Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lots of Topics to Mention Today

Poseur's very timely post yesterday afternoon portended good things for the baseball team, which pummeled Indiana in its season opener last night. In a remarkable turnaround from last season, the team got both offense and pitching in a 7-1 win. If last night is any indication, LSU looks to be a much better team than it was last season.

I'll be the first to admit I have no pretensions of insight into college baseball. I am pretty ignorant of the college baseball world, and I am mostly unfamiliar with LSU's lineup. It rarely comes on TV here, I can't catch it on the radio, and I'm just not dedicated enough to sit at my computer listening to it on the internet. That's Poseur's job.

LSU football recruiting, however. That's in my wheelhouse. Three recruits announced yesterday that they were committing to play football at LSU. These guys are from 3 different states and play 3 different positions of need. I didn't expect to have to make this post until tomorrow, and today's post was supposed to be a "Watch for a Bunch of Commitments" today post because today is the start of Junior Day. Three recruits got the jump on Junior Day, however.

Henry Orelus, a 6'5" 280# offensive lineman from the football factory of Central Glades, Florida, was actually the first commit. He is a former teammate of current LSU redshirt freshman O-lineman Ernest McCoy, who seems to have a bright future here. Orelus is believed to be the Center prospect of this class, which was a position of substantial need because LSU did not recruit a true center last year. Orelus has not been evaluated yet, but it is believed he will be a 4-star when the rankings finally come out. Various scouting reports say he is very coachable and is way ahead of his peers in terms of technique and skills for a big man. He's not going to be a headline-maker of this class, and honestly I had never heard of him until his commitment was announced, but he's a solid foundation for a class that needs a center. It's also significant that he's an out-of-state commitment, which we often had to fight very hard to get last year.

Michael Brockers, a 6'6 260# offensive tackle/defensive end prospect from Chavez High School in Houston was the second big commitment of the day for the Tigers. He's a member of the Rivals100 for 2009, meaning he will likely start out as a high 4-star player. There is some doubt as to whether he is a future defensive end or a future offensive tackle. His videos at end are really impressive. He is quick off the snap, hits hard, and wraps up. What's more, he's living the dream by coming to LSU. According to the article at Rivals announcing his commitment, his head coach Mike Jackson had this to say. "Every kid is different, but this kid has said from day one that he wanted to go to LSU," Jackson said. "I have known him since the eighth grade and it has always been LSU." Defensive line is a pretty substantial need in this class, but he could end up being an offensive tackle instead of a defensive lineman, particularly if LSU signs other highly regarded defensive ends like Alex Okafor, but that might be a long shot

Michael Ford was long rumored to be a heavy lean to LSU. He comes from Leesville, and is probably the best running back prospect in the state for 2009, and probably the best running back prospect in the state since Joe McKnight in 2007. Eddie Lacy of Dutchtown also has a claim to that title, but Lacy is rumored to have grade issues and off-the-field problems. Ford is alleged to already have the ACT score and simply needs to stay on track to graduate in order to qualify. He won't give us any headaches about making it to campus. His listed 40-time is 4.57 seconds, which is kind of disappointing, but it is said that it was run on a wet field and was the fastest time of the day at that camp. He is supposed to actually be very fast, possibly in the high 4.4's, which is excellent for a running back. He's a track standout as Leesville. Ford also has the personality of a leader, and figures to be a cornerstone of LSU's offense when the current RB corps of Keiland, Charles Scott, and Richard Murphy start clearing out. If there's a downside to Ford, it's that he has had some injuries. It's not anything that is likely to linger like a knee or shoulder. He just broke a collarbone and had another minor injury or two. He hasn't been on the field as much as you'd like to see. That said, if you watch his videos, keep in mind those are from his SOPHOMORE year. Let's hope he has a good and healthy senior season.

Stay tuned, because there are probably going to be a few more commitments today. I look to hear about commitments from defensive back Janzen Jackson, Texas running back Hasan Lipscomb (part of the Katrina diaspora), and possibly one or more offensive linemen. Maybe even more. I think this is going to be a class is that mostly set by the time Fall Practice starts in August.

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