LSU Football: Where Does Miles' Current Recruting Class Rank Among Past Ones?

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IJuly 6, 2012

LSU Football: Where Does Miles' Current Recruting Class Rank Among Past Ones?

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    LSU head coach Les Miles is at it again.

    Just when college football fans thought they would get a slight break from this recruiting frenzy that the Tigers have been on over the past couple of months, Miles struck again.

    In the past four days, LSU has added to this impressive 2013 class with one of the top tight ends and defensive end prospects in the country.

    After 4-star prospect DeSean Smith gave a verbal commitment to Miles and the LSU coaching staff on Monday, 3-star defensive end prospect Lewis Neal announced he will take his talents to Baton Rouge as well (via CBSSports.com).

    Look's like a pretty good Fourth of July present for the Tigers, huh?

    But as impressive as this 2013 recruiting class is thus far, is it the best one in the Les Miles era?

    Let's break down Miles' past five recruiting recruiting classes and see how this 2013 one compares to the rest.

2012 Recruiting Class

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    LSU 2012 Recruiting Class

    Total Commitments: 23

    ESPN Class Ranking: No. 14

    5-Star Commitments: 0

    4-Star Commitments: 9

    Top Offensive Player: Vadal Alexander, Offensive Tackle

    Top Defensive Player: Kwon Alexander, Linebacker

    This was a solid 2012 class that Miles brought in, at least according to the rankings.

    This class was highlighted by the Alexander boys (no relation): Kwon, a 4-star linebacker and Vadal, a 4-star offensive tackle.

    Miles made it a point to load up on the defensive side of the ball with this class, especially at linebacker and defensive back. The Tigers signed six linebackers in this class, three of which are 4-star prospects, according to rivals.com. They also added five defensive backs in the group.

    However, the 2013 class already has four more 4-star prospects than the 2012 group, and they certainly aren't showing any signs of slowing down soon. If they now add the big boys they're going after, this 2013 class really has the chance to be something special.

    Advantage: 2013 Class

2011 Recruiting Class

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    LSU 2011 Recruiting Class

    Total Commitments: 23

    ESPN Class Ranking: No. 10

    5-Star Commitments: 3

    4-Star Commitments: 10

    Top Offensive Player: La'El Collins, Offensive Tackle

    Top Defensive Player: Anthony Johnson, Defensive Tackle

    This 2011 recruiting class was very top heavy with three separate 5-star prospects in La'El Collins, Anthony Johnson and standout wide receiver Jarvis Landry.

    But perhaps the best part about this class is that it wasn't even one of those 5-star prospects who had the biggest impact as a freshman.

    Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was a 4-star prospect out of New Orleans, who came in under the radar and ended up ranking second on the team last season in catches and receiving yards. He will now be looked at as the Tigers' No.1  receiving option heading into this season.

    Collins and Johnson should star on the offensive and defensive line this year, while Zach Mettenberger, who was also part of this class despite being a transfer, will take over the reins as the starting quarterback this season.

    When it's all said and done, this class could very well turn out to be one of the best in the Les Miles era, which makes it tough to compare this one with the 2013 class.

    The 2013 class does already have 13 4-star recruits. If they add one or two more big names—potentially Tim Williams and Kendell Beckwith—then we could go with this 2013 class. Right now, with those three 5-star names mentioned, we have to give a slight edge to that 2011 class.

    Advantage: 2011 Class

2010 Recruiting Class

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    LSU 2010 Recruiting Class

    Total Commitments: 29

    ESPN Class Ranking: No. 8

    5-Star Commitments: 1

    4-Star Commitments: 15

    Top Offensive Player: Spencer Ware, Running Back

    Top Defensive Player: Ego Ferguson, Defensive End

    Les Miles went to work in 2010, hauling in a class that was 29 members deep.

    This class was highlighted by running back Spencer Ware, who was the No. 3 athlete prospect in the nation, according to rivals.com. They also ranked him as the No. 3 player in the state of Louisiana and the No. 19 overall prospect in the country.

    With 29 commitments, 16 of which were 4- or 5-star commitments, it would be tough to put any class ahead of this one.

    As mentioned before, the 2013 class could overtake this one, but they would have to land several more big-name prospects to do so.

    Advantage: 2010 Class

2009 Recruiting Class

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    LSU 2009 Recruiting Class

    Total Commitments: 24

    ESPN Class Ranking: No. 1

    5-Star Commitments: 4

    4-Star Commitments: 11

    Top Offensive Player: Rueben Randle, Wide Receiver

    Top Defensive Player: Craig Loston, Defensive Back

    This was not only the best recruiting class to sign on in the Les Miles era, this was the best recruiting class in LSU history.

    At least on paper.

    This 2009 group was led by Rueben Randle, who was ranked by rivals.com as the No. 1 receiver and No. 2 player overall in the nation. He joined Craig Loston and Russell Shepard as 5-star prospects, and all were ranked in the top 25 that year.

    Of course, there is plenty of other talent if you look down the list. In fact, Morris Claiborne (3-star) and Michael Brockers (4-star) were both first-round selections in this year's NFL draft. Add Randle in there and you have three former LSU players who were selected in the first two rounds of the draft.

    You have your busts as well, highlighted by Russell Shepard, who has never quite lived up to the hype since arriving at Baton Rouge.

    But even so, this class was unbelievable on paper and pretty darn good on the football field as well.

    Advantage: 2009 Class

2008 Recruiting Class

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    LSU 2008 Recruiting Class

    Total Commitments: 26

    ESPN Class Ranking: No. 11

    5-Star Commitments: 2

    4-Star Commitments: 11

    Top Offensive Player: DeAngelo Benton, Wide Receiver

    Top Defensive Player: Patrick Peterson, Defensive Back

    This is one of those recruiting classes that looked pretty darn good on paper, but never quite lived up to its billing.

    As we know, Patrick Peterson turned out to be an absolute stud, and is now being groomed into one of the top defensive backs/special team return men in the NFL.

    DeAngelo Benton was a huge recruit for the Tigers, but he ended up transferring to Auburn and never made an impact while in Baton Rouge.

    Peterson, Brandon Taylor, Alex Hurst, DeAngelo Peterson and Ryan Baker were really the only players that turned out to be as good as expected in this class. One has got to hope that the 2013 class will be much better than this one when it is all said and done.

    Advantage: 2013 Class