Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman.
Today, we discuss the impact of LSU’s two new assistant coaching hires.
BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU head coach Ed Orgeron put another stamp on the Tigers’ football staff on Thursday, adding two more assistant coaches to replace Jabbar Juluke and Dameyune Craig and bring the total numbers of assistants to nine … for now.
Orgeron tapped Tommie Robinson to take over as the team’s running backs coach, but also gave him the title of assistant head coach, running game coordinator and, perhaps more importantly, recruiting coordinator. Mickey Joseph will coach wide receivers.
So, what can we expect from LSU’s new running backs coach and wide receivers coach as we prepare to dive head first into the 2018 recruiting class?
Robinson gives LSU veteran presence
Robinson adds a veteran presence to the position as both an on-the-field instructor and proven recruiter. This was a major need following the departure of Craig.
Robinson, who is coming off a successful second stint at Southern Cal, was named the Pac-12 Recruiter of the Year in 2016. A Phoenix City, Ala., native, Robinson will take over Craig’s former recruiting territory in Alabama, as well as assume parts of Texas, a major void left behind by Bradley Dale Peveto.
This past recruiting cycle, Robinson helped USC secure commitments from 5-star California RB Stephen Carr and 4-star Texas LB Levi Jones.
Carr was the No. 3 tailback in the 2017 class and committed to the Trojans in March. Despite late pushes from Pac-12 rivals Oregon and UCLA, Robinson was able to keep the highly touted back in the class through signing day.
Jones was basically penciled into Florida or Florida State’s class by the time the Under Armour All-America Game rolled around. However, Robinson’s ties to Texas helped USC jump in late on the 4-star outside linebacker and one-time LSU target and land a huge commitment earlier this month. Even more impressive: Florida State hosted Jones the weekend before signing day, yet he still signed with USC.
A proven coach with a successful track record, Robinson will handle Lone Star State recruiting after spending three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys (1998-2000) and two seasons under Charlie Strong at Texas (2014-15).
Additionally, Robinson played key roles in the recruitment of Randal Grimes, Isaiah Pola-Mao and Bubba Bolden. Bolden played for powerhouse Bishop Gorman (Nev.), where LSU is hoping to make a dent in 2018 and beyond. Grimes, too, hails from Nevada and Pola-Mao is from Arizona.
Robinson will be an integral part of the Tigers’ attempt to expand their recruiting base from Louisiana and the Southeast to a more national scope.
Robinson will have the daunting task of landing several running backs in the 2018 and 2019 classes as LSU looks to bolster the depth chart after Derrius Guice heads to the NFL and Darrel Williams graduates. Some names to keep an eye on are 4-star RB Asa Martin and 3-star RB Tae Provens. Both hail from Alabama and Robinson has ties to the area.
Additionally, Texas is loaded with LSU targets for 2018 and 2019. Noah Cain is a Baton Rouge native who played for Denton (Texas) High and now IMG Academy. He sits atop of the Tigers’ wish list for the 2019 class.
Joseph tasked with recruiting New Orleans
Joseph has the task of stepping in as the Tigers’ New Orleans recruiter, which should be a slight challenge considering the well-documented tension that developed in the aftermath of Juluke’s demotion.
While that is expected to be resolved, Joseph boasts fantastic ties to the area and the coaches there, so it shouldn’t take long to mend fences.
Joseph, who prepped at Archbishop Shaw (La.) and played quarterback for Nebraska, has been a head coach before and a position coach at numerous offensive positions. His most important responsibility will be continuing the pipeline up I-10 West from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, while also playing a chief role in securing a rather large wide receiver class in 2018.
The most important trait for a New Orleans-area recruiter is the ability to relate to the prospects he’s courting. Joseph certainly possesses that, which bodes well for his chances of success.
LSU is eyeing several marquee receivers in this ’18 class, most notably Louisiana 5-star prospect Terrace Marshall Jr., Texas 4-star talent Jalen Preston and Florida 4-star recruit Joshua Moore. The Tigers also have offers out to several 2018 New Orleans-area prospects such as 3-star athlete Jammal Houston and 3-star tight end Glenn Beal, as well as 2019 linebacker Donte Starks.
Joseph will also assume the responsibility of recruiting the River Parishes between the Crescent City and Baton Rouge. LSU recently extended an offer to 2019 tailback John Emery out of Destrehan (La.). The Tigers have typically kept most of the recruits from this area in-state.
Arguably the biggest challenge for Joseph will be asserting himself as a force right away. That was Juluke’s Achilles’ heel this past year and was among the factors that led to his departure. LSU reeled in Racey McMath from New Orleans and secured early commitments from Jontre Kirklin and Lowell Narcisse from the River Parishes, thanks in part to Juluke.
Joseph will have a chance to prove himself right away with the tension LSU is facing from New Orleans coaches. How quickly he can bridge that gap should determine how successful he can be recruiting for the Tigers in his first marquee role at a major college football program.
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