LSU Football: Good and Bad of National Signing Day
LSU head coach Les Miles is no stranger to national signing day and the ups and downs that this big day can bring in the field of recruitment.
But as signing day comes to a close today, Miles and the Tigers coaching staff should be all smiles going forward.
LSU wrapped up another top-10 recruiting class, signing 26 players to its 2013 class, as of Wednesday night. According to rivals.com's 2013 team rankings, the Tigers currently feature the No.5-ranked recruiting class in the nation for 2013, with a 3.75 average-star-rating.
But is everything all good in Tiger Country?
Let's go ahead and break down the good and the bad of LSU's 2013 National Singing Day.
Good: Defensive Line
LSU has signed one of the top defensive line groups in the nation, which is certainly a plus for this team after losing all four starting defensive linemen to the NFL or graduation.
Leading the way in this class is 5-star DE Frank Herron, who is the No.3-ranked strongside defensive end prospect in the country, according to rivals.com. Other defensive ends in the class include 3-star prospects Chris Lacouture, Lewis Neal and Michael Patterson, as well as 4-star prospect Tashawn Bower, who flipped his commitment from Auburn to LSU.
The class also includes two defensive tackles in Maquedius Bain and Greg Gilmore. Bain is the No.41-ranked defensive tackle prospect in the country, according to rivals.com. They also rank Gilmore as the No.16 defensive tackle in the country and a Rivals250 member.
This class is stacked from top to bottom, and we should see an impact out on the football field with this group sooner than later.
This is probably old news for those who follow the LSU recruiting scene closely, but this year's class certainly lacks depth at the linebacker position.
Now, keep in mind that LSU did sign an exceptional linebacker class last season. That should help make up for the lack of depth in this class. Also, 4-star ATH Kendell Beckwith could ultimately move to linebacker and help even out this class.
Non-the-less, two linebackers is not great for a team that prides itself on playing aggressive, in-your-face defense.
Good: Wide Receiver
When Rueben Randle departed early for the NFL Draft, LSU was left without any true down-field threats at wide receiver.
Les Miles and the Tigers coaching staff did an exceptional job at fixing that by signing four wide receivers in this year's 2013 recruiting class, three of which are 6'2" or taller.
The position is highlighted by 6'4", 191-pound junior college transfer, Quantavius Leslie, who is expected to make an immediate impact in 2013.
Also included in this class are 4-star prospects John Diarse and Kevin Spears, as well as 3-star speedster Avery Johnson.
This is a very talented group that should see several members contribute on the field for LSU.
Bad: Running Back
At the conclusion of this past season, most people felt pretty comfortable with the fact that LSU didn't have a single running back prospect committed to its 2013 class.
However, when both Michael Ford and Spencer Ware announced they would be leaving early for the NFL Draft, that feeling of comfort began to fade a little.
As it stands right now, the Tigers should be just fine at running back next season, assuming Alfred Blue comes back healthy and joins Jeremy Hill and Kenny Hilliard in the LSU backfield.
But there really isn't much depth after that, and it would have been nice to see LSU snatch up a running back prospect for insurance, even if it meant redshirting him this upcoming season.
The Tigers better make the running back position a top priority in 2014—that is for sure.
Good: Stealing Tashawn Bower
I know, I know—It's never good to steal. But in this case, LSU did it by the rules and ended up landing a big-time prospect in 4-star defensive end, Tashawn Bower.
The 6'5", 241-pound end gave an early verbal commitment to Auburn, but he backed out out that commitment and opened up his choices. According to rivals.com's Jason Howell, twitter reports emerged on Wednesday that Bower had signed with Florida. But that turned out to be wrong, and Bower ultimatly pledged his talents to Les Miles and the Tigers.
Rivals.com ranks Bower as the No.14 weakside defensive end prospect in the nation. After losing out on Robert Nkemdiche, this was a nice consolation prize for the Tigers.
Bad: Losing out on Jeremy Cutrer
LSU very well could have added this 2013 defensive back group as a "good" in this article, but that was before the team found out that 4-star prospect Jeremy Cutrer will likely not be joining this class.
According to an article written by Glenn Guilbeau of the thenewstar.com, Cutrer is expected to sign at a junior college due to academic reasons. He could potentially enroll at LSU next singing period, but will not be with this 2013 group, at least not as of now.
Curter is the No.15-ranked safety prospect in the nation and is also a member of the Rivals250 rankings.
Fortunately for the Tigers, they did still sign four defensive back prospects in this class, including five-star All-American Tre'Davious White. But replacing the No.15 safety prospect in the nation is no easy task for Les Miles and this LSU football team.
When it is all said and done, this is a pretty darn impressive LSU class. The goal here was to build depth at positions of need, which was on the defensive line and at wide receiver, both of which Les Miles accomplished in this class. Final Grade: A
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