Three-Point Stance: LSU’s outlook, Texas-Bama, Irish in Mid-South

Rivals national recruiting analyst Nick Harris provides his perspective on LSU following its week one loss to Florida State, Texas’ challenge this weekend against Alabama and Notre Dame’s presence in the Mid-South region in the 2024 recruiting cycle.

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LSU will be just fine

Tatum Bethune

Tatum Bethune (AP Images)

Brian Kelly’s debut at LSU had everything in its favor going into Sunday night’s matchup with Florida State: a primetime slot, a Sunday night game allowing for more recruits to visit and a packed Superdome just down I-10 in New Orleans.

However, what we may have thought would’ve played out ended up being the opposite as Florida State went into Louisiana and pulled a win right out from under the Tigers in front of their home fans and a large recruit list.

Twitter was quick to hop on Kelly’s case, especially after a multitude of special teams mistakes ended up being the difference maker, and it hasn’t been the best week in Baton Rouge since with the local media. However, I’m still immensely confident in what Kelly can do at LSU.

The core pieces in Baton Rouge are strong enough to put LSU in the game with just about any team in the SEC, and the 2023 class will have difference makers arrive on campus as early as January and help shape what the coming years will actually look like under the new regime.

I know week one overreactions are almost customary, but let’s wait on judging what LSU will look like for now.

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As Notre Dame shifts most of its attention to the 2024 class, there aren’t any signs of the Irish letting up in the Mid-South.

Marcus Freeman

Marcus Freeman (Matt Cashore/USA Today Sports)

As the Irish turned the page to the Marcus Freeman era, its first recruiting cycle in 2023 has seen Mid-South commitments come in from Jaden Greathouse, Braylon James, Peyton Bowen and Micah Bell from the state of Texas and Jaiden Ausberry from Louisiana.

Those commitments helped Notre Dame seal most of its spots in the 2023 cycle which has allowed the Irish to look ahead to 2024 and turn up the heat on top targets. In talking to recruits and sources around the region, Notre Dame is very prevalent in the region with the current junior class. Some of the names that I’ve heard associated with the Irish to this point have included Micah Hudson, Tylen Singleton, Eli Bowen, Zina Umeozulu, TJ Lindsey and Nigel Smith just to name a few.

If the Irish can replicate their 2023 success in 2024 in the region, it would be safe to say that the program will be a mainstay in the region as long as Freeman is the man in charge.

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Is Saturday a measuring stick moment or a prove-it moment for Texas?

Steve Sarkisian

Steve Sarkisian (AP Images)

Texas will get a taste of its SEC future this weekend when the Longhorns welcome in No. 1 Alabama to Austin in what will easily be the biggest game early on in the Steve Sarkisian era.

Amid all of the action on Saturday, Texas will also be hosting dozens of recruits across multiple classes on the biggest fall recruiting weekend the Longhorns have had since they welcomed LSU into Austin in 2019.

In looking at this game from Texas’ perspective, there are multiple ways to look at it. My inclination tells me to acknowledge the perceived fate, which will be a big Alabama win, but to also look for some positives that could carry the Longhorns moving forward, given that’s how the staff will have to communicate to recruits before, during and after. But another part of me expects Alabama to dominate all three phases of the game and provide some embarrassment to the opposing sideline on its home turf.

This weekend will be big for a few 2023 recruiting battles including Jalen Hale, Malik Muhammad, Derek Williams and more, but can Texas do enough to show that the program is on the right track ahead of entering the SEC for good?

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