Les Miles has done it again. Miles has secured 21 commitments for the 2011 season, 10 of which are four or five-star recruits.
Regardless of criticisms of Miles and his wild antics, no one can question his ability to recruit and reload the Tiger roster with top-tier talent year after year.
2011 is no different. Miles has addressed needs at certain positions and loaded other positions with an abundance of depth.
With top talent coming in on the offensive line, defensive tackle and most of all, quarterback, the Tigers should be title contenders once again in 2011.
A speedy back with great moves, Jeremy Hill will be joining the stable of talent at running back in Baton Rouge.
Hill’s recent legal troubles may jeopardize his chances of playing for the Tigers, but if he does make it to Tiger Stadium he will have a chance to make magic.
Hill has had the luxury of running behind La’El Collins, the nation’s best offensive tackle at Redemptorist High School and lucky for him and Tiger fans, he’ll have the same opportunity at LSU.
Hopefully Hill’s off field troubles are just a case of a kid making a mistake and not a sign of things to come.
An absolute beast on the offensive line, Trai Turner is one of two commitments for the Tigers in 2011 from St. Augustine in New Orleans, Louisiana. At 6’5” 340 lbs, Turner has the build that Tiger coaches can work with to create a dominant offensive line.
Turner has the makings of a great lineman in the Southeastern Conference, but he will be a project. He will need to add strength and could also work on footwork to improve his pass blocking.
Overall, Turner is a great raw product that should improve over time to become a great player.
The other of the two St. Augustine recruits, Jonah Austin, though rated lower than Turner by most scouts, could be the more college ready.
After seeing his high school teammate get an offer from LSU, Austin recommitted himself to his craft and made great strides improving his lateral movement and his agility. A natural left tackle, Austin has the skill to protect the blindside as well as move to the right side or guard position if needed.
Austin, along with Turner, will probably not see the field much in 2011, but the Tigers have the makings of a powerful offensive line that could play together for three solid years.
Kenny Hilliard is a big, strong running back that could easily see playing time early in his career if he can prove to coaches that he can protect the quarterback. A very strong player, Hilliard has the strength to run inside the tackles and could prove useful when the Tigers need to grind out yardage.
Hilliard has the power to wear down a defense and the speed to occasionally break free for a big run. This combined with better than average hands could move him up on the depth charts.
Les Miles’ history of using many running backs gives Hilliard an even better chance to break into the lineup early.
One of the fastest guys in this year’s Tiger recruiting class, David Jenkins has the speed and coverage skills to follow in line with the great tradition of cornerbacks to play at LSU over the past decade.
Though he may not get much playing time as a freshmen, Jenkins will add to the incredible depth the Tigers have in the defensive secondary.
A track star with sub 10.6 100m speed, Jenkins has tremendous closing speed and can be coached to be a phenomenal defensive back.
The Tigers will have the luxury of easing Jenkins into SEC play as a nickel back and groom him under Tyrann Mathieu, Ron Brooks and Morris Claiborne.
Could the prayers of Tiger fans finally be answered? For all of those in Baton Rouge that have been eagerly waiting for a quarterback that can efficiently move the chains, Zach Mettenberger could help you sleep at night.
Mettenberger, a former SEC player at Georgia, played last season for Butler Community College after being dismissed from Georgia for violating team rules.
Mettenberger passed for over 2,600 yards with 32 touchdowns and only four interceptions as he led Butler to a No. 1 ranking and a spot in the National Junior College Championship game.
If he can bring this success and efficiency to LSU, Mettenberger could be the key to the Tigers moving the chains and dominating on both sides of the ball.
At 5’10” 165 lbs Odell Beckham Jr. is an undersized athlete who's explosive with the ball in his hands.
Very similar to Russell Shepard, Beckham Jr. is dangerous in space but not much of a threat against the large defensive backs in the SEC. Getting him the ball in space to let him use his speed against the larger defensive players will be the key to his success at LSU.
With a new offensive coordinator coming to LSU, Tiger fans will have to wait and see how Beckham Jr. will be utilized, but with his speed and ability he is a likely candidate to replace Patrick Peterson as a kickoff/punt returner.
With the departure of Drake Nevis and Lazarius Levingston at defensive tackle, LSU will be in need of the next great playmaker on the interior defensive line and Anthony Johnson could be that guy.
Johnson is a beast and has the ability to blow up plays in the backfield on a regular basis. While it definitely won’t be as easy in the SEC as it is for him in high school, with proper coaching Johnson can be the next dominant defensive tackle for the Tigers.
At 6’4” 298 lbs, Johnson has the strong body to play at the college level. His athleticism gives him the ability to play at tackle or end, depending on need.
Most scouts criticize his tendency to play with reckless abandon but LSU’s coaches will be able to teach him to play smarter, and with a little more restraint when necessary.
Jarvis Landry may only be 5’11” 178lbs, but he plays much bigger than he is. An elite route runner, Landry could make a major impact for the Tigers.
Though many scouts rate him as mediocre in speed, size and strength, Landry showed that he has the tools to be effective on the field in the Under Armour All-America Game as he led all receivers with eight catches for 70 yards and a touchdown. Landry proved time after time that he could be a reliable go-to receiver when his quarterback needed to get rid of the ball.
With a little more size and some college-level coaching, Landry has the tools and ability to be an elite receiver in the SEC.
The top-ranked offensive tackle in the nation, La’El Collins is college ready and will be a big part of LSU’s future as they reload their offensive line.
At 6’5” 285 lbs, Collins has the strength, speed and agility to not only play tackle in the SEC but play at an elite level.
Collins is versatile enough to play any position on the line so LSU will probably utilize him as a freshmen and enjoy his services for four years.
With Collins, Corey White, Jonah Austin and Trai Turner, the Tigers will have an abundance of talent on the offensive line for the next four years.