The recruitment of 2013 defensive end Kendell Beckwith, one of the top players in the state of Louisiana, could come down to the Tigers and Crimson Tide after the star pass rusher took in the hard-fought contest between the two schools last weekend.
Hailing from East Feliciana High School in Jackson, the 6-3, 225-pounder was on his second unofficial visit to Death Valley this season and came away impressed with the atmosphere ($):
What I took out of it more is probably how crazy the atmosphere is at LSU -- how crazy it can really get. I never thought it could get much crazier at night in Tiger Stadium than it was for South Carolina. ... I thought I had seen it as bad as it could get as far as the fans go, but this game, man. They were crazy as far as hollering. Just all night. I see why it's hard for teams to come in there and win.
Listed as an athlete by ESPN because he could play linebacker or defensive end at the next level (he may be best suited to play as a 3-4 outside linebacker due to his size), Beckwith is a consensus four-star prospect considered by most services to be one of the top weakside defensive end recruits in the country.
He has not yet made it to Alabama this fall for a game, but has plans to make the five-hour journey to Tuscaloosa after his team's playoff game Friday night.
The logistics may be tough for Beckwith, as East Feliciana plays about three hours away from home, meaning that he would have a turnaround time of only several hours before needing to be on the road again.
Since Beckwith has visited LSU three times since last making it on campus at Alabama, the Crimson Tide coaching staff is no doubt hoping that they can get him back there to make a strong impression on him.
So, does one school have an edge on the other after the game last weekend?
In a word: no.
Here's what Beckwith told Tiger Bait the other day ($):
It's so hard for me. It's just neck and neck still for me.
Proximity certainly favors the home-state Tigers, but that didn't stop star safety Landon Collins from picking Alabama against his mother's wishes not even a year ago. However, the high school quarterback and defensive end is also the cousin of former LSU linebacker Darry Beckwith, another factor on top of proximity that weighs in favor of the Tigers.
An Under Armor All-American with offers from many of the top programs around the country, Beckwith plans on announcing his decision in January at the high-profile all-star game.