LSU football coach Ed Orgeron’s recruiting touch continues to pay dividends, now helping the Tigers rack up one of the top 2019 classes so far in the recruiting cycle. On Saturday LSU got a big push forward with the commitment of a pair of stars from the neighboring state of Mississippi.
The prize among that pair is four-star defensive end Jaren Handy, a Perry Central (Miss.) star who is a top-10 prospect both at defensive end and in the state of Mississippi, and a top-100 prospect nationally.
Handy’s commitment came as he attended LSU’s junior day in Baton Rouge, and apparently some group think was a powerful driver behind Handy’s snap decision.
“I just verbally committed to LSU,” Handy told 247 Sports. “I went up there and didn’t know any other guys. Me and Charles (Moore) and Zach (Edwards) talked and said if us three go there it could be special. They liked LSU a lot. It felt comfortable. Not far from home and my cousin lives there in New Orleans.
“I like (Coach Orgeron) a lot. His message to me when he sat down with me and my family was if I go there, he would treat me like a son and I’d get a good education and get to play football.”
Joining Handy in Louisiana will be the aforementioned Edwards, a Starkville (Miss.) native and three-star linebacker who was widely expected to commit to hometown SEC rival Mississippi State. He finished 2017 with 125 tackles and 11 sacks, with a whopping 36 tackles cutting down opponents for a loss.
The duo add to LSU’s already powerful Class of 2019, which includes a commitment from five-star offensive lineman Kardell Thomas, the nation’s top-rated offensive guard. If the Tigers keep up their current pace, they might even end up ahead of fellow SEC powers and perennial recruiting champion contenders Alabama and Georgia.
It’s early yet, but there’s no denying LSU’s terrific momentum. Plenty of thanks to the state of Mississippi for that.