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Notes from LSU insider on Wilson, Tolan, Graves and Kelly


Jan 23, 2016
Here are some tidbits from the weekend's five official visitors at LSU...

DeMario Tolan … LB - 6-2, 205

The Orlando four-star made his way onto campus this past weekend for his official visit, and he was joined on the trip by his mother, father and brothers. Bringing the family down shows the interest here is real, and LSU’s had Tolan sitting high on the wish list of linebackers since Blake Baker took over the linebackers job this offseason. Tolan was bale to visit Tennessee already this month and has his final official visit of the summer planned for Miami next weekend. There’s been buzz out of the Sunshine State that he could then wrap things up soon after if he feels comfortable with the fit. Moving out of LSU’s official visit weekend, there’s growing confidence that the Tigers are going to give the Hurricanes a real battle here. There are no Crystal Ball predictions right now, and let’s see what happens next weekend when he leaves his official visit to Miami, but we like where LSU now stands after being able to get the Tolan family to campus. He’s a guy they really want at linebacker in this cycle.

Azareyeh Thomas … ATH - 6-1, 177

Thomas is someone cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond spent a ton of time with this weekend, and they also had guys like Elias Ricks and Derek Stingley Jr. in town and hanging out with the group. Thomas has had some serious interest in LSU, and he brought his mom and aunt on the trip for them to also be able to check things out first-hand. After visits to Florida, Georgia Tech and now LSU, I also like where things stand here with the Niceville High standout. LSU just signed his teammate in Kimo Makaneole, and the Tigers are now pushing hard to go back-to-back at the school. Thomas has some great film at wide receiver, but colleges have largely targeted him as a defensive back. With the time Raymond spent recruiting Thomas so far and the red carpet treatment he got this weekend in Baton Rouge, it’s clear the Tigers want the four-star in the boat this cycle.

Kamari Wilson … S - 6-1, 195

LSU was able to lock in an official visit from IMG Academy safety Kamari Wilson, and with no safeties committed yet, he’s a big name to get onto campus this month. Wilson definitely has some interest LSU and could well return for an unofficial visit for a game this fall, and he brought his mom, dad and grandmother in for the visit. That said, sources still feel this one has been trending Georgia’s way, which is where all of the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions are right now. LSU’s going to keep battling, but the feeling is the Bulldogs are out front here.

Chris Graves … ATH - 6-1, 175

Graves has had LSU, Miami and South Carolina in his lead group, and he’s now made official visits to both the Gamecocks and Tigers and will be in South Beach for an official visit this coming weekend. Graves came into town with his mom on the trip, and he’s been on LSU’s cornerback board since landing an offer in February. That said, Miami was his first Power 5 offer, and with an early unofficial visit this month followed by the first official visit, they’ve been considered the team to beat and own the lone Crystal Ball predictions made so far. He’s already set a decision date for July 9, and right now, the signs are pointing towards the Hurricanes being the team that grabs his verbal commitment. We think proximity to home for Graves, who is still 16 years old, will play a big role here when it comes to he and his family making a college decision.

Nyjalik Kelly … DE - 6-4, 240

Kelly was in town with his mom as he made his second official visit of the month, taking in Indiana a week ago before traveling to Oregon next weekend. He’s saving the Florida State visit for the opening week of the season in September, and there’s probably good reasons for the Seminoles to feel like they can get him back in the boat after he committed soon after they became the first of the Big 3 schools in Florida to offer him a scholarship. Kelly opened things back up in April and has already made some visits down to Miami and to Gainesville, but I would keep an eye on FSU here. LSU’s certainly going to continue to recruit Kelly, but let’s revisit where things stand come the fall.

Final Thoughts … Things definitely are trending in the right direction with two guys we talked a lot about not he board in Tolan and Thomas, and those are two that we’ve heard talk up LSU a good bit already before the official visit weekend. We’re now also seeing some positions take a little more shape, with Marcus Scott coming off the commit list at cornerback and someone like Thomas being pushed up as a priority. Also, with the summer visits came also a better grip on the linebacker board, where guys like Tolan, Shawn Murphy, Harold Perkins and C.J. Washington have all become top targets following campus visits. There was also a feeling coming off the weekend that the combination of Corey Raymond (who has always recruited Florida for LSU’s staff) and Blake Baker (who just came to LSU from Miami’s staff) is a solid 1-2 punch with Sunshine State guys in these next couple cycle. Lots of relationships already built out there between those two.
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