LSU Football Recruiting: Top Class Ushers in New Era for Les Miles and Tigers

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2014

Jan 1, 2014; Tampa, Fl, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. LSU Tigers defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 21-14. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The LSU Tigers left the rest of the country in the dust on national signing day.

Coach Les Miles and his staff had quite the day as they landed cornerstones to build around for years on both sides of the football.

The highlights of the day were star wideout Malachi Dupre and defensive tackle Travonte Valentine, but the additions of brothers Maea Teuhema (5-star prospect, class of 2015) and Sione Teuhema capped off quite the impressive day, as Andrew Lopez of illustrates:

Remember, this is an LSU team that had already wrapped up running back Leonard Fournette, the No. 1 overall prospect in the nation. He has the talent at 6’1” and 226 pounds to take over as the Tigers' starting back right away, as one can easily see by his 7,630 rushing yards, 1,058 receiving yards and 99 total touchdowns in four years.

Oh, and Miles' team already had star safety and running back Jamal Adams, too. Adams ranked as the No. 2 overall safety in the class and was a 5-star prospect with a composite score of 98. Go ahead and add in stud outside linebacker Clifton Garrett, who ranked in the exact same manner overall and at his position.

But the focus on national signing day was Dupre and Valentine.

Dupre, the nation's No. 2 receiver, changes things drastically for the Tigers as they lose Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry to the NFL draft. He stands at 6'2.5" and weighs 187 pounds, which he expertly combines with blazing speed and a jaw-dropping leaping ability to make him a complete prospect.

When paired with Adams, it is easy to see why the youth movement would have Dupre thinking about a national championship, via Glenn Guilbeau of USA Today:

Meanwhile, Valentine continues a longstanding tradition of elite nose tackles for the Tigers and follows the paths forged by names such as Glenn Dorsey and Anthony Johnson. His stature at 6'3" and 338 pounds makes him nearly impossible to block.

Repeat the process—Valentine leads the way, while Teuhema and Garrett help to bookend what will likely turn out to be another classic LSU defense.

So it should come as no surprise that LSU sits at No. 2 behind only Alabama in 247Sports' rankings. The scary part is that all of this goes without mentioning what could have been.

Miles and his staff lost out on Adoree' Jackson to USC, Lorenzo Carter to Georgia, Solomon Thomas to Stanford and Ermon Lane to Florida State—to name a few.

Missing out on those names can only be viewed as a negative, but what LSU did gain on what may prove to be a historic day are building blocks for the present and future. Miles himself put it best, via Scott Rabalais of The Advocate and LSU's Twitter account:

After a 10-3 record that saw all losses come in the SEC, the Tigers were in a do-or-die situation on national signing day if they were to turn things around in the conference—especially with so much turnover happening on the roster at the worst possible time.

Miles knocked this one out of the park, and a competitive, successful new era with alarming potential is set to unfold as a result.


Note: All team rankings and prospect rankings based on composite numbers from 247Sports.


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