LSU Football Recruiting: 10 Best Tiger Recruits from BCS Era

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IJuly 17, 2014

LSU Football Recruiting: 10 Best Tiger Recruits from BCS Era

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    Sean Gardner/Associated Press

    Since the start of the BCS era in 1999, LSU has been a dominant recruiting program. The Tigers have signed several highly ranked classes, and many talented recruits have decided to call Baton Rouge home.

    The 2014 class was not considered, since coaches knew during that recruiting cycle a college playoff system was coming and the BCS era was ending. However, whittling down this list to 10 recruits prior to last year's class was awfully difficult.

    The Tigers signed a 5-star cornerback from Florida in 2008, while 2003 was the year a strong-armed quarterback came to Baton Rouge from Alabama. LSU also nabbed a dominant defensive lineman in 2001.

    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports' Composite Rankings.
    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.
    All stats are from unless otherwise noted. 

Anthony Johnson, DT

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    Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

    Class: 2011

    Known as "The Freak," Anthony Johnson was a big-time recruit in 2011. He possessed rare athleticism and strength for a defensive tackle, which made him a terror for offensive linemen.

    From Louisiana, Johnson was intimidating at 6'3" and 294 pounds. He never put it all together at LSU, only notching seven sacks. Johnson went undrafted this spring but is currently with the Miami Dolphins.

    However, the 5-star recruit was a monster coming out of high school.

La'El Collins, OT

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Class: 2011

    Another elite recruit LSU signed in 2011 was La'El Collins. Rated as a 5-star offensive tackle, Collins decided to keep his 6'5", 306-pound frame right at home in Baton Rouge.

    He has become an NFL prospect at left tackle for the Tigers. Collins was a Freshman All-American in 2011 and was second-team All-SEC in 2013, per his bio at LSU.

    Winning the Outland Trophy, being a first-team All-American and getting selected in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft are all possibilities for Collins.

Russell Shepard, WR

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Class: 2009

    With the emphasis of this list more on how good the players were as recruits and not on the field at LSU, Russell Shepard definitely deserves to be included.

    While he may not have lived up to his 5-star billing in Baton Rouge, the Houston native was a sheer stud coming out of high school. Shepard played a ton of quarterback at Cypress Ridge High School in Texas, where his speed and explosiveness were often on display.

    He moved to receiver at LSU, played a little bit at running back and also returned punts and kicks for the Tigers. Shepard is currently with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

    Shepard told the following to Mike Scarborough of (subscription required) in March of 2003 regarding his decision to commit to LSU:

    "It was a hands down easy decision for me."

Patrick Peterson, CB

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    Sean Gardner/Associated Press

    Class: 2008

    Known back then as Patrick Johnson, Patrick Peterson is one of the best recruits of the modern era. The Florida native was an exceptional cornerback prospect who signed with LSU in 2008.

    At 6'1" and 193 pounds, Peterson dominated receivers with strength, speed and fantastic athletic ability in coverage during those days. In 2010, Peterson won the Jim Thorpe Award, Chuck Bednarik Award, was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a consensus All-American.

    The Arizona Cardinals selected him in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft, and today he is recognized as one of the premier overall players in the game.

Terrance Toliver, WR

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    Class: 2007

    Terrance Toliver opted to leave his native state of Texas for LSU in 2007. Many pundits had him as a 5-star prospect and the No. 1 receiver in the country.

    Toliver had a ton of hype surrounding him at 6'4" and 198 pounds. His length, smooth athleticism, speed and playmaking ability were all top-notch as a prospect. He had a solid career in Baton Rouge, but it didn't match the hype he had coming out of high school.

    Toliver totaled 85 receptions for 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns in his career. He's bounced around the NFL as a reserve and is currently with the Chicago Bears.

Ryan Perrilloux, QB

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    John Amis/Associated Press

    Class: 2005

    Although he is one of the biggest recruiting busts in history, there's a reason why Ryan Perrilloux was such a letdown: He was terrific as a recruit.

    Perrilloux had all of the needed physical tools to become a fantastic quarterback. His arm strength, athletic ability and speed were all impressive. However, he didn't have great mental tools, maturity or focus.

    Things didn't work out so well at LSU, as he was gone after his sophomore season. Perrilloux finished up his college career at Jacksonville State. He's bounced around between the NFL, UFL, CFL and AFL. 

Early Doucet, WR

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    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

    Class: 2004

    A 5-star receiver in the 2004 class, Early Doucet was another in-state recruit for LSU. He didn't have great speed, but he was consistently quick, agile and deceptively strong.

    Doucet's consistency and reliability were often apparent in Baton Rouge, as he finished his career with 160 catches for 1,943 yards and 20 touchdowns. The Arizona Cardinals selected him in the third round of the 2008 NFL draft.

    He is currently a free agent. 

JaMarcus Russell, QB

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    DAVID QUINN/Associated Press

    Class: 2003

    In terms of arm strength, not many had what JaMarcus Russell had in high school. The Alabama native could simply blast passes to targets that made people drop their jaws.

    Russell may not have had the best work ethic or most passion, but he was still a phenomenal recruit in 2003. He threw for 6,625 yards and 52 touchdowns at LSU before becoming the No. 1 overall pick to the Oakland Raiders in the 2007 NFL draft.

    Russell's NFL career was highly disappointing, but no one can take away how talented of a recruit he was coming out of high school. 

Michael Clayton, WR

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    Class: 2001

    Going way back in the day to 2001, LSU nabbed itself a great receiver recruit in Michael Clayton. Listed at 6'2" and 200 pounds, Clayton used his size to his advantage at all times.

    He wasn't a burner, but he could get to where he wanted once he got his legs churning. He finished his career in Baton Rouge with 182 catches for 2,852 yards and 21 touchdowns. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected him in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft.

    He's currently out of football. 

Marcus Spears, DL

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    BILL HABER/Associated Press

    Class: 2001

    Although many viewed him as a future dominant defensive lineman, don't forget Marcus Spears was a very good tight end in high school.

    He was considered one of the nation's best recruits in 2001, as many schools tried to get him out of Baton Rouge. Spears stayed at home to attend LSU, where he became a consensus All-American in 2004. 

    The Dallas Cowboys took him in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft, and he had a solid NFL career. Spears is currently a college football analyst


    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.