LSU's 2014 Class Is Stacked, Now Les Miles & Coaching Staff Must Develop Talent

Carter Bryant@carterthepowerContributor IFebruary 5, 2014

Les Miles now has the talent to win another national championship at LSU. 

LSU's success on national signing day was nothing short of spectacular. The Tigers received signatures from elite uncommitted prospects in Malachi Dupre and Travonte Valentine.

But LSU was not the only school to rake in elite prospects. Alabama, Texas A&M, Auburn, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida all finished with a top-10 recruiting class.

The SEC is now deeper than ever. The Tigers succeeded in keeping pace with their peers on national signing day by bringing in championship-caliber playmakers.

Recruiting is the lifeblood of football programs. It is far and away the most important aspect of being a successful college football coach. But if everybody recruits well, which more than half of the SEC has done in this cycle, player development becomes more prevalent.  

Miles and his coaching staff are now under immense pressure to turn these recruits into stars. 

Gone are the days where LSU's Herculean athletes could impose their will against inferior talent and athletes. The level of competition has risen, thus the need to win with great technique and execution. 

LSU has had some elite players underperform and digress as players over the past few seasons. Last year was a prime example.  

Anthony Johnson and Craig Loston were named preseason All-Americans and are former 5-star recruits. Both were mainly non-factors throughout the season. The same could happen to some of LSU's 5-star prospects in this year's class as they proceed through their careers.   

LSU underperformed last year defensively. The secondary looked baffled against precision passers. There was little pass rush from the defensive line.

There were too many excuses given for the defense. The players looked underdeveloped in SEC play outside of a stellar performance against Texas A&M

LSU's porous defense against most of its better opponents was often saved by the potent offense. But that won't be the case next season.

Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron lost his senior starting quarterback in Zach Mettenberger. Cameron also lost his right guard, workhorse running back and star receivers, all of which had eligibility remaining.

The offense will have growing pains, as will the defense. Freshmen will have to play. Can Miles and his staff have their players ready for opening week against Wisconsin? 

Signee Leonard Fournette is a transcendent high school legend ready for SEC play. But not every recruit has Fournette's ability. Development is key for every young player, even one as talented as the face of BUGA Nation

Valentine, Dupre, Jamal Adams, Ed Paris, Trey Quinn and a few others will probably be asked to play as true freshmen. All of them need some fine-tuning before stepping on the gridiron.  

It is time for LSU fans to dig their heads out of the message boards and YouTube highlight clips. Multiple SEC schools have elite talent and nothing any player has done in high school matters now. 

LSU fans should be excited. The Tigers' 2014 class has the talent to make it to a national championship game during its tenure in Baton Rouge.

Miles must now have his team ready for when that opportunity comes knocking.

All recruiting rankings via 247Sports.  

Follow me on Twitter @CarterthePower


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