LSU strengthened its linebacking corps during the weekend by doing something that many college programs are unsuccessful doing, getting commitments from two prospects in the metro Atlanta area with scholarship offers from Georgia.
Stone Mountain Stephenson standouts Perry Riley and Kelvin Sheppard committed to the Bayou Bengals after visiting Baton Rouge last weekend, taking in the Tigers' 21-17 victory against Florida.
This is significant because LSU is a relative newcomer to landing prospects from this area. Georgia typically gets who it wants from the areas outside Atlanta. The Bulldogs also have had previous success at Stephenson. In the last four years, UGA has managed to sign Kregg Lumpkin, Josh Johnson, T.J. Gartrell and DeMario Minter out of the school.
Riley projects as an outside linebacker while Sheppard projects on the inside. Both are high school teammates of Rivals100 five-star linebacker Marcus Ball
Both are the second and third commitments for Tigers cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto. Peveto also was instrumental in landing the nation's No. 2 defensive tackle, Al Woods of Elton, La.
Peveto, who came over from Middle Tennessee State to join Les Miles staff in January, is LSU's lead recruiter on other key targets like Ball, Houston offensive tackle Ian Symonette and four-star defensive back Leonard Hewitt of Lufkin, Texas.
Backers like Vols, too
LSU isn't the only program that can recruit linebackers. Tennessee made quite an impression on Highland Springs (Va.) middle linebacker Jarrell Miller and Oakland (Calf.) McClymonds middle linebacker Joshua Tatum.
Both visited the weekend of UT's 27-14 loss to Georgia.
Tatum is the No. 2 'backer in California and has the Vols in his top four, along with Southern California, California and Miami (Fla.). Tennessee, however, is in a strong position here and has been since the spring. Vols tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Greg Adkins has done a great job with Tatum.
Miller, the top linebacker in Virginia, rated his visit to Knoxville a '10' and says he still will visit Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Florida. In his latest update, however, he talked about wanting to make an impact in the SEC. This has all the makings of a Vols-Hokies battle.
Fannin looking around
Four-star Auburn commitment Mario Fannin says that if Signing Day were today, then he would sign with the Tigers.
But he still plans to visit Tennessee and Florida.
Of those two teams, the Vols are the ones Auburn fans should keep an eye on. Fannin has two former Lovejoy (Ga.) High teammates on the roster at UT in Chris Scott and Anthony Parker.
Listed as an athlete, Fannin projects as a running back at Auburn. His wandering eye means that both of the Tigers' heralded commitments at that position have been looking round. Rivals100 running back Benjamin Tate visited Maryland and plans to visit Florida.
Can Auburn hold on to its backfield of the future? Stay tuned.
Dawgs in the mix with Hazelton
With the exception of losing Riley and Sheppard, the recruiting news has been for the most part positive around Athens. Rivals250 safety Quintin Banks committed on Monday.
Also, the Bulldogs have crept into the mix for Rivals100 wide receiver Vidal Hazelton, the nation's second-ranked player at his position.
"I'm getting a lot of pressure from my family because a bunch of them live (in Georgia)," Hazelton said. "It's a great program and having people close would help."
Tennessee, Miami (Fla.), Southern California and Penn State round out the Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military standouts top five.
Rebels not getting Bradford
Despite mentioning Ole Miss early, five-star linebacker Allen Bradford of Colton, Calif., will not visit Oxford.
California's top prospect will visit in-state schools UCLA, Cal and Southern Cal and already has visited Oregon.
The Rebels will, however, get a visit from three-star Norco (Calf.) fullback Toby Gerhart. The nation's No. 9 fullback prospect will trip to Oxford the weekend of Nov. 11 when Mississippi plays host to Arkansas.
This, that and the other
Arkansas defensive line commitment Freddie Barnett of Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College made his debut at No. 18 in the Rivals.com Junior College prospect rankings…Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military running back Keiland Williams recently picked up his fourth SEC offer, from Tennessee, joining LSU, Kentucky and Ole Miss…LSU defensive end commit Marcus Tillman plays with his brother, 6-foot-6, 315-pound Bo Tillman on the defensive line…Vanderbilt quarterback commit Jared Funk threw for 272 yards in his high school game last week…South Carolina will play host to two official visitors this weekend, including four-star offensive tackle Lee Tilley from Columbus, Ohio.
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