Remember less than a year ago when LSU athletic director Joe Alleva all but fired longtime head coach Les Miles? Well, not even Miles’ tenuous job security can slow LSU on the recruiting trail right now. On Monday, the Tigers added 5-star safety JaCoby Stevens to ‘DBU.’
Officially Committed Back To My Dream School. LSU LSU LSU #GeauxTigers pic.twitter.com/X6oh6bG2Kw— JaCoby Stevens (@jacobystevens7) August 8, 2016
Stevens, to put it mildly, is a huge pickup for LSU’s class of 2017.
A 6’2”, 200-pound athlete from Murfreesboro, Tenn., Stevens picked the Tigers over Georgia, Alabama and Auburn. Earlier in the year, Stevens had announced that Georgia was his leader, but his selection of LSU was hardly a surprise. Stevens originally committed to LSU last fall until it looked like the school would fire Miles and he backed off his pledge.
Familiarity led to Stevens picking the Tigers, according to Cecil Joyce of the Daily News Journal.
"Everything about (LSU) felt like home. It was a perfect pick for me. My family and my girlfriend knew."
Stevens’ father cited family ties and his son’s longstanding love for the Tigers as the primary reasons LSU won out.
He's been in love with them since he was 4 years old. He has spent a lot of time on campus. Every time we would go there, he would have to go make a visit to Mike the Tiger.
An outstanding two-way athlete in high school, Stevens will star on the defensive side of the ball at the next level, even referencing a pair of former Tiger greats.
"To follow players like Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu is great,” said Stevens.
Stevens will have every opportunity to follow Peterson and Mathieu once he arrives in Baton Rouge in 2017. LSU’s secondary is loaded with veteran players this fall, meaning he could see the field early in his career. The Tigers have never shied away from playing freshmen in the secondary as Kevin Toliver showed everyone last season.
Stevens is a fluid athlete that could play on either side of the ball at the next level. He possesses terrific ball skills and elite body control. He has shown the ability to bait quarterbacks in high school, displaying the instincts necessary to star at safety in the SEC.
He will likely continue getting bigger and stronger, meaning a transition to corner will not happen. Stevens’ physicality is better suited to safety anyway.
While he doesn’t possess elite speed, Stevens is fast. He often uses his instincts and smarts to be in the right position. He’s the perfect type of player to cover the athletic tight ends and bigger receivers that dominate the football landscape today.
After Stevens’ commitment on Monday, the Tigers moved up to No. 3 in 247Sports’ Composite Team Rankings. LSU now trails only Ohio State and Alabama—pretty exclusive company.