Monday, January 22, 2007

Jimbo Fisher Still Recruiting McKnight

BATON ROUGE — That former LSU football coach keeps recruiting Louisiana football players.Guess who talked to John Curtis High tailback Joe McKnight at Curtis on Thursday? Why, former LSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, who now has that title at Florida State.
McKnight, who is widely considered the best high school tailback in the nation, also spoke with former LSU head coach Nick Saban on Thursday. McKnight (6-foot-1, 193) may or may not visit Saban's new work place at Alabama, depending on whom you believe.Curtis coach J.T. Curtis is saying McKnight has not lined up a visit to Alabama or Florida State, but McKnight told an Alabama Web site that he plans to visit Alabama some time before signing day on Feb. 7.Curtis and Saban have had a good relationship since Saban was an assistant at Michigan State in the 1980s. Saban also has known McKnight since he was in eighth grade.McKnight is at USC this weekend and is scheduled to visit LSU next weekend. He visited Ole Miss last weekend. Curtis said Fisher and Saban are in the running for McKnight's final two visits as are Arkansas and Miami."He had a nice visit with Nick, but I expected him to have a nice visit with him," Curtis said. "Joe also had a nice visith with Jimbo."Fisher, who just took the FSU job on Jan. 8, also got a commitment on Jan. 12 from wide receiver Ahmad Paige of Sterlington, La. Helping Fisher get Paige (6-3, 175) to commit was new FSU receiver coach Lawrence Dawsey, who was a former graduate assistant at LSU under Fisher and Saban in 2003.Fisher last Monday also had a face-to-face visit with Pearl River Community College wide receiver Demetrius Byrd, who has been at LSU this weekend on an official visit. Visiting Byrd (6-2, 195) along with Fisher was Dawsey, Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden and Florida State assistant Mickey Andrews. Byrd will be at Florida State next weekend.Byrd caught 45 passes for 730 yards last season and is considered one of the top junior college prospects in the nation. Also recruiting Byrd are Arkansas, Iowa State and Ole Miss.AT LSU NOW: Visiting LSU this weekend along with Byrd is safety Damien Berry of Glades Central High in Belle Glade, Fla. LSU is still recruiting Berry (5-11, 197) even though he is committed to Miami and visits Miami next weekend. Berry is considered the No. 11 safety in the country by is from the same high school as LSU commitment Ernest McCoy, a 6-5, 330-pound offensive lineman. Also recruiting Berry are UCLA, Florida, South Carolina, West Virginia and Rutgers.Other scheduled visitors to LSU this weekend have all already committed to the Tigers. Those are tight end Mitch Joseph and offensive tackle Josh Dworaczyk of Catholic High in New Iberia, quarterback Jarrett Lee of Brenham High in Brenham, Texas, wide receiver Ron Brooks of MacArthur High in Irving, Texas, offensive tackle Jarvis Jones of Lamar Cons High in Rosenberg, Texas, and tight end Alex Russian of Round Rock High in Round Rock, Texas.Jones (6-6, 250) is an LSU commitment, but LSU needs to do well with him this weekend as his mother would prefer he stay closer to home, according to Mike Scarborough of Texas A&M is among the other schools recruiting Jones.MILES VS. SABAN: In addition to visiting Curtis star Joe McKnight, Alabama coach Nick Saban created a stir while visiting LSU commitments Phelon Jones, a cornerback from McGill-Toolen High in Mobile, Ala., and Luther Davis, a defensive end from West Monroe, last week.According to both prospects, Saban took credit for LSU's recent success as he signed most of the players involved in the Tigers' 22-4 run since he left.Neither player agreed to take a visit to Alabama, though, and refused to de-commit from LSU."Great guy, but he is a little bit overconfident," Jones' father Tony said in also got a no from Davis in West Monroe."He (Saban) was kind of mad that we turned down the visit and turned down the scholarship," Davis told "He said that there is no way that the coaching staff at LSU can compare to the coaching staff we have at Alabama right now. He gave no credit to anyone."Miles is apparently wary of Saban, however. He dispatched assistant coaches Bo Pelini, Doug Mallory and Josh Henson to Mobile and to West Monroe to follow up both Saban visits."I don't think the LSU coaches are upset with Saban," Scarborough said. "It probably just makes them very motivated to out-recruit him. I think they also think it's unbelievable some of the things he is saying about LSU."

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