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June 16, 2013

LSU coaching staff gets message across

More than a month ago LSU football coach Les Miles and his family phoned the mother of Rivals100 offensive lineman Cameron Robinson of West Monroe and sang birthday to her.

Just last week, when some of LSU's top prospects checked into their hotel rooms for the Rivals100 5-star Challenge in Chicago, they found a little reminder from the Tigers in the form of hand-written letters from members of the coaching staff, wishing them well in their star-studded weekend endeavor.

Not only was the gesture well received among the players LSU choreographed to receive them but with other elite players not previously considering the Tigers.

"When everybody found out about it the next day they were saying that was crazy," said Rivals100 wide receiver Malachi Dupre of John Curtis. "They were saying that school goes out of their way a lot for ya'll and that was cool what they did that ya'll."

LSU tried to blanket as many of its prospects on hand as possible but in some cases the letters weren't delivered for whatever the reason.

To those that received the white envelopes addressed in purple ink, including Rivals100 running back Leonard Fournette of St.Augustine who was unavailable for comment, it was the thought that counted and had them thinking about LSU despite being more than 900 miles away from the campus.

"I was really excited when I saw the letter," Rivals250 wide receiver Saeed Blacknall of Manapalan, N.J. "I was surprised and it was great to see my No. 1 showing me love."

Blacknall, who has already made an unofficial visit to Baton Rouge, has indicated LSU's his No. 1 school and the nation's No. 15 wide out could commit to the Tigers as early as next month.

Inside linebacker Clifton Garrett, the top-rated prospect in Illinois, is another out-of-state player that holds LSU in high regards.

Garrett has also made an unofficial visit to LSU and said in previous interviews the Tigers are atop his leaderboard.

Photo Gallery of LSU recruiting targets Rivals Challenge letters

"It was a pretty good feeling knowing that they were thinking about me enough to have a letter at my hotel waiting for me," said Garrett, a Rivals100 member and four-star recruit. "That really shows how much they really do want me."

LSU's attention to detail didn't go unnoticed by the nation's top-rated offensive guard Demetrius Knox of Ft. Worth, Texas-All Saints Episcopal.

Although there hasn't been a lot of public buzz connecting Knox to LSU the fact that the Tigers included the Rivals100 member in such a way could reap rewards in the future.

"It was great," Knox said. "It shows they really think a lot of me. It really meant a lot. You always want to go somewhere you're wanted."

While considered more of a long shot LSU had a letter waiting for Adoree' Jackson of Gardena, Calif.-Junipero Serra.

Jackson, who recently named the Tigers among his list of 10 finalists, is a Rivals100 member, five-star prospect and nation's No. 2 rated cornerback.

"My first thought was that I had arrived, but it was time to do work," Jackson said. "I was appreciative because it was the only one just sitting and waiting. I liked that."

Of the players on the receiving end of the letters Westlake tight end Jacory Washington - a Rivals250 member and four-star prospect - was the only committed player to the Tigers but that didn't underscore the signifance of the moment.

"It was exciting to know that they were thinking about me," Washington said. "It's great and shows a lot about how they care for their players."

Dupre is a four-star prospect and nation's No. 7 wide receiver who arguably put himself in a position to improve both of those rankings the next time they're upgraded after the Rivals100 Challenge.

Observers believe LSU is in a good place recruiting wise with Dupre, who has already made several unofficial visits and is close friends with current team members Odell Beckham Jr. and Duke Riley.

With UCLA and Florida State providing stiff opposition in the recruitment of Dupre, the Tigers are going to need to rely on any and all means possible in which to try and secure his signature.

Consider this most recent example of that and another step in the right direction.

"It was nice that they went out of their way and they didn't have to do that," Dupre said. "I enjoyed getting one. A few of the other guys from LSU got one and we were all pretty hyped about it. The letter was wishing me good luck at the camp and that they would be watching from afar. It showed that they cared."

Photo Gallery of LSU recruiting targets Rivals Challenge letters

Discuss this recruiting news with other LSU fans on the Tiger Den recruiting message board HERE.


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