How LSU Can Gain Edge over Alabama for Mammoth 2014 5-Star OT

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How LSU Can Gain Edge over Alabama for Mammoth 2014 5-Star OT
Via 247Sports

The LSU Tigers need to show some major resolve when playing the undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks. It's going to be a huge game on the field, but a win or loss could also have some major implications in the world of college football recruiting.

Highly touted 2014 5-star offensive tackle Cameron Robinson has LSU on top of his interest list right now, according to 247Sports, and  Sonny Shipp of 247Sports is reporting that he'll be at the this weekend's showdown between LSU and South Carolina for an unofficial visit:

LSU is expecting a big weekend for visitors when South Carolina comes to town, and one of the nation’s best will be in Baton Rouge for an unofficial visit.

“I’m extremely excited,” said West Monroe product Cameron Robinson, who is rated the No. 1 offensive tackle in the land for 2014 and No. 2 overall prospect in the 247Composite. “I’m ready to see how they bounce back from that loss now that they have to face a little adversity. I think they will bounce back pretty well and Coach Miles, Coach Stud (Studrawa) and all of those guys will have them ready.”

Even though Robinson is only a junior, he's already one of the bigger names in the world of college football recruiting, so it's important for the Tigers to make a great impression. At 6'5.5'', 330 pounds, he already has the size and potential to be a great offensive lineman in the SEC, and you can bet that Les Miles and LSU will want to harness that potential in their program.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The problem here is, a few weeks ago Robinson stated that the Alabama Crimson Tide were the other team in his top two, so it appears as if the Tigers will have some worthy competition.

LSU vs. Alabama for a top prospect? Who would have seen this coming?

If the Tigers want to gain an edge over Alabama, they're going to have to bounce back from a loss to the Florida Gators and protect their home field against a very explosive and talented South Carolina team.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Gamecocks are led by junior quarterback Conner Shaw and Junior running back Marcus Lattimore on offense, and their defense features stellar sophomore defensive end and former No. 1 overall recruit Jadeveon Clowney. They're a very talented team, coming off a 35-7 win over Georgia, so it's going to take a complete game for LSU to avoid a second straight loss.

You can learn a lot about a team, and even more so about a coaching staff by the way that they respond to losing. Does their preparation and sense of urgency increase? How does the coaching staff teach players the week after a big loss? How do they instruct the players to deal with disappointment?

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Losses in the SEC can be crippling, especially for a team like LSU who always has National Championship hopes, but the Tigers' loss to Florida could prove to be a catalyst for this season.

Alabama is always going to be a draw for elite players, so LSU is going to need to do everything they can to maintain an edge over the Tide for Robinson. Not only would a win over the Gamecocks be very impressive, but it would show Robinson a whole lot about Les Miles and his program.

I believe it would also give the Tigers the advantage over Alabama for the 5-star junior.

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