Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Recruiting Season is Coming to a Close

Tomorrow is the big day. National Signing Day. GeauxTuscaloosa's first National Signing Day, as this blog started in late February of last year, a couple weeks after the 2007 National Signing Day.

If you're expecting a big NSD extravaganza here at GeauxTuscaloosa, I am sorry to disappoint you. I have nothing planned. There will be no real time coverage of the event as, alas, I will be in Court all day tomorrow. Or at least, I'll be in Court from about 9:00 until late in the afternoon.

LSU sits with 25 commits right now, with a few more left on the board. We have realistic shots at defensive lineman Corey Liuget, offensive lineman Greg Shaw, running back Jermaine Thomas, and cornerback TJ Bryant, roughly in that order of likelihood. None of those guys are definite, but I'm confident enough to say that we will probably get 2 to 3 of those 4 guys.

Despite the disappointment of losing DeAndre Brown and of failing to get commitments from some high-profile national recruits like Arthur Brown, Terrelle Pryor, and Matt Patchan, among others, this class is really solid in the most important positions on the team: the lines.

If we get Liuget, we have a very solid defensive line class. Liuget would be a very good get, and he can be either a DE or a DT. Liuget would join Chancey Aghayere, who looks like an absolute stud at defensive end. Chase Clement who also has great potential at defensive end as well. Lavar Edwards may be feast or famine, but we're in a position to take a chance on a guy right about now. Cordian Hagans is kind of an unknown at this point, but he adds to the depth of this class.

Shaw would complete an impressive offensive line class. He does not look like a 4-year starter sort of player, but we do not need that sort of player. He looks like he can be a solid depth and role player until the deck clears ahead of him and he gets his shot to start. The O-line class is full of projects who need some time to develop, but who have tremendous athleticism and potential. Thomas Parsons is the most extreme example. He's a 3-star, but his measurables are as good as many five-star players. Alex Hurst was drawn from the state of Tennessee, and Miles is reportedly very excited about him. P.J. Lonergan and Clay Spencer were early in-state commitments who have been somewhat forgotten since then.

Les Miles deserves credit for what he has done with LSU's offensive line. When Miles arrived on campus, the state of O-line recruiting was a shambles. The team lacked significant depth, and had for years. It is telling that in his 2nd year, he had to start a 5th year senior who had never gotten significant playing time before, and in his 3rd year, he started two converted defensive linemen. Starting next year, for the first time in recent memory, the offensive line will have both experience and depth.

This recruiting class will be anywhere from "solid" to "solid-plus". There are solid players and good depth, but this class is not as strong as last year's. That's OK, because last year was an embarrassment of riches. This year, with it not being such a great year in-state for prospects, and with the resurgence of Bama and the inexplicable strength of Florida State, it was kind of bound to be a little tougher for us, but I think we have what we need to maintain ourselves at the top.

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