5-star wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones has committed to Texas A&M, and while this is a huge commitment for the Aggies, his decision will go down as a big recruiting loss for the LSU Tigers.
Taylor Hamm of 247Sports reports on Seals-Jones’ decision via his Twitter account:
Hamm (@TaylorHamm247) December 10, 2012
Now that the Tigers are firmly out of the running for the talented wide receiver, where do they turn from here?
The good news is, even without Seals-Jones, Les Miles’ 2013 class is still looking pretty good. They have 22 commitments lined up for 2013 so far, and that includes two talented wide receivers in 4-star John Diarse and 4-star Quantavius Leslie.
The Tigers look to be set from a wide receiver standpoint, but there are a few other targets out there that would be interesting options for LSU if they want to go that direction after losing out on Seals-Jones. That said, considering Seals-Jones status as the No. 1 athlete in the nation according to the 247Sports composite rankings, there’s also reason to believe that the Tigers would play him on defense, so they may want to focus on getting stronger there as well.
Either way, the best way to move on is to move forward, and there are a few recruits LSU must land if they want to make up for losing out on the 5-star wide receiver.
Priest Willis, 5-star CB, Marcos De Niza High School (AZ)
Priest Willis is one of the premier defensive back recruits in the country, so if LSU was planning on using Seals-Jones in that role, landing Willis would more than make up for not being able to get his commitment.
He is more than fast enough to patrol the secondary and stick with fast wide receivers, but he's big enough to play a huge role in the running game—and at LSU being aggressive and strong at the point of attack is integral to defensive success.
Willis has LSU in his top seven according to 247Sports, and one would assume that he'll become one of their main targets now.
Kendell Beckwith, 4-star WDE, East Feliciana High School (LA)
Kendell Beckwith projects to be a very good defensive end, and he'll be a big pickup for LSU if they do indeed land him. It's worth noting that he's from Jackson, Louisiana, so the Tigers have a pretty good "home-state advantage" with him. They're also listed as his leader by 247Sports, followed by Alabama on his interest list.
Beckwith checks in at 6'2.5'', 225 pounds and runs a 4.83 40 according to 247Sports. He'll need to bulk up a bit more, but he has the athleticism and speed to be elite off the edges at the college level and could become a big-time pass rusher for LSU.
They have a great chance to land him, and they need a recruiting win now more than ever.
Eddie Jackson, 3-star WR, Boyd Anderson High School (FL)
Eddie Jackson is only a 3-star recruit, but he's worth mentioning because of the intangibles that he'd bring to LSU. Like I said, they seem to be set at the wide receiver position, but if they wanted to take a shot at bringing in one more recruit to make up for losing out on Seals-Jones, Jackson would be a great option.
He's 6'2'', 175 pounds, so he has good size, but he runs a stellar 4.38 40 according to 247Sports. He has the speed to be a deep threat as a wide receiver and he could be very effective within the slots and seams of a defense, which would ultimately help spread the field a bit for LSU's running game.
Jackson has Tennessee listed as his favorite, but LSU and FSU are behind as "warm interests" according to 247Sports. If the Tigers focus on getting into the running with Jackson, he could be a very underrated recruiting win that would pay dividends in the future.
It's worth noting that LSU has made an offer. He may not be a big name or a highly ranked player, but he has the intangibles to be very good.
To be clear, Jackson can't make up for Seals-Jones' star power, but he just might surprise some folks if he gets his shot. Jackson is a recruit that LSU needs to take a chance on.
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