5 things to watch at The Opening regional in Houston

KATY, Texas — Nike’s regional camp tour is underway with a Sunday stop in the Houston metro area next on the docket.

This particular camp will play host to several Texas and Louisiana prospects squarely on LSU’s radar for the 2019, 2020 and even the 2021 recruiting classes. That includes priority targets at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, defensive line and defensive back.

SEC Country will be on hand for all of the action on Sunday beginning at 9 a.m. CT. Here are the five biggest things to pay attention to:

Will Grant Gunnell shine?

Poor weather is expected in the Katy area, but will it prevent Grant Gunnell from living up to the hype? Gunnell, LSU’s top quarterback target in the 2019 class, is the biggest name expected to compete on Sunday. We know that the Tigers are among his top choices along with Arkansas, Oklahoma State and Ohio State since de-committing from Texas A&M. Will the biggest name on LSU’s board cement his status as one of the top signal-callers in the country with a ticket to Oregon?

It’s worth mentioning that Gunnell’s top target, 4-star wideout Jalen Curry, will also be competing. His St. Pius X (Texas) High School teammate is also a top priority for LSU in 2019 and has made multiple unofficial visits to Baton Rouge over the past month. The chemistry between Gunnell and Curry was well on display at the Pylon 7-on-7 event last weekend in New Orleans. If history repeats itself, both could be on the verge of going to Oregon.

Which blue-chip DBs step up?

Several elite defensive backs are going to be on hand for Sunday’s regional camp, including five who already hold offers from LSU.

Erick Young, Bobby Wolfe, Jamal Morris, Marcus Banks and Dwight McGlothern Jr. are all set to compete. Wolfe, a Texas A&M commit, is still in touch with coach Corey Raymond. Young, Morris, Banks and McGlothern remain top targets on the Tigers’ board for the 2019 and 2020 classes.

With LSU in dire need of secondary help in 2019, we should get a better idea of how Morris, Young, Banks and Wolfe stack up among the top defensive backs in the country in 1-on-1 and positional drills.

Large contingent of Louisiana flavor

With New Orleans no longer on the schedule for The Opening regional camp tour, several Louisiana prospects are making their way to the Houston area to test themselves against the best in Texas for a shot to advance to The Finals in Oregon later this summer.

Here’s some of the Louisiana recruits expected on Sunday:

  • Lance LeGendre, 2019 QB
  • Amani Gilmore, 2019 QB
  • Trey Palmer, 2019 WR
  • Jacob Bernard, 2019 WR
  • Daren Zeno, 2019 WR
  • Brandon Legendre, 2019 WR
  • Jacobi Bellazin, 2020 WR
  • Shamar Smith, 2020 WR
  • Tyruss Gayden, 2019 DB
  • Howard Joseph, 2020 DB

The marquee names here include LeGendre and Gilmore, both of whom are prospects that could garner offers from LSU down the road. Palmer is already a top priority for the Tigers’ coaching staff. Bellazin, Smith and Joseph are three in the 2020 class to get familiar with.

Can LSU get in the mix with a Texas tackle?

It’s a shallow group of offensive lineman expected in Houston, but that doesn’t mean it lacks star power. Class of 2019 blue-chippers Javonne Shepherd and Kenyon Green are both set to compete and both are likely candidates to wind up earning their invites to Oregon. Class of 2021 tackle Donovan Jackson was offered by the LSU staff last fall and is among the best in the country in his class.

LSU holds commitments from two Louisiana offensive linemen, but remains on the hunt for true tackles to add to its 2019 group. Will Shepherd eventually fall into the class or can the Tigers regain favor with Green, a one-time commitment?

LSU has a top DL target and 2 on the radar

LSU hosted 4-star defensive end Marcus Stripling for a handful of unofficial visits in the fall and he’s expected back on campus soon. He is one of several defensive linemen expected in Katy that has caught the attention of the staff.

Nelson Ceasar, a top-200 prospect, is the No. 12-ranked weak-side end in the 2019 class. He visited for the LSU spring game a year ago and remains on the staff’s radar. He could fill the Bench-LB role in this year’s haul — if he garners an offer.

Gerald Irons III is a 3-star tackle that has been on campus quite a bit in the past year. He has pulled in some big offers of late and could add more as he makes the rounds for junior days and camps over the next few months, and is a name to be wary of.

The post 5 things to watch at The Opening regional in Houston appeared first on SEC Country.

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