 4.35) camped at Clemson on June 12, with an unofficial stop at Auburn two days later.

The wide out with Velcro hands is a big play waiting to happen every game, capable of highlight reel catches. He possesses Fred Biletnikoff-like hands and concentration.

LSU very much in the equation for Quinn but Texas Tech has their foot in the door with the arrival new head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

Karr's Mr. Everything is Devante "Speedy" Noil. Lots of love and attention from Texas A&M and his former Cougar teammate Noel Ellis may draw the talented star to Aggieland. Noil will play quarterback and wide receiver as a prep senior.

I think that LSU can take five receivers in this class, with Williams, John Curtis' Malachi Dupre, Noil, Blacknall, Josh Malone and Trey Quinn as the targets to fill the remaining 2-3 spots. Cameron Sims is another that can be added to that list. Some tough decisions remain for Les Miles.

One player who has made a huge move in LSU's eyes the last couple of months is Covington DT Garrald McDowell (6'2-255, 4.8).

The former tight end has quick hands yet very explosive weight room strengthg. He bench presses 325 pounds, squats and cleans 265. He holds a 3.0 GPA. He plays like he is on a mission. He can add 25-30 pounds to his frame and is capable of playing the 3 or 5 technique in the defensive line. He will be a four-year starter when he departs the Lions program. He is very grounded and level headed. He plays at a high speed and will chase the ball carrier down wherever he goes.

At one time, Florida, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Ole Miss were the front runners for McDowell with Miami, Texas, LSU, Arizona State and Mississippi State not far behind. But LSU seems to have jumped to the lead.

Staying on the defensive side, Plainfield, Illinois OLB Clifton Garrett (6'2-228, 4.7) is on LSU's radar. Greg Studrawa and John Chavis have been making the pitch for the Tigers while Tennessee, Alabama, Ole Miss and Florida all covet the second rated OLB in this year's class.

It would be a major coup for LSU to capture Garrett's signature.

Cameron Robinson (6'5-330) out of West Monroe is a player that every major program in the country has near the top of their charts. It still looks to be a dog fight between LSU and Alabama.

At one time, the huge offensive tackle was a staunch LSU fan who grew up dreaming of donning the purple and gold. But the recent success of Alabama has drawn him to take a much closer look at the Tide.

Robinson camped at Alabama on June 2 and made an unofficial to Baton Rouge on May 25 before a April 25 stopin Tuscaloosa. He took a peek at both campuses during the month of January.

In the words of a prominent SEC head coach, Robinson is "SEC ready (and) could step in right now and compete for playing time."

 
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