LSU Football: The Good and the Bad of National Signing Day
Little went wrong for the LSU Tigers on National Signing Day.
However, not everything went right for LSU. The Tigers were unable to steal Robert Nkemdiche away from Ole Miss. It was considered to be a stretch anyway, considering Nkemdiche's older brother, Denzel, plays for the Rebels. You can't win em all, right?
In sports, you win some and you lose some, and signing day is no different. Here's the good and bad that occurred for LSU on signing day.
*All player ratings and national recruiting rankings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted.
Bad: Robert Nkemdiche Chooses Ole Miss
The Tigers could have surely used Nkemdiche in 2013.
LSU lost both its superstars on the outside in Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo, and with Nkemdiche's No. 1 overall recruit status, he could have easily started as a true freshman.
At this point, any sentiments toward Nkemdiche and LSU all involve would've, could've, should've scenarios. The young man wanted to play with his older brother at Ole Miss and LSU fans should understand that.
However, he may regret his decision later on. You see, LSU's defensive staff is exceeds all expectations when it comes to molding young defensive players into NFL talents.
Defense is a way of life at LSU, and though Nkemdiche is sure to go on and have a great career at Ole Miss, he could have learned from one of the greatest defensive minds in college football. That, of course, is "The Chief," John Chavis.
Good: Tashawn Bower Flips
There’s only one flip that could have made LSU fans happier. Well, here's to looking on the bright side.
Sure, Tashawn Bower may not have the same status as Nkemdiche, but this defensive end could turn out to be a future star for the Tigers. "Come on Jake, you could say this about any of these recruits," an LSU pessimist insists.
True, but look at his stature. At 6'4", 240 pounds, he runs a 4.8 in the 40-yard dash. No wonder ESPN has him in its ESPN 150.
Bower, who was commited to Auburn and flirted with signing with Florida, ended up signing his letter of intent with LSU.
Chavis loves to have his ends get up the field and get to the quarterback, and this 4-star defensive end is equipped with the set of skills to do so. Don't be surprised to see Bower contribute greatly as a true freshman.
Bad: Priest Willis Doesn't Sign with Tigers
Priest Willis isn't signing until Friday.
This gave LSU fans a glimpse of hope and really, it still does. But according to Willis, the reason for his prolonged announcement has to do with his mom being out of town.
The reality of the situation is that Willis will likely pick UCLA, and that's a big disappointment for LSU fans. Here's a 4-star safety that could have given LSU's secondary some much needed depth.
The Tigers lost both Eric Reid and Tharold Simon to the NFL draft, and now that the Tigers likely missed out on Willis, fans can thank the good Lord above that Craig Loston decided to return.
Willis was a big miss for LSU.
Good: Quantavius Leslie Signs with Tigers
Step one of Quantavius Leslie playing for LSU in 2013 is complete.
Heading into national signing day, many were unsure on whether or not Leslie would stay with his commitment, considering he failed to graduate from Hinds Community College in December.
Well, he signed his letter of intent, and if he can get by without any academic troubles, he'll be suited up in the fall and ready to go.
Should he be eligible, this 4-star wide receiver will likely become a starter for the Tigers. LSU has great receivers like Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry returning, but with Leslie, the Tigers will be adding a much taller, physical receiver on the outside.
That's something the Tigers needed last year. With Leslie's 6'4", 190-pound frame, he could be that red zone target Zach Mettenberger has longed for.
Bad: Success of Other SEC Schools
The SEC dominated recruiting much like it dominates college football.
Alabama and Florida both have great arguments for the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, while Ole Miss slid its foot in the door with a remarkable signing day.
All three have Top 5 recruiting classes and that leaves LSU just about on the outside looking in. It isn't LSU's fault though.
Ole Miss, Florida and Alabama just absolutely killed it with these recruiting classes, and if these recruits pan out like these star ratings indicate they will, the SEC should remain on top of the college football world.
Oh and breathing down LSU's neck is Texas A&M. You know, the team that's returning Heisman winning quarterback Johnny Manziel. The road towards winning another SEC championship only gets tougher.
Good: Offensive Line Signees
Les Miles did it again upfront.
With the signings of 4-star offensive linemen Ethan Pocic and Josh Boutte to go along with 3-star signees Andy Dodd and Karl Malone Jr., the Tigers offensive line serves as the backbone of this class.
You can never have enough solid recruits on the offensive line, and with LSU's bruising style of play, injuries will take place.
LSU can afford a few injuries now with these stellar big men coming into Tiger Town.
Expect Miles and his staff to develop these young boys into grown men. They'll lead the way in the future when LSU continues to play grown man football.