Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. Today, we discuss LSU’s pursuit of Louisiana’s top running back John Emery Jr. After releasing his top eight schools, the 4-star prospect broke down the Tigers’ chances.
LSU remains strong contender for John Emery Jr.
John Emery Jr. is down to eight.
On Friday, the elite Louisiana tailback trimmed his impressive double-digit offer sheet down to eight. Emery went in-depth on the process and how he settled on eight here.
As we dip further into the spring, the nation’s No. 5-ranked running back will continue to make unofficial visits. He has already been to LSU, Michigan, Auburn and Florida, with stops at Georgia and Tennessee expected in April. Emery’s most recent stop in Baton Rouge came on March 17 as he took in the Tigers’ first spring scrimmage. The return visit marked Emery’s first time back on campus since the fall.
Of course, it’s worth mentioning that Emery was a mainstay at LSU at this time a year ago after garnering an early offer. He attended a handful of home games in the fall, but began exploring his out-of-state options in January. Simply put, he was doing his due diligence.
“We lost a tad bit, but we’re back on it,” Emery told SEC Country in regard to his communication with the Tigers staff. “Everything is good right now. We’re still communicating. By taking these [out-of-state] visits, I can focus on some other schools, too, but the communication is still the same. I’m still feeling the love and everything is good.”
Emery made a visit to Michigan during LSU’s elite junior day in January. He was at The Plains for LSU’s second junior day function, but made his way up I-10 as spring practice rolled on.
LSU running backs coach Tommie Robinson and New Orleans area recruiter Mickey Joseph quickly took advantage of having the elite running back on campus again, devoting a good deal of attention to Emery for much of the afternoon. It did not take long for Emery to reconnect with the staff.
“LSU, I can see myself there,” he said. “I love LSU. It’s home. Every time I go there, it’s a good time. I can make big things at LSU. Also, I’ve been taking these visits to other schools, seeing Michigan and Florida, and I’ve felt at home at other schools. I want to go where I’d feel comfortable living the next three or four years.
“When I first got offered by LSU, it was a great feeling. My feelings for LSU never decreased. I love LSU.”
If anything, visiting out-of-state schools has provided Emery with some perspective in this long-winding recruiting process.
After all, Emery spent the majority of his time last year in Baton Rouge. He’s well aware of what’s in Robinson’s current running backs room and the need for an alpha in this 2019 recruiting class. Making visits to other schools has merely given Emery a long-awaited opportunity to compare and contrast all of his options.
“LSU showed a lot of love when I was there,” Emery said. “I’ve been talking to Coach T-Rob and they’re trying to figure out who’s going to be the No. 1 running back. I was checking out those running backs. I know they have Clyde [Edwards-Helaire], they have [Tae Provens]. I was watching him. They’re trying to figure it out, but I don’t want to get too caught up with that.
“My visits have been great. I’ve noticed some differences. I’ve been to LSU a couple of times and they wanted me on campus for a junior day before spring ball started up. I wanted to shoot out and see the differences, and that’s been amazing for me to see the differences. I’m enjoying it.”
In Emery’s newly released top eight, there’s LSU and a host of other SEC powers, including Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Florida and Auburn. Additionally, Southern Cal and Michigan made the cut.
The 4-star running back has been to most of those campuses this spring, and if not, has plans to do so before he slices his top group down to three ahead of his senior season at Destrehan (La.) High School. A commitment date is tentatively scheduled during the December signing period.
It appears as if it will be LSU versus the field with an emphasis on the depth chart and what transpires during the season. Each of the schools embedded in Emery’s top eight have enticed him in different facets and he can see the positives in all the pitches.
“At LSU, it’s love, and definitely when I go there, it’s home and it feels like home,” Emery explained. “When I go out-of-state, schools like Michigan and coach Jim Harbaugh, it was businesslike, straightforward. That’s the difference. Auburn was business. Do your time and do what you got to do for the school and take care of your own business.
“When I go to LSU, it’s business, but it’s home, too. It’s love. I love the school, so it’s going to be a hard decision for me at the end.”
Miss a previous edition? Find every post of SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers recruiting notebook right here.