Clarkston four-star tackle Garrett Dellinger is scheduled to decide where he will play his college ball Wednesday, with LSU the favorite according to multiple recruiting websites, including 247Sports and Rivals.
Dellinger joins four-star two-way lineman Rocco Spindler to give Clarkston arguably the premier offensive line in the state.
Clarkston won the Division 1 state championship when Dellinger and Spindler were freshmen in 2017, then advanced to the title game again at Ford Field in 2018, falling to Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, 31-30. Clarkston missed the playoffs last fall.
Dellinger, 6-foot-6 and 290 pounds, is part of an impressive group of linemen, including five of the The News’ top six seniors in the state.
Dellinger is ranked No. 4 on The News list with Spindler No. 1, followed by Belleville two-way lineman Damon Payne at No. 2, Oak Park two-way lineman Rayshaun Benny at No. 5 and Michigan-bound two-way lineman Giovanni El-Hadi of Sterling Heights Stevenson at No. 6.
Spindler is considered the No. 3 guard in the country by 247Sports Composite and Rivals, and Payne the No. 1 defensive tackle in the country by 247Sports Composite.
While LSU is considered to be Dellinger’s front runner, Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State also are in the mix. So, why is LSU so high on Dellinger’s list?
Well, no doubt it helps that LSU won the national championship in January with a 42-25 victory over Clemson, ending Clemson’s 29-game winning streak.
LSU also had the premier offensive line in the nation last season.
Dellinger talked of his recruiting process last month, speaking highly of LSU and Michigan.
“I went to the Arkansas game, was there for the weekend,” Dellinger said of LSU’s 56-20 rout of Arkansas on Nov. 23 in Baton Rouge. “(Offensive line) Coach (James) Cregg is a great coach, he showed it with getting the Joe Moore award for the (nation’s top) offensive line.
“Their facilities were outstanding. Their locker room with, like, sleeping beds, sleeping pods, that’s unbelievable. Their campus, their dorms and the facility being so close together makes things easy.”
Dellinger also had high praise for Michigan, saying: “(Offensive line) Coach (Ed) Warinner is a great coach, their facilities are great, they have the Car Wash, like the players after practice walk through, like, an ice tub and they go through it and it’s equivalent, like, 30 minutes sitting in an ice bath. It’s unbelievable.”
Dellinger’s younger brother Cole Dellinger also has an offer from Michigan. Cole started on Clarkston’s offensive line as a freshman last fall.
LSU set an SEC record with 13 players selected in the NFL draft this past April, including guard Damien Lewis (Seattle, No. 69) and center Lloyd Cushenberry (Denver, No. 83) in the third round, along with tackle Saahdiq Charles (Washington, No. 108) in the fourth.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron commented on the record-breaking NFL Draft in a story reported by The Advocate: “It means development. It means recruiting great character kids. It means a lot in recruiting. The reason you come to school at LSU is ’cause you want to win the national championship, you want to graduate, and you want to get drafted.”
Spindler also has LSU among his final five schools, with Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State and Ohio State.
Spindler, Payne and Benny are expected to take their official visits this fall before making their choice while El-Hadi and Detroit Cass Tech center Raheem Anderson (No. 8) picked Michigan.
Anderson — ranked the No. 2 center nationally by 247Sports Composite and rivals.com — picked Michigan over LSU in April, still speaking highly in a story by The News of the national champion Tigers.
“LSU, it’s a college town (Baton Rouge) and so it was good energy there, went in early March,” Anderson said. “They had spring ball. I talked to the O line coach (Cregg) and Coach Orgeron. They were just talking to me about how it would be a great fit for me, talked about how they had Lloyd Cushenberry and how he was going to the draft.”