Jul 2, 2013; Beaverton, OR, USA; Clifton Garrett (14) drops back in coverage during the Nike 7on7 pool play at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon on Tuesday July, 2, 2013. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

LSU Tiger's Still Holding Lead for 5-Star OLB Clifton Garrett?

LSU had success recruiting the state of Illinois bringing in one of the nation’s top offensive linemen in Ethan Pocic last recruiting cycle and if all goes according to script, the Tigers will have the Land of Lincoln’s top recruit this year in five-star outside linebacker, Clifton Garrett.

Dating back to the spring when Garrett was blown away by the experience at the LSU spring game, the Tigers have been viewed as his prohibitive favorite, but with Garrett’s second official do a rival SEC school in as many weeks, could LSU’s lead be shrinking a bit?

Garrett spoke at length about his recruitment during an ESPN radio interview with Shea Dixon and Jordy Culotta

“The Florida visit was last weekend, and it was a good visit for me,” he said. I had a good time down there. It was a real nice area and real nice campus. The game was a great game and incredible atmosphere. That was a good time.”

It’s pretty difficult to not have a great time when schools roll out the red carpet for you. Garrett has a good time, but nothing here leads me to believe Florida is a threat to overtake LSU.

However, the school Garrett is visiting this weekend looks to have the best shot at eating into the lead LSU possesses and that’s the Tennessee Volunteers. Garrett has previously stated Tennessee is his number No. 2 despite never taking any unofficial visits to Knoxville.

“I can’t wait for this weekend and going to Tennessee. It’s going to be a huge visit for me and my family. We are just looking forward to seeing everything Tennessee has to offer.”

Garrett has been intrigued by the job Butch Jones has done in his short time as Tennessee’s head coach on the recruiting trail and this weekend is a huge opportunity for Jones and his staff to make a significant push. But LSU is still in the lead, right?

“I like LSU a lot, but I am giving every school that I take an official to a chance,” Garrett said. “I am going to take all these official visits, and when I get done with all five, I am going to sit back and think of the pros and cons of each school and see where I fit in the best. “I like LSU a lot, but these other schools aren’t too far behind.”

LSU won’t get Garrett on campus for his official visit until they play Texas A&M on the 23rd of November, but that will be his last official before he is scheduled to announce his commitment at the U.S. Army All-American Game in January and generally that bodes well to receive a recruit’s commitment.

In the meantime he talks frequently with LSU coaches Les Miles and John Chavis who gets Garrett excited when the two talk his fit in the defense at middle linebacker after playing on the outside in high school.

“I like talking to Coach Chavis. Every time I talk to him, I get pumped up; talking about the different schemes and how I would fit in. I am definitely looking forward to getting down there and sitting with (Chavis) on my official visit just to talk more football.”

This is the quote that spoke volumes to be about his stance with LSU, because you don’t see him glowing about the coaches from his other top suitors. Each of his favorites can provide a great education, campus, and an opportunity to play early in a successful program, but if they don’t have the relationships then they’re fighting a losing battle.

When the time comes to make his decision it will be LSU.

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Tags: Clifton Garrett Football LSU Tigers Recruiting

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