LSU Football lost in-state recruit to Alabama because of NIL deal

LSU Football was hoping to sign 2022 three-star tight end Danny Lewis on National Signing Day last week.

Instead, Lewis signed with the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Lewis, 6-foot-5/255 lbs from New Iberia, LA (Westgate), was ranked in 247Sports’ composite rankings as the No. 31 tight end in the country and the No. 30 player in Louisiana.

Those rankings don’t indicate an “elite” recruit, but recruiting rankings aren’t always 100 percent accurate.

Alabama and LSU clearly saw a lot they liked in Lewis. And both programs were working hard to land the Louisiana native in the days leading up to National Signing Day.

LSU Football lost Danny Lewis to Alabama because of a NIL deal

Lewis ending up with Alabama wasn’t a total surprise — it’s never a surprise when Alabama lands a recruit, regardless of where they’re from.

But there was a reason Lewis signed with Alabama over LSU. And it wasn’t just because of Alabama’s recent success.

According to 247Sports’ Shea Dixon, who covers the Tigers on a daily basis, there are a lot of folks who feel like Lewis signing with Alabama came down to a NIL deal — though it wasn’t necessarily a big NIL deal.

“Many folks feel like this came down to a NIL deal, though it wasn’t a big number,” wrote Dixon this week.

It feels like LSU has been lagging behind a bit in NIL deals — it’s also the reason they lost four-star in-state running back TreVonte’ Citizen to the Miami Hurricanes.

Like it or not, this is the state of college football in 2022. The Tigers need to up their NIL game if they’re going to continue landing elite top-five recruiting classes.