Things are getting interesting in the weeks ahead of National Signing Day, and several high-profile recruits from Texas will be watched closely as their decisions near. Official visits are wrapping up and should be a key factor in the commitments of a trio of defensive stars from the Lone Star State.
The latest: Wilson took a recent visit to LSU and rated it as a ‘12 out of 10’ in an interview with TigerBait.com. This weekend, he’s wrapping up his official visit tour with a trip to Tampa to see what new USF head coach Charlie Strong has cooking. It’s safe to assume that Wilson isn’t seriously considering the Bulls, and he has said even before he began taking official visits that the ones he took weren’t necessarily indicative of where he’s thinking about going. The suspected leaders coming down the stretch are LSU and Ohio State, with Florida State being the darkhorse candidate. The Tigers make the most sense, as proximity to his family is likely the biggest factor in his recruitment. Ed Orgeron has been actively involved in recruiting him as well, and all that might be too much for the Buckeyes to overcome, despite Wilson having a number of close friends heading to Columbus.
Prediction: LSU. While many were wondering what Texas could do to make a play for Wilson, it’s LSU that has been the most interesting to watch as a candidate for his commitment. After everything that has taken place with the program since the beginning of the fall, it seems as though the Tigers have fought their way back into a top position and are back to being the likely pick.
The latest: Jones is packing in official visits at the last minute before making his commitment. He took his first official to Florida last weekend, is taking a mid-week official to UCLA this week before hitting USC over the weekend, and then repeating the process next week with a mid-week trip to nearby Texas A&M before wrapping things up at Florida State. Jones is basically the last major target for the Aggies, so the A&M staff will be laying it on thick. Between the two West Coast schools, USC has had the longer-standing relationship with Jones but he’s originally from Florida, and the Gators and Seminoles have been far more actively involved with him than their California counterparts.
Prediction: Florida. UCLA is the outlier with the other four being the more serious contenders, although A&M is a more recent player as well and may have become serious about Jones too late in the process. Florida seems to be the more comfortable option between the two Sunshine State choices and now, with long-time family friend Randy Shannon taking over as the Gators’ defensive coordinator, they are the favorite for his commitment.
The latest: Chaisson has pared things down to LSU and Texas, taking official visits to each over the last two weeks. He doesn’t grant many interviews and prior to making the announcement that the Tigers and Longhorns were his final two choices, didn’t put out too much about his recruitment publicly on his own, either. In similar fashion to the path LSU has taken with Wilson, LSU has just steadily stayed in the picture with Chaisson for a long time, and there is a strikingly similar comparison between he and current Tigers defensive star Arden Key. Texas benefits from Tom Herman picking up the interest in Chaisson at the end of the fall while still at Houston, and is likely hoping to continue building momentum with him now that he’s in a more high-profile gig.
Prediction: LSU. There was a moment where it seemed as though Chaisson was ready to announce his commitment before the end of the season. At that point, it felt like Texas would have been the pick, but after choosing not to pull the trigger and taking his official visits, it seems like LSU might have found a way to close strong with him and win him back over.