The Tigers are looking to add some help at defensive tackle in the Class of 2011 and one of the prospects they have set their sights on is Phillip Dukes of Manning, S.C. The talented lineman wants to take a trip to Baton Rouge soon, so LSU will have a golden opportunity to roll out the red carpet.
The 6-foot-3, 295-pound defensive tackle from the Palmetto State boasts offers from Alabama, Auburn, North Carolina and South Carolina, and told TigerBait.com that LSU extended an offer to him probably about a month ago.
Alabama and Auburn have added defensive tackles to their respective classes in the past month while LSU looking for their second in the Class of 2011 to go along with Anthony Johnson.
"I spoke with someone (from LSU) last Thursday I believe," Dukes told TigerBait.com. "I know I've talked to coach (John) Chavis. He's told me that I'm a great player and I would fit in good with their defense. He asked me if I would take a visit down there sometime this summer and I told him I would. He said I'd be a great fit in what they do."
Dukes said the LSU coaches haven't spoken too in-depth with him regarding how many defensive tackles they would like to take in this class, but they have made it clear that he is a priority recruit at the position.
He also added that when he visits LSU this summer it will most likely be for a camp rather than merely an unofficial visit. LSU found out about Dukes by watching his film and shortly after seeing it they put an offer on the table.
"I've got interest in them but I can't really say much. I haven't been over there yet," he said.
Dukes has, however, visited Alabama recently. He was in Tuscaloosa for the Tide's spring game a while ago and he said the experience was a positive one. While the school's prestige and success last fall have made it an attractive destination for recruits, Dukes believes the Tide has something else working in their favor.
"I liked it up there," he said referring to Alabama. "I really liked it since one of my former (teammates) plays for Alabama and I got to watch him play."
Dukes was referring to John Fulton, a freshman cornerback from Manning that signed with the Crimson Tide in February.
There has been a lot of speculation that in the long run the in-state schools, Clemson and South Carolina, might be difficult to beat out. At first Dukes admitted that Clemson was his favorite. That was last fall, and that only lasted until around October when he went on record saying that South Carolina had ousted the Tigers from their spot atop his list. He hasn't spoken publicly about the recruiting process much since then and denied that he has a favorite now.
"I am high on them but I don't really have a favorite," he said. "I can't really say too much right now because I haven't been around to many places."
He admitted that there are plenty of people close to him that would love to see him stay close to home, but also said he didn't think that would be a decisive factor in his decision.