Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. Today, we discuss the future of the Tigers’ backfield. LSU currently holds a commitment from 4-star Baton Rouge tailback Tyrion Davis. The staff is in searching for another elite back to add to the class and it could very likely be Noah Cain.
Noah Cain recaps spring visits to LSU
BATON ROUGE, La. — Throughout the start of spring football practice, coach Ed Orgeron has dished out praise to each out the tailbacks competing for carries this upcoming season. In other words, there is no clear alpha in the backfield at the moment.
That’s why LSU is looking to add multiple blue-chip running backs to the team in its 2019 recruiting class. The Tigers hold a commitment from 4-star Baton Rouge tailback Tyrion Davis. Another local product is the top contender to join him.
Noah Cain, the nation’s No. 2-ranked running back, has made two unofficial visits to LSU this past week. After attending elite junior day in January, the 4-star prospect took in the team’s spring practice session on Tuesday, then dined with Davis, 5-star lineman Kardell Thomas and the offensive coaches overlooking Tiger Stadium. Cain returned on Thursday to watch the second scrimmage of the spring.
“The energy,” Cain told SEC Country, when asked what stood out about his time back in Baton Rouge.
“The defense is real. The offense is putting together the pieces to be successful and win versus a tough schedule. The way the coaches are trying to get everyone on the same page is great. The offense is getting their new system together with Coach [Steve] Ensminger.”
A year ago at this time, there were several other schools leading for the talented Baton Rouge native. LSU has since asserted itself as a legitimate contender in the race.
Both coach Ed Orgeron and running backs coach Tommie Robinson have been constant forces in Cain’s recruitment, which has resulted in a cluster of visits in recent months. Of course, Thomas and Davis have also been in the elite back’s ear about a homecoming in purple and gold.
“At first, I was skeptical how we’d develop, but it’s real now,” Cain said of his relationship with the LSU staff. “I like ita lot. Coach O and Coach T-Rob are down-to-earth people. They’re old school and I get a good vibe from the whole offensive staff and the commits they got in the class and who’s trying to come on board. It’s a good vibe from everyone.
“They’re coming at me as hard as anyone,” he added. “I make my decision in December [the 22nd]. Me and Tyrion talk about these schools. Ty is solid with LSU and he’s trying to get me to come play with him. It’s a good vibe from everything down here.”
Both Davis and Thomas continued to make their pitch to Cain during Tuesday night’s dinner overlooking Death Valley. That’s been a theme for the two Southern Lab products over the past year or so.
Like the two LSU verbals, the coaching staff is pushing a homecoming theme in their pitch to Cain, who has family all across Louisiana. Compared to the other schools heavily in the mix such as Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Georgia, that’s where the Tigers hold a unique edge.
“Four or five years ago, I was watching LSU on TV with Tyrann Mathieu, Eric Reid and Jeremy Hill, and now they’re telling me to come in and be a piece to win a national championship,” Cain smiled. “It’s a special feeling to know how much LSU wants me on board with the team, to come back to Baton Rouge to play for the city, for the state and people of Louisiana and get it back popping.
“The biggest thing: Put on for the 225. Baton Rouge has a lot of talent. They don’t have the facilities they have in Texas. Dudes get out of the mud here and I like playing for dudes like that, dudes trying to make it. That’s a big thing … the biggest thing keeping them [LSU] in the picture — coming back to the city with all of my family down here.”
Tyrion Davis updates state of commitment
Davis, a top-200 prospect and the No. 15-ranked running back in the nation, has been tabbed as one of future pieces of LSU’s backfield.
The 4-star tailback from Southern Lab will be on campus officially next January, but has spent his spring touring over the country making unofficial stops at both Tennessee and Alabama. In between, he’s made numerous return visits back to LSU.
“They’re pretty nice,” Davis told SEC Country of his visits to other SEC schools, “but it’s not home.”
Flip the calendar back a year and Davis didn’t hold any offers. Michigan was the lone team flirting with making an offer prior to his junior season.
Robinson offered that June after Davis excelled in prospect camp. He committed two weeks later.
While the 6-foot-1, 215-pound bruiser continues to go through the process and make visits elsewhere, Davis confirmed where LSU stands in the big picture.
“It’s a good experience and you only go through it once,” he explained. “I want to get everything out of it that I can. I see why some people might have worries, but I’m just a kid and I’ll never get this chance again. LSU stays in contact with me every day. They check on me every day. I watched them every day growing up, so they will always be on top.”
‘There’s no one else I’d rather run with’
Davis has made his intensions clear about where he’ll be playing his college football. The question is which running back will join him this time next year.
Both Davis and Thomas have zeroed in on Cain to join the Tigers’ 2019 recruiting class. During dinner on Tuesday evening, the two blue-chip running backs realized their potential in Baton Rouge.
“I’m always talking to him because we’d be a good fit together. We’d probably be the best [tandem] in the nation,” Davis laughed. “We’re the future. It’s something big to think about. We were in the stadium looking at it and it was amazing. Looking down the road we thought about what could possibly happen and what we could bring [to LSU]. There’s no one else I’d rather run with.”
As far as the prospects of a two-back class comprised of Davis and Cain, Davis offered this on the potential 1-2 punch: “It’s over for any team.”
The push from two other Baton Rouge area prospects has sit well with Cain.
Cain may have spent time in the Dallas area and currently resides at IMG, but he takes pride in where he’s originally from. He has connected with Davis and Thomas early and often on the recruiting trail and appreciates the legwork they’re putting in to lure him back home.
That sentiment has been strongly echoed by the LSU coaches.
“I talk to Ty and Kardell every week. It’s a family vibe,” Cain said. “A lot of teams with two-man backfields want to be selfish; we want each other to eat to get to the highest level. It’s about taking care of your family and getting to the league. They’re doing a real good job. They’re real cool and genuine. Coach T-Rob and Coach O, I get a good vibe with them.
“It’s family down here. It’s real. I know the type of people that live in Baton Rouge. I know the state and where they come from. For them to holler at me all the time to put on for my city, put on for Louisiana, to beat ‘Bama and put the pieces together, that’s what they’re trying to do and that stands out a lot. A good offensive line and splitting time with Ty, I know we could carry the load and get LSU back to glory.”
Cain remains far away from a decision. His next move will be to slice his double-digit offer sheet down to five and schedule officially visits beginning in July.
There are currently Crystal Ball picks for Cain to Ohio State, Texas, Oklahoma, Miami and LSU. To Davis, it isn’t even that close.
LSU’s current running back verbal believes Cain is the most likely to join the 2019 class. He named Texas and Oklahoma as the biggest threats, but offered up this rationale on why the Tigers are in it as much as anyone.
“I think it’ll be LSU,” Davis said. “Even if you’re living somewhere, if you’re from Texas, then Texas is going to be a top school you look at. He’s from Louisiana. If you’re from Louisiana, LSU will always be a school you look at it.”
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